Developed by:id Software Published by:Bethesda Genre(s):
  • FPS
  • Platform:
  • Microsoft
  • PC
  • Sony
  • Cost:$59.99 ESRB Rating:MATURE Players:1 (2-12 Online) Release date:May 13, 2016 Reviewed on:XBox One

    Doom (2016)

    Doom has to be the perfect archetype of modern first person shooters. Even though it wasn’t the first of its kind, it introduced major staples to the genre. I’m talking about 3D graphics, multiplayer options, and the ability to support user created mods, to name a few. Fast forward a few decades later and the latest Doom is posed to follow in its predecessor’s footsteps.

    When trying to manipulate the forces of evil, one should always be mindful of the risks – the smartest thing to do would be to stay away from such things, but I digress. The Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) had successfully drawn energy from Hell to solve the Earth’s energy crisis. Unfortunately, for everyone everywhere, the UAC had a bit of a “cult” problem. A certain scientist by the name of Olivia Pierce opened a portal to this dark dimension via one of their facilities on Mars. Waves of energy reverberated through the halls, killing most and transforming others into monsters. It wasn’t long before the entire place was overrun, save the room where our silent protagonist had been kept.

    The first Doom’s premise was nearly nonexistent. All you needed to know was that something bad happened and now demons ran amuck. Grab the nearest BFG and go to work. This is not entirely true with id’s latest title. Here, they’ve given fans the option of digging through codex entries to get a better understanding of the world and how things got to this point. There are explanations on how particular weapons were developed or why a demon was able to get cybernetic implants for example. The most interesting tidbits deal with the connection this Doom has with the original game; it explains why our hero has such an ornery disposition. All of the entries are well written and I quite enjoyed perusing them whenever I wasn’t in combat.

    More emphasis, of course, was placed on our ability to “ventilate” demons with our favorite firearm. Harking back to older Dooms, you won’t find regenerating health or the need to reload here. That stuff’s been replaced with pickups, health packs, a large assortment of weapons and the need to keep moving. Speaking of movement, let me take this time to commend id for creating such a fast paced game without forgoing highly detailed environments; some finer details may take a second to load when moving to and from certain structures, but because of the speed at which you’re moving, you’d barley notice. That said, no matter how fast I moved around a room, I never felt dizzy. Some of this is due to the level design, with more open spaces and less narrow corridors that spin you about while navigating. Some of it is because the game is kept at a lovely 60fps.  Basically, the game looks great even though you’re constantly moving at a high speed.

    Going back to the gameplay, shooting while moving quickly is how one survives most encounters. Classic enemies will use new tactics to try and overwhelm you. The imps, for instance will climb walls, fling fireballs, and all around pester you. A quick side-step negates being crushed by the bull-like Pinky’s, unless they turn invisible first. Some enemies will need to be kept in arms reach while others are better attacked from afar. Balancing what weapon to use with the proper firing distance for a given situation is a smart approach. Or you can go in, guns blazing in every which way. It’s even possible to lure a demon into another’s incoming fire, causing them to turn on one another. No matter what you choose to do, know that standing still is not a viable option.

    Adding a wrinkle to the mix are Glory Kills and the infamous chainsaw. You see, even though our hero is one bad mother, that doesn’t mean he is invincible (unless he grabbed a certain power up). So it makes since he’ll occasionally need to seek medical attention, namely a health pack/armor pick up. However, if he gets a demon’s health low enough – indicated by them glowing orange and blue – he’ll be able to perform a brutal melee kill. A different “finisher” animates depending on what body part is targeted when attacking. One of my favorite was involves crushing an enemies skull with their own foot. Regardless of which Glory Kill is activated, once a demon is dispatched, you’ll be granted a small amount of health. This allowed me to stay in the fight as opposed to retreating to find a health pickup.

    Not only are these satisfying ways to finish off enemies, they also serve a real function gameplay-wise. The chainsaw acts in a similar fashion. The chainsaw can instantly kill any monster (sans bosses) as long as you have the right amount of fuel. A low level threat may take one or two cans while a Baron of Hell – the hulk of the demon world – would need six. What’s great about this ability is that once you kill a monster with the chainsaw, they’ll drop ammo equivalent to their size. Again, like the health boots from Glory Kills, there’s no need to retreat when you can make it rain ammo.

    There’s plenty to talk about when it comes to the campaign. From the disturbing revelations about the UAC’s lack of empathy towards its employees, to the different ways you can upgrade your suit of armor and weapons to be more effective in a fight. The use of collectibles and secrets passages, throw backs to past entries – there’s just a lot to love. What a lot of people have been clamoring about though is the multiplayer offerings, most of which was covered in my write up about the beta (the loadouts, hack modules, demon transformations, etc.). One of the things I criticized was weapon balancing. There are still weapons that are just too weak when compared to the rocket launchers and super shotguns. So much so, that I’ve learned to stock up on armor pickups before engaging any rival players. Having more health than them was the only way I could even the odds beyond catching people completely off guard.

    What saves the day though are the unique match types. Warpath’s approach to King-of-the-Hill, with a constantly moving capture zone, is more entertaining than ever. Freeze Tag is also rather cool…um…yeah. Instead of outright killing the other team, you’ll freeze them in place once their health hits zero. They can be unfrozen if a teammate stands next to them for the required amount of time. Once an entire team has been frozen, the round ends and a new one begins. The winning team is the one that takes the most rounds. What makes these matches so crazy is the ability to slide frozen enemies around a map, making it harder for their teammates to unfreeze them. It doesn’t reinvent the Deathmatch wheel, but like Warpath, it’s just different enough to feel fresh. The other modes are what’s found is most shooters: Team Deathmatch, Domination, Soul Harvest (Kill Confirmed) and so on. They aren’t as noteworthy but are there for those looking for something familiar.

    Last but not least is SnapMap, the in-game map editor that literally lets you create any type of experience within the realm of a FPS. Want to make more campaign like levels? How about a survival map, where players must face waves of enemies? Whatever the case may be, it’s easy to create using the editor. Of course, when I say easy, I mean in the relative sense; I’m not so great at making interesting maps but the tools are logical enough that I could get better with little effort. What I liked most about it was how you could snap things together and then immediately jump into the map to test what you’ve added. Once everything is to your liking, sharing the new mode/map with friends is a few button presses away.

    After spending years in development, and despite id changing courses a few times, Doom is surprisingly great. id was able to bridge older elements with modern mechanics, creating a hybrid that’s worth recognition. Doom won’t radically change the genre like the original, but it isn’t just another shooter either.



    Whether you’re stomping demons in the campaign or shotgunning rivals in a multiplayer match, Doom is a nonstop thrill ride. Some balancing issues and long load times detract from this fact though.



    Doom looks amazing most of the time!



    The “Ka-Booms” from nearby explosions are heightened by the rocking soundtrack.

    Replay Value:


    The campaign is worth playing multiple times, even if it’s just for the collectables. The multiplayer is solid, but won’t eclipse future shooters.

    Final Score:


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