Released earlier this year, Bethesda and id Software’s highly-anticipated reboot of the all-time classic Doom series managed to garner both plenty of sales and plenty of attention from players and the games industry, being the best selling game on Steam for several weeks in multiple regions. The new DOOM’s success can be traced to multiple different aspects, most important of all being the fast and refreshing gameplay, and the thoughtful design decisions put into the game.
So, with that out of the way, let’s see the top 5 things that other video games could learn from DOOM:
5. Less is More
With a total of 10 weapons and 13 stages, some would say that DOOM seems a bit light on the content. They would be wrong though, as each of the weapons and items available in DOOM fills a specific and useful role, and levels aren’t padded out for extra length. The developers of this game prioritized on quality over quantity, and it shows, through the game’s solid focus on its core experience and its lack of superfluous “filler” content. After all, why have 50 weapons that are all very similar to each other when you can have 10 distinct ones and save memory and development time on more interesting things?
The beloved super shotgun makes its triumphant return in DOOM
4. It’s Open Enough
DOOM’s level design is set in a very linear format, breaking the (recently-established) trend among mainstream titles, which in recent years have come to learn more and more heavily on the open-world, free-roaming sandbox formula originally popularized by games like Grand Theft Auto and Shenmue. However, this is by no means a bad thing, as the sharp design of the levels in the DOOM campaign keep up the game’s breakneck momentum and synergize well with the core mechanics, whilst still being open enough to allow a good degree of player freedom and exploration.
3. Heavy Metal is Still Cool
Not only is the game’s soundtrack excellent in and of itself, it also doesn’t stray too far from classic Doom’s rock roots. The music may no longer be in MIDI, but it remains stylistically and thematically similar to the well-loved Doom tracks of yesterday. While the soundtrack itself is of high quality, what truly shines in DOOM is the way the music comes into play during gameplay, and the highly effective ways that the songs ramp up in intensity according to the situation that the player is in.
2. Short is Sweet
Although the game’s main single-player mode runs for only 13 levels, something that observers would expect to be pretty short given how long new mainstream games usually last, DOOM’s story mode is jam-packed with content and things to do. Included is the main campaign itself, the replayable challenge levels, classic Doom stages hidden within the campaign (complete with sprite graphics and everything!), as well as mini-games and optional collectibles. Overall, DOOM remains filled with things to do, and has lots of replay value without being padded out to hell and back.
1. Reboot ≠ Rehash
The developers of the new DOOM have managed to do something that is relatively rare in the modern day video game industry. They managed to create a game that is both fresh and feels unique, but which also remains rooted in its predecessor’s core concepts. DOOM is still essentially a demonic run n gun kill-em-all splatter-fest, but the execution and presentation is very distinct from its DOS roots.
All in all, in my humble opinion, DOOM is proof that games can remain very good even if simple, and in fact, sometimes they’re even better for it.