Shut up, sit down and fire up your chainsaw because DOOM is back and holy crap is it ready to deal out the hurt without taking any names. The DOOM Marine is angry, more angry than you could have guessed and with a whole arsenal of big, badass guns you know he means business.
Welcome to DOOM the latest from developer id Software and easily one of the most awaited games in some time. Kicking the action right off from the moment the DOOM Marine awakes, the fun doesn’t stop as your shoot, stomp, punch and chainsaw your way through hells biggest and most badass. The question is however, does the long awaited DOOM hold up to the hype and delivery that satisfying joy that comes from the height of the kill.
Before reading on please bare in mind that this is a review of the DOOM campaign. Though the multiplayer is a lot of fun and SnapMap offers a whole host of new, exciting opportunities for the DOOM community. This review will only look at the campaign.
The key principles for DOOM have always been to have big guns, badass demons and moving really fast those three are all checked off in DOOM. From the moment the game starts and puts you in control, which is less than twenty seconds, you’ll be running, shooting and punching your way through demons as you make your way across Mars and through Hell to save the day once again. What DOOM does a great job at in the opening moments is making sure you are fully aware of what the game has in store for you. From the first Glory Kill to the first weapon being a Shotgun. You will know what to do and how to push forward with simple and stolid controls that even have a set key for the chainsaw.
Though some people had complaints about the speed of the player in DOOM due to the somewhat slower pace of the Multiplayer beta it should be said that the single player is fast. Like, really fast. Not just in how you move and explore the levels but in how you fight. Every action is quick and fluid with guns having a serious amount of weight and power behind them to make you feel more badass than any of the demons you’ll encounter. DOOM’s core gameplay is fast, fun and so brutal that it is epic.
Speaking of brutal, let’s talk glory kills for a moment. These over the top kills are not just for show but also are a way of allowing you to keep fighting the hordes of hell. You see, though health and ammo is placed fairly evenly throughout the levels in DOOM when you glory kill a demon you gain additional health and ammo drops than you would from just shooting them in the face. The chainsaw, which is by far the best thing in the game, will give you a huge amount of ammo on a kill so saving it for the right moment can make the difference in DOOM.
Through the equipment and power ups and you find yourself with a combat system that offers a lot of options when faced against a great number of enemies. There isn’t a greater moment than picking up a quad damage and using the Super Shotgun to ripped demons to scraps of flesh and blood when in a bind.
Exploration is the next main focus for DOOM as you’ll find yourself in a number of huge levels during the games campaign. From the surface of Mars to the industrial design of the UAC base to the depths of hell. It’s all there for you in a way that encourages your movement and exploration greatly. With secrets, elite guards, Argent Cells which help you level up your suit, rune Trails and so much more to offer. The DOOM campaign is massive in both enjoyment and scale. Speaking of scale, how does DOOM handle fitting in with the modern design of a shooter with perks and unlock trees? Well, DOOM has a number of upgrade trees and systems in place to help you progress through the game but all of them work so well. The Argent Calls for example let you upgrade your health, armour or ammo at your choice meaning you can focus on what you want. Suit and weapon upgrades give you more flexibility and control over the flow of the gameplay too. As a whole DOOM’s core gameplay and design are all about empowering you, the player, to beat down some demon jerks at the same time as enjoying yourself. I mean, who doesn’t want to stomp a demon’s head off from a 40ft fall and then chainsaw his buddy?
— NikkiChan (@NikholaiChan) May 12, 2016
Without a doubt DOOM is also a seriously good looking game and in many regards is beautiful. Though the PlayStation 4 version of the game does suffer from a small amount of texture pop in the performance is a flawless with a stable framerate even during the most hectic of times. I did however have two crashes which occurred during the Rune Trails but other then that, DOOM is a great example of a beautiful game both from the look and feel of it. The design of the levels, demons, weapons and everything else is impressive with a serious amount of detail in everything. The animations are another area where DOOM really starts out. Want to blow a demon’s legs off with the Super Shotgun and then watch them trying to hold themselves together? That’s a thing. For a first person shooter DOOM really hits the ball out of the park in delivering a beautiful and polished experiences. Oh and for the record, turn down all but the music in the game’s audio options and put your headphones on. The game has a killer and heavy soundtrack.
DOOM has a story and for all accounts it is an interesting one at that. Told through a small number of short cutscenes, audio logs and codex entries you will find throughout. There are also a number of hologram moments which help to explain more of the events unfolding around you and events that have already happened, leading you further on your journey. At the benefit to the player DOOM never really stops you from playing or blocks your progress until a speech has finished. There are a few moments of this sure but when they happen your find that they end rather quickly and after the first hour or so these moments happen less and less.
— NikkiChan (@NikholaiChan) May 14, 2016
By far the best bit of DOOM’s story is in fact the lack of character development for the DOOM Marine himself. You see, he is angry, very angry in fact. Because of this he won’t listen to others and generally just break and kill everything on his way to fix the mess around him. It’s refreshing to have a game where the focus is on the gameplay rather than the deep and developing story. At the same time however, DOOM does enough to give you a world and a story and if you want more you can read the codex which furthers the game’s lore.
To say that DOOM is an modern take on a timeless classic or a typical shooter with classic mechanics would be unfair because honestly it’s not either of these. DOOM is it’s own game that has the right to bare the DOOM name. There is a mix of modern and classic design here that will make any gamer happy because at it’s core DOOM is a game about having fun, feeling badass and generally letting loose. Sure the over the top gore and lack of story or character development might put some people off but when the gameplay is so robust and solid, what is there to dislike. DOOM might not be without fault of course and though there are elements here and there which make the game drop for a moment it is only ever for a moment.
I could talk about DOOM for hours detailing everything I like about it and the many ways it lets me unleash my inner rage on endless waves of demons. In the end though it is a game that won’t be for everyone and given the high levels of gore some might not feel comfortable with DOOM and that is completely understandable. What really counts though is that if you want a first person shooter with attitude that also has a massive amount of content for you to explore and enjoy. Regardless of what you are looking for DOOM will have it in some form and have it done right. I think a lot of games could learn a thing or two from DOOM and id Software as they once again prove they can make a bloody good game. DOOM is worth your time, money and energy and if killing demons in the most brutal way possible makes you happy like me then seriously buy this game. I cannot recommend it enough.
DOOM is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
This review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy of the product purchased by the reviewer