Like literally… go to Hell. Doom is back and dare I say better than ever. 23 years after the first installment in the series, Bethesda and id Software bring Doom to the current generation of consoles. While it is nostalgic, it’s also a pleasant surprise for a first person shooter in this day and age. Doom is a smooth, sometimes comical, bloody adventure that I personally took a liking to. This time, you play a space marine who must travel across a Mars space base to close the portal to Hell and to stop the harvesting of a dark energy.
Hell Hath No Fury
Starting up the game I didn’t know what to expect. I was excited but had to stifle myself because of games like the Duke Nukem reboot being a tragic disaster. After 20 minutes of play I knew this wasn’t a Nukem mistake but a rather beautiful, gory comeback that Doom deserved. After you decomatize yourself, you take up your gun and start massacring the demons back to hell. Just like the demons in the original games, the demons are ugly mothertruckers.
The shooting mechanics are fluid, because they are aided by the smoothness of the character’s movement. You seem to almost float around which at times almost made me a little sick because of how seamless it is. I had to stop at one point due to an onset queasy feeling but got over it and powered through for you, our valued reader. I walked (or hovered) through corridors and over dusty Martian terrain when I happened upon a Gore Nest. Ripping out what most likely is its heart, it released a horde of demons, and the game quickly turned to slaughter or be slaughtered.
Suit Up Soldier
Getting slaughtered is actually really easy, because you lose life pretty fast. You can find armor around the level but even that drains rather quickly. What’s helpful however are the upgrades hidden around the levels to boost stats like your health and ammo capacity. Three to four upgrade credits can be found in each level and really take some exploring to uncover. You can also upgrade your guns to do more damage, have a secondary fire mode, or a few other features.
As you upgrade you will also encounter harder hitting, more elusive demons. I had to go back in a few levels to find the extra upgrade points to just survive the onslaught. I was able to push through, but Doom really makes you strive to survive. The constant struggle, ammo loss, and death make the small victories and level completions that much more rewarding.
Dirt, Metal, and Blood
Along with all the other pretty textures you want. Doom is strangely beautiful, and I say strangely because it is dark, dank, and bloody most of the time. But the texturing is spectacularly done and the lighting really sets the mood. The sad part about all the work that was done making the game look so good is that you spend a lot of time just running through it. Unless you stop and search the empty corridors for secrets and surprises you will blow through everything without a second thought. I implore you to please take the time to appreciate how amazing this game looks. The sand blows about, the sparks fly from broken cables, and the blood splats and gushes accordingly into a beautiful death-filled mess.
The Summoning Pits
What I wish I had spent more time in is the multiplayer. The experience is incredibly customizable. You have the potential to unlock a metric shitload of armor, patterns for your armor and guns, emotes, and more. The play is very similar to Unreal Tournament, basically just run around and shoot people. At certain points, someone can become a demon for a short period of time and ruin everyone’s day. From the hour I have played, the matches were quick and very satisfying.
Your Own Personal Hell
A neat feature that id added this time is a map editor. You have full control over adding rooms, placing spawners or groups of demons, and setting challenges. The mode is called Snap Map deriving its name from the way the pieces just snap together. It is incredibly easy to use and you can sink hours into getting that run of corridors just the way you want them. Bethesda announced at E3 that even more customization will be coming to Snap Map, allowing you to make the perfect single player mission to torture all of your friends. Like I have said, mood is very important in Doom, and you can set the exact atmosphere in your own unique levels. Now if I could only get the game to load to use all of these amazing features.
The Final Blow
The only real problem, besides the one bout of motion sickness, was the load times. The game will start you on campaign but if you want to play multiplayer you have to reload the game and wait. If you want to build your own torturous playing field, you have to reload and wait. Switching between levels? Start the clock… and wait. The amount of gorgeous assets they put in this game really bogged down the load times and it just felt kind of slow for this generation of gaming. This was one of the only flaws I had found which I countered with the addition of in game levels from the older Doom games and demonic challenges within levels to give you special upgrades and power ups.
Doom is a welcome revival, and I’m super happy it didn’t go the way of Duke Nukem. It’s as if everything Bethesda touches just works. Hopefully this sets a different pacing for other non story heavy shooters and paves the way for revivals of other gaming series that fans have been waiting for *cough cough* Banjo Kazooie *cough cough.*
- True to its Roots
- Tons of Surprises
- Long Load Times
- Some Motion Sickness
- A Little Repetitive