+A generous nod towards the 1993 version of DOOM
+Puts story second and places gameplay at the forefront
+Amazingly realistic and beautifully Hellish landscapes
+A metal/industrial soundtrack for fans to enjoy
+New Demon’s make for a fun and positive enjoyment of the game
+Fast Paced Combat with Demon filled “arena’s” give the game a classic DOOM feel
-Can’t get enough of those damn demon’s
Editor’s Note: Due to the sheer size of DOOM’s content across multiple features, we’ll be breaking our review for both Campaign and Multiplayer into separate entities due to their differentiated play styles and take on the title. We’ll keep you posted when our multiplayer review covering SnapMap and Competitive goes live.
Much like in previous titles, the latest installment of one of the most famed franchises in history wastes no time throwing players into the heat of combat. Within the opening moments of the game, players will find their protagonist chained to a Satanic alter where their character is soon to be executed. Within seconds player will find themselves in a rather familiar curve of adrenaline pumping combat that is fast, ultra-violent, and even demon filled. Much like every title in the franchise, there isn’t anything that’s not bigger than life in this title. This remains true as players find themselves mowing through demon’s with familiar guns such as the plasma rifle, rocket launcher, super shotgun, and even the chain gun as players move in to execute a demon with a glory kill.
If you were expecting rainbows, sunshine, and green fields? DOOM is everything, but that. As players will move across Hellish landscapes that sit true to what could consider a Christian Hell. At the forefront of bringing these landscapes to life, id Software doesn’t cut any corners as players will find things rather pumping with life across the industrial Mars station, and Hell’s landscapes. With things such as pipes, vents, shaft, hydraulic pumps, condensation on windows, and even bottles scattered across the ground bring the world to life. This is something that id Software should be proud of as Video Game Environment Design has once more come to life. While moving through each of the landscapes, players will find themselves scaling walls, cliff sides, pipes, and even industrial shipping rooms as players across the map both vertically and horizontally in order to lower down the levels of demonic infestation.
As players do, they won’t find themselves alone as they will find conversations with the AI companion Vega or even UAC leader Doctor Samuel Hayden speaking to them through the communications systems. While this seems the only source of story, the game delves into the vast oceans of exploring codex entries where players are able to undertake a better understanding of who and what their enemies are, but also a bit more idea of what is about to come. While this seems simple, the story is quite complex and deepened by the team at id Software’s creativity. While these codex entries seem quite easy to understand, the secrets hidden with the game make this story even deeper as players will find each of the collectibles, some include chuckle worthy moments when reading about the idiocy within the UAC as they learn about demon day jobs. While these seems quite a bit to take in, it truly isn’t, and offers a variety of flavors for players to enjoy as many of the codex entries have multiple ones that can be found for more background information.
When you aren’t digging through these for information, the game focuses on the use of verticality like no other game has. Maps are not linear arenas where players will simply run around pillars with their hands flailing in the air as if they were about to beat up by the schoolyard bully. Instead this game insists on players scaling walls, pipes, shipping containers, walls, and fixtures galore in order to take out their nearest by enemy. With the design that id Software aimed for, players will find themselves constantly moving forward, climbing up, jumping down, and ultimately feeling like the genuine badass that the game wanted you to feel like. Thanks to this maps are not boring, nor will they be seen in the same way each time they are played. Instead each of the maps persists in being a living creature and manages to do so as each of them come to live in a blood bath of demonic blood and body parts. Let alone do each of the environments live thanks to the creativity of the level designers and artists, the game also tells a vivid story with each room that will eventually be flooded with demons.While it would be quite easy to carry on about the level design, the monsters have also gotten a rather unique re-imagining that brings them to life no more than ever.
As it would be hard to imagine, demons have been reimagined to have a more Hellish look with a sense of cyberpunk twists to them. This includes the famed Cyberdemon, Mancubus, and even the famed Revenant. All are more terrifying than ever as they are now twisted flesh, machine, and weaponry that will send players riveting in pain when hit by them. While their combat tactics seem all too familiar, they don’t hesitate pursuing playes in lethal ambushes. Within my 26 hour campaign that included 93% of all secrets found on Nightmare, I found myself constantly running for the nearest enemy in order to glory kill them. This only soon lead to familiar enemies like the Hell Knight or even the all-to-familiar imps as well as the scary as hell itself Barons of Hell turning my character into a visceral mess. Let alone will they pursue the player, they will not hesitate leaping up after the player or unleashing an entire payload of attacks in a attempt to take players out at their own will. It’s terrifying at the concept that these demons seem more real than ever, but to know they don’t hesitate climbing up after the player? It’s even scarier when seeing a Mancubus’ large cannons appear on a ledge while it pushes itself up only to unleash a torrent of flames or plasma like energy at the screen.
If players are quick enough, weapons equipped can unleash Hell itself upon enemies. Let alone do weapons also get a redesign like the monsters, DOOM offers up something it had never done so before. Weapons have been given a much needed redesign. While the pistol itself offers up a unique blend of being powerful as its precision shots can offer a honest amount of damage, but is quickly quieted by much bigger weapons. While weapons such as the Heavy Assault rifle can offer precise shots or even a salvo of micro-missles. Weapons such as the combat shotgun can be used to stun enemies with a grenade round or even offer up a quick burst of shots that can stun enemies like Pinky and even Hellknights to open up players a chance of opportunity to unleash a few more extra hits in while they recover. Once the damage needed has been built? Players can move in to Glory Kill their enemies if a large enough amount of damage has been dealt. This lethal blow can offer up a gory animation that will satisfy any player who doesn’t mind some blood, guts, or even broken jaws. Once done players will find themselves being given health drops, ammo drops, and or even some armor depending on the demon runes equipped.
While combat has taken a huge re-work that pushes players forward through moments of combat to ensure survival, there’s a bit of work that has been done in the background. While the game will offer challenges for players to unlock Demon Runes that will offer perks such as “Armor Shards” on pick-up, “Extended Power-Up Duration”, or even other “Larger Pick-Up Radius” these items won’t be easily earned. While many players may see a few of them up for grabs, many of these Demon Rune shrines are hidden throughout many of the games levels, and each come at a cost. The challenges are the cost. While some of these challenges are quite easy, such as “kill ?? imps before the time runs out”, others are even harder as players will find time quickly ticking down as they attempt to take out Hellknights using a shotgun only to attempt glory killing them from above.
Let alone do these runes benefit player, they are not nearly as beneficial as the weapon upgrade unlocks or even the games “Ardent Shards” that can be picked-up in order to upgrade the suits lethality. This includes three important things that will bend the way combat favors the combat, but not enough to make you a total badass without some skill. the upgrades include health, armor, and ammo. All three can be obtained for those who decide to traverse the various paths in each level as well as going out of their way in order to discover secret rooms. While it sounds like the Praetor’s upgrades may make you feel like a badass, don’t feel this way. Those upgrades are only minor and still mean players can quickly find themselves in a deathworthy situation as enemies such as the Baron of Hell or Cacodemon look to eat the Doomguy alive as if he were a gummy shark waiting for a toddler to eat.
DOOM – PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, and Windows PC.
Developer: id Software
Publisher: Bethesda Zenimax
Price: $59.99 USD
Released: Available Now
While it seems that DOOM offers up plenty to discover, the game doesn’t attempt to overwhelm the players who decide to traverse each of the games missions in order to uncover what is going on or why. The game itself is not shy that it’s simply about four things: Big F**king Guns, Heavy Metal, Demon’s, and Hell getting its ass kicked in. If you are a fan of DOOM or new to the series? DOOM (2016) does it right and doesn’t shy away from its origins in any form. If this is what the future of DOOM remains to be and continues to do so with fine tuned tweaks? I’ll be on board for another 23 years to come.
Our review is based on a copy we purchased for review. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 10 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.