Doom (2016) Reviews

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It's Excellent

Written by {ASP}DarkDante

I don't often write reviews, but reviews of Doom from the likes of IGN have annoyed me, and there aren't many places to express my own thoughts.

This game is excellent! Taken in the context of single-player anyway.

I've heard people describe it as a love-letter to the original Doom, and that's... pretty accurate.

That leads me to question what it is that makes Doom so loved? For being the main initiator of the FPS genre, so much so that for many years, every FPS was called a 'Doom-clone', it sure seems to have got a lot of things right, straight off the bat.

The most obvious part of this is the fast pace. There's no rest for the wicked and you're compelled to keep moving if you don't want to die repeatedly. It's addictive, eating up the world in front of you like some sort of gun-toting pac-man. Most importantly, unlike Doom 3, you don't feel powerless, slinking from shadow to shadow in fear of what comes next. You feel kick ass! Running at the equivalent of 40mph helps this empowering feeling.

The guns don't require tedious life-like reloading. They splurge till you're out of ammo. Out of ammo? Chainsaw can sort that out. Enemies killed with the chainsaw always provide dropped ammunition, which is useful. Also, murdering enemies with glory kills, bare-handed brutal murder, provides you with health. This reminded me of Duke Nukem 3D where you could nonsensically regain health by drinking water from burst toilets, and that isn't a bad comparison. I don't feel Doom should take itself too seriously, and it never used to -- Doom 2 had one of the developers, Romero, as a target you had to hit in order to kill the final boss, for example. Happily, this game seems very self-aware, with many an easter egg in the game. For example, chuck yourself in the molten metal for a Terminator 2 reference. It seems that the dev tea, has their finger on the pulse of the modern world and I think real players will appreciate it, even if critics don't.

The eerie atmosphere hits the mark. Again, unlike Doom 3 (which was good in its own way), which somewhat descended into a jump-scare horror game set in space, this game is a lot brighter, but still not exactly rainbows and bunnies.
The maps have a sense of discovery and are somewhat non-linear. The secret areas and fast routes give the game a sense of replayability. I remember taking pride in Doom and Quake in knowing the secret areas and being able to show them to people who also played quite a bit, but hadn't yet discovered. It's changed days of course though, with the spread of the internet, so this doesn't quite have as much appeal given the ease with which you can find all the secrets. As such, the secrets are sort of visible on the map, so that you don't waste your time strolling around large maps for something that doesn't exist, but also still challenging despite knowing their vague location.

The demons from the original return, fleshed out to their 2016 versions. However, they have moved on along with the world. Imps are no longer just sit there hurling fireballs, but make use of their new-found verticality and freedom by manically climbing walls like Spiderman with rabies.

There's actually really quite a lot to cover for what you'd think would be a simple game -- there is a lot of customization available which can be made to better fit your playstyle. Weapon mods, armouring, etc. is new and probably an improvement. You can tell id Software have put thought into almost everything in the game.

Graphically, the game is great. I can't quite max the game out so I can't see just how good it can look, but I know it looks great.

Plot wise the game is actually better than expected, but I consider that a bonus, as I had zero expectations in that respect.

My only potential disappointment is the multiplayer. It's not even bad, exactly. It hasn't started with too many maps, and it doesn't 'feel' like Doom, probably because of the loadouts (I may be a stick in the mud). I don't know whether it's fair for this to drag down the score? How can more content make a game worse? In any case, I think the snapmap feature, for creating your own custom maps, looks incredibly promising, and I think that combined with the potential for modding makes the future of Doom's multiplayer very exciting.

To wrap up, I've had a weekend to play and complete Doom, and I found it engrossing, It was great fun and a faithful translation of some classic shooter gameplay injected into the current day. I've seen people describe Doom as the Fury Road of shooters and it's an apt comparison. If you were in love with the likes of Doom, Quake and Duke 3d, you'll like this game. I highly recommend it!
  • Gameplay

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Down Right Satisfying!

Written by BFG 9000 User

While I was still a bit hyped, I have been working to keep my expectations in check. I'm glad to report this seems to have been unnecessary as game is spot on!

My first impressions concerned the pace of the game, which is frankly, relentless. This is a welcome return for me, and a departure from Doom 3 (which was fine in its own way, but not like the classic Dooms). You run into a room, maul everything like Space Rambo and move on. Sound familiar? I'm basically very pleased that it plays like Doom ought to, just with a makeover for the modern day. Awesome graphics for its day? Damn right. Big meaty guns? Bingo. Fast Paced? You bet. Motivating soundtrack? Right here.

The gun play is great. Firing feels satisfying and powerful, and they look good while they're at it, with a nice attention to detail applied. The "Glory Kills" are better than I expected. They don't damage the flow, are kind of fun, optional and can be strategically useful in that you don't use ammo. Speaking of ammo, small parts are strewn throughout, meaning you should never really be out of ammo completely, but you will find yourself changing weapons to suit the situation, or to save for more challenging enemies. The BFG 9000 is still satisfying, utterly obliterating rooms of enemies where you deploy it. Of course, you may want to time your moment with that gun.

The enemies are numerous, as they should be, and they just keep coming right at you. On higher difficult levels you will die, often, so if you find that frustrating, don't choose them (but I will look down on you). The demons and so on have been developing their mental acuity over the years, and you will sometimes find them flanking you as well as just chasing you.

The world design is great, although it doesn't quite have the vibrant green and blue found in the original as much, but the design is great, and quite hellish -- a good thing in this context. There is lot of exploration to be had, combined with a bevy of secrets, gear and easter eggs.

Graphics wise, I don't need to say how impressive the game is. It's stunning, and idTech6 is incredibly promising. It doesn't have the plastic 'sheen' previous idTech engines had. I played on the PC, with a beefy 980 graphics card, so I can't comment on performance too much, but I have also heard good things. There is thankfully a lot of customization available though, so I reckon it should be quite scalable. The game lets you uncap the FPS limit, FOV settings, has a proper console, and more.

The soundtrack has really grown on me. It's not midi, of course, but it's true to the original and enjoyable. There are even some re-imaginings! I credit it with getting me into the zone, so good job by Mick Gordon. I think in time, some of the music could turn into classics depending on how well the world at large receives this game.

Cons? Game is pretty heavy, coming in at 55GB, but that's really not that big a deal if you have the space. If you don't, then it could be annoying. More pertinent is that there is no bunny hopping! Just seems odd in an Id Software game, with such high speed available. I haven't played the multiplayer so I can't comment on that; I've been too engrossed with the single-player

In summary though, I'm digging this game! It's fast paced, smooth, excessively gory, old school fun, full of variety and just outright satisfying to play through, so much so that I don't want to put the game down.