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Review

Doom Review

Showing those scrubs how it's done.

As the harbinger of the first person shooter, Doom’s influence is everywhere. Without Doom, we wouldn’t have the likes of Goldeneye 007, Call of Duty, Halo, and many more besides. Having lain dormant since the slower paced Doom 3 arrived over a decade ago, there’s been a long and slow build up to Doom, and it seemed the writing was on the wall after an uninspiring beta last month. We couldn’t have been more wrong.

Doom is built on id Tech 6, which turns out to be a very nice looking engine capable of some truly remarkable design. Each of the multi-layered levels in Doom feel alive and menacing, while the enemies are more than intimidating. It runs very well indeed, with a solid 60FPS on the Xbox one and no noticeable frame drops. What’s more remarkable is that you can customise the vast majority of settings, including field-of-view and motion blur; a rarity on console versions.

Couple all of this technical excellence with fist-pumping metal music during high-action scenes and hauntingly beautiful choral pieces in Hell’s moments of calm, and it makes for a game that’s truly confident in itself. Even the sound effects pack a surprising amount of punch befitting for this fast-paced shooter.

id Software’s co-founder John Carmack once said, “Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It’s expected to be there, but it’s not that important.” In much the same spirit, Doom’s campaign is an unashamedly brash seven or so hours on “Hurt Me Plenty” that knows you play Doom for the gameplay, not the story. As such, the story constantly alludes to how you just want to get on with it and kill some scrubs, which is honestly quite admirable.

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Doom also knows that you want an arsenal of destruction and boy does it deliver on that one. While you get weapons on a fairly regular basis throughout the game, you can further retool your weapons with upgrades found by doing various things throughout the campaign, as well as upgrade your own abilities, such as your maximum health, armour, and ammunition thresholds.

With two mods for each weapon that can be switched on the fly, the potential for carnage is staggering. What looks like a sub-standard machine gun at first can be kitted with a scope for zoomed kills or mini-rockets that stick onto enemies before detonating.

Doom’s ultraviolent content gets even more ridiculous when the Glory Kill system comes into play. As you damage foes, they begin to flash and stagger around to signify that this is your opportunity to go in and quickly dispatch them. Not only do the glory kills vary based on the enemy and your position, the time it takes to perform isn’t all that long and the health pickups they drop might be just what you need to keep fighting. Kills with the chainsaw, while a limited use weapon now, are now guaranteed to refill your ammunition for all weapons.

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Each of the levels has not only a bunch of challenges and hidden collectable items to upgrade the Doom Guy, but also Rune Challenges to unlock equipable perks and “Classic Doom Maps” that allow you to play a version of that level from the campaign menu. Even if you just want to blast through, the enemies are certainly a challenge, with AI that is capable of surrounding you if you’re not careful. There are plenty more reasons why I can’t recommend the campaign enough.

Doom’s other roaring success is Snapmap. It’s essentially a very robust level editor that comes alongside a fantastic tutorial that gets you up to speed. I’ve had a bit of a play around with it, but I’ve been more enthralled with the things that others have been making. From recreations of classic Doom maps, to parkour challenges, memory games; the possibilities are almost endless. This is just on the Xbox One, so imagine what PC users could potentially do!

While the campaign is a phenomenal return to form for id Software, and Snapmap is a robust in-engine level editor that’s comparable to Halo’s Forge mode and LittleBigPlanet’s joyous flexibility and freedom, the same praise can’t be bestowed upon Doom’s multiplayer. As many saw through the game’s beta tests, Doom attempts to bring back the glory days of Quake III Arena with fast-paced arena multiplayer. Things have changed dramatically since then though, with the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield dominating the multiplayer landscape, as Team Fortress II and the upcoming Overwatch lead in an entirely different direction.

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Doom offers six gameplay modes, all taking influences from popular titles. Team Deathmatch and Domination are present and accounted for, while Soul Harvest is essentially Kill Confirm from the Call of Duty franchise and Clan Arena gives each player one life to play with before each round ends. Warpath is another variant on Domination with a constantly shifting control point, while Freeze Tag is a form of Clan Arena that lets you thaw the frozen corpses of your fallen teammates to get them back in the game.

Gameplay here is not too dissimilar to games of the arena shooter genre, with fast paced movement, health/ammo/armour pickups, and power ups scattered throughout the various maps. Upon death you can also activate a perk to give you an advantage for a certain amount of time, which depending on the situation may give you information valuable to winning the game for your team.

Runes that allow players to turn into their chosen demon form are probably what sets this apart from other shooters and the four demon forms are all very fun to use while you have them activated. It’s just as much of a pain to deal with facing enemy demons but, with a little luck, you can take them down, grab the rune for your own team and exact a little revenge.

Those dedicated to playing the multiplayer will find a lot of unlockables such as new armour pieces, weapons, demon forms, and even new taunts. It’s a robust offering, but it doesn’t quite feel as well rounded as the campaign or Snapmap. Sadly it feels like a throwaway mode to round off the package.

What’s Good:

  • Stupidly fun single player campaign with brilliant levels and enemy design.
  • Great weapons to play around with and secrets to discover.
  • Glory Kills keep up the tempo.
  • Snapmap mode could pave the way for future designers.

What’s Bad:

  • Multiplayer modes leave a little to be desired.
  • Not for those looking for a complex plot.
  • Being taunted with the Carlton Dance.

Doom is a truly spectacular bit of ultraviolence, but it’s deceptively smart in how it goes about it. It knows that all you want to do is blow stuff up in increasingly more brutal ways, leading to a single player that is probably the best FPS campaign since Wolfenstein: The New Order. While multiplayer is almost a damp squib, Snapmap allows for those with creative minds to unleash their creativity with an easy-to-learn map editor. To describe Doom in two words: Bloody brilliant!

Score: 9/10

Version Tested: Xbox One

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7 Comments
  1. Megamoppy
    Member
    Since: Apr 2012

    I’ve been playing this a fair bit and so far I’m really enjoying the whole thing. Single player is awesome and a nice change from the soldiers fps’s and there’s something about how fast you move without a sprint button that feels fresh, I know how odd that sounds.

    I’m really enjoying the multiplayer feels fast and can lead to some great moments, the lurker is too much fun. (It’s all about the static gun combined with the lightning gun or the normal shotgun).

    The sense of humour with the taunts on multiplayer is great too, it’s almost as absurd as fist pumping in mid air in post match UT). Not to mention the fantastic Terminator 2 nod, makes me want these guys to do a Duke nukem game… doomed.

    Match making could be better though, though I’ve only noticed two people lag after 3 hours playing. Load times on the game as a whole are terrible too.

    Great game

    Comment posted on 16/05/2016 at 11:24.
  2. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    TSA IS BIASED! BAISSSSSSSED! The carlton dance is not negative! It is a positive! I demand a re-review of Doom until it suits my needs, jabroni! :P

    JOking aside, I’m glad that DOOM has taken it’s Doomroids and given us what Doom 3 should have been like. Love that they have included the Carlton dance. More games need that. It just sounds like they went “Feck it, they want doom, we’ll give them doom. Scrap Doom of Dutyfield! BREAK OUT THE BFC AND CODE THE REAL DOOM GAME!” then got drunk and upped the gore levels to 11 then beat up the code until we ended up with Doom.

    Shame about the MP but I can see it just being an afterthought or running out of time thus not being as good as the rest of the game. Hopefully, Doom will do very well thus we could see the return of Doom clones, ultraviolent FPSes.

    Also, does it has the original, BIG MOTHERFECKING GUN? if not, why is there no BIG FECKING GUN.

    Comment posted on 16/05/2016 at 11:29.
    • Dave Irwin
      Member
      Since: Jun 2015

      You can tell that I was struggling for negatives. ;)

      Comment posted on 16/05/2016 at 11:58.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        I DEMAND A RE-REVIEW! No wonder the site is going downhill. I mean, if this was reviewed years ago, the Carlton dance would have bumped it up to a 9.1 and 9 eighths! God damnit, Dave, you arh tearing me arhpart!

        Oh and no BGF in the postives!? You can’t review DOOM without putting the BFG in the postives! It’s like you’re prejuiced against the original BFG!

        Comment posted on 16/05/2016 at 12:52.
  3. wonkey-willy
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010
    Comment posted on 16/05/2016 at 11:48.
  4. Sad Panda
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    So pleased with this game, bought it for the single player and am not disappointed. The fact that Uncharted hasn’t had a look in on my console tells you everything you need to know.

    Comment posted on 16/05/2016 at 17:03.
  5. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    Once I’ve played Uncharted 4 to death. This is next. After seeing the trailers I had a good feeling about Doom. Turns out it’s a good game. Great read TSA.

    Comment posted on 16/05/2016 at 18:13.
Doom
  • Developer:ID Software
  • Publisher:Bethesda
  • Platforms:PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Release Date:TBA