With more creativity and technological power at our finger tips than ever before, the most excited I’ve been about VR in quite some time comes from playing a VR version of a game originally released in 1993. Go figure.
Nostalgia is a powerful, weird thing. I’ve never really considered DOOM to be one of my all-time favorite game franchises, but there was something magical about stepping foot inside the dark, bloody, and downright creepy demonic compounds of the original two DOOM games — complete with their archaic, blocky textures and visuals.
Using the upcoming QuestZDOOM mod from DrBeef along with a launcher app made by Baggyg I was able to not only simply and easily play FreeDOOM in VR thanks to GzDOOM, but also access my PC copies of DOOM, DOOM II, Heretic, and Hexen using the same launcher. It was like a 90s-era gold mine of bloody, gory, pixelated violence in VR.
What makes this mod so nifty is that once you install the apk files and open up the launcher on your Quest, everything is handled from inside the headset. Using the launcher UI (which you can see in the gameplay video above) you select which core games you want to launch, like DOOM, DOOM II, Hexen, etc., and then pick from an assortment of mods available to download. I really enjoyed using the voxel-style weapon mod because the default sprites are flat 2D models and feel really strange in VR. There’s also a realistic 3D model mod that makes your guns look like they were ripped from a modern game.
Other mods include a high-resolution texture pack that makes everything nice and sharp, remastered audio, and even tons of map packs. I never really got into modding DOOM very much, so all of this was like new content for me. Back to Saturn X was especially impressive and felt like I was playing a new sequel in the same iconic 90s style.
The menus are overflowing with options as well. You can remap all of the controls, setup teleportation movement, and adjust plenty else. There are also lots of cheats to pick from if you just want to have some high-octane fun.
There isn’t a solid release date for QuestZDOOM just yet, but we’ve been told it will be launching on SideQuest later this month for free. However, if you want to play the original DOOM, DOOM II, Hexen, or Heretic (like we did for most of this gameplay video) you’ll need your own legal, legitimate copies of the game with which to copy over some files to your Quest.
Update: Credit for the development of the launch app added on May 11.