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DOOM: Heading back to Hell

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DOOM (2016) is the latest first person shooter developed by ID Software in the DOOM series and published by Bethesda. This new release to the franchise brings back the fun of the original which was first released in 1993. One of the few game series to have lasted over two decades, DOOM 2016 does the series justice by bringing an old friend to the latest generation of PC’s and consoles.

DOOM in many ways throws back to and gives nods to the original game with the fast paced run and gun gameplay where you barely have enough ammo to survive from gun fight to gun fight, the music alerting you to upcoming danger and the only way to proceed is by finding keys. So much so that if you are lucky to invest enough time, levels from the original DOOM can be found within levels complete with the old pixelated demons and iconic DOOM theme music. Entering these levels, brought back many memories from my teenage years where first person shooters on PC were all the rage.


It’s been 20 years since I last played DOOM on my Pentium 133, running and gunning my way through pixelated demon filled levels, constantly becoming frustrated trying to find keys to progress and enough ammo to survive. Fast forward to 2016 and the latest DOOM takes you through the exact same things you were doing on the original. The fast paced gameplay, gunning down demons and clearing a room with just enough health and ammo to let you survive till the next, the metal styled music playing until all enemies are killed and double tracking yourself in order to find that key to progress to the next objective.

DOOM 2016 is set on MARS, where the UAC (Union Aerospace Corporation) led by director Samuel Hayden, attempt to harvest energy from Hell in order to aid the energy crisis on Earth. The Argent Tower is used to siphon energy from Hell, but at the same time allows travel to and from. The whole facility has been invaded by demons after one of the scientists, Olivia Pearce opens a portal to Hell. In order to save the facility Samuel Hayden awakens the "Doom Guy" and this is where you enter the fray. Tasked with saving the facility and closing the portal, this is the campaign mode which will take you through 15 or so levels.

The story and its characters don’t draw you in, and its only purpose really is to give reasoning for each task you are asked to complete as you fight your way through room to room, level to level. The voice acting lacks any feeling, but this isn’t helped by the fact the characters minds have been transferred to android bodies. Doom Guy doesn’t say a thing and gone is the little face icon from the original game which showed some form of emotion.


In the beginning of the game and the early levels, the maps are multi tiered and in order to level up your armour and upgrade weapons you really have to explore every corner of the map. Weapons need to be found, and if you are not paying attention it can be easy to walk right past and miss one, as I did with the chainsaw, which I only found after back tracking through a level. However as the game progresses it soon narrows down to becoming a linear progression from point A to B. Health does not regenerate over time like most of today’s titles, but can be recovered by health pick-ups scattered throughout the map, while ammo is the same. Whilst at times this can be frustrating as you run from one fight to the next, DOOM makes you think about which gun you should use and also makes you change weapons frequently in order to survive. With ammo being in such short supply, you really don’t want to waste the heavy fire power on lower skilled imps or gunners. One thing DOOM has introduced are “Glory Kills", which, when an enemy has enough depleted health you have the option of tapping R3 and in a brutal violent and quick motion, you either rip off limbs, smash skulls or rip jaws off. There are a few more different ways of killing an enemy, but by using the Glory Kills, the enemy will either drop more health or ammo depending on the colour they flash when maimed.


The inventory of weapons available is as you would expect from DOOM and there are few which return such as the chainsaw and BFG. However this time around the chainsaw requires fuel which can be found the same as other ammo. The chainsaw is a brutal weapon and although it has a short time limit in terms of fuel, if used correctly will kill any enemy in the game (with the exception of bosses) and the BFG can clear out a room fairly fast, but it’s very limited ammo capacity prevents you from constantly using it to beat the game (unlike in the original).


DOOM looks clean and the world of Mars and Hell have been beautifully created. The game is visually stunning, and the audio aids to the atmosphere of the game. Whilst the music isn’t the same as the classic DOOM it stills has you on edge as it revs up to let you know you are about to face a group of demons, and goes away once the room or area is cleared. The audio adds the experience of playing the game and I highly recommend cranking up the headset or surround sound stereo.

DOOM 2016 gives a nod to the original game from the nineties, but games have moved on from the run and gun gameplay of that era. For all the great graphics and sounds, the gameplay does become very repetitive very quickly which for me can only keep my short attention span for an hour or two. For me DOOM isn’t one of those games where you will lose your track on time but rather only play in short sessions before moving on.



I give it a 7/10 

GOOD
  •           Graphics
  •           Audio
  •           Glory Kills

BAD
  •           Repetitive gameplay
  •           Dull Story

DOOM is available now on PS4, XBOne and PC

Andrew (royboy80)

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