Among the range of cool devices at CES 2018, the HTC Vive Pro was top of the list for many gaming enthusiasts.
The Vive Pro sports a redesigned chassis and improved display resolution compared to the original headset, and is aimed at high-performance VR applications.
Of the VR headsets for PC that I have tried, the original HTC Vive was the one I found the most comfortable.
It doesn’t allow ambient light from the room to leak in and I was able to use it for long periods without getting nauseous.
The HTC Vive Pro builds on this success of its predecessor.
The Pro’s weight is more evenly distributed across the head, with a thumbscrew in the rear of the unit allowing you easier fine-tuning of the fit.
HTC has also integrated headphones capable of 3D audio, and increased the resolution of the display to 2,880 x 1,600.
Doom VFR, the VR version of Doom, looks gorgeous at this higher resolution and going toe-to-toe with monsters in VR is an entirely different experience from the original game.
The game’s controls are a little strange, but are functional for the most part.
Rather than walk around, you teleport around a level by holding the direction you want to travel on a touch controller.
This also doubles as the mechanic for “glory kills”. You basically teleport into enemies and cause them to explore, which is far less visceral than the original game – where you annihilate demons with your bare hands in mêlée.
As one might expect, the gunplay in virtual reality is thoroughly satisfying.
HTC’s “room scale” approach to VR allows you to dodge and aim by moving your whole body. Doom VFR also has the ability to dash in a direction, dodging demons and projectiles, by tapping on the directional controller.
To switch weapons, you press down on a touchpad directional control and scroll to select a gun.
Once you have the basics, Doom VFR’s combat is down to dodging, aiming, and shooting, then “telefragging” enemies that have become vulnerable to glory kills.
The demo I played, which ran on an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and did not use HTC’s new Vive Wireless Adapter, showcased the Vive Pro’s abilities beautifully.
Even during intense gameplay and rapid movements, the headset and handheld controllers kept up. The headset always felt secure on my head, and at no point did I get tangled in its cable.
As with the original Vive, HTC has done a superb job with the Vive Pro.