The original Doom came out over 20 years ago. It still holds up as one of the greatest games ever, and it’s one of my favorites. Its influence on FPS from that day on is immense. There is much to learn from the series. From its mechanics, tone, story, and pathos, Doom is a beloved series for a reason. As a massive fan, I have been waiting for the new game for a long time. I can proudly say after a long wait, it is so worth it. It feels, plays, looks, and handles like Doom. By the end, I was wanted to jump back into Hell for another battle.
One of the most admirable aspects of Doom is the story. Instead of crafting a convoluted story with characters and sub-plots that don’t add anything to the story, the series has always stuck to the simple idea of unleashing Hell. The latest holds together a really good story with two characters that I found myself liking whenever they appeared. Dr. Hayden, an intelligent robot scientist, informs you that Hell has taken over the facility on Mars that was made to help an energy crisis on Earth and it is up to you to stop demons from taking over. A lot of big name shooters these days (or triple A games, in general) stumble on the problem of a story that is stuffed with fluff. Doom understand that players came to shoot huge demons with an awesome arsenal, and the story that follows serves it well.
No matter what point of the game you’re at, the game looks stunning. Environments are varied so players feel like each area of this facility served a purpose before Hell took over. The one thing I can’t get enough of is the creature designs. The demons look sick, threatening, and gruesome. Whether you’re fighting a Revenant, a Hell Knight, or an Imp, these guys are excellent. The bosses also look stellar, especially the first one you encounter. The other part of their design that makes the gameplay so great is that when you defeat these violent creatures, it’s rewarding. You go face-to-face with the worst of Hell, and you will feel like a badass no matter who you face. I do want to note that the last level is amazing. My heart was pounding out of my chest as I death gripped my controller.
The gameplay always has players on their toes. You’ll be moving at a much faster pace than other shooters, and levels are mapped out with enough room for you defeat your enemies. Jumping onto ledges for an attack from above to running backward through hallways, you will feel comfortable with how the game plays after a few firefights. The narrow hallway fights from previous entries are still here, but this Doom feels much more open than others. Weapons and armor are upgradable during the game. To upgrade them, there are bots and fallen soldiers that have upgrades on them. For instance, a bot will be roaming around an area that you must find to upgrade a weapon. It’s a good initiative for players to explore the area.
Even on the easiest difficulty, Doom offers a challenge for players. Each battle demands you to watch your shot. A handful of my fights, I shot wildly only to waste ammo on my powerful weapons. That left me desperate for the next fight. There’s plenty of health, armor, and ammo drops, but always keep in my mind where you are aiming. There’s also a lot of collectibles and challenges to complete throughout each level. Players are also rated at the end of each level based on their combat performance. This gave me more of an incentive to best solider I could be.
Although every level is a blast to go through, the missions themselves do feel like the same overall. It’s a lot of snatching items to proceed to next area, shutting down Hell gates and facility equipment, and killing demons. There’s plenty of room for missions to be as exhilarating as it’s gameplay. None of the objectives are exciting, including those in Hell. I do encourage players to go off the beaten path to explore the different areas for collectibles and secrets. Since I’m a huge fan, I see myself going back to playing on different difficulties, discovering every secret, and completing all the challenges.
When I played the beta, Doom’s multiplayer wasn’t anything memorable. Since its release, it remains to be a serviceable addition. The modes are standard, and the customization isn’t anything special. You’ll be playing Team Deathmatch, a last man standing mode, a twist on King of the Hill, and others. There are plenty of options to choose from, and they serve their purpose well. The maps, however, are pretty good. Just like the campaign, they offer different ways to approach situations. Demons are also playable through power-ups. It does feel super fun to play as one of the demons. Players have the opportunity create their own maps through SnapMap. It’s quite accessible for players to create anything they like.
Doom is one of my all-time favorite series. How could someone not fall in love with the over-the-top tone of any of the games? The guns are big and loud, the enemies are fierce, and fighting Hell is exciting. After all these years, Doom still surprises players with a memorable experience, presenting more of the same and new ideas. I would love to try the game in VR. I’m sure that is quite the experience. Overall, the latest Doom doesn’t beat out its previous entries, but it also doesn’t tarnish the series.
Score: 9 out of 10
- Gamplay is fast and exhilarating
- Demons look fantastic
- Level design challenges players to be on their feet
- Boss battles
- Simple story keeps players invested
- Standard multiplayer
- Little mission variety