Doom commands a level of respect. For a series that has been dormant for over a decade, the name Doom still has an air of importance to it, and for good reason. Few games have ever transformed the gaming landscape as much as Doom did when it first came out, and Id Software is hoping to bring some of that spark back with its reboot of the series.
So, for those not yet initiated, the Doom games are pretty famous for being over the top, gory, and satanic in nature. These games have been the topic of heated debate about video games and violence that has spanned three decades at this point. They are not child friendly, and, frankly, probably aren’t good for us big kids either. But that won’t stop us from loving the HELL out of them.
In this reboot of the franchise, we play as a nameless hero who must close a portal between Hell and Mars to stop a demonic invasion and save mankind (sounds simple, right?). Thankfully, you are a beast of a man who is capable of wielding some big effing guns and punching demons in the face. As you progress through the campaign, you’ll amass a veritable armory of implements of death, including rocket launchers, shotguns, chainsaws, and grenades, each being effective against the variety of demons you’ll encounter.
What you will not encounter a ton of, however, is ammo or health kits.
In a surprising twist (and probably the best part of the game), Id decided to opt out of giving the players the ever common regenerating health bar. Instead, you are heavily incentivized to go for glory kills, which grant you health. Glory kills are quick finishing moves that are used on stunned enemies that always drop some health, so when you are in a bind, go in for a melee attack on the blue glowing demon.
Similarly to the glory kills, chainsaw kills will cause enemies to drop a significant amount of ammo. This is especially useful because there’s not a ton of ammo laying around in Hell. However, you will need fuel for your chainsaw to use it, so either way you look, there’s some rationing required. This balance of health to ammo to fuel is the groundwork to the rhythm that makes this game what it is.
The rhythm of combat in this game is 100% what makes it so fantastic. Throughout my play through there were countless times where I caught myself borderline giggling with glee as I mowed through droves of demon spawn. The combat is really that satisfying. You’ll know a fight is coming by the sound of the baddies and the presence of ammo on the ground, so you’ll start to scheme your strategy. You’ll think to yourself “I’m low on rockets, but I have enough fuel in the old chainsaw to rip apart a bigger demon for ammo, and then swap to rockets to blast apart another Mancubus.” Then you will proceed to try just that, only to get your ass torn apart by a Cacodemon somewhere between chainsaw and Mancubus blastin’. No worries, swap to shotgun, strafe around and blast some spawn until they are ready for a glory kill for that sweet, sweet health. Every encounter is a cluster, and every fight is a delight.
And yes, I said Mancubus.
Apart from giggling at the action, pretty much everything about this game reeks of humor. While it takes itself somewhat seriously, there is no mistaking that the team behind this game put great care and effort into making everything just over the top enough to make you laugh your ass off, but not too much as to elicit nightmares of what we’ve seen done to the good ol’ Duke. If you want a good example of the type of over the top I’m talking here, just listen to the music from the game here:
Still stuck in the 90s techno era? Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you to come back. I don’t blame you for wanting to stay either. That music is exactly what every young man imagines in his head as he envisions himself saving a damsel in distress (as he zones out while mowing the lawn). You know, a good gun fight where you heroically risk it all, taking a nonlethal shot in the process, to rescue the hostages from an entire squad of nameless baddies.
Maybe I just had an active imagination growing up. But then again, if I did, so did Id Software. This game is the embodiment of badassery.
I played through the game on normal (because I am not a sadist), but for those who like to be dominated in the bedroom, there are much tougher levels of difficulty, including the Nightmare modes that unlock after you beat the game. Don’t worry though, you get to keep any weapon and skill unlocks you obtained in your first play — you’ll be needing them.
I fully expect to play through this again, as I had a fun time in my first round, but also to go back and get all of the collectibles and items that I missed. A lot of throwbacks and comedy gold are found in these items that are scattered about in the ten or so levels. Expect a quick play through to take 6-7 hours on normal.
While the internet was far from quiet about how the beta looked for Doom, it’s probably not as bad as you hear. It’s true, the multiplayer is not going to be called groundbreaking by anyone; in fact, it’s quite derivative. So, yea, the internet was mostly right after all.
It took me several tries to get into any Deathmatch games, which turned out to be a NAT issue (derp). But when I got into a game, expecting the worst, I was not met with the terrible, horrible, superbad situation I was prepared for. What I actually got was just sorta ‘Meh’. Deathmatch is Deathmatch, and Doom does it fairly well. You pick a class, you pick a loadout, and then you get in and start fragging people. It was fine, and I had some fun with it for an hour or so before I decided that I’d seen all I needed to.
The bottom line is, if you are SUPER into Doom and want to kill other players, congrats, you have the option. Otherwise, it’s likely going to be a bit dull and uninspired. But that’s ok, just go back into the single player and you’ll forgive Id. I promise.
Go ahead, say it again “Snapmap”. No one will judge you for maybe singing it out a bit. It rolls off the tongue nicely.
Snapmap is a level/game editor that lets you play God in Hell and make your own levels. I hear it’s pretty good and all, but I have never had a knack for level design myself. I got in and put some things in some places, but honestly, I will likely just wait for the masses to hand deliver me some super great content here. So if that is you, nameless internet patron, get to work and show me what you made.
And don’t judge me for not caring all that much.
Go buy this game right now. Stop reading this and buy it. Click this link to buy it on Amazon. Don’t like Amazon? What are you, a monster? Here’s a Best Buy link instead then, you heathen. No, I won’t point anyone to GameStop. Go to Hell.
(Get it? Go to Hell?)
Seriously, this game is just great. The multiplayer may not be that exciting, but damn if the single player wasn’t one of the best things I’ve played in a long while.