For some reason, this elusive bastard game continuously slipped my grasp throughout 2016. After playing the stellar beta and demo, I was all ready to sink my teeth into the demon-mutilating extravaganza that awaited me, but it wasn’t until the tail end of the year when I finally got my grubby mitts on it. However, when I did, I played the fiery, bloody, bombastic, satanic tits off it.
If you didn’t know (you wang), DOOM is a legendary gaming landmark, kickstarting the FPS genre, as well as 3D gaming, and changing video games as we known them today. Developed by iD Software and masterminded by chaboi John Romero, the original 1993 classic featured an unnamed space marine (later dubbed “Doomguy”) and his frantic exploits aboard a demon-infested space station, then later in Hell itself as the games and series progressed. The reason I mention this is because it is almost exactly identical to basically every DOOM game that has come after it. Hey, I’m not complaining, I play DOOM to shoot stuff.
However, 12 years after the last entry in the series, DOOM 3, iD have returned with the latest tale in the art of killing demons in really bloody ways. But has it doomed the franchise?
Alright, let’s get this out of the way, DOOM is mental, and its gameplay reflects that brilliantly. Like its predecessors, the game focuses primarily on you fighting ALL OF THE GODDAMN THINGS WITH FIREPOWER AND PUNCHING. While this doesn’t pose much variety, it does embody what everyone expects and loves from the games, it has made its bread-n-butter from violence, so why stop now? And, to its credit, the aforementioned violence and chaos is captured perfectly on current-gen, with a boosted frame rate and action-heavy features. A big shift to keep the game’s momentum high is the style of ammo and health drops, both occurring when you: A. “Glory kill” a demon (for health) B. Hack a demon to bits with a chainsaw (for ammo). While in concept, this may seem like it’s making the game easier, jamming up the difficulty level right and you will find this is not the case. I mean, I played it on Ultra-Violence (hard) difficulty and, even with two harder difficulty levels, I still got my dick kicked in at points.
However, the pervading issue with the gameplay was, by the end, it did get slightly tedious. Every room was the same routine, “Kill everything, sweep it clean”, which, while killing everything is done in an undeniably fun way, with demons bombarding you from every corner, did get wearing in the game’s final hours.
The game’s sound design and soundtrack matched the furious action as well, with its industrial metal re-mastering of the original’s classic tunes. Complimenting the cracks and squibs perfectly was how the aforementioned soundtrack, while starting as a low-frequency bass hum, slowly grew into a beast in its own right, pumping out kickass guitar licks, punctuating the absolute anarchy happening on screen.
Surprisingly, there was a proper plot to this badboi, as well. I mean, it was no Telltale, Elder Scrolls level masterpiece, but it served its purpose well and gave the game a good bit of context behind all the killing and stuff. As that goshdarn unnamed space marine, you are, essentially, charged with killing everything and closing down a portal to Hell created by mankind’s undying need for sustainable energy. As I said, it ain’t winning no awards on its own, but it did get the job done pretty well, I thought.
Graphically, as well, DOOM looks incredible. I mean, “incredible” is kinda the standard for video games these days, but DOOM did not disappoint, that’s fer sure. The models particularly impressed me, with each meticulously repulsive detail going into the game’s huge array of bastard demons brilliantly crafted. On top of that, the varied sci-fi and hellish settings you find yourself in are also equally detailed, with no lack of blood and body parts adorning the floors, walls, even ceilings at some points. This leads me on to my next point, Jesus Christ, oh Jesus Christ, was DOOM a bloody mess. The sickening ways you could kill, and get killed by, your enemies almost rivals that of Mortal Kombat, almost. It’s a game I’d struggle to call “beautiful” but definitely the prettiest girl in a brothel, covered in blood, but with only, like 6 STDs.
Overall, DOOM basically got robbed for best game of 2016, for me, with Mortal Kombat besting it ONLY by an inch. While, aesthetically, it’s stunning and the game mechanics are brilliant, that same gameplay does have an air of repetitiveness at points and the plot, while fine, was little special. Nonetheless, it was a storm of FPS fun, and a breath of fresh, if putrid, air for the genre.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations