The doors to Hell have been opened, paving the path for carnage, brutal deaths and the untold potential of a nearly unlimited power source. DOOM 2016 is the gut punching, adrenaline junkie high that we have all been waiting for; we just didn’t know it. Having only loosely played the first DOOM and bits of DOOM 3, I had no idea what this experience would be like. Having been my very first DOOM game, I had some expectations built off my initial impressions of the first title, as well as the community to feed off of. DOOM is the triumphant return of the shooter that would go to inspire countless other titles. Taking the old straight out of the past and slapping a sexy new engine and dusting off the older game mechanics with a coat of revitalization, DOOM gives players a taste of what a shooter used to be. Run and gun. Never has a more simplistic approach been the best one in years. Frankly, shooters have waned from what they once were and DOOM seeks to bring back the old. Effectively bringing sexy back. That is if you find older play style and mechanics sexy.
The Story: Our story begins like any other DOOM scenario. The UAC seeking to end the dread of power supply concerns, has found a way to tap into the energies of another dimension, ultimately ending the power shortages that plagued Earth and her colonies. Little did anyone know that this energy was derived from Hell itself. Through the advancement of research into inter-dimensional travel, The UAC seeks to establish a foothold in this new hellish dimension, taking samples, specimens and power back to their Mars facility. While everything starts out with good intentions, the water eventually become a murky mire of twisted thoughts and cult practices. Lead by Olivia Pierce, her Cult of followers seeks to bring Hell into our realm. In doing so she unintentionally awakens a long lost foe of the Demons. Recovered from a survey to Hell, DOOM Slayer awakens from his imprisoned sarcophagus to find that Hell has invaded the plane of man. Armed with an arsenal of destructive weapons, his Praetor suit and whole lot of pent up demon slaying aggression, DOOM Slayer sets out to find the cause of this demonic invasion of Mars and literally battles through Hell and back to close off the demons access to our dimension.
Along the way, DOOM Slayer discovers the practices of a corrupt and powerful corporation and the leader that sees Hell as nothing more than a resource to bend to his will. Ultimately DOOM Slayer has to side with the man/machine, Samuel Hayden, to help end to tide of Hell one shotgun shot at a time.
The Gameplay: As I mentioned previously in the beginning of this review, DOOM brings back the old and makes it the new. If you played this shooter right after playing Call of Duty, you are in for some hurt. For one, the good old days of picking up health packs and armor packs is back and it feels amazing. The time tested run and gun strategy is back too. The game rides on the principle of if you stop moving, you will die. Stand in one place for too long and a Mancubus will surely be your undoing; quite possibly also a Hell Knight’s lunch. Your faster than demon movements will ensure you battlefield domination and mobility, provided your arsenal is up to snuff. The guns do not feature a reload system, instead relying solely on ammo pick-ups to hold you over from mission to mission. Essentially if you have ever played Duke Nukem or the original DOOM games, then you will feel right at home with this sort of play style and that is what’s so great about the gameplay. It is the old, with a brand new body. It got into shape and is back to bring the good times front and center. With the addition of, Glory Kills (or Gory Kills as I call them), DOOM provides a much more interesting melee mechanic that rewards players with health and ammo. Enemies will stagger at certain damage points, flashing a blue and then orange color when the player is close. All that is needed to glory kill is to press your melee button and watch the gore fest unfold. From being able to snap a neck to breaking a demons leg, only to shove it into their own face. DOOM is all about those brutalities and it has drawn some fans to wonder if the popular mod, Brutal DOOM, had any influence on the team during the inception of the mechanic.
While the multiplayer aspect is an extension of this run and gun format, it tries its best to bring a unique approach to the multiplayer arena, often times feeling a lot like Quake. Granted my experience has only ranged from three matches, I can safely say that the single player mode and custom SNAPMAP’s is where the game’s forte is at. The multiplayer however does have some fun additions, such as being able to play as the demon’s via a power pick up scattered around some of the maps. Beyond that though it seems to play out in typical DOOM fashion.
As per id software and Bethesda fashion, easter eggs are plentiful. From Skyrim to Terminator, this game has got you covered. Not to mention that throughout every map, is a lever. Once pulled, these levers open doors that lead you to Classic DOOM & DOOM II maps. Complete with new enemies but with the old environment textures. Talk about one cool nostalgia trip. What is even better, once you find them, you get to option to play through the whole level from the mission select screen! That’s totally nuts! Nothing beats being able to go back to the classic, with original music mind you (However they seem to be updated), but bring with you the modern DOOM 2016 looks to the characters and weapons. Plus Glory Kills.
Snapmap: The biggest and most exciting feature to hit DOOM was the new SNAPMAP feature. With this powerful map editor, it allows console players and PC players alike to create their own custom DOOM maps and match types. From a survival mission to a sound stage, anything is possible. Even remakes of popular levels from the Original DOOM are present in the download page for SNAPMAP. While I have yet to venture into the uncharted land, I can say that I am pleasantly surprised with how much it reminds me of Far Cry’s map making system. It just seems to work a lot better than Far Cry’s. The team at id software realized how much the other DOOM’s were supported through player driven mods and content that they wished to give players a little easier access to making great content without needing a PC to mod a game that they love so much. While it is indeed no replacement for mods, it is a nice touch to have on a game that is already making headway with it’s release.
The Music: We all know why this section is up here and I do not have to tell you why. I love, LOVE the DOOM soundtrack. It’s metal, it’s hellish and it just goes with the game so damn well. It’s like bread and peanut butter. So godly. Composed by the always amazing, Mick Gordon, the guitar riffs and drums will get your blood pumping and your trigger finger itching to slay some demons. While no official OST has been released at the time of this writing, many fans have taken to YouTube to share in the love for the DOOM soundtrack. How long these will remain up is unknown at this time however, I will try to post a link or two to the OST. This game has it all, from classic nods to the first DOOM game to brand new compositions that feel as equally powerful when paired with a trusty super shotgun.
The music featured in the credits has to be one of my favorite bits from the game and heck, even the credits to this game are just on a whole other level! Once the actual soundtrack releases, we will be sure to provide links to the website for purchase.
Final Impressions: Being my first DOOM game that I have played through, I got to say this is making me want to go back and fully play DOOM & DOOM II. This game just brings old mechanics and breathes new life to them. With the inclusion of classic maps, it is crazy to see how far technology has progressed between the two releases and what we can look forward to in the near future. While the multiplayer aspect seems unfulfilled, SNAPMAP is enough to provide cooperative players a fun and challenging approach to worn game types with the ability to make your own. If I was going into this expecting a Call of Duty experience I can say I would be either greatly surprised or disappointed. After all, many gamers are used to more modern approaches when it comes to shooters and older notions may seem a bit foreign to them in comparison. However if I was looking to challenge myself and have a lot of bloody fun while doing so, I would give this title the chance it deserves and a permanent space on my shelf. The single player experience is by far the most compelling and thrilling experience I have had in a game to date. If you were looking to kill some stress or for a run and gun game you can go any further than this.
Rating: On the subject of a rating scale we score this game a DOOM Slayer fist bump out of 11! Or for those not fluent in the DOOM Slayer Fist Bump that is a 10/10. While the multiplayer aspect does draw it down some, it is not enough to impede progression. Having not once experienced a glitch or game breaking bug during my four day run with the game, I can call this a masterpiece in its own right. We reviewed our DOOM experience with the PS4 copy.
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