This review is an unedited version of the review written by Zombie Dredd and published in the Tech Magazine: Issue 36 August 2016.
If you were playing games in 1993, there’s a very good chance you played the original Doom and found yourself in awe of the game’s fast-paced first-person action as you played an unnamed marine battling the forces of hell. Over 20 years later, and the latest addition to the franchise has arrived pretty much unchanged except for what may be considered a life in development hell, and the ability to harness the power of modern gaming technology.
The very first thing that will strike you is how fantastic the new Mars and its surrounds looks, but it’s not that you have much time to take it all in as Doom doesn’t stop very often for a breath. Enemies (who are familiar, yet beautifully reimagined for 2016) come thick and fast at you and it is all about shooting, killing and maiming your way to the next checkpoint rather than trying to sneak quietly past unsuspecting enemies. This is not a game for standing behind cover to regenerate health – you survive by moving and killing, or you will die.
Thankfully, you have the right weapons at your disposal to achieve your goals, including series regulars the super shotgun and BFG. To further give you an edge against the demons and undead, your weapons can be upgraded, with each featuring an alternative fire mode that can make a standard shotgun shell an explosive one.
While Doom is unashamedly old school when it comes to gameplay, this latest version brings a few new features and gameplay elements. There are a fair number of instances when you will be faced with what can best be described as platform elements, but other more interesting additions include ‘glory kills’, runes and collectibles, with glory kills being execution kills that slot in fluidly with the game’s high octane pace and reward you with health drops. In many ways it makes the use of glory kills (and similarly, the chainsaw for ammunition drops) a strategic element while all hell breaks loose around you.
Alongside a campaign that is hugely entertaining – but devoid of any subtlety – there is an equally fast paced multiplayer mode. Generally, the game’s multiplayer is pretty generic when compared to the many other titles available these days, but it is (again) good old-fashioned fun. Once you’ve found yourself bored of the maps available, you can try out ‘SnapMap’ which allows you to customise your own multiplayer maps – or try out those from members of the community.
Doom in 2016 is much like Doom from 2013. It’s a fun, gory, brutal and satisfying game with great graphics and a fitting soundtrack, which offers some of the best movement and gunplay in any first-person shooter for many years – it is not however a game for sensitive or easily offended players. If you want a game that is all brawn and no brain, then Doom is more than happy to be that game for you – and it doesn’t mind at all that you see it that way.
Available for: Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC
Distributed by: Ster Kinekor and available at all retailers of games