12 years can really make a difference.
In the extended amount of time between the releases of Doom games, there has been much evolution in the first-person shooter genre. Open worlds were embraced in Far Cry. A new high standard was set in Call of Duty for linear campaigns. BioShock added more storyline and Team Fortress 2 moved away from single-player formats and towards providing a more competitive experience.
The farther the boundaries are pushed by modern shooters, the farther they are from bearing a resemblance to the game that made the genre famous. Ultimately, this proves beneficial for the most recent Doom title from id Software. It’s an obscenely bloody, relentless, and energetic return of the notorious FPS.
First-person shooter at its best
While this long-awaited reboot retains several of the characteristics that made both of the original titles so admired, it has a surprisingly fresh feel. There’s no more taking cover for long exchanges of bullets or linear paths toward your goal while killing a continual stream of generic enemies with guns.
These trends were disregarded completely by the Doom campaign. In order to stay alive in bloody battles with a familiar collection of Doom’s classic demons, players have to make on-the-spot shifts in tactics, be in continuous movement, and be prepared to sidle up to enemies for executions that are over-the-top and brutal.
Responsive controls are needed for gameplay with this dynamic, which id Software is prepared for. Because there are no sprint buttons or weapon reloads to think about (the renowned “Doomguy” protagonist is always moving hurriedly), you have the time to focus on skillfully evading rushers and projectiles and choosing the best weapon for the situation.
The design of the levels is considerably more vertical than prior Doom games, which allows more skillful players to leap to safety and break enemy line of site by platforming across pillars. Opening the weapon wheel slows down time temporarily, briefly reprieving you from the heat of battle, but once the placement of the weapons is memorized, you can speedily tap and flick for access to the classic Doom weapons while on the move.
It’s still good old Doom
The furious pace of combat feels distinct from other shooters out there, creating moments that are both memorable and that stay true to the franchises legacy. Managing to pull off a kill with a chainsaw while nearing death and then recovering a cache of ammo and health or getting a chain kill at a frenzied arena battle are the true motivations to play this game.
Though the action is characteristic of classic Doom, id has also included a number of small, modern touches to the design that round out your campaign experience. In between combat, players can search the level to discover power-ups that improve weaponry, ammo and health. Locating drones enables players to pick out extra modification for their weapons.
One new feature of Doom is a creation tool named SnapMap. This toolset is friendly for beginners and enables players to design multiplayer, cooperative, and single-player challenges. The tutorials coach you through nicely, but in the end, the pre-fabricated options players have to choose from tend to curb creative freedom. Rather than being able to design your own space from the ground up, you’re required to make use of templates, which are dreadful in their lack of diverse settings. Those who are serious about modding will probably be turned off by SnapMap’s limitations, but it may end up providing some unusual gameplay experiments.
For the genre-defining franchise, Doom is an appreciated return to the classics. By skillfully adding a few modern flourishes to the time-tested traditions, id has rediscovered the forces that drove the success of this demon-slayer series. While SnapMap and multiplayer are less impressive, fans of shooters should not miss this bloody spree through hell.