Here’s a review for the 2016 release of Doom after it has been on sale for $30. Once a game goes on sale you always get people asking “is it worth it?” or “does the game finally work well enough for me to play through it?” Taking these two ideas into account I’m going to try to review the game for bargain hunters and gamers who just want a good experience from the start.
The 2016 version of Doom was released on May 13th 2016 for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and I picked it up for PC on Steam for $30 on September 5th 2016. This is definitely a shorter time between release and sale but after all the buzz I was stalking every site possible to get Doom the moment it hit 50% off. There’s a single-player component to the game along with a multiplayer component as well and I dove into both of those. Right off the bat, the multi-player was not worth it to me. Yes, there’s a neat idea where you can be a Revenant and slay other Doom Marines’ but the whole experience just felt flat. If you’re someone who loves classic free-for-all deathmatch maybe it will be the fresh air you need but it wasn’t for me. There also seems to be a handful of gamers out there putting time into the Snapmap portion of Doom so you might have some fun browsing the interesting creations others have made. However, the larger problem with the game meant that I just didn’t care when it came to player created maps.
The big problem with Doom stems from the thing people seem to be raving about, melee glory kills. The designers used this to prevent littering the map with health and ammo and I’ve seen it said that this feels like the thing Doom needed to be competent in 2016. After playing through the campaign I have to disagree, I think it takes away from the core of what Doom is, speed and power. While the melee glory kills themselves don’t take a whole lot of time to pull off they still ruin the flow in a big way for me. In Doom, melee glory kills are activated when an enemy becomes dazed, flashes orange and you can one hit melee kill them. You would think that this also signals an enemy is low on health and you can just blast it one more time as well but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. Unless you get a headshot, the dazed minion can still soak up quite a lot of damage and if you’re dealing with something like a floating Cacodemon that means planning to make sure it’s near the ground since last I checked our famed Doom Marine cannot fly and has no jetpack. If that Cacodaemon happens to be floating way up in the air your best bet is to just wait until it’s lower and try again. Check out the little video below that shows both a zombie and imp in a dazed state animation and how many more body shots it takes to eliminate them.
The melee problem is only amplified by either the amount of health the enemies seem to have or the weak power of your weapons. Again when you’re running around at 100mph blasting hellspawn you don’t want anything to slow you down and you also want to feel like a bad ass. I went back and played some of the original 1993 version of Doom to make sure I just wasn’t looking at this through rose colored glasses and sure enough, the weapons just feel right. Tearing through a few zombie soldiers or an imp with a well-placed shotgun blast felt perfect. Go back and load up the 2016 version of Doom and the shotgun feels comparatively weak, most imps are 2 shotgun blasts and then a melee kill or needing a point blank blast and still a melee kill and that’s if you’re lucky. Of course, the latest Doom finally lets you go for headshots to really damage your foes but it doesn’t feel like a great trade off to me. It’s not just the shotgun that feels weak even the rocket launcher has a damage issue. Those Cacodemons that just love to be far out of range, good luck taking them down with a rocket launcher. We’re talking a rocket launcher here, something that should liquefy most of Doom’s enemies in 1 to 4 shots.
Now the level design worked well, verticle and horizontal space was used well and the atmosphere of both the space installations and hell really draw you into the story. Doom has an interesting twist on our favorite green space marine and I’m not going to spoil it but it felt perfect. That’s not to say that they have somehow made the story of Doom amazing but I did appreciate what they were able to do with what they had. Doom’s story could have easily fallen into the trap of something like explaining Batman’s backstory for the 500th time. There’s also a ton of collectibles scattered around the map and the ability to unlock classic maps from Doom’s past but unfortunately, these are populated with the new enemies so my problems with the game come shining through loud and clear here. The new 3D level viewer where you can see parts of the map you might need to visit next or backtrack to for that collectible seemed great at first but in later levels ended up so cumbersome to use so I stopped using it entirely. I’m not sure of a better way to implement a 3D map and maybe it was just the mouse and keyboard controls which never really let me get a good view of what I wanted to see but it is definitely not how your players should feel about the in-game map.
Doom did keep me occupied for 18 hours according to Steam and the fact that it already went on sale leads me to believe you’ll be able to pick it up for $30 or less with just a bit of patience. For all the gripes I have with the game I did have an enjoyable time, I just really wish I could kick ass through the game without needing to be forced to use a melee kill all the damn time. When I was just kicking ass and doing my own things a lot of times the melee kills came natural and really added to the whole experience. Other times I just wanted the enemies to die already so they would stop soaking up my precious and already limited ammunition. I’ve seen a few complaints that Doom felt just like a monster arena instead of a Space Marine on a mission. Looking back that literally the whole game but while playing through a level naturally I only noticed it less than 5 times so I’m not going to knock it for that. The other small knocks I give Doom are for static environments, trying knocking over an object and see how few react, and the gun sounds feeling a tad muted for my taste. id did see fit to give the weapons and the Doom Marine unlockable upgrades which is par for the course in the 2016 FPS world we live in, so again nothing amazing but passable. All in all shooter fans who want a sci-fi campaign to blaze through should have a fun time in Doom but it’s not the “oh my god!”, “this is amazing!” game that I seem to keep hearing repeated over and over in the mainstream.
Source Link: http://doom.com/