There are no issues with DOOM unless you want them to be there, but hey, let’s rip and tear or, rather, talk about why there aren’t any issues with the game for a good majority of those who played the 2016 reboot.
Earlier today, one of my pals, a good one of mine at that, had told me to check my RSS feed. Being the good editor and colleague I am, I did so, and then I sat there batting my eyes for a few good seconds. One of the smaller, more independent gaming news sites I read (Culture of Gaming) had released a rather interesting, albeit, an odd piece titled “The Issue with Doom“.
After a few good minutes of reading and letting it process, I decided to give it another whirl, reading through what CoG’s Zak Deacon had to say once again. After all, DOOM (2016), is regarded as one of the purest imaginable approaches to the DOOM franchise since it was established by a small team of ambitious young men in a very small office, all clacking away tirelessly at their keyboards.
In 2016, the reboot launched, giving us one of the bloodiest, fastest, and most visceral experiences the DOOM franchise has ever had to offer. It’s fast, it’s brutal, and it’s extremely unforgiving. There’s no doubt about it and DOOM doesn’t seem like it will be holding back moving forward. With Mick Gordon at the helm for music, we’re sure it’s just going to get bigger, louder, and heavier than it was just a short three years ago when DOOM Eternal launches this November.
Now, to get things started, Zak made some solid points. DOOM is absolutely gorgeous. id Software’s overall visual aesthetic for DOOM is absolutely one of the best we’ve ever seen. It tells its own story through and through, giving us a sense of a very distraught setting, one where the employee’s of UAC had been ripped to shreds, mutated into Hell’s forces and the Doom Slayer has only one goal in mind: F**k s**t up (we gotta keep it SFW here, right?).
But, over time, I had to read through what he said further. Outside of many of the design choices made for DOOM, I began to raise an eyebrow later on. His primary issue? There’s no rest. Now, you’re probably like me, what the Hell is a rest period in DOOM? You mean rune challenges, finding secrets, and still constantly blowing s**t up? That’s all the rest you need in a game that is designed with the idea of, and I quote id Software’s Marty Stratton here, “always moving forward,” from QuakeCon 2015, as its core gameplay mechanic.
You see, unlike traditional FPS titles, DOOM isn’t one about pushing an ongoing cinematic narrative experience. It’s one that’s about the old ways of gaming, one where your stories are told through environmental designs, data entries, and, well, just blowing s**t up like the good ol’ boys used to do. It’s a series that has always been about doing just that, offering a little-to-no reprieve from the ongoing slaughterhouse you’ve created. The best you get? A few “minor” cutscenes here and there, but that’s it, there’s no need for them.
In his piece, Deacon states that, “Unlike other modern shooters, such as Uncharted or Metro, which offer stealth gameplay or a cut scene to provide exposition and a brief respite from the intense combat, Doom (2016) leaves the player no time to rest,” which is exactly what DOOM isn’t going to do. It’s not a stealth game, they tried that with DOOM 3 with its survival-horror mechanics, and look at the mess that came to be.
But do people really burn out on DOOM? I imagine a select few have – so, sure, it’s a thing, however, take into mind that games like Metro, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare AND other FPS such as Battlefield do that for added depth to their story. The human aspect to it all, if you will, except here’s the thing: DOOM isn’t one of those games. It’s never been a part of the DOOM experience. Sure, it has a few minor moments of cutscenes where they are interactive, but they existed; remember the time spent with Olivia, Samuel Hayden, and even the revealing of brand new areas? Perhaps the holograms? Those all were meant to be some form of downtime.
I understand the gripes about interactivity versus cutscene portions of the game being a thing for some, however, I don’t feel, as many others don’t, that there isn’t a lack of diversity in how DOOM is played, nor do I feel that DOOM needs to change things up to focus on its puzzle elements, etc., they’re already there. The secret rooms, the hidden Doom Buddy figures, and even some of the best parts of the game are platforming fun.
Let me be clear, however, DOOM isn’t a game meant for everyone. While it is brutally fun, brutally challenging, it isn’t a game that is for people seeking a hefty amount of narrative, cutscenes, and the likes. It’s a game purely about moving forward, endlessly blasting your way through the hordes of Hell, and then, revisiting every level later on in order to obtain the games secrets that lie in wait.
Except there’s a noteworthy change, as seen in the trailer below, for DOOM Eternal. It does feel that the upcoming sequel WILL be a bit more cinematic than before, that it will seek a bit more of a dramatic effect than before, but it still won’t be the game for everyone. Combat looks faster, more brutal, and I’m sure it’s going to be even more than that when it launches thanks to the new weapon modifications that we’ve already got a look at as of recent (grappling hook super shotty? Count me in). DOOM is just one of those franchises and that’s okay. It’ll be a series that will continue to evolve. It will get bigger, it will get louder, and I’m sure it will get as brutal then as it is now.
DOOM Eternal is set to release on Nov. 22, 2019, for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
The opinions expressed in this article are that of the writer and do not reflect upon Blast Away the Game Review as a whole. For more questions regarding our policies, you can read our Ethics Policy for more information.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders 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 or Facebook.