id Software brings its DOOM series into the fore with DOOM 2016 which offers no-nonsense fast paced shooting action against hordes of demons. With so many shooters available now on consoles and PC how well does the old school vibe hold up and more importantly is DOOM worth a punt. Take a look at our DOOM 2016 review for the full picture.
DOOM 2016 Review:
Today we’re taking a look at DOOM 2016 from id Software which has released on consoles and PC and offers some fast paced old school style shooting action. The original DOOM released in 1993 and has since seen a number of iterations across multiple platforms. Well probably it’s worth mentioning the 2004 DOOM 3 release which offered a more survival horror experience as DOOM 2016 ditches the slower paced gameplay in favour of jacked up high speed shenanigans. Let’s just cut to the chase here. DOOM 2016 is awesome because it’s pure arcade gaming ditching any sort of realism in favour of over the top non-stop action from start to finish. If you’re familiar with any of the DOOM games prior to 2004 then you’ll be right at home here.
The story is somewhat irrelevant and although you can digest it easily, the focus lies on simple running and gunning through the 13 levels of the story mode and kicking ass out of anything slimy that gets in your path. It’s brutal, satisfying and although repetitive, doesn’t get old. The original games had your marine hero pulling switches, collecting coloured key cards and jumping about like a kangaroo on smack (cue Internet Meme). Well it’s all here where the actions remain the same. At its heart there’s a real simple game here in rather linear levels which feel much grander than what they are due to the massive numbers of demons who spawn in to slow you down. Often the game will box you in and have you take out all the attackers before being allowed to progress, in fact this is one of the main high points of the experience. Luckily you’ve got a neat selection of weapons at your disposal with plentiful supplies of ammo which all feel pretty good letting rip with. There’s a bit of tactics thrown in where certain weapons are more effective against particular enemies but this is something that becomes second nature once you’ve collected all your arms and experimented with a little.
Throwing some new elements into the mix is the option to upgrade the weapons giving them secondary firing modes which adds greater layers to how you take out your opponents. That said, it’s a pretty mindless shooting gallery where things like taking cover and hiding aren’t really encouraged. Running around, constantly moving and jumping is where it’s at and it’s here where players will have the most fun getting through rooms and areas by the skin of their teeth.
Visually, DOOM looks fantastic with an impressive level of detail in all the locations across its levels whether that’s interior or exterior. There’s neat lighting and shadow effects creating some great atmosphere and at 1080p the whole game simply runs very smoothly and is quite well optimized. The demon enemies are also well designed as familiar foes from the past given a modern lick of paint making for some excellent variation even if the AI is a bit one-dimensional for the larger foes. What’s probably the most satisfying is being able to stun enemies and then go in for the melee kill which nets a health reward and fills the screen with an automated animation. These are quick moments where seemingly time stands still for a split second giving players a real eyeful of blood and gore. It’s an impressive mechanic and although can easily be abused can be entirely ignored if desired.
In terms of length the 13 levels take some time to beat so you’re looking at well over 10 hours play time which can be extended more if you look for secrets and really explore the levels. Each level also has a set number of challenges to accomplish and there are runes trial challenges to hunt down which provides even more excitement. Completed content can then be replayed at the main menu as well and on top of simply being brutal and challenging there’s several difficulties to choose from including a one life Nightmare mode which is simply tough as nails for the most hardened players.
Aside from the single player offering there’s a fast paced multiplayer mode which can be tackled online with other players from across the globe using a variety of versus game modes across many maps. What’s more there’s even a custom map editor called Snap Map which easily allows any player the option to make their own multiplayer arenas and share them with the wider community. DOOM’s multiplayer offering is a mixed bag though which you’ll either love or loathe and in many ways pales in comparison to the single player offering. The fast paced gameplay works well in single player but in multiplayer loses out due to not being tactical enough and more a slug fest which gets old quick.
DOOM 2016 offers an easy to pick up and play, compelling and engaging single player campaign which is worth the price of entry on its own if you’re a fan of old school shooters. It’s a simple run and gun game here with no nonsense and just straight up shooting which might get tiring for some players. DOOM is brutal, visceral and full of attitude with excellent visual effects and a thumping soundtrack which makes up for the rather silent protagonist. It’s not an original game by any means and perhaps nowadays will stand out amongst all the slower paced shooters. This actually works in the game’s favour though, and if you can stomach the high speed and plentiful gore then you’ll find a well entertaining game that comes highly recommended for skilled shooter fans.
Score – 9/10