THIS is it, after 20 years they finally made a game worthy of the legacy.
The original Doom was published in 1993 and shaped the entire game and computer industry that we see today.
In 1995 it was installed on more computers than Microsoft Word and thanks to a tie-in advertising campaign between id Software and Bill Gates, Microsoft became the giant it is today.
In the 20 years since this groundbreaking release, the whole genre of first-person-shooting games has been watered down by Call of Duty clones.
What was a fast-paced fun-fest became a gritty slog, trying to mimic the grim reality of war.
Doom (2016) is the best shooter in 20 years.
It remembers that it is just a game and can focus on being fun rather than ‘realistic.’
There are no ‘real life’ restrictions: want to carry more than two guns? Have all the guns. Want to double jump? Gravity is just a theory. Bored of reloading? It has been removed. Want to punch out a demon’s thorax? Punch away.
It is all blistering fast and such intense fun.
This is what the original Doom is famous for so this is a fantastic tribute to the grandfather of the genre.
Do not write it off simply as a flash looking version of a 20 year old game though, Doom (2016) offers a lot more.
To keep the player moving fast, enemies deal a lot of damage, but when they are killed with fists they drop health.
This means, if you are not running around killing stuff, you are probably dead.
The enemies are distinct, each with their own fighting styles and some superb animations.
The bigger ones are daunting to see enter the battlefield and have to be prioritised before they eat your face off.
It is a good thing there is such a powerful arsenal to beat them back with.
The guns all sound meaty and none of them are filler, each feels like a tool crafted for a specific part of the fight.
A highlight as ever is the double barrel shotgun, if you are close enough to touch something then this weapon can probably cut it in half.
To keep things interesting, id Software provide a deluge of unlockable upgrades.
These are found through exploration or by completing little tasks and trials woven into the levels.
Upgrades vary from the basic such as better armour to the bloodthirsty, like explosive shells.
I mentioned that gameplay is fast but I might have under-sold that.
It feels like you can run at about mach-four and each fight plays out more like a combo move than a gun battle.
Punches chain with shotgun blasts, that chain with head stomps, that chain with a chainsaw swing, you get it.
The faster you move, the deadlier you are. It’s a pulse raiser.
Though, a problem with the constant killing is that the colour scheme often ends up being very red.
Fortunately, this is off-set by pretty missions set above fire pits on the surface of hell, so Doom gets away with that.
My one fault with the campaign are the rare climbing sections, they are not bad, they just don’t hold a candle to the combat.
Bundled on the disc are two other spectacular features.
One is Snapmap, a tool that provides everything needed to make levels and multi-player maps.
Snapmap is worth the price of the game alone and I have already started a separate article on it.
It is intuitive, allowing an expanse of creativity and it has the potential to garner an immense community.
The other feature is multiplayer.
This is pretty standard stuff with some interesting quirks.
It is not as fresh as the rest of the package but it is fast gaining momentum.
As more people use Snapmap there is no telling what sort of maps I’ll be hitting for a deathmatch.
In summary, Doom offers an experience that has been missing from videogames this century.
It is unmissable and will only get better with age as more people upload their Snapmap creations.
+Satisfying secrets and unlockables
+Appropriate heavy rock soundtrack
+Finally, Doom is back.
– I am not currently playing it
Developer: id Software
Publishers: Bethesda Softworks, ZeniMax Media
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Try if you like:
Wolfenstein: The New Order, Minigore, Bulletstorm, Shadow Warrior,
Doom, Doom II, Doom 64