Let’s get this out of the way first of all, it’s the question that has to be answered in any review & it’s simply…is it any good?
Is Doom, a game that has been through development hell, a questionable multiplayer beta & dealing with the general consensus that the series’ time was over… is that game actually any good?
It’s better than good, it’s bloody great. Grab a gun, kick the door down & just start shooting every mother-fucking demon in sight. They think they know pain & suffering? They’ve not met Doom Guy yet.
Hopefully that’s all you need to go out & pick the game up. It’s a fun, violent battle against the hordes of Hell but it’s much more than just a mindless first person shooter.
The Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) has found a way to channel the energy of Hell into a power source called Argent energy. Something they’ve been doing for sometime in their research facility on Mars. With a portal directly to Hell available the facility director, Samuel Hayden has been sending expeditions to capture demons also.
It was bound to go wrong…
The game begins with the Doom Guy/Marine waking & emerging from a sarcophagus where he is instantly set upon by some of the denizens of Hell. Once free from the chains of his prison, control is given over to the player. It’s up to you to stop Hell’s invasion of Mars.
The story that follows is surprisingly interesting with a clear direction that never bores. Talky moments are few mainly because the Doom Guy just isn’t interested in hearing them. As silent protagonists go, the Marine is something special. A badass through & through his ability to emote through his actions makes him endearing. His hatred for everything Hell related shines through & it makes for some great story moments as he deals with issues in his special way much to the annoyance of Hayden.
There is a ton of politics behind the Mars facility & Argent energy but the Doom Guy couldn’t give a shit. It’s fantastic.
Doom is good-looking game with the environment of Mars, the facility & Hell itself being quite picturesque at times. As the game goes on you’ll see the impact of Hell’s attack on Mars with locations in ruins, dead bodies strewn everywhere & all manner of beasts roaming free.
There is plenty of variety in the enemy types & you’ll spend most of the game fighting them so getting to know their weaknesses & attack patterns is useful. Or you could just shoot the shit out of everything that moves with a great selection of weapons.
From the standard pistol to the powerful shotgun to the destructive rocket launcher, there is something for everyone here. No 2 weapon limit here (Yes, I’m looking at you Duke Nukem Forever), once you’ve got it, it’s yours. Ammo is found dotted around the level & from enemies (as is health & shields – no regenerating here) with their being bonuses & tricks to gaining more.
Such as glory kills…so much fun!
Put enough bullets into a demon & they will start to flash hinting that you can glory kill them if you’re quick enough. These are graphic deaths that see Doom Guy finishing off a demon in spectacular fashion such as twisting heads off, curb stomping & punching eyes out. Focus on a particular body part & you’ll see a different glory kill meaning it rarely gets boring.
Doom’s campaign lasts between 8-12 hours, longer if you’re seeking out every secret & power up available in each level. There are bundles of secrets including classic maps from the original Doom games. If that wasn’t enough there are challenges that can be completed in each level too relating to the actions of Doom Guy & the weapons you use. Completing all of these challenges makes for more strategic gameplay as one challenge might ask you to glory kill a certain enemy type in a certain way.
To keep players coming back Doom also offers multiplayer with a large choice of modes that include traditional Team Deathmatch as well some interesting ideas such as Freeze Tag. I’ve only messed around in Team Deathmatch but found it to be fun & very frantic. Death comes quickly & it can be quite punishing for new players (the super shotgun is way over-powered though).
Players also get a map editor, called SnapMap where they can create their own maps & upload them to be played on. A nice edition & something that is a bit of a PC staple so it’s good to see it on home consoles.
Doom is a romp of pure destructive violence as one man goes up against everything Hell has to offer. The moment the music kicks in, the adrenaline rush as you swing your weapon around to face them, the gore that flows…Doom is so much fun.
It’s not original or ground breaking but it doesn’t have to be. It’s fucking Doom.