I’m in two minds about the new Doom [official site] game. On the one hand, it looks suitably pacey and gory, but the other hand keeps pointing out that the melee attacks seem to interrupt the flow and momentum of the shooting and strafing.
This new multiplayer trailer pleases me though. Sort of. It’s not particularly Doom-y – there are gadgets being lobbed around and people are leaping about the place as if they have jump buttons and jet boosters – but it looks suitably frantic. And then somebody eats a pentagram and turns into a monster! That’s new.
Not entirely new, actually, this whole playing as a monster lark. I remember hearing about the Master of Puppets mod, which didn’t quite work like what appear to be transformative powerups in the trailer, but would let you put on an imp-suit for a while. I’m sure there were other mods along similar lines.
The trailer comes on the back of the announcement of Warpath, a multiplayer mode in which the transformations take center stage. It’s a King of the Hill variant, in which the capture point moves in a predictable circular motion around the map. Directly opposite the capture point, that mighty morphin’ pentagram drifts. Touch it and you’ll become a rocket-launching jetpack-wearing demon.
“Players have to decide where they want to be: rushing toward the power-up to turn into a Marine-destroying Demon; clustered around the capture point to defend or steal control; or simply roaming around looking to pick off any errant foes,” say Bethesda. “The constant motion adds a unique twist to the gameplay, spurring players to move just as quickly as they do in single-player. It’s frenetic, fast and a heckuva lot of fun.”
The link in the previous paragraph also contains details of Hack Modules, single use powers that provide bonuses. Those are tied to your progression – “The more you play, the more Hack Modules you’ll get. (They are not tied to microtransactions.)” – and provide boosts to awareness rather than actual physical weapons or gadgets. Executive producer Marty Stratton explains:
“Think of Hack Modules as an emphasized awareness of your surroundings that may, if you utilize it well, make you more effective. Good players ‘see’ these things inherently. But none of these affect the game’s balance by changing how powerful your gun is or anything like that.”
Along with the new trailer, the publisher has announced the next phase of actual DOOM-playing. If you’ve already played an alpha version, you’ll be able to jump straight into the closed beta. Dates and times as follows:
Starting: Thursday, March 31, 2016 @ 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time (UTC – 5)
End: Sunday, April 3, 2016 @ 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (UTC – 5)
If you haven’t been involved in an alpha, you may be eligible for the beta. The main route of access is Wolfenstein: The New Order:
The Closed Beta will be open to those who have redeemed their DOOM Beta codes included with some physical retail copies of Wolfenstein: The New Order, and to those who pre-purchased or purchased Wolfenstein: The New Order digitally prior to May 26, 2014.