+ Solid campaign which offers challenges with one hand and rewards with the other without ever feeling restrictive or simple.
+ Fantastic level design which allows for a variety of limited gameplay approaches.
+ Soundtrack is the best heard in recent times and fits perfectly with the aesthetic of the game.
+ Innovative use of melee combat in open conflict which serves to build momentum
+ Controls can be changed to suit most players
- Violence sometimes feels gratuitous and exaggerated
- A tutorial system which differs from the norm, can be daunting for new players
- There are a limited number of executions and after a long play session, the same ones occur time and time again
Platforms available: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Platform played: Playstation 4
Review Revision: “Score has recently been changed to 7.5 due to that fact that I feel I was being a tad harsh and diluting the importance of gameplay by focusing on a lack of story, I have come to realise that Doom is not about narrative and as such, should not be judged because of a lack ‘of’ narrative. The review read as quite an unbalanced review and I feel I did not calculate all of the factors before making my final decision, my apologies to all who may have been offended and I hope this doesn’t change the way you view my past and future content”
A long history of adoration and fan dedication precedes the Doom series. Doom was one of the first IPs to hit the FPS market, it sold fantastically well and served to redefine what it is to be a video game. Its usage of corridor-based maps, fetch objectives, grotesque imagery and jump scares made it one of the most successful video games of the 90’s, so when it was announced that Doom would be making a return in a full-HD reimagining on current gen consoles, the Doom community lost their collective minds.
Doom is a first-person shooting game with horror elements, developed by ID software and published by Zenimax studio, the game centres around a lone protagonist who has been draughted in after a disastrous outbreak of demons has overtaken a mining colony based on Mars; the outbreak is demonic in origin.
Doom begins on a UAC (Union Aerospace Corporation research facility on Mars. An energy crisis on Earth has been solved by director Samuel Hayden, who transferred his consciousness into an android shell after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. He achieved this by constructing an Argent Tower, this not only harnesses the energy but also serves as a portal directly to Hell. Hayden has used this portal to travel to Hell and capture and research demons. As a consequence of a rogue employees plans to unleash the demons upon the world, the DOOM operative (you) has been activated. Your only mission is to eradicate the demonic forces and to retake control of the facility. This is achieved by completing fetch quests; these are usually to obtain some form of a key in order to access a previously unreachable area, terminating all demons in a given area and helping any NPC’s you happen upon. All objectives are displayed on the screen and a small marker is added to the ‘compass’ at the top of the screen, this makes keeping track of your main objectives a simplistic task. In addition to ‘main’ objectives, you can also complete in-game challenges, these unlock weapon mods, they can manifest in the form of a kill feat; kill so many demons at once using a specific weapon, or something entirely unrelated to combat, like collecting designated items. In addition, Doom features timed trials or ‘Rune trials’ which require you to complete a task in a given time which allows you to unlock an ability pertaining to your gameplay I.E collecting items which are further away. You have three Rune slots available and each can be filled with one Rune, Runes are used in order to assign abilities, these can include; increasing the range at which you can pick up dropped items.
Please note: this is personal footage, captured for my channel and is therefore not representative, in any way of UntoldGaming at large or their opinions. Any and all opinions, views or impressions, are solely my own and I take full responsibility for them, and for the quality of the video, with that, let’s play DOOM!
Guns are not the only way to dispatch the demonic presence in Doom, you may also use melee attacks which instantly kill glowing enemies (enemies glow blue and orange when they have been damaged critically), Doom has a heavily violent gameplay system which saturates the screen and surroundings in blood and enemy appendages. Each melee attack is brutal, gruesome and aggressive. From bashing a demon’s head in with his own arms to tearing his jaw off as he screams and blood pours from his eyes, Doom has ultra-violence down to a fine art. These executions serve as a way to gain momentum and avoid being ‘bogged’ down by swathes of enemies.The executions, while fun, become ever more diluted in impact and spontaneity as during your playthrough, you will perform many of them repeatedly, sometimes, one after the other. Every enemy you execute will drop a health pack, these can be picked up by simply walking over them. The walking speed in Doom has always been unique to that of other games in the genre, unlike the realistic sprinting and camera-sway of games such as Call Of Duty and Battlefield, Doom respects its original movement style by allowing the player character to move quickly and smoothly, so much so, that you will be traversing large maps in a matter of minutes. Maps in Doom are exceptionally well-detailed and offer a number of approaches to any player willing to look for them.
Doom adds a level of verticality which we have not seen in the series, you can climb crates, ledges and walkways by using a new movement system, this can serve to add a tactical advantage to your battles.
The addition of vertical gameplay in a game which, previously, has been largely linear adds a level of navigation and traversal, which is quickly becoming a defining concept in the modern gaming world, this mechanic also allows you to drink in the polished environments, even if they seep in blood and gives you the opportunity to appreciate the multi-level stages which the developers have gone to so much trouble creating. Every level of each stage is saturated with demonic enemies, be it the low-level grunt enemies, or the higher level Hell Knights, there is danger around every corner and gruesome deaths await you at every ebb and every flow. The playable levels – and even the surrounding non-playable areas at times – offer so much in the way of beauty and perfection that it is often a shame that the game is so dark. Doom prides itself on being a ‘horror-shooter’ with a heavy emphasis on the former, it’s stages can often seem underlit and because of this, can prove difficult to navigate effectively.
Doom’s multiplayer mode is unremarkable in presentation, however, does offer a new experience which is enjoyable to newcomers and veterans alike by allowing you to change the way your ‘soldier’ looks, the weapons they have equipped and the abilities which are available. This follows a pretty standard FPS multiplayer format and brings very little new substance to the proceedings.
The ‘snap-map’ feature is an ingenious – if unnecessary – addition to a game which already offers a solid single-player campaign and a passable multiplayer component. The ‘snapmap’ allows you to create maps which can be played in single-player and multiplayer and are done so by placing objects around a set area in the same way of Halo‘s forge mode.
Not often does a shooting game – especially an FPS – make me take notice of its soundtrack, however with Doom, I didn’t just find myself ‘listening’ to it, I enjoyed it too. Doom uses heavy industrial heavy metal during the frantic sections and calms down with a slower percussion-based score when you are walking around when there is no threat in sight. Doom’s soundtrack fits the gameplay hand-in-glove and leaves nothing to be desired. Accompanying the soundtrack is the all too familiar screams and screeches which originate from each demon as they are dispatched from this world and begin their journey – be it a short one – into the next. Every weapon has a distinctive and recognisable bang, every action is accompanied by a fitting grunt and every environmental noise can be pinpointed with accuracy to their point of origin, in short, Doom sounds brilliant.
Never being much of an FPS player, I was hesitant about Doom, its history of ultraviolence and gratuitous gore was never going to appeal to me in my formative years, however coming to the Doom series almost twenty years on from its original incarnation, I can say, without a doubt, I love Doom’s singleplayer even if it is slightly flawed.I generally prefer a singleplayer campaign to have a strong narrative which serves to keep me entertained however in Dooms case, this can be forgiven. Its expert usage of uniform heavy metal in the soundtrack, detailed-yet hasty character design for the enemies and a superb kill-based upgrade system, aggregate to create the best horror-based FPS experience you will have this decade.
This review is based on a copy kindly provided by Bethesda Softworks.