DOOM (2016) – Hell of a Time
With the announcement of DOOM Eternal, the upcoming sequel to this game, I’ve elected to review this game so as to give my thoughts on this game before preparing my mind (and body) for the next installment. DOOM (2016) is an FPS developed by id Software and acts as both a sequel/reboot of the DOOM franchise. It received critical acclaim across the board, and I’m here to say it truly deserves such acclaim because this game IS AWESOME AS FU-!!! *ahem* My lust for blood aside lets get into the review.
Story (Minor Spoilers)
The plot of this game is one that is as barren as the surface of Mars. In a nutshell it goes like this; A sleeping marine known as The Doom Slayer, known to the audience as Doom Guy, has woken up from an epic powernap with only one thing on his mind, slaying demons. During this rampage he discovers a plot to use Hell to power the world, and must stop them before they unleash a scourge of earth shattering proportions. I know that sounds epic, but it very rarely factors into your actions throughout the game, you’re just killing for killings sake in this game, the plot only showing up when you need to be shown what to kill next. The characters are also of debatable importance, the three additional characters, besides Doom Guy, being Dr Samuel Hayden, Olivia Pierce and VEGA are all pretty standard for their archetypes. Hayden is the smooth talking business man with ulterior motives, Pierce is the mad scientist blinded by delusion and VEGA is HAL from 2001 A Space Odyssey but nicer. But their all side characters, lets look at the title character, Doom Guy. Honestly if killing was a personality, Doom Guy would have truckloads of it, but it isn’t so in that sense he has no real personality. In hindsight he doesn’t really need one since this isn’t a character driven story, but it’d be nice to have him show an inkling of personality, it might have added to the enjoyment of playing as him. That aside, the story does what it needs to and propels you forward to continue your constant butchering of demons, so it gets a pass.
As far as FPS games go, the gameplay is what you’d expect, but for whatever reason, the gameplay on display is absolutely mind blowing! The game has you constantly running, giving you no time to slow down, a constant sensation of urgency and a need to rush on as you barrel through enemies. The shooting in the game is also well thought out, with enough weapons that you can shake a demon at, all on your person all the time, giving you a colorful rainbow of weapons to use. It feels great to hold old classics like the Duel Shotgun and BFG again, and they along with the other weapons really feel heavy and powerful as you spray your heart away. Each weapon is unique, offering variety for various situations and each one has diverse customizations to adapt your own play style. But what good is a gun without something to aim it at, and oooh boy, there are a lot of things to aim at. The demons in this game look amazing, the graphics really extenuating how obscene and grotesque they looks. From Imps to Cacodemon, they all boast unique powers and abilities, all in an feeble attempt to tear you down. But lets get to the good stuff, the Glory Kill System. This is a mechanic introduced in this game, allowing you to get up close and personal with demons as they die. With this mechanic, you’re given the ability to deliver a killing blow with you bare hands, causing the demons to practically explode at your touch. Different angles allow for different kills, and they all look amazing, glistening with gore and looking ripe. While it can get a bit repetitive at times, as can the rest of the gameplay, the whole experience is fast paced, exiting, thrilling and fun.
This game both looks and sounds amazing! The graphics are sharp and crisp, and the levels are large, offering an immense amount of possibilities for exploration. The level design is full of variety, ranging from flat lands to platforms, while peppering in demons every so often to surprise you. As mentioned before, the demons looks awesome in this game, looking slimy and textured all boasting spectacular designs that provide some real identify. The sound design is also incredible, the demons all having terrifying shrieks and cries that add this animalistic quality to them. But lets talk about the best part of the sound, the music. Mick Gordon provided the music for this game, and it is a treat to listen to, the music never dipping into the negative. Ear shredding guitar riffs, body shaking drums and a heart pounding beat, all the songs are appropriate for the demons slaying festival this game presents. The glory kills, as I previously mentioned, are also stunning looking, the bloodied impact of every kill really felt through merely looking at it, all thanks to these graphics.
- Story: 3/5 – The story isn’t a major part of the game since it’s just an excuse to blow demons away, but it is still well thought out, flows well enough and does bring a suitable conclusion that can usher in the sequel.
- Characters: 2/5 – There’s a grand total of 4 personalities in this game, one of which is a HAL clone, an evil elder lady and an evil robot along with DOOM Guy. These aren’t really compelling characters and serve only to give excuses to beat up demons.
- Gameplay: 4/5 – Responsive controls, fast paced movement, intense action and spectacular weapon variety, this game really does go all out with the gameplay and delivers a fabulous experience.
- Presentation: 4/5 – Great graphics with a real violent edge that really sells you on the designs. Not to mention the weapons, levels and especially the demons all look amazing and the gore really gets your blood pumping.
- Replay Value: 3/5 – Like many campaign driven FPS games, once you beat the campaign there isn’t really much to do. You can go secret hunting but there isn’t much else besides that. Not to mention the multiplayer really is a drag.
- (Unique grade) METAL LEVEL: 5/5 – Mick Gordon did an absolutely killer job on the soundtrack, and the metal music in the game is so intense it leaves you in a demon slaying fury!
- Final Grade: 4/5 – A great FPS with fabulous visuals, entertaining gameplay, a hilariously violent edge and a great introduction to the franchise as well as a welcome back for old fans.