Doom: Once More Unto the Breach
by Adam Sibille
After the lackluster beta that was released, I had pretty much given up hope on ever playing a quality Doom game again. The beta just didn’t feel like the Doom I grew up playing hours and hours on end and I washed my hands of the game completely. Thanks to a reader who asked for The iNoob Project to revisit the game after its release, I can honestly say I’m glad we did.
The first thing I noticed is that the campaign mode is incredibly fast paced and can be somewhat disorienting at first, but I got used to the speed in a few seconds. Once you acquire your pistol, it’s off to the races and the carnage begins. The gameplay is fantastic. There is an insane amount of gore and chaos which makes the campaign mode feel epic. There are times when capturing an objective where it felt like I was completely surrounded and it took every bit of energy I had to fight my way out of the situation. This is the first time in a long time that I’ve felt that in a game and it was exhilarating. This is the version of Doom I wanted, not the crappy version the beta put out. After a few missions I was feeling like a teenager again sitting at my PC slaughtering endless amounts of demons. There are puzzles and secrets hidden all over the maps making it beneficial for players to go back and play maps again and again until every stone is turned and every item found.
There have been some changes to gun mechanics in this version. Once you acquire a gun, you can then find a field drone to upgrade it giving the player an option to install one of two different modifications. For instance, after finding a field drone, the player can then upgrade their combat shotgun to either fire a three-round burst or a grenade. After unlocking one of these modifications, the player can then upgrade that modification three times with weapon points. Once the weapon is completely unlocked, the player can complete a challenge to master the weapon giving it the final upgrade. Once both mods are unlocked, you can then switch between mods in real time by hitting the up button on the d-pad. This mechanic keeps the speed of the game allowing the player to switch mods on the fly when encountering different types of demons. To me, this changes the amount of weapons from the initial nine to sixteen since you can’t make modifications to the chainsaw or super shotgun. Being an original Doom player, I stick to my roots by using the super shotgun, but there are times where even old faithful won’t cut it. Switching weapons frequently and quickly is something that every player will need to get used to if they’re going to survive the horrors of hell.
So let’s talk visuals because the game is beautifully disturbing. The demons are scary, fast, and lethal like a demon should be. Even the imps are terrifying at times even though they’re easy to put down. As a matter of fact, every character model is gruesome and very well done. There were some character models that are more disgusting than others, but overall they are all equally terrifying. The landscapes are also extremely detailed as well. The Mars landscape is barren and stormy like I would imagine the planet would look under a windstorm. At times, it’s even difficult to see which makes the red planet that much creepier when you’re outside the facilities. Inside the Mars facilities it’s dark and full of horrors as well. The hallways are scaled perfectly making the environment feel that much more realistic. Eventually find yourself in Hell and when you do, you’ll know. Hell is fiery and full of broken environments, so get your jumping shoes on because you’ll need them. Overall, Doom is visually everything it should be.
Normally I don’t discuss a game’s soundtrack when I discuss audio, but this is by far one of the most fitting soundtracks I’ve heard in some time. There’s some sort of magic that happens when heavy metal starts blasting in the background and demons start appearing everywhere. As soon as I heard the music playing, my heart immediately started pumping harder and I got excited. I can’t describe the feeling, but it felt awesome and it’s a nice touch put in by the developers. The other audio in game is also well done. The demon groans and growls are eerie and when you’re being chased, you can hear the footsteps coming. This nice little touch allows you to locate demons by audio cue while running away in a panic from Barons of Hell.
Overall, the campaign mode of Doom is phenomenal. This is the game I wanted when the Beta was released, not the generic multiplayer game we were given. If I had to rate this game on a numerical scale, I would rate it at an 8.5 due to its replay value and absolutely stunning campaign mode. If the multiplayer had been better I would be so bold to rate this game at a solid 9 to 9.5, but alas, the multiplayer is what it is. I would also recommend purchasing Doom instead of renting it just because of the amount of time it takes to unlock everything and its high replay value. There’s plenty of challenges and secrets to find and complete and I don’t feel that they can all be completed with the time a rental gives you. In the meantime, I’ll be seeing you in Hell!