There hasn’t been a game that gets my heart racing and keeps it at breakneck speed for a long time. Sure, lots of games have a few intense moments, but with Doom, the entire game is an adrenaline rush. Every new monster encountered and every new gun you wield adds a new element to the environment that keeps the player on their toes. The entire game is a non-stop thrill ride and calls back to the original Doom in all the right places, not to mention it is gorgeous both graphically and in gameplay.

Single Player

Environment

Wandering around Mars and Hell provide some jaw dropping scenery while exploring Doom. The environments are wonderfully laid out, which leads to very simple navigation for getting around. This lets the game shine where it’s true power is, which is the gameplay. A far cry from the original Doom and it’s pixelated pink and red gobs of squarish gibs, the new version has gone all out on it’s graphics. Gone are the days without proper aiming, square walls, and simple navigation. Every inch of power for quality and rendering is drawn even from the highest of end graphics cards.  Doom 2016 is about as far from the original as you can get in terms of looks, but keeps the fast pace and constant action.

One of the most worthy testimates to high quality graphics are when they’re not noticed at all. When action, gameplay, and audio all work seamlessly together with the graphics, they all flow perfectly without your brain noticing any particular aspect. However, when you stop and really look, listen, and pay attention, you realize all the pieces stand alone flawlessly. The sparks given off from the environment go off and cast little bits of light before they die red spires of energy streaming from the ground and monstrous enemies create a beautiful coordination of ambient occlusion.

Terminator

Movement is the number one thing about Doom. As soon as it starts, the breakneck speeds combine with ultimate gore, mayhem, and a killer soundtrack, which all contribute to it the non-stop thrill-ride that it is. It harkens back to the original, but expands on it. If you stop, you’re dead. As fast as everything is though, it all flows perfectly and makes a smooth environment for the game to take place in. Very quickly are you forced to embrace the speed of play in a way that can be jarring for some, but it is done in a way that is actually simple to pickup. A sense of encouragement is given by the pounding soundtrack and adrenaline pumping through your veins which combine to pull through the campaign and embrace the chaos. Only to add to the fun is a ‘Glory Kill’ system that can be performed multiple different ways on every single enemy. From ripping out an eye, to pulling a jaw apart, to sweeping the leg to do a curb stomp, it all added to the chaos and glee of obliterating the demons of Hell.

As a storyteller, Doom doesn’t hold for a gripping and immersive tale. Which, since that’s not really why we’re playing a new version, isn’t as bad as you’d think. Here and there are little things that will tell the story if you choose, and as you’re going through there are some cutscenes that start you caring a little bit. Overall, the story goes that someone opened a portal to hell, Demons are streaming from Hell to Mars, and you the Doom Marine have to stop them. Other than that, there really isn’t a whole lot more. An interesting piece that was brought in, however, are a few collectibles that start an audio track of the demon’s prospective. It was interesting to hear how the demons perceived the main character. Despite the story being lackluster, it doesn’t detract from the game very much. There is still tons of fun in smacking demons in the face with their own dismembered limb.

BossDemon

Audio plays a huge part in video games, and Doom is no different. What is different is how audio is used and what makes it so good. Hard rock and heavy metal music play during the whole game, with the tracks during combat being the most intense. It isn’t so reliant upon using audio cues to determine where an enemy is coming from since there is no time to do so anyway. Jumping and dodging at such high speeds render audio spacial awareness moot. However, the guns and demons all have unique sounds that are crisp and robust. The double barrel shotgun feels so solid and sounds so satisfying when walking right up to something and blasting them in the gut. As good as that is, the bosses are pure sound magic. The combination of menacing looks with their primal screams as they spawn and attack are terrifying. As the point is never to die, every boss fight finds you running around going “Oh crap oh crap oh crap oh crap” with much more varied and colorful language. There were times I caught myself trash talking the demon one second, only to hear it bellow back and me shut up and I run away with my tail between my legs.

Multiplayer

Multiplayer

By and far the weakest part of Doom is it’s multiplayer. There are times when it’s fun, times when it’s fast paced, but sadly most of the time it’s slow. Trying to find the other players can be a problem despite very well laid out maps. Even then when you do find them, the fights are usually only 1 on 1, and over quickly. It doesn’t take a lot to kill an enemy which leads to short engagements. While some game modes do add craziness to multiplayer, normal Team Death Match just isn’t cutting it. As of now, there isn’t a lot of really powerful weapons in multiplayer which would spark a fight to attempt to control. The only real fight comes when the Demon Rune appears, which allows a player to convert into one of four demons for a short time. Even then, the fight is usually avoided due to how overpowered the demons are. A few other game modes are pulled directly from similar games, like Soul Harvest (Kill Confirmed) and Freeze Tag (Halo). Nothing is really innovative and feels more like an afterthought than a full fledged portion of Doom. It feels like a poor attempt at keeping a classic arena shooter but merging with more modern ones, and just dosn’t feel right for what a Doom game should. To further disappoint, there’s not many maps. There isn’t much variety right now, but included for free is a level builder called SnapMap, so perhaps ID Software is going to rely on the public.

On the plus side, customization is a major part of the multiplayer. Literally every facet of how you appear in game can be customized. Colors and armor styles are varied and can be inter-combined, including arms, legs, helmet and chest. In addition, there is a very rewarding level progression which means there is constant and fast paced unlocking of the armor pieces you can wear and their colors. Guns can even be customized with metallic and matte colors as well. Running around feels very solid which makes navigation simple. There were no major netcode or hit detection issues on launch, which is something most games can’t say theses days.

Overall, Doom is a very solid 15 hours of story without a real need for a second play through, and multiplayer, that is a take or leave. If you were a huge fan of the original game, I wouldn’t suggest a complete pass up, but I’d wait. You can find it on PS4, Xbox One, and Steam for $60 right now.

DOOM Review
The Good
  • Insane Gameplay
  • Beautiful Graphics
  • Solid Singleplayer
The Bad
  • Forgetabble Story
  • Slow Multiplayer
  • Overly complex Multiplayer
8.5Overall Score

About The Author

Bobby C
Director, Editorial/Reviews

Bobby C is a veteran FPS and adventure gamer, starting with the NES and Super Mario Bros. The game that really started his love for the FPS Genre was Goldeneye for the N64. Since then, the love grew. From casual, to semi-pro COD with Modern Warfare 2 and 3, and back to casual, it’s a bad week when there isn’t at least 15 hours of games played.