Doom Is Still One Hell Of A First-Person Shooter
With so many of today’s games offering loads of longwinded cutscenes, sprawling overworld maps, and countless texts and diaries with the tiniest font size imaginable (who honesty reads those!?), sometimes you just want to rip open a demon’s head like an orange. Simple pleasures like this make the new Doom such a bloody-good return to first-person shooter form. That and a bitchin’ metal soundtrack that’s even more sinister than it sounds.
It’s been a dozen years and a handful of Dead Space games since we were last treated to a proper Doom reboot, and things have certainly changed since 2004. But rather than going the more subtle sci-fi/horror route seen in many survival games, Doom grabs the closest double-barrelled shotgun for a quick and dirty headshot. While the game looks gorgeous and there’s plenty of apocalyptic scenery to take in, its relentless action is unparalleled.
There’s no slow-burning introduction at the beginning of the first stage, you’re just a mute marine tasked with closing Mars’ gateway to hell and killing everything that stands in your path. In fairness, there’s a plot, but it’s as fast-paced as the action, which is to say, lightning-fast. To make a point of how speedy this game moves along, there’s no sprint button necessary when you’re always sprinting and jumping and shooting and reloading. The only time you’ll stop for a very brief moment is to perform a Glory Kill, in which you tear your enemy limb from limb with your bare hands.
While most levels require you to find colour-coordinated key cards and complete specific tasks, they’re refreshingly straightforward, basically offering one room full of baddies after the next. At first, it might seem daunting to take out a couple dozen demons in one go, but the levelling system gradually evens the odds, with badass weapon upgrades that will make you to revisit old levels just to see how much more havoc you can wreak with, say, series mainstay The BFG 9000.
Once you’ve finished all 13 levels you’ll probably want to slow things down just a little and return to previous stages in order to find hidden secrets and collectables, like the ability to revisit classic maps, or hunting down all 26 adorable Doomguy Figures to unlock vital upgrades.
The frenetic fun doesn’t stop there. When you’re feeling lonely, hit up multiplayer for game modes like Soul Harvest, Freeze Tag, Warpath, and the more conventional Team Deathmatch, Domination, and Clan Arena. Some of these modes introduce new weapons and even give you the ability to play as demons.
Multiplayer is solid, but far from revolutionary. For more innovation, check out a new mode called Snap Map, which lets you create and share single and multiplayer maps online. Thanks to a rather intuitive layout, creating custom stages isn’t as intimidating as it initially seems. Only a few days after the game’s release, I was seeing some pretty creative stuff out there, so this is a very meaty topping to already delicious pizza.
But ya, nothing beats that kick-ass single-player campaign.
Doom is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Grab some ammo and check out the campaign trailer below.