- Developer: ID Software
- Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
- Platform: PC/XONE/PS4
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that DOOM has been released recently. What you might not know is that this iteration is not like its more recent predecessors, gone is the slow paced shadow lurking and jump scare style. DOOM smartly returns to its roots and drives at a more frenetic pace with plenty of gore, both of which were hallmarks of the original DOOM when it released in 1993. I’ve been avoiding most of the press leading up to the launch so I don’t know if it’s intended or not but after playing a few hours, this DOOM feels somewhere in the middle of a remaster and a reboot. To me, that’s a good thing.
Hell doesn’t have a tour guide
From the onset you are kind of thrown into the thick of it. There isn’t much narrative right away but plenty flows in as you play. The story develops as you progress through ingame monitors and unlockables that populate your menu. It goes light on the tutorial in favor of having a docked part of your HUD display information each time you gain or do something new. The overall presentation really feels like it belongs there instead of having glaring interruptions that we’ve come to expect in a lot of games.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something… fragged
As I mentioned up top, DOOM feels like DOOM. Instead of being just an HD remaster, they took what they’ve learned about map layout and improved upon the old formula. Less like a coat of paint and more like a remodel. Movement is fluid and makes you want to keep moving and you’ll want to keep moving. You won’t be able to avoid much damage so luckily there is a new feature Glory Kill that guarantees a small health drop each time you use it to execute a demon. To assist you with killing the demon horde, your Space Marine suit and weapons have upgrade paths you can take.
The map design for each mission breaks away from the singular enclosed style of the original DOOM and goes for the more modern story driven feel. At first it felt a bit too linear compared to what I remember about the original but then as I progressed it became apparent that backtracking and searching all of the usable space was going to be necessary to get any of the secrets. Then it felt a lot more like the exploration aspects of the first DOOM.
Tonight we dine in hell
The game runs real nice on my system and it’s not at all a current system. If you’ve got a remotely recent system then you should have no worries getting this to run given how many graphical features you can tweak natively in the settings menu. The total file size on Steam weighs in at about 64 GB but even at that size it loads quickly with a 5600 rpm HDD. ID certainly spent some time and energy optimizing DOOM.
Originally I was thinking that DOOM would be a let down but I’m happy I was wrong. I haven’t even gotten into the multiplayer mode or unlocked any of the classic DOOM maps yet. Between the multiple difficulty levels, secrets and unlockables DOOM offers quite a bit of replay value. I feel comfortable recommending this game to anyone that’s mature enough to play it.
The Quick and Dirty Verdict
“If you liked the original even slightly, DOOM is a must have.”