“Doom” Review: 20 Years Later, Doomguy Is Better Than Ever

I was eight years old when the first Doom game was released for PC, and like all of you who played it back then, it blew my mind. After some great sequels for the computer, it was not until 2004 that we got Doom 3 – and it was meh. After 20 years since the original came out, we finally have a successor that is worthy of the namesake, and that game harkens back to its roots with the simple title, “Doom”.

Developed by id Software and published by Bethesda Softworks, the game is a reboot of the Doom series – and what a reboot. Unlike the horror survival game that was Doom 3, this new game throws you right into the action like the original. What more do you need to know about a game like this other than pick up a weapon and start blasting away? If you want the basic plot, Doomguy wakes up from some kind of a tomb and discovers that he is on Mars, where a corporation has been trying to harness the powers of Hell to create a new energy source. Of course, one person has decided to go rogue with that idea and ended up opening a portal to Hell, and you are the only one that can stop it. The rest of the story develops over the campaign that takes you across the exteriors of Mars, the insides of a science factory, and eventually straight into Hell itself.

Official Single-Player Preview Footage

This is a game that is about looking like a bad-ass while you gun down hordes of Hellions across roughly 13 hours of gameplay in a captivating single-player campaign, one that has plenty of room for replaying. For the nostalgic fan, you will be happy as you rediscover old enemies brought into modernity with new looks that still honor the original. Your favorite weapons are back too, but with the modern element of being able to customize and upgrade them so that you can play the game however you want. Adding to that, each demon is vulnerable to different weapons, and often combination of weapons, so players can swap guns during battles to more efficiently eliminate threats. Every shotgun, rocket launcher, and energy weapon has a purpose and offers different rewards, so players will be satisfied with whatever method of barbarism that want to unleash on the monsters.

Players will lavish in the “Glory Kills”, where you stun an enemy with your weapon and use your bare hands to finish off the opponent in a unique cinematic targeted towards the monster you are killing and sometimes customized at the limb you were facing when you pull off the maneuver. As horrible as it sounds, killing things is a lot of fun in this game, and that is what Doom should be about – fantasy demon massacres with a heavy metal soundtrack in the background. And yes, the music is just as dynamic as its ancestor and you will be rocking out hard as you plow through swaths of enemies.

The game can be as hard as you want to make it, and is unforgiving in the best way. While there may be checkpoints to make things less annoying, you still need to earn those spots in insane battles, many of which result in new enemy types as you move forward through the story. Each level becomes more and more epic and is paced perfectly, almost as if the enemies are adapting to your tactics and getting harder to fight the longer you play.

Exploration of each level goes beyond just the scope of the map, as you can climb on nearly everything you find to seek out all kinds of mysteries and new areas, which occasionally lead to getting a gun a few levels earlier than you world normally find it. Just like the original, there are plenty of secrets strewn across the maps, including mini-classic levels within each level, and other bonuses and Easter Eggs (keep an eye out for a Skyrim reference and even a Commander Keen reference – that guy needs a reboot too).

The controls and gameplay feel tight, with the only nitpick being the platforming elements that pop up through the game. Aside from slowing down a type of game that feeds off high-energy and constant movement, first-person platforming can be arduous, and while Doomguy does not usually take fall damage, he will from very, very great heights. It is not the deaths that will bother you since those jump deaths are rare, it is just the time consuming nature of those moments in the game that do not feel like a pause in the action or calm before a storm, but feel like a chore to advance to the next awesome part of the game.

There is a pretty intense multi-player element but as I am not a fan of this type of game to begin with, I got murdered pretty quickly by other players so I stayed away from it. However, if you loved Quake or even playing the original Doom with other people on LAN, you will greatly enjoy this.

I personally was a fan of how the game lets you build your own custom levels, which has a ton of customization in it and I can not wait to see what players will come up with. That part of the game will definitely keep this title alive until the sequel, which I am positive there will be.

I am not, and never will be, a big fan of Call of Duty or HALO, but I can say that I loved every minute of Doom and look forward to playing more games of the genre like this. Doom has taken the modern FPS and thrown it back in time in the best way imaginable, while also improving and modernizing it to make it a well-rounded experience for players of all eras. It is a genre-breaking game that will lead to a huge franchise that can only get better from here.

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