- Xbox One
- First-Person Shooter
I was born a year before the original Doom was released. This makes me sad. I had missed a massive milestone in gaming history but obviously I didn’t know that because I was only 1 year old in 1993. I was probably 16 or 17 when I first saw gameplay footage of the original Doom and it looked extremely aged. I even played the first level but promptly went back to playing whatever I was playing at the time.
When the new Doom was announced I was intrigued. After seeing the trailer for the game I was immediately sold on the idea and I pre-ordered it. I didn’t really follow news for the game as it got closer to the release date but I had seen a video or two on the multiplayer side of things. When the release date finally arrived I ended up working a 12 hour shift at work and I was bummed. I missed out again, luckily the next day was a Saturday and I raced through to purchase it.
Let’s talk about the only negative parts of Doom. The multiplayer. Okay so the multiplayer isn’t really a negative but it was the only part of the game that I didn’t enjoy. To be more specific it was the fact that it took forever to get into a match. This was probably due to the fact that I live in South Africa and not anywhere else in the world. That’s the only problem I have with the actual game.
Doom is crazy. It was an intense and exciting experience from the first time you destroy a monster with your bare hands all the way to the final boss battle. I have so many positive things to say. Let’s start with the campaign.
My biggest fear was that because this is a first person shooter game being released in 2016 that the campaign was just going to be a nice way to introduce you to an extensive multiplayer that Bethesda would then release new content for every 6 months as well cosmetic upgrades which you would have to buy with real money. This is the current trend in gaming, especially first person shooter games and it sucks! Thank God that this is not the case. The single player campaign was absolutely amazing. The story made sense and worked really well. There weren’t many characters to encounter but it worked. It made the story simple and easy to follow.
The campaign had a very simple flow to it which did make things a bit predictable but it was still fun. Essentially you had to get from point A to point B but traversing the environment and killing everything in your way. Once you get to point B a wave of enemies spawn in and you have to kill everything to unlock the way to point C. Predictable but fun.
While there was an emphasis on the story, more emphasis was placed on the actual demons and monsters that you fight. As you progress through the campaign the difficulty ramps up ever so slightly by introducing another demon. The cool thing is that every time a demon is introduced for the first time a short little cinematic will play before you are thrown head first into combat.
Doom is all about shooting the shit out of everything with awesome guns and it never gets boring. There are a large variety of guns in the game including a chainsaw and of course, the BFG which stands for Big Fucking Gun. Amazing. One of the most enjoyable parts of the combat is the melee combat. If and when you damage a demon to a certain point it will start to flash orange. You then run up to a demon and press the melee button and depending on which side of the demon you are on and where you are looking, a very quick melee cinematic will play where you utterly destroy whatever was in front of you. You could string these melee attacks together causing blood and limbs to fly everywhere.
Recently there was a major update which introduced two new features. The first is called the Classic Doom Weapon placement and the second is the Photo Mode. The Classic Doom Weapon placement is pretty straight forward. The original Doom had the gun placed in the centre of the screen. Including this feature allows players to feel nostalgic and I’ll admit it does look pretty darn awesome. The above image is the Classic Doom Weapon placement in action.
The Photo Mode is exactly what it sounds like. After activating it in the settings menu you press the left analog stick in to activate photo mode. The game pauses and a little menu comes up in the corner. You are free to do this at any point in the game besides during the cinematic scenes. There are a ton of settings to play around with and it offers a decent amount of editing options. I spent about 5 minutes trying it out and the image below is what I was able to produce.
The original Doom was known for its amazing level design and I really felt like the levels in this Doom were amazing as well. Firstly the environments are absolutely amazing and beautiful in its unique way. Not much hand holding takes place on where you need to go but simple design elements such as having a green light on the ledge you need to jump to makes everything enjoyable and straight forward.
Doom is graphically impressive. I didn’t see a single bad texture at any point of my playthrough. Everything from the levels and their miscellaneous items all the way to the guns and the demons themselves are highly detailed and gorgeous/gruesome. The frame rate was solid and I never experienced any lag, even when there were a ton of enemies on screen while some are exploding and others are being shot at. While I am probably making the combat sound easy, don’t be fooled. The difficulty ramps up pretty quickly and if you didn’t manage to find the next gun or figure out which gun to use on which demon; then you are pretty screwed.
You are forced pretty quickly to experiment with the various weapons on the different enemies. Some weapons do more damage to a certain type of enemy than others. Another aspect of combat is that each weapon can be upgraded and has two different abilities. Once you have upgraded a specific ability to its max you will unlock a challenge. Completing that challenge will unlock another ability trait, making the guns ability more powerful.
The level up system is pretty straight forward with nothing special really. You do kind of get to pick and choose which abilities you want to focus on but by the end of the game you will have most of them unlocked anyways. It is still pretty cool that you get to almost tailor your experience in some way.
You are rewarded for exploring. Not only will you find certain guns if you explore but there are also two types of secrets to find. The first secret is a mini action figurine of your character. This will unlock a character model which you can inspect, rotate and zoom in all its bloody glory. I struggled to find every single one so I ended up using a walkthrough. Thanks IGN! The other secret are hidden areas within each level that will unlock if you find a lever. Finding the lever is extremely difficult and I had to use a walkthrough written in what seemed to be a really horrible form of English. Definitely not from IGN. Once you have found and pulled the lever you need to find the hidden door it unlocks. Behind the door is an area which has the textures from the original doom.
Finding each of these areas will unlock a corresponding “Classic Map” which is essentially the original Doom’s level with the original textures but the enemies and weapons are from the new Doom. It’s awesome but you will soon realize that the music is on a continuous loop and after playing two levels I had a headache and I couldn’t take it anymore.
Speaking of music, the soundtrack to Doom is one of the best soundtracks of any game ever. It is basically instrumental heavy metal music. The heavy riffs compliment the violence and tone of the overall game and honestly it pumps you up. Once the music is in full swing you are obliterating everything that looks at you. Once everything is dead the music does calm down and everything returns to normal. I often found myself just taking in the fact that I survived a wave of the most horrific and brutal demons ever while enjoying awesome music.
Last but not least there is one more gameplay mechanic that I would like to mention and it is how you activate switches. To activate switch you press the melee button. However most of the time you just end up smacking the switch or panel which gets funnier the more it happens.
Right. Multiplayer. It’s average really. You can customize your character with different pieces of armour and colours. You can also get to customize your weapon which I’ll admit looks pretty cool. The more you play the more stuff you unlock. The matches are of decent length and the maps are pretty cool. It’s definitely not the strongest part of the game and after struggling to find matches I stopped trying.
The last topic to talk about is a feature called Snapmap. Essentially you are given all the tools used to create the game in a simple form. While it can get pretty complicated once you really get into the nitty gritty of level design, it’s a ton of fun creating your own levels. If level creation isn’t your thing, you can play levels created by other players in the community. Some of them are pretty bad but there is a vast majority of maps which are a ton of fun to play and really well thought through. You can even find maps where some people have tried to recreate the classic levels from the original Doom. Snapmap inspires creativity which isn’t often seen in games now days.
// Doom is an epic masterpiece that lets you beat the crap out of demons to a heart-pumping soundtrack. A top contender for Game of the Year. //