Doom (2016) Review
Alex the Kidd, Gamers of the Round Table
Bethesda and ID’s visceral collaboration, Doom throws players into a fast-paced, metal-fueled first-person shooter. With monsters and mayhem in abundance, does Doom offer anything new to the over saturated FPS market, or are fans left with another generic shooter?
The fast paced action of Doom sets it apart from other games in the FPS genre. There is no time to take cover, and if you don’t move, you are guaranteed to die while enemies are around. There is a feeling of urgency and an element of unpredictability with the enemies that is absent from most games of the genre. The game encourages players to utilize its “gore kill” system by having enemies drop health pick-ups from being killed in this manner; this was a feature that could have felt tacked-on, but ultimately becomes a core combat element that can be necessary for those running low on health. The brutality of the weapons and the creativity behind their upgrade/attachments provide players with a level of strategy to handle demonic encounters; players must act quickly when fighting demons as the weapon wheel only slows the action, but does not stop it. Players are challenged with adjusting to any demonic encounter on the fly and this level of non-stop action makes for an enjoyable experience.
The snapmap game mode deserves high praise not only for its entertainment value, but also its practical applications in teaching coding. Snapmap allows players to create their own playable maps and upload them for others to play themselves. The remarkable aspect behind this game mode is the detail, size, and environmental reactions a player can create within their own map; the level of detail and control that players can put into their own creation makes this game mode a how-to for coding. Were it not for the games Mature rating (17+), Doom would be a highly recommended teaching tool for those students interested in coding.
While there is a story present within Doom’s campaign mode, it’s less than compelling; portal to hell has been opened, close it. While the story unfolds through collectable dossiers and natural progression, there is little depth or surprises here. It’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. The online multiplayer is more of the same, in that there is little difference between it and every other multiplayer FPS mode on the market. You won’t see anything here that you haven’t seen before.
The major offender in Doom is repetition; there isn’t much more to this game other than move from one area to the next to clear out enemies. While players are encouraged to explore the surprisingly large maps, the repetitive nature of clearing out hives of demons begins to take its toll, and eventually the gameplay becomes stagnant. The level and creature designs are extremely detailed, but the gameplay never really evolves, despite having more difficult enemies thrown at you as the story progresses. Doom plays all of its cards in the first half; everything from that point on is more of the same.
7.5 – Doom brings freshness to the FPS genre that has been absent for far too long. The old-style health and armor pick-ups create a difficulty many gamers either forgot existed, or had never experienced. Fans of the series will rejoice with the fast-paced blood-bath that is Doom. While the core game becomes repetitive, the inclusion of the snapmap is an innovative game mode that is ripe with potential, and the multiplayer mode at the very least serves its purpose, despite not bringing anything new to the table. Overall, Doom is a non-stop ride through hell and back, and many gamers will be pleased by the series return to form.