Unlike the ‘big’ news outlets like IGN et al, this will be a full review of Doom after having played it extensively over the weekend. For those that are interested, this is the PC version of the game with it being played on the Asus G751. More specifically the laptop has an Intel core i7 4710HQ CPU, nVidia GTX 970M GPU, 120Gb San Disk SSD and 16GB of DDR3 RAM courtesy of Samsung. The game was played with everything set to high and played amazingly well.
There are of course three main parts of this review, being the single player, multiplayer and also SnapMap. The reason why other news outlets haven’t posted the full review is (as I can imagine), they aren’t getting paid to write the review over the weekend so they’ll start it on Monday, and then it’ll be around Wednesday before the editor of their site gives the green light to publishing the rest of it.
Before we even delve into the game itself, I’m neither siding or slagging of Bethesda when it comes to them not releasing the code early for reviewers. I can understand that they might not have had wanted the servers to go up before the release day. However, it might have been possible for them to have a unique server for the review community to use so that a final score for the game could be released. Having said that, Doom doesn’t follow the usual trend of a game not being released to the press before release day in the sense that it isn’t a steaming pile of shit. Anyway, with that out of the way let us move onto the review itself.
For those of a certain age (myself included) we remember a time when FPS’ had the single player mode as its main focus and then multiplayer was an added extra. Sadly in the time since COD4, it has been reversed and the single player campaign in modern shooters hasn’t exactly been shown the best care and attention. Thankfully, this isn’t the case with Doom. Right from the get go, you’re thrown right into the action. This is just like the classic Doom whereby you’ve got a simple pistol and you’re strafing around taking out enemies.
Whilst there is a brief bit of story telling, it’s a far cry from other games out there. Basically, the premise is much like any other Doom game in that you’re Doom Guy that needs to mow down everything that isn’t you, basically.
And oh boy is this fun. I had mentioned above how smooth this game is, and it truly is a dream to play through. It’s really been quite some time that a game that looks this good also plays just as well. What this shows is that there are still developers out there that do care about the consumer, and to id’s credit, they’ve made this a worthy successor to the classic Doom games (we’ll gloss over Doom 3 today).
One thing that might be a bit of a sour point for those that have fallen in love with past iterations if the ‘Glory Kills’ mechanic whereby you literally use your fists to kill your enemy. To be fair, this was actually part of Doom 1 and 2, but whilst it was never necessary in those games, that isn’t the with the new Doom. You’re actually rewarded for using this mechanic in that your fallen foe will spit out more ammo for you, which depending the difficulty level you’re on, can make all of the difference. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad system but it can break up the fast paced action of the game sometimes. There’s also the issue that I’ve found that when using this option you are much more vulnerable to attacks from other enemies, so be sure to use it with caution.
Another great (surprisingly) mechanic is the platforming aspect of the game. You actually see early on just how well platforming can be done on a FPS. It does almost feel like Half Life 2 in that sense, and the jumping mechanic is a great way to get the hell (heh) away from oncoming enemy onslaughts. Added to this is the lack of a cover mechanic and regenerating health. For too long this feature has taken away the real challenge that you used to get in a FPS. Classic Doom never had this feature, nor did GoldenEye or Half Life. It was shit like Call of Duty that brought this garbage idea to the masses and sadly it’s now a mainstay in the genre. Well, with the exception of this latest Doom of course. You’re now having to look out for health packs because simply hiding in a corner somewhere won’t make you regenerate. Mind you, the irony isn’t lost on me that they’ve made a realistic-ish health system in a game full of demons on a Martian base…
The enemies themselves have had a huge upgrade visually from what they were like before, and they’re still terrifying. The Cacodemon in particular is still an enemy that gives me the shivers. Of course, emptying a few rounds into it makes it all the more satisfying.
The weapons are amazing too, and yes, the BFG is in the game. One of the nice things about the weapon system this time around is that you can upgrade your arsenal in the way that fits your playing style (within reason) by finding upgrades scattered around the levels. Whilst you don’t need to upgrade them (although it’ll make the game a lot harder later on) this is a great twist which brings a classic game franchise into the modern area.
The single player really is a breath of fresh air when compared to other modern day FPS’ and even on its own it makes Doom a highly recommended game. But of course there is also two other drawing points for Doom.
Just now, the multiplayer mode is a bit sketchy, with the most populated game type in it being Team Deathmatch. Some people online have been moaning about this but in my personal opinion this isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all. What else is better than teaming up with others to take out the other team in a Doom environment?
Others have complained that it’s like other multiplayer FPS’s currently on the market in that you can unlock weapons and customise your loadouts. Again, why is this a bad thing? Everyone has their own playing style when it comes to gaming online and by allowing you to mix and match your weapons, you’re throwing a bone to the masses on this one. Plus, it’s actually a lot of fun to play a modern Doom multiplayer. Some people do get butt hurt pretty easily though, not unlike the same people that hated the new Battlefront, even though it’s fucking brilliant. There’s not really much else to be said about the multiplayer so far, but should my opinion of it change, the score below will be updated accordingly.
Oh boy, is this mode fun! Think of SnapMap as the child between a very strange night involving Garrys Mod, Super Mario Maker and Little Big Planet. What I mean by this is that you can do a hell of a lot of different things in it, ranging from levels and different scenarios you can create. Think of this is the modding toolkit for the game that isn’t actually unlocked for modders. For those that aren’t enamoured by the multiplayer mode and after you’ve dusted off the single player in Ultimate Nightmare mode, SnapMap is the mode that’s going to keep you coming back for more.
This could be under the guise of you just messing around and creating crazy levels and ideas to playing the levels others have created. It’s a great touch that hopefully more developers will leak into their games (especially in situations where levels are leaked episodically).
One thing that you may have noticed in this review is the lack of videos and also screenshots. I had captured a fair amount of footage and shots however the hard drive that I save these to has decided to bite the bullet along with all my other footage so apologies for that.
Ah Doom, after the beta a lot of people had written you off. This was a silly move on their part and a lot of people won’t even touch the game now. Sadly, that is their loss. Doom is a highly recommended game and is well worth 9/10.
Doom is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC. I had purchased the Steam code for Doom via Kinguin for the purposes of this review, but all are also available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and also Amazon.ca.