Doom, released in 2016 by Bethesda Softworks LLC and ZeniMax Media Company is the newest title in the classic gore-riddle FPS Doom series. The most recent before it, Doom 3, was released in 2004. However, the 2016 Doom was not a reboot of this decade-old title, but an independent project profoundly influenced by the beloved classic FPS mechanics.

Doom is horror FPS with integrations of modern gameplay, creating an epic run-and-gun combat arena.
Doom manages to get so many things right and keep what made the series great, to begin with, all the while improving on almost all aspects. All the old weapons and mechanics are in Doom 2016, and highly refined graphics, maps, and animations boost the experience.

For fans of older FPS games, Doom 2016 is the perfect nostalgia trip mixed with your favorite modern first-person shooter pace and gameplay. The game is simple, brutal, classic and brilliant.

While it is not a perfect game, it gets pretty damn close, for what it is. An adrenaline-filled horror shooter with gameplay smooth as silk.

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Gameplay – One large order of gore

Screenshot from Doom of shooting demons

Doom is not an extension to Doom 3, or even a sequel. Instead, gamers play as a space marine who wakes up on a lab table in Mars, surrounded by a devastated planet littered with demons. Ultimately, the goal of Doom is to find the portal that is summoning the devilish creatures, and closing it, saving the universe. As always, the story of Doom is not all that interesting, and the campaign relies on gameplay, not the plot. However, the story still perfectly suits the game, as a more story-driven campaign would ultimately slow down the pace of the game and take the focus away from what its all about, obliterating demons.

Just like the previous Doom games, the gameplay revolves around brutal and gory shooter combat. As you progress, new weapons, creatures, and parts of the map are unraveled, keeping the material fresh. However, Doom is slightly different than its predecessors. In the story, players will unravel head-scratching mysteries through the fast-paced adventure. But overall, the gameplay is simple and classic. The clutter of excess puzzles, characters and settings are absent, creating a game everyone can get behind.

Weaponry – All out of bubblegum

In-game screenshot from Doom of the doomsawDoom is played from a First-person perspective. As you progress through the story, you get your hands on anything from a rocket launcher to a chainsaw and everything in between. The game doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the combat gets ridiculously violent at times, in the best possible way.

Another aspect that helps keep the game fresh is the powerups such as the Berserk buff. This dramatically increases the melee damage you do and allow you to get off glory kills instantly on demons. Glory kills are instant kill animations that display just how bloody and absurd this game can be, in a wonderfully creative way.

DOOMs biggest strength, however, is still in the weapons. Bethesda managed to make these weapons incredibly satisfying. The guns and weapons are really fun to use, unique and do a great job at blowing demons into countless pieces. What really surprised me is how almost every different gun in the game felt great, whereas in most shooters you end up preferring 2 or 3 specific firearms I kept changing between a vast array of weaponry throughout my playthrough.

As always, the combat of Doom is epic. If you are used to playing modern titles such as Call of Duty or Counter-Strike, prepare for a change. The classic run and gun mechanics are uniquely different to most modern FPS titles and create a more adrenaline filled experience than any of its recent competitors. Once you get used to the older style of shooter, you are bound to fall in love with Doom’s classic combat.

Setting & Story – Atmospheric Hellhole

In-game screenshot taken at night in Doom 2016Doom’s setting and story are not at all realistic and isn’t supposed to be too serious. Instead, it creates a thrill or “rush” of excitement and satisfaction. Doom isn’t only about shooting monsters. Players also need to focus on other tactics such as moderating ammo usage or watching for the best time to blow up hordes of zombies with your limited grenades. Not only that but as your venture through the map, you will see Ammo and Health pickups at your disposal. Just like the classic DOOM games, your character does not automatically regenerate health. This means that gamers rely on Ammo and Health pickups to make it through any level and often have to make meaningful choices to either avoid the larger horde of demons or to fight their way through to the health and ammo pickups.

As always, the combat of Doom is epic. If you are used to playing modern titles such as Call of Duty or Counter-Strike, prepare for a change. The classic run and gun mechanics are uniquely different to most modern FPS titles and create a more adrenaline filled experience than any of its recent competitors. Once you get used to the older style of shooter, you are bound to fall in love with Doom’s classic combat.

As you progress through the campaign, more and more monsters will be awoken, keeping the gameplay fresh with new adversaries. Monsters ranging from flying flaming skulls to goat-legged skeleton men will start attacking you from every direction. This is where you, the badass marine, comes in. With your built arsenal, you let the bullets fly. With one pull of your trigger, you can blow the heads clean off your victims in a blood-spewing explosion. Or, you may prefer bombarding hordes with a target-locking rocket launcher. Another part of Doom that amplifies the fast-paced combat is the iconic glory kill we touched upon earlier. Once an enemy is injured, their body will glow a specific color. Upon approach, you will have the option to pull off an epic melee attack on the wounded monster, leaving you shivering in contentment. Additionally, glory kills can reward players by granting them health and bonuses.

Before the release of Doom, a lot of people were worried because Bethesda created an impression that Doom would be more about the story, and the gameplay would have so much more than gunning down demons. In comparison to past Doom games, Doom 2016 does have more of a story and more immersive gameplay but far from enough to ruin the classic Doom feel.

Doom – The Bottom Line

screenshot from doom of player shooting a demonFor people unfamiliar with the classic Doom gameplay, here’s a simple overview. Players will advance through a series of numbered levels in which they battle through waves of monsters. They utilize a set of powerful weapons that they unlock as the game progresses and protect themselves from the devilish monsters that crave their blood. The objectives are incredibly straightforward, and the gameplay is far from confusing, a high point of any enjoyable arcade shooter. Basically, Doom is about getting from Point A to point B without getting eaten by demons.

For fans of the classic Doom series, Doom 2016 is an excellent revisit but the game also really holds up for younger gamers that never experienced the predecessors. The core gameplay includes blowing demon brains into pieces and shooting limbs of monsters in an incredibly satisfying way. The bottom line is that some people adore the Doom gameplay, and others don’t. If you love story driven gameplay like in The Last of Us or the ”Uncharted series, then Doom might not be for you. However, liking one doesn’t mean you won’t love the other.

Multiplayer

For fans of classic FPS games much like Quake and Unreal Tournament, the multiplayer aspect of Doom 2016 will please you. The fast, intense and skill-based multiplayer creates a fresh approach to online FPS gameplay. Best described as a fusion between Call of Duty and Quake 3, the gameplay in Doom multiplayer mode is high-speed and frantic. In Doom multiplayer, players have access to an expanded arsenal. The vast collection of guns are all uniquely different but tweaked to be somewhat equal. The weapons all require a different form of skill to be utilized efficiently. Fast-paced with no short amount of skill required is how I’d best describe the multiplayer mode in Doom.

The multiplayer game mode has a number of different game modes including the classic and favored “Team Deathmatch”. Other game modes include “Warzone” and “Freeze Tag”, both incredibly fun. “Warzone” is Doom’s take on the classic ‘King of the Hill’ in which each team needs to control a series of points littered across the map for a set period of time. “Freeze Tag” is much like the real-life version of tag. Instead of dying, players freeze and allies can thaw them when standing next to them. The games are relatively short and compact with only 6 players on each team, making communication and tactics another vital part of the multiplayer combat.

A new feature of Doom is the innovative “SnapMap,” a simple platform that allows gamers to create their own custom multiplayer and singleplayer maps. “SnapMap” is easy to use, and every part of a level or room snaps together effortlessly, hence the name. Everything ranging from the location of doors and enemies can be customized and placed. Therefore, the more creative type may find this feature of Doom appealing.

Graphics

Picture of red demon boss in Doom
The graphics in Doom are what you would expect from any modern triple-A game. Bethesda created a beautiful and well-polished game both regarding gameplay and graphics. The picture is clear, crisp, and overall looks stunning. The maps are all well structured, and the layout of lighting, monsters and other assets influence the eerie atmosphere. The animations are smooth and fluid. Best of all, and an essential part of Doom, the gore, was incredibly well done and every kill is exceptionally satisfying.

Unfortunately, every good thing comes with a consequence. Due to the high-quality graphics in Doom, the game is relatively demanding, even today. For people using Xbox or PlayStation system, the game is highly optimized, allowing it to run smoothly. However, if you are a PC gamer, you may find that your rig will struggle to run Doom at a reasonable frame rate. If your CPU and GPU are decent, and you have run similar AAA titles before, you may not need to worry. Either way, you can check the requirements here to see if your PC can run it.

The Good, The Bad & The Gore

Best for last, we have the gore. Without a doubt, Doom is a game that revolves around blood and violence. If you’re squeamish, maybe this title isn’t for you. However, if you are a fan of visually flashy and explosive monster kills, Doom is right down your alley. Every part of the game, from story mode to multiplayer matches, Doom’s visuals utilize gore to perfection. With the help of the highly polished game mechanics, everything from the shotgun to the rocket launcher will spew limbs and blood everywhere, which makes every weapon feel incredibly impactful. Doom is an incredibly violent game, and the gore is a massive aspect of its core gameplay. If you are looking for a brutal, fast-paced shooter, then Doom is undoubtedly one of the best games around.

For a game that revolves around fighting demon spawn of all kind, Doom doesn’t take itself too seriously and delivers a truly adrenaline-filled experience that really gets the blood going.

Cons

As always, a game has its cons. A complaint many players have about Doom is the unbalance of difficulty throughout the campaign. For example, some parts of a mission seem to put players in a state of frustration, ruining the fun. However, the relief of finishing these sections are comforting. Generally, the game gets harder as you progress but some levels vary a bit much in terms of difficulty inside a single level, but in most cases, this isn’t an issue. That said, Doom can be incredibly difficult for some players and can be a massive source of frustration. So if you know yourself to be easily angered by challenging gameplay, then you might want to stay clear of this one.

If you are up to it, the difficulty may be a positive thing if you enjoy the satisfaction of overcoming difficult challenges. Although, that isn’t the entire point. Not only is the gameplay challenging, but it is incredibly repetitive. Doom has a straightforward gameplay formula that every level follows “shoot, run, repeat.” As you progress, you will notice what feels like the never-ending mission is all identical to each other, which might cause you to become exhausted and bored quickly. Luckily the gameplay in Doom is so well done that people who enjoy this type of game are not likely to get bored, although you might not want to play for hours on end as that will probably get too repetitive even for the most hardened Doom fan.

Pros

In reality, the only main con that Doom possesses is the repetitive gameplay. Even with that, Doom is still a well-polished game with plenty of positives. For starters, its gameplay is incredibly smooth, satisfactory well executed. Even if the levels are repetitive, Doom 2016 hasn’t changed much in contrast to its 2003 game and still has that fast-paced, blood spewing shooter gameplay we know and love. Additionally, the atmosphere Doom creates is fantastic. This boils down to the stunning graphics, well-structured maps and of course, gory details. Without a doubt, most gamers will find the gameplay in Doom a selling point, and if you are looking for a quick, adrenaline-filled fix shooter, then Doom is definitely for you.

Bottom Line

Screenshot from Doom on Nintendo switchFor any fan of First-person shooters, Doom is a game worth trying out. For fans of Doom 1, 2, and 3, Doom 2016 is bound to set you on a phenomenal nostalgia trip. The gore riddled gameplay is entertaining, and everything you loved from Doom 3 is present, in addition to the new and improved content.

In addition to the single player, Doom also has an entertaining multiplayer mode that takes combat from Quake and Call of Duty, beautifully merging them. The graphics are stunning, and the atmosphere is spot on.

While Doom might not be the best game to play in a gaming marathon, it is incredibly fun a few hours at a time and is the perfect fix for the impatient gamer. Even in 2018, it remains as one of the best single player FPS games on the market.

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Insanely smooth and polished gameplay
Fitting environments & good graphics
Combat & weapons are exceptionally satisfactory
Fast paced and adrenaline inducing game
Not much story to come after
Feels a bit repetitive after some time

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Verdict
82 %

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