G4me0ver: The DOOM review

One Hell of a fight, one Hell of a game


 

It’s difficult to deny the importance of Doom (and why would you?), not just in the world of first person shooters, but with video games in general. After reading the book, Masters of Doom, you can really see how much of an impact that series has had on the gaming world and the world outside of it. It’s not only within that that you’ll find evidence though, it’s highly worth noting that the term deathmatch came to be because of this series, something that so many games since have taken on since

 

23 years after its original release, the new Doom is here. This isn’t the first remake of the franchise however, with Doom 3 being released in 2004. But this one feels like a closer remake to the 1993 original, in a few different ways. Ridiculed with development issues Doom was released to us on Friday 13th, and what a game it is.

 

This game throws you straight into the mix by having you tearing possessed zombies apart. There isn’t much of the way of an introduction, and you’re soon shown the pleasantries of glory kills, a key feature to the gameplay (should you choose to use it). It’s this strong start that immediately draws you in, with the combat being almost moreish and leaving you wanting more.

 

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It’s almost difficult to fault the gunplay. Each gun has its place, with some golden oldies making a return and new weapons fitting right in with the old arsenal. The super shotgun stands as a long time favourite for most people, and doesn’t fail to impress this time round. After finding it, I was struggling to put it down. The rocket launcher is quite simply awesome, and the BFG 9000 is as brilliantly devastating as it always was. The majority addition to these is the use of grenades, something never seen before in Doom. These don’t feel out-of-place, and act as good companion weapons.

 

Coupled with your array of tools is a combat system that pushes you to move, to dodge and make full use of the maps. These demons don’t let up. Once a fight has begun you can be damn sure they’ll follow you around the map until you or they die, even the big ones. There is no cover system, no chest high walls, with most of the maps being open as anything. It’s fast paced, forcing you to think on your feet. The ‘run and gun’ feel is real in this game. It’s something that I’ve not seen in years, and something that stands as the staple of this entry.

 

Power ups lay around the maps and are really welcome in the high difficulty modes. These are part of the reward of exploring, with berserk being a favourite of mine. Along with these are collectibles. Secrets were a big part of the original games, with a level summary telling how many you’d found. This game does the same thing but with more to gain from the secrets. Guns can be found earlier rather than later, Rune challenges can be found, as well as other perk upgrades.

 

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A progression system was something that Doom has never had before, and is used well in this game. There is a separate upgrade system for the main character attributes (health, ammo, armour) and then other perks, as well as weapon upgrades. All of these hold a weight,, and are an example of how a legendary game can be modernized.

 

What story there is is oddly engaging. Doom was never known for its grand narrative, but this one is placed in such a way that it can be tossed away if you’re not interested (with your Doomguy even throwing a terminal aside that is currently throwing story details at you). While it’s loosely there for you to be part of, there are collectibles around that can further the story if you find yourself interested in it.

 

There is a different take on the Mars story this time. While the other games are placed the UAC (Union Aerospace Corporation) has an accidental opener of the portal to Hell, this game shows them as one trying to harness the power of it. Naturally, any interaction with Hell isn’t going to great and everything goes very wrong very fast. With a take on renewable energy, the UAC try to justify their interaction with Hell.

 

There is fluency in this game that has to be admired. Id Software have always been a company with a focus on technological advancements, and this is seen very clearly here. The game is beautiful, right down to the blood ridden halls of Hell. For a game to run to smoothly while looking this good is an impressive feat. Thankfully, the PC allowed for a great gaming experience. Although my GPU wasn’t able to handle the highest settings (GTX 780), I was still struck with how good it looked. Even the most intense fights didn’t have my frame rate dropping dramatically.

 

 

Not all of these great characteristics are not directly mirrored in the multiplayer, however. After a mostly bad reaction to the open beta last month many were doubting how strong of a section this was going to be. It’s important to remember that the single player and multiplayer were developed by two different studios. One of the main criticisms was that it wasn’t fast paced. The loadouts made it feel like a Call of Duty clone, and melee takedowns hadn’t been in Doom before.

 

These things have sort of been fixed. The multiplayer feels sped up. It’s like id Software heard cries of long time fans and changed it to match the pace of the single player. The takedowns feel a little more welcome, but don’t have the same effect as ripping demons in half. The loadouts is something we’ll have to deal with. The Doom of old had everyone starting on the same page, with a race to each of the guns on the map. It’s a different experience, but closely a Doom experience.

 

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One part of the game I haven’t had the chance to really see is SnapMap feature. It reminds me of the Timesplitters map editor, with the ability to create a great deal of things. I’ve mostly played people’s attempt at doing desktop defence in Doom. Either that, or recreations of old Doom/Quake maps. There’s a lot to be seen here, and I feel this goes far deeper we’ve seen.

 

To summarise then; Doom is fantastic. I’d go as far to see I’ve not played a shooter, or game even, this good in a long time. The Overwatch beta was fun (and I will eventually get the game) but it has nothing on this. Doom spent so long in development that fears were raised around its actual existence. This is a game that pays perfect homage to its 23-year-old grandad, while stapling itself as an excellent modern-day shooter. It’s not often you can say this, but it feels damn good to be playing Doom again.


Genre: First Person Shooter

Developer: id Software

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Have you played Doom? Did you think it was as awesome as we did? Let us know! 😀


– Bean

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