id Software’s DOOM is the brutal, action-packed re-creation of everything we loved about the revolutionary 1993 game of the same name.
DOOM is one of the most proudly presented video games I’ve ever played. The production value is incredibly high with great enemy and weapon designs, gruesome executions, and the best end credits sequence I’ve ever sat through. id Software knew exactly what they were giving us when they created this game.
In DOOM, you play as the epitome of “badass,” the Doomguy, or the Doom Marine as he’s called in this game. Interdimensional research on Mars has led to a demon infestation, and you must travel to Hell and back in order to stop it, ripping and tearing the entire way.
Rip and Tear!
I played the 1993 classic Doom to prepare myself for this release. Most of the time games should just be taken for what they are, but a remake usually strives to capture the good of the original. I blasted through the classic twice before I got my hands on this year’s remake, and I was blown away by how similar they are.
Everything I loved about the original is here – pickup-based combat, a great arsenal of weapons, rooms filled with an unlawful amount of enemies, and lots of blood. Glory Kills are brutal takedowns that cause fallen enemies to drop health. I have never had so much fun with melee takedowns in a game before. Each enemy can be killed with many different animations based on where on their body you’re looking. Aiming at an enemy’s chest normally triggers a one-two punch, and looking at their left leg instead will cause you to knock the enemy to the ground, rip the leg off, and smash their face in with it.
That’s only if you’re in front of them. Being beside or behind enemies will change how you dispose of them. Experimenting with all angles and seeing new, satisfyingly sickening animations is more than enough fun.
If you’re running low on ammo, mutilating an enemy with your trusty chainsaw will drop piles of bullets, rockets, shells and anything else you could need. The chainsaw is capable of taking down any demon in one hit. This is balanced by the need to pick up gasoline for the chainsaw. Tougher enemies require more fuel, so you have to decide whether you want to save your one-hit kill for a Baron of Hell, or go on a fun murder spree and cut up several Imps.
Pickups such as Quad Damage or Haste can turn the tide of battle when you’re surrounded. But of course, the best pickup in the game is Berserk. When you see that little red orb, you can’t help but laugh maniacally as you beat everything to death with your bare hands – punching out the midsection of a Mancubus, or ripping an Imp’s head in two. DOOM is horrifically violent, and it’s amazing. It gave me flashbacks to playing Shadow of Mordor, where my friend Jacob and I would cry out in surprise each time we saw a new execution move.
The enemies have incredible new designs. They’re different enough to look more menacing and hellish, but those familiar with the classic game can easily recognize each demon.
Guns are huge, effective, and there are a lot of them. But once you get your hands on the Super Shotgun, you’ll realize you don’t need anything else. As per usual, you start with nothing but the puny pistol, and work your way up to more powerful weapons. They all serve a different purpose, and each feels different from the last.
New Meshes with Old
id Software managed to take 23-year-old vibes and gameplay and re-create it on a modern game engine. Surprisingly, they added to the formula by giving us more modern and familiar things to do. There are collectibles, codex entries, and a simple, yet effective upgrade system.
Traversing the well-designed maps never takes away from the fast-paced gameplay. Exploration is rewarded with secrets, collectible figures, and even early access to weapons you’d unlock later on.
Kicking butt in combat, finding secrets, and completing challenges will earn you weapon upgrade points. They’ll do things like reduce the time your Minigun needs to warm up to fire, or allow you to lock onto multiple enemies with your Rocket Launcher. The upgrades are combined with weapon attachments you can find in the world. You can modify your Shotgun to fire a three-round burst, or slap on another attachment that fires an explosive round.
After you dump some points into a weapon, there is a challenge you can complete to get that weapon’s ultimate ability. For example, after getting the two upgrades for the Super Shotgun you can kill multiple enemies with one blast a number of times, and then you’re rewarded with the ability to fire this double-barreled weapon twice before reloading.
Doom and Doom II had little to no story at all, but the 2016 reboot has a narrative that gives you reason enough to do what you’re doing. It’s not emotional and you probably won’t care, but it moves you forward the way it needs to.
The single-player campaign is worthy of multiple playthrough. But you probably won’t spend much time in multiplayer. You’ve seen first-person shooter multiplayer a hundred times, so there is nothing new or incredibly exciting to be found.
You could argue that the game can be broken. There are Runes you can find through exploration, and completing the Rune Challenges reward you with buffs like Glory Kills dropping both health and armor. A Rune very late in the game gives you unlimited ammunition. With some weapons fully upgraded, this Rune can make you feel extremely cheap, but boy, oh boy is it empowering.
DOOM is exactly what I wanted it to be. It’s violent, it’s intense, it captures the vibes of its former self with flying colors, and it has earned its place on my top favorite soundtracks list. The electro-infused metallic soundtrack that kicks in when enemies flood the room is nothing short of incredible. If you’re here to rip and tear, and you don’t care much for a rich story or innovative multiplayer, you’re going to have a blast with DOOM.