Doom (2016) Review: Blood, Guts, and Guns Galore
It has been a considerable amount of time since we have had an official Doom game from the masterminds at Id, but that prospect has now become a reality with the release of Doom for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. This brand new Doom capitalizes on what made the original Doom and its sequel so great: fast-paced combat, relentless hordes of demons, a diverse arsenal of weapons, and tons upon tons of secrets and collectibles. To start, the plot of the game is similar to the one in the original Doom with a few changes, an organization known as the United Aerospace Corporation or UAC constructs a portal to Hell on its Mars installation to harness its energy as a renewable power source, the personnel dub this new form of power Argent Energy.
As anyone could imagine, the project gets out of hand and Hell’s demonic forces invade the installation, killing everyone in sight. This is where your character, the ‘Doom’ Marine, awakes from a mysterious stasis and proceeds to unleash a raging storm of bullets and super heated plasma on swarms upon swarms of hellish monsters. The story is pretty basic, but Doom has never been know for intricate plotlines and the simplicity of its narrative allows you to focus on the action from start to finish with very little interruptions from scripted cutscenes.
The sound and music of the game complement each other brilliantly as the heavy rock makes the violence seem twice as brutal and stomach churning. Further, this new Doom title even appropriates some aspects of Doom 3, particularly in its graphics and creature designs, to create a perfect amalgamation of anything and everything Doom. Perhaps the biggest highlight of Doom’s graphics are its level designs, from the blood-stained corridors of the UAC installation to the burning fires and brimstone of Hell, every area in the game is rich in detail and riddled with secrets. You will probably spend more time just looking for items in the environment then completing your mission objectives.
Gameplay is fast and merciless, when engaged with the demon hordes you cannot just simply camp in a corner or pop shots with a rocket launcher because every demon attacks differently, some use ranged projectiles while others like to get up close and personal. This forces you to stride and jump throughout the battleground to locate health packs, armor, and ammunition to ensure your survival during the battle. Moreover, Doom introduces a cool mechanic called Glory Kills which involves staggering an enemy then beating them down into a bloody pulp akin to that of a Mortal Kombat fatality. These special kills yield health and ammo bonuses so always take advantage of them whenever you get the chance. Even though I found these battles fun and exciting, I felt that they became to forced and repetitive at times, lacking the suspense and horror of the original Doom, especially those classic moments of seeing a demon or zombie appear out of nowhere as you turn a corner in a dark corridor.
Aside from the action packed firefights, Doom offers a lot in the RPG department as well by offering you plenty of weapon and armor upgrade points. You can also obtain special runes by completing rune trials to endow your character with even more special abilities. This new upgrade system may not seem like anything special, but it is definitely a welcome addition to the Doom franchise because it allows you dispatch your foes in a ton of interesting ways and enhances the resilience of your character as you progress.
Doom’s multiplayer offers plenty of enjoyment from its arena battles which are analogous to the classic deathmatches of the original Doom and the large scale multiplayer battles of Quake. Aside from that, the multiplayer is pretty standard and nothing really stands out about it aside from its fast-paced gunfights. In addition to the multiplayer, Doom also has a feature called Snapmap which allows to create your own personal levels similar to Super Mario Maker and share them with other players online. This is also a classic feature of the old Doom titles that now permits anyone to make their own maps by use of a user-friendly interface.
Doom is an amazing game that harmoniously blends a nostalgia for the old games with a fresh coat of paint or in Doom’s case a fresh coat of blood and incorporates a host of tantalizing gameplay features to make it an addicting experience. Perhaps my biggest grip for the game is that there is lack of bonus levels in the single player mode aside from the campaign, the first Doom was well known for having extra story levels, but with the game being so fresh in its release that may be subject to change in the near future. Furthermore, the loading times in the game can become irritating really fast and disrupts the action after you die in combat. Overall, Doom is an unforgettable gorefest that must be enjoyed by Doom fans and newcomers alike.