DEVELOPER: id Software
PUBLISHER: Bethesda Softworks
It's DOOM time. Truth to be told it's been DOOM time since 2016, but for some reason, despite having finished the campaign and played the multiplayer a fair bit (not really looked at Snapmap cause... meh) I've only just now gotten around to writing a review. I blame my lack of writing inspiration the last few years. But since I've just gotten back into my review groove, let's take a look at the 2016 reimagining of the FPS that started it all; DOOM.
|I've played enough Half-Life 2 to know that a giant portal in the background is a bad thing.|
id would return to the DOOM franchise in 2004, with the suitably titled DOOM 3, although it was itself more of a remake than a direct sequel to DOOM 2. DOOM 3 is probably the game in the franchise that strays the furthest away from what most people consider the makeup of DOOM. While it wasn't really a bad game, in fact it was rather enjoyable, it focused a lot more on the horror aspect of DOOM and made it the focus of the game, at times not very successfully. You can read more in my review of DOOM 3 BFG Edition.
And after DOOM 3 that was pretty much it from id Software. The engine would go on to power Quake 4 (notably the first Quake game to actually continue a storyline from the previous games, Quake 2), and Wolfenstein 2009, both developed by Raven Software. id would start working on their next game, RAGE, intended to become the first new IP for the developer since Quake. Stuck in development hell for a solid decade, RAGE wouldn't see its release until 2011 and proved to be an enjoyable albeit not very satisfying game experience. More on RAGE here.
The best thing to come out of RAGE so far has been the technology. With its impressive megatexture id Tech 5 engine, it went on to power Wolfenstein: The New Order and The Evil Within. Then id Tech 666 came along, and with it... came DOOM.
|Punching demons in the face becomes second nature in DOOM.|
That being said, the story isn't bad and simple enough for the game. There's a ton of lore to be found as well throughout the game, all written with that same self-aware and somewhat ironic snarky tone, very reminiscent of reading the original DOOM manual in some regards. The basic story is that a UAC scientists have harnessed energy from hell, so-called argent energy, a seemingly incredibly powerful and limitless source of energy. Of course, harnessing hell energy has brought along some complications as some deals have been made that have started an invasion of demons from hell, and it is up to the Doom Slayer (which sounds like a name for an epic metal band) to stop them.
|He gave me a hand.|
The enemies from DOOM all make a return and have been awesomely reimagined as well, feeling familiar yet different at the same time. Most notably the feared Arch-Vile has been rebranded as the Summoner, a floating and faster variation that easily takes priority whenever faced in battle. Otherwise all of the enemies feel familiar and you instantly know what sort of threat they pose.
|Don't you look familiar...|
I also have no complaints about the game's sound. The weapons have beefy and punchy sound effects, the voice acting is top notch and the soundtrack is a glitched out cacophony of industrial noise and while it never goes into the same thrash metal inspired territory as the original DOOM, it pays homage to the original soundtrack in several places. A cool and impressive bonus is that the composer of the soundtrack went as far as to include pentagrams and other satanic imagery into the music itself, visible if you view the songs in a spectrum analyzer. Definitely a whole new level of detail that just adds more to the game's atmosphere.
|The game features several throwback levels to the original DOOM. Finding them can be a challenge though.|
So what else is there to do in DOOM? Well, in all honesty the campaign is the only worthwhile part of the game. But let's discuss the other game modes briefly.
The multiplayer mode consists of several game modes, ranging from the classic Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch modes to stuff like Freeze Tag and Domination. None of it is really that groundbreaking and in all honesty the multiplayer isn't that fun. Most of the time I end up getting killed by other players with either far more time on their hands or better loadouts. It's not terrible though and it's not difficult finding players to play with, and the lobbies all feature randomized game modes which breaks up the tedium unlike Call of Duty where you're usually stuck in a single mode until you decide to change it. There's a ton of visual upgrades to unlock, challenges to do and you unlock stuff as you level up. I mean, it's completely adequate but doesn't really fit in with the game in my opinion.
Then there's the Snapmap mode where you can make your own maps, game modes and other fun stuff using a basic game code system. I haven't really touched it to be honest and doubt I ever will but if you are feeling creative, it's very easy to snap together your own maps in the game. It does feel very limited in some regards though, as you can't really make big outdoor levels, being restricted to making essentially hallway levels. But for what it's worth, it's nice to have a creative mode like this in a game. It's just a shame it's not really a fully fledged editor.
|Scott Cawthon approves of this.|
TOTAL SCORE: 8/10