Impressions: Knee Deep In DOOM’s Open Beta

Doom [official site]! It’s the bloodsoaked new game with the demons and the rocket skeletons and the telefrags and the shotguns and the multiplayer levelling and the character customisation and the class-like loadouts and the double-jump. Yeah, you know Doom.

Hmmm. Some of those things are more familiar than others to a seasoned Doom player like myself and I fear change more than I fear a sextet of Cyberdemons. The multiplayer beta for id’s latest opened today and, determined to face my fears, I’ve been playing for most of the day.

It doesn’t feel like Doom. It’s a little like Quake 3 and a little like Unreal Tournament and maybe even a little like Call of Duty, though that’s more a structural comparison than a game-feel comparison. But whatever else it does feel like, it doesn’t feel like Doom.

It’s important to say that while also acknowledging that Doom doesn’t have a single agreed-upon ‘feel’. It’s a many-textured thing, id’s FPS classic, and it’d be bold to the point of idiocy if I were to pretend your Doom was the same as my Doom. What I can say with a fair amount of confidence, however, is that this Doom, this new thing, doesn’t feel like any of the things we remember.

How to explain that? Well, I’ve been playing mostly as a sniper. That’s odd, isn’t it? Not a very Doom-y thing to be doing. I find a good vantage point one of the two maps included in the beta, and I twitch my sights back and forth looking for targets. Most of the time I’m not looking for a member of the enemy team – and the beta is all teamplay, in two different modes – I’m looking for combat between the two teams. As soon as I see rockets, sparks, gore and shrapnel, I zoom in, power up the gun and take my shot.

Standing still for more than a second can be fatal, so it’s not as if camping and sniping are a very sensible approach. This is a very hectic game, at least in its current form. The two mods both pit two teams of six against one another, and the two maps included are tight enough to make combat an almost constant companion. There have been quiet moments, usually toward the end of a round when both teams are near the kill target and the timer has a minute left to run.

Nobody wants to make a mistake in those circumstances because every death brings the enemy one step closer to victory. Those moments are rare and have been the best parts of my experience. They rely on teams that are evenly balanced, which is vanishingly unlikely given that almost every player is a new player learning at their own rate, and people are mostly playing with whatever strangers are available.

The levelling doesn’t seem like a problem, in terms of giving any kind of advantage to those who rise through the ranks quickly. At the end of each round, the game dishes out experience based on how well you played, whether your team won and how various other modifiers. Gaining a level gives you new customisation options and unlocks customisable loadout slots in the early stages. Those are handy, given that you can change your loadout everytime you die and respawn, as they allow flexibility, but you’ll have all three slots open after a few rounds.

There are also modifiers called hack modules. I was worried these would feel like mini sanctioned cheats but they only last for a brief period and are dished out regularly after each round, so you’ll never have to play without them. You might get shite ones though. They give you information rather than boosts to damage or anything along those lines and my favourites give info about enemies, tagging the person who killed you last, for example, so you can easily track them down. Others mark respawn timers for power-ups, which is handy for newcomers but isn’t a game-changing trick as it’s externalising skills and memory that most long-term players will develop for themselves over time.

Those customised loadouts are going to frustrate a lot of people though, and I was one of the frustrated. It’s the very concept of loadouts that bothers me, planting, as it does, a class-based approach onto the combat. You can choose two weapons and one piece of equipment. The beta has a decent array of weaponry and just two gadgets, a grenade and a hand-held teleporter, which allows you to jump anywhere within line of sight, usually behind an enemy to open a brief window of confusion in which to disintegrate them.

The weapons can be summed up fairly neatly with reference to the rocket launcher. It’s a puny thing, dropped into the bog standard loadout where you might expect to find a pistol. There are no pistols because everything is turned up to eleven but, when everything is at full volume, nothing seems very loud, or very dangerous.

Rockets are used to inflict splash damage, forcing opponents to tread air using the double jump in an attempt to avoid the blast. The explosions look devastating but they don’t inflict all that much damage. Someone with a super shotgun can surf across the waves of fire to punch you in the face. And the shotgun is essentially a melee weapon, best used at point blank range to turn marines into a bloody mess.

I haven’t found any real use for the lightning gun, which fires a continuous stream of energy that slowly saps health. Whenever I get close enough to use it, my opponent returns fire with either the shotgun, killing me instantly, or fires off blasts of plasma that do much more damage and have greater range. Maybe I’ll find a use for it over time – and the secondary fire is a promising high damage alternative – but I haven’t found a good reason to switch away from the snipey vortex rifle with super shotgun for close quarters backup.

The loadouts make movement less important. In Doom and Quake of old, players would run around the map to time their motion with the appearance of weapons. Certain areas would become sacred because they housed powerful weapons. That’s no longer the case and, instead, there are only health, ammo and armour pickups to hoover up as you run around in search of a fight.

Oh, and there’s the demonic power-ups of course. These have a spawn countdown and the announcer lets everyone know when one is due to arrive. That kicks off a scramble to protect the spawn location, which is marked on each players’ HUD, because whoever grabs the pick-up transforms into one of DOOM’s iconic beasties.

Only the Revenant is available in the beta. Right mouse button fires off a jetpack, allowing the thing to careen around rooms in a distracting fashion, while left mouse fires a barrage of rockets. I thought being a Revenant would be quite exciting – they used to scare me QUITE A LOT – but I just felt like I had a better double-jump, a better rocket launcher and a massive health bar. It’s nice to have those things and stomping through an entire enemy team is satisfying, but I didn’t feel like a monster. I felt like a stronger shooty-man.

That runs through the game. It doesn’t feel like anything in particular. The best of the maps is set in Hell, or at least somewhere that is in the proximity of Hell, and it’s a heavy metal album cover. Big skulls, pools of blood, symbols scratched into walls – all of that plus a load of lava. It’s a bland Hell. There’s nothing witty, imaginative or particularly atmospheric about it.

Not that I really had time for sightseeing or to soak up the ambience. I got quite heavily invested in my favourite of the two modes, which is a sort of King of the Hill thing without a Hill. It’s called Warpath and is far more engaging than the 6 versus 6 team deathmatch.

In Warpath, each team (of six again) earns points by capturing an area on the map. Simple. Except that area moves. It’s sort of like a train, sliding around corridors slowly and sedately, and taking on the colour of whichever team are in control. It’s a holographic train, mind, without any walls or other defensive features – an ephemeral zone with the power of motion. The demonic power-up is always at the opposite end of the map to the capture zone.

I love that mode. It brings out the best in the maps by forcing you to learn the best routes through them and creates split second choices that elevate the game above twitch shooting. Should you respawn and head straight to the contested zone to help your buddies or should you concentrate on carving out a space away from the fray, waiting for the power-up to spawn so that you can arrive later in the day, as the cadaverous cavalry.

There’s something about the sight of a team hunkered down within that slowly moving capture zone that reminds me of people defending a stagecoach in a Western. It’s weirdly evocative in a way that all of the gore and grimdark imagery fail to be, and Warpath has delivered more consistently tense games, as the score ticks toward victory and slip-ups or brutal assaults tip the scales back and forth.

There’s little to say about the customisation stuff here because it’s all cosmetic and while I’m happy to unlock new stuff as I go, it’s not the reason I’m playing. Even though it isn’t an incentive, I’ve enjoyed seeing a ridiculous helmet or suit of armour unlock from time to time. Importantly, there are randomisation options for every individual aspect of your gear’s apperance, which I’m extremely pleased to see. That’s why my guns are so wonderfully haphazardly decorated in all of these screengrabs. Randomised after every round.

The maps, to give them their due, are serviceable, with some neat placement of large rooms suited to long distance kills mixed in with the corridors. There are usually at least a couple of entrances and exits, and a couple of teleporters and jump-pads of a sort thrown into the mix to confuse matters slightly. They’re decent maps and you can kill people in them with decent weapons. It’s all been running beautifully for me as well, with a steady framerate, no lag and no waiting time between games. It even threw me straight into a new game when I was customising my character a couple of times – you can interact with other menus while waiting in the lobby, which is handy.

DOOM is in a strange situation. If it wasn’t called DOOM, it wouldn’t be receiving anywhere near the scrutiny and attention that it is. The cleverness of Warpath mode aside, the open beta doesn’t suggest it’ll have a great deal to offer in the way of either novelty or nostalgia. There are far worse multiplayer shooters to devote a few hours to but the demon gimmick, the weapons and the map design haven’t thrilled me.

But this is DOOM, and that means it’ll be the focus of both attention and ire, even if it doesn’t deserve an enormous amount of either, in this multiplayer form at least. For my part, I’m keen to see if this hectic arena-based multiplayer mode is somehow a sibling to an atmospheric singleplayer campaign. There’s barely a hint of how such a thing might work here – this feels like a standalone experience, with weapons, flow and level design that wouldn’t translate into a solo experience neatly. The multiplayer is solid, swift and skill-based but it feels more like a grab-bag of modern FPS design rather than an attempt do something new with something old.

The DOOM open beta is running all weekend, free to try.


  1. LionsPhil says:

    It could have had nothing to do with the DOOM name, and it’d still be a sluggish, limp game. The movement is lumbering and leaden; the weapons have no real feel to them or sense of impact when you hit; you only get two of them at a time, with no pickups, so there’s very little in the way of tactical flexibility or need to mix it up based on what you could grab there; the graphics are suprisingly bad given ID used to be “more shiny tech demo than game” developers (that texture load-in is diabolical, and the stiff, split-at-waist animation is giving me Half-Life 1 DM flashbacks); it’s got persistent unlock grind (sigh); but worst of all…

    …it started up in VGA resolution and rearranged my desktop windows. D:< What is this, 1995?

    • Mr_Blastman says:

      Umm, it rearranged all your desktop icons, too?

    • Dave3d says:

      Was in the closed beta.
      Wouldnt even let me bind keys to right side keyboard, nor reset to default.
      This is going to be a consolized to heck Doom.
      Too bad a buddy pre-ordered it for me for my Birthday, otherwise I would cancel the pre-order.

      You are correct on everything, from bad graphics, bad fov, 2 weapon limit, no real kb/mouse customization, slow plodding play (would help if we could up the fov), the list goes on and on.
      It tells a lot that they wont even give a tiny bit of SP play also.

    • GettCouped says:

      I have been enjoying the game, and I have played doom and quake for 23 years.

      Sure its different. I hope they do have a weapon pickup mode. They might need to tweak the weapons, splash knockback with the rockets, but the game feels real smooth and accurate.

    • go4brendon says:

      Really didnt enjoy the mp beta. Why is it so much like UT with double jump! aaargh. Will still buy it purely for the singleplayer though.

  2. Cooper says:

    Seems to be a check-list of what people think players want from a multiplayer shooter (unlocks, levels, loadouts, ect etc.) rather than, oh, I dunno, taking a look at the simplicity of not only Doom but the id lineage of multiplayer shooters and working from that..

    • 8itmap_k1d says:

      I hoped that id would have had the guts to keep things simple – which in the context of the modern online shooter would have been innovative.

  3. Catweasel says:

    Weapon loadouts kind of invalidate a lot of map strategy and mean they all have to be more or less equal to eachother, why would anyone want that in an arena shooter?

    • Mezmorki says:

      … because the people making this arena shooter don’t know anything about making arena shooters?

      • Horg says:

        Limited load outs are a staple of console design due to controller button limitations on managing a large inventory. It’s far more likely that weapon pick ups have been removed to make sure the game works well with a controller, rather than due to developer ignorance of arena shooters.

        However, I don’t think they fully appreciate how integral weapon placement was to level design. Maps were built as connected mini-arenas, each of which was tailored to house a specific gun. Common weapons would be easy to collect with plentiful ammo, while the more powerful guns were placed in areas that were more risky to reach. That design made controlling space important so that acquisition would be safer. The maps leave an impression on the player because the mini-arena spaces become important. You remember ‘rail gun ledge’ and ‘rocket jump to BFG pedestal’. You do not remember spaces that are littered with health and generic ammo because there is nothing else to fill them with : |

        • LionsPhil says:

          Weapon pickups also mean having to make do with what you have after spawning; that heady first few seconds of being underarmed and vulnerable, recognizing your surroundings and scrabbling for the best nearby gun, then fighting to survive with it in suboptimal surroundings because it’s all you have.

          Then once you’re loaded out, there are more factors to consider in weapon selection for any given engagement: if you have time to switch; range; need for splash or indirect fire to hit around a corner (ripper, flak shells, rocket launcher, shock combo…), vs. need for hitscan for targets floating through lowgrav; if you’re fleeing and trying to deter persuit (biorifle, rocket grenades); special circumstances (teammates with link guns out, clusters deserving a good redeemering); balancing the ammo levels since they’re separate pickups, sometimes rare and in risky areas…when you only have two fixed weapons and universal ammo, it’s pretty much “long range or short range?”

        • JakeOfRavenclaw says:

          Amen to that second paragraph. Even if you’re not into memorizing timers, checking for weapons and power-ups can add a real sense of flow to maps, and hels provide even the most chaotic matches with a kind of narrative (for lack of a better word). I’ve been bothered by how aimlessly chaotic Doom 2016 feels, and I think this is a big part of it.

          It’s also worth noting that you can absolutely do a two-weapon limit while still having weapon pick-ups–see Halo 3 for instance (still maybe the most fun I’ve ever had with a multiplayer shooter).

        • Baines says:

          To be fair, console FPS were themselves able to handle larger inventories for years before two-weapon loadouts became the standard.

          • Evil Pancakes says:

            Case in point, Unreal Championship. Though not nearly as nice to play as the original UT ’03, it was still very playable for an arena console shooter. But I guess expecting people to manage more than one gun at a time is somehow too much to expect from people (not just console players) these days.
            I have all my hopes currently set on the new Unreal Tournament, which is looking to offer some proper arena fps gameplay.

  4. Spuzzell says:

    The boiled cabbage scented gusts of 6/10 wind seem to be blowing ever stronger.

    I’m wrong. I’m sure I’m wrong.

    Am I wrong?


    • Nauallis says:

      If your 6/10 smells like boiled cabbage I’m morbidly curious what 1-5 smell like. Boiled cabbage for me is like 4/10, above vomit, sewage, and rotten eggs.

      • c-Row says:

        A scratch’n’sniff card for game reviews? Now here’s an idea.

      • Spuzzell says:

        I’ll eat boiled cabbage if that’s all that is available, and I won’t actively hate it.

        But it’s that feeling when you walk into the cafeteria/mess/house and that beige cabbage waft hits your sinuses and your brain goes “Oh.” and lets you know that you will survive, but there will be no joy for you this day.


        • king0zymandias says:

          That was good.

        • LionsPhil says:

          If RPS ever falls to the dark side of giving numerical scores in reviews, they should at least contract you in to write vegetable-stew-related metaphors for the grading system.

        • SomeDuder says:

          I never knew I hated cabbage till you described it with that beautiful prose. I mean, I don’t enjoy it, and always associated it with the lower classes, or eastern Europe, but now I can justify spending energy to actively hate it.

          Thank you.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      In fairness, the multiplayer component we’ve been seeing so much of is only very loosely related to the singleplayer game (I seem to remember they aren’t even being done by the same team). So this isn’t necessarily enough information to judge the finished game on.

      On the other hand, the fact that they’re continuously pushing the multiplayer and giving us almost nothing on the singleplayer does not fill me with confidence that it will be any better.

  5. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Nothing says “This is not for PC Gamers” like forcing mouse acceleration on in an FPS. /Slow Clap

    • Marclev says:

      I still don’t understand the deal with mouse acceleration and I’ve playing games since the C64…

      When has anybody, anywhere, ever asked for this feature from an FPS? It seems like at some point developers included it as an option and sometimes even forced it onto people, but I, and best I can tell everybody else hate it make every effort to not have it enabled in games.

      It feels completely unnatural when enabled and not having an option to switch it off is enough to make me not buy an FPS.

      From what people say this is somehow driven by consoles, but they don’t even have mice, so I don’t quite understand how that works … so what gives?

      • Herr_C says:

        IMO, you need aim acceleration on a gamepad since with mushrooms have a very limited and imprecise control over how fast is your cross-hair moving.

        Implementing aim acceleration in a game where you can use a mouse and have very very precise control over the speed and acceleration of your cross-hair movement is just bad and/or lazy design.

      • The Sombrero Kid says:

        It’s what happens when you focus on gamepads, (which need acceleration) and then use the same input filtering on the mouse input. It means you do not test on PC ergo you do not care about PC. It means the game has been designed for a controller and then retro fitted (badly) onto a mouse and keyboard.

      • genecrazy says:

        Actually, if mouse accel is configured properly it can help very much. A lot of pro Quake Live players and some CS:Go players use mouse accel. For Quake Live, there is so many more ways to config mouse accel, but I won’t get into the technical details about it because it can be a bit confusing.
        But yeah, as i was saying, when it configured right, it can make aiming a lot easier, as well as setting it in tune with your own reflexes. With a quick mouse flick, you would be able to do a nice 180 degree turn in less than a 1/2 second and rocket air someone in the face.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Interesting. I know mouse accel makes a lot of sense for fast and accurate mouse-cursor positioning (which is why a lot of effort was put into getting it right for desktop environments), but I’ve never heard anyone be in favour of it for first-person aiming, and I figured the tasks were different enough it just didn’t fit.

  6. foszae says:

    Reboots, remakes, sequels. Honestly, i’m just tired of all these franchises being endlessly retooled. Come up with a new IP if you want me to pay attention. Maybe even innovate gameplay if you want me to spend money. Otherwise, this just goes on the giant heap of repetitive, derivative shit that Hollywood keeps pumping out. Thank you but no, i’m not interested in spending my entire life just continually replaying all the same stuff from my childhood.

    • MercurialJack says:

      The new Wolfenstein was a reboot/retool/sequel, and was incredibly well received by critics and fans alike. I’m not saying you’re wrong, necessarily, but don’t write off every non-new IP out of had on principle, or you might miss some good games.

      • vocatus says:

        The recent Wolfenstein (and its very short expansion/addon pack) were surprisingly good games. I’d tuned them out immediately as more derivative garbage trying to ride the coat tails of nostalgia, but they were genuinely good games in their own right, and I got surprisingly more enjoyment from them than I was expecting.

        Come to think of it, it was a very similar experience to playing Spec Ops: The Line. Went in expecting generic, derivative slop, accidentally discovered a genuinely compelling game.

    • Bobsy says:

      It was called Rage. And quality issues aside, it didn’t really get much traction IP wise. Can’t really blame id that much for returning to their glory days.

  7. Barberetti says:

    I never thought the day would come when a new id Software game would be available to try, and I’d have zero interest in checking it out.

    But that day has indeed arrived.

    • Herzog says:

      That sums it up in the most easy way. But to be honest, the last id game I got on launch day was Q3.

  8. catscratch says:

    Let’s see. No strafejumping or any skill-based movement. Loadouts. Slow pace. A first preview where the game was demoed with a controller. Is there anybody left at id who actually knows what a good arena shooter is anymore?

    I’m pretty disappointed in this, and that’s about as much of an understatement that can come from someone that played Quake games since ’98. The sad thing is, if Doom fails there may not even be a Quake 5, so I may have to pick it up anyway to show support. But if this is doom, what will they do to the next Quake?

    Yeah, I’m probably playing Reflex once QL dies, or maybe even Overwatch. Sucks, eh…

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      Don’t buy it to show support for something that this isn’t! If you want to show them what you want, you need to buy what you want. Unreal Tournament is a far more faithful and well designed arena shooter, if that is successful that will show id.

      It may just be the case that there is no one left at id who cares about the PC Platform, in which case we might just have to find our Doom/Quake fix elsewhere.

    • DanMan says:

      There’s still the next UT for everyone’s MP shooter needs.

    • MrUnimport says:

      Having played it for the better part of a day, I can’t honestly call it slow-paced. This is the fastest AAA shooter on the market right now.

  9. Person of Interest says:

    Endless loadout/customization/lobby interstitials get in the way of playing. It runs like a dog: I can’t hold 60FPS @ 1080p on an overclocked GTX 970, although I can forgive this due to its beta status. Melee feels cheap: I had a lot of success with it, but it wasn’t satisfying to “mash F to instagib”. Maps are a technicolor mess, but the geometry is pretty good (item placement maybe less so). I miss having weapon spawns in-map.

    In all, I can’t find much long-term appeal, but maybe it scratches someone else’s itch.

  10. Ancient Evil says:

    I feel sorry for game developers. Working on a sequel or reboot of an major franchise, you can’t really win. Either you get slammed for being a stale retread of the same old, or you get slammed for the heresy of changing up the established formula. Oddly enough, Adam seems to be firing from both angles at once in this preview. That happens too. Like I said, it’s an unwinnable game. There’s going to be a vocal contingent of malcontents no matter what.

    TL,DR: 90% of the discussion of any sequel or reboot could be replaced by the following two links and nothing of value would be lost:

    link to
    link to

    • LionsPhil says:

      …except almost none of the criticism is that, and we’re lambasting the game on its own demerits.

      • Ancient Evil says:

        “Doom! It’s the bloodsoaked new game with the demons and the rocket skeletons and the telefrags and the shotguns and the multiplayer levelling and the character customisation and the class-like loadouts and the double-jump. Yeah, you know Doom.

        Hmmm. Some of those things are more familiar than others to a seasoned Doom player like myself and I fear change more than I fear a sextet of Cyberdemons. The multiplayer beta for id’s latest opened today and, determined to face my fears, I’ve been playing for most of the day.

        It doesn’t feel like Doom. It’s a little like Quake 3 and a little like Unreal Tournament and maybe even a little like Call of Duty, though that’s more a structural comparison than a game-feel comparison. But whatever else it does feel like, it doesn’t feel like Doom.

        It’s important to say that while also acknowledging that Doom doesn’t have a single agreed-upon ‘feel’. It’s a many-textured thing, id’s FPS classic, and it’d be bold to the point of idiocy if I were to pretend your Doom was the same as my Doom. What I can say with a fair amount of confidence, however, is that this Doom, this new thing, doesn’t feel like any of the things we remember.”

        “It’s the very concept of loadouts that bothers me, planting, as it does, a class-based approach onto the combat.”

        “DOOM is in a strange situation. If it wasn’t called DOOM, it wouldn’t be receiving anywhere near the scrutiny and attention that it is.”

        “But this is DOOM, and that means it’ll be the focus of both attention and ire, even if it doesn’t deserve an enormous amount of either, in this multiplayer form at least.”

        Yeah, right. The game is being evaluated in a vacuum. No franchise baggage here!

        Don’t kid yourself. At least Adam does the proper thing and hangs a lampshade on the situation instead of trying to deny it.

        It’s called “DOOM”. If it neither takes the genre to exciting new places, nor particularly scratches that nostalgic itch (both of which could be said of most games), it’s in for a world of shit. It doesn’t have to be “objectively” “bad”, per se. But I’m just repeating what Adam already said here.

        What’s so contentious about that? This is the lens games like these find themselves under, and I was merely reflecting on it.

        • Ancient Evil says:

          Look, if you really don’t think every inch of this game is already being pored over with a microscope, looking for for reasons to be deemed unworthy of the “DOOM” name from whatever angle, then I’m sorry, but you’re just fundamentally ignorant how how this whole thing works.

          Why do you think we’re never getting Half-Life 3? Because Valve forgot how to make a Half-Life game? Because it’s too big of a gamble business-wise?

          No, it’s because virtually nothing can survive that level of scrutiny. It would make iD’s situation here look like a cakewalk by comparison. With Steam, they certainly don’t need the money, so why subject themselves to all that? They’re one of the most prestigious studios in the world, and even they realize that climbing that mountain of expectations and baggage is just way to steep.

          If Valve can’t do it, who could? No one. That’s the point. The difference here is that Bethesda is in the business of making games, whereas Valve is a retailer at this point. Bethesda doesn’t have the luxury of just idly sitting on one of the most iconic IPs in gaming indefinitely.

          • Ancient Evil says:

            Damned lack of an edit button. I don’t actually have a stutter.

          • ggggggggggg says:

            I am unbelievably tired of amateur internet psychoanalysts telling me the real reason I don’t any given mass marketed turd, instead of the actual reasons I don’t like something. Get over yourself.

          • LionsPhil says:

            The best are the ones who think TVTropes are a solid base of prior work upon which to base their argument.

          • Fersken says:

            Yeah, that is why everybody hated Shadow Warrior and Wolfenstein the New Order, and they where commercial failures.


        • Baines says:

          It isn’t that people wouldn’t be criticizing it if it wasn’t called Doom, it is that people wouldn’t be giving the game attention at all.

          The game itself doesn’t appear to offer what people might actually want regardless of its name. Sticking a name on it that makes it a conversation point therefore is going to result in a lot of neutral or negative opinions being voiced.

    • 8itmap_k1d says:

      To be fair, that’s what you get for rebooting something. The creator gets a boost from brand recognition; but the only reason it’s recognised is because there’s already an audience with a wealth of expectations. That’s the trade-off.

    • blchicken says:

      I totally agree that Doom is gonna get a rough ride not matter which way you look at it. Long time players moan about things that have changed to much, the lack of speed ,the inclusion of loadouts, etc, etc. At the other end of the spectrum you’ve got new people coming into the arena shooter wondering why you cant pick classes or “what the hell are power ups?”, not being able to camp properly because the maps are cramped, etc, etc.

      But here’s the thing. Both sides essentially want the they’re accustomed to. I agree that games should be judged on their initial merits and pitfalls. But beyond that. This is a franchise. The Doom franchise. People don’t keep going back to Final Fantasy or Metal Gear Solid or any other decent franchise over the years. People want more of the same game they know and love but expanded and innovated in new and interesting ways. At the end of the day. What keeps people coming back is that the core game is still there. Just (hopefully) improved.

      So I think games in Doom’s position should be challenged and pushed in meaningful ways. And yes. I’m one of them. I want an id Soft FPS arena shooter like the Dooms and Quakes of old. It’s been 17 years since Q3A dammit!

      • blchicken says:

        Oops. Excuse my grammatical errors, etc. Was typing this up quickly in work. :P

    • bill says:

      “But this is DOOM, and that means it’ll be the focus of both attention and ire, even if it doesn’t deserve an enormous amount of either, in this multiplayer form at least.”

      I’m not sure he’re firing from both sides as much as saying “shrug. 7/10”

  11. caff says:

    Looking at the feedback so far, it sounds like a load of cacodemon.

  12. tonicer says:

    What a terrible terrible game.

    DOOM? more like a typically mediocre generic console fps game.

    • Nauallis says:

      I take it this means you never played Doom 3

      • ggggggggggg says:

        hey now, doom 3 was an incredibly mediocre pc game

      • 8itmap_k1d says:

        I enjoyed Doom 3. It’s a decent game, just not a good Doom game. Kinda hoping for a similar compromise with this TBH.

  13. TheManko says:

    I’m surprised by how amateurish this new Doom feels. Basic things like communicating whether you’re being shot, or if your shots are hitting enemies seem nonexistent. In the original Doom you had a good idea just by the effective audiovisual feedback to know how close you were to death. Here you have to look at the health bar to have any idea of how much damage you took in a fight, as the play itself doesn’t tell you anything.

    It doesn’t seem like the various departments have worked together here with clear direction or intent. It’s just a bunch of stuff thrown together, presumably with the assumption it’d work itself out in the end. But it hasn’t. There’s no synergy. Not even the sound of guns make sense, like how the sniper rifle is almost inaudible, or how the rocket launcher & machinegun sound like they were recorded in an air duct. It feels like a team of newbies working on their very first game. Even if this wasn’t Doom, it’d be mediocre at best. But it’s ID! If this is an indication of what the singleplayer is like, they might as well just shut the company down.

    • Creeping Death says:

      “Basic things like communicating whether you’re being shot, or if your shots are hitting enemies seem nonexistent.”

      Did you somehow miss the GIANT damage numbers any time you hit someone?

      • Bweahns says:

        He means when you are being shot. I agree, you also don’t hear people firing at you until they are within a couple of meters.

  14. Vermintide says:

    It’s not terrible, but it’s not great either.

    I’m pleased that they haven’t made it a TOTAL Call of Halo, but it seems like the specific balance of old school vs. modern they went for just isn’t quite right. I’m not opposed to the loadouts in principle, but I think the way they did the weapon balance to favour it is a big factor. I feel like they should have hybridised it more, so powerful weapons like the rocket launcher are map-pickups only, but SSG and the various rifles are selectable from loadout.

    What other people have said about the general unpolished animations and lack of tactile feedback is true too. I would love to put it down as general beta lack of polish, but when the thing is shipping a less than month from now, let’s face it, this is pretty much the final product.

    At least we still have the new Unreal Tournament to look forward to, right guys? That’s still going to be good. Right guys? Guys? Right?… Guys? :/

    • Kowie says:

      The beta is a lot more interesting than this, you can just by playing it know it is on track to being another UT sequel.

      • Bweahns says:

        I never got into UT in a big way. I just preferred hitscan weapons featured in the quake series.

  15. Kinsky says:

    DOOM is in a strange situation. If it wasn’t called DOOM, it wouldn’t be receiving anywhere near the scrutiny and attention that it is.

    It’s not just the name, it’s Bethesda’s attempt to sell the game as more than just a shooter called DOOM. They’re caking it with everything they think people expect out of DOOM, namely the gore and demons; they’re leading with the multiplayer to try and convince people they’re savvy on why people liked DOOM; they even named it just DOOM, no sequence number, no subtitle, just like the 1993 original, to draw that link as strong as possible. Any increased scrutiny or admonition the game receives is on Bethesda and the shambling corpse id has been reduced to. If they’re going to exploit the name, they ought to be judged by its legacy. Don’t lament the fact that people come to a steakhouse expecting at least some beef on the menu.

  16. YourEternal says:

    DOOMx64.exe @ 0x58fdc8c1( ) + bytes () : GetGameSystemInterface( )
    DOOMx64.exe @ 0x58fcd18d( ) + bytes () : GetGameSystemInterface( )
    DOOMx64.exe @ 0x585929e1( ) + bytes () : GetGameSystemInterface( )
    DOOMx64.exe @ 0x585928a7( ) + bytes () : GetGameSystemInterface( )
    DOOMx64.exe @ 0x58592731( ) + bytes () : GetGameSystemInterface( )
    DOOMx64.exe @ 0x5859dba2( ) + bytes () : GetGameSystemInterface( )
    DOOMx64.exe @ 0x5859923b( ) + bytes () : GetGameSystemInterface( )
    DOOMx64.exe @ 0x58dd355d( ) + bytes () : GetGameSystemInterface( )
    DOOMx64.exe @ 0x57c0fc68( ) + bytes () : ** UNKNOWN **( ** FUNC_PARAM_ERROR ** )
    DOOMx64.exe @ 0x590693eb( ) + bytes () : GetGameSystemInterface( )
    KERNEL32.DLL @ 0x229613d2( ) + bytes () : BaseThreadInitThunk( )
    ntdll.dll @ 0x22bc54e4( ) + bytes () : RtlUserThreadStart( )
    FATAL ERROR: wglCreateContextAttribsARB failed
    Dumped console text to C:\Users\BJB1\Saved Games\id Software\DOOM_OpenBeta\base\ErrorLog_04-15-2016__06-07-17pm.txt.

    Shutting down OpenGL subsystem

    FATAL ERROR: wglCreateContextAttribsARB failed

    THAT FAWK IS DIS!?!?!?

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      it couldn’t create an open gl context, your gpu might not support open gl 3.2?

    • davemaster1000 says:

      How old are your drivers? The game requires OpenGL 4.3, and possibly 4.4 support.

      I got this until I updated to much newer drivers.

      I was using 2013 ones as I had stability problems with newer ones.
      Daft innit.

  17. oyog says:

    Wait, what are we talking about?

    I’m confused, are we finally getting that DOOM sequel we were promised in ’03?

  18. Aspirant_Fool says:

    Downloaded, played a single round, uninstalled. I’ll play Warsow: Shiny Plastic Demon EditionDoom sometime when Overwatch and Battleborn don’t both have betas going on simultaneously.

  19. Bweahns says:

    First off. I had fun playing it with my mates, we are all veterans of the original DooM. However, I can’t see myself paying money for it. The reason being: that I’d be just as happy playing Q1/2/3 with my mates and having a better time.
    It feels slow, the trick jumping is extremely basic and won’t allow you to build up speed like strafe jumping does in Quake games.
    The weapons sound weak and they do weak damage unless you score a perfect hit. The Plasma Gun in original DooM sounded like the world was ending, it sounds like a little bubble gun in this version.
    The Rocket Launcher is fun, but it is such a massive spam-off in the fights due to the low damage. I enjoyed playing the poor man’s rail gun instead and charging up my shots from a distance and switching to a RL or Lightning Gun. I quite liked the Lightning Gun as it reminded me of the Chaingun from Quake 2 in lethality at medium to close range. The Shock Rifle is the only weapon that felt like it had any power.
    The Kinetic Rifle is woefully underpowered, it has to get a buff. It takes forever to charge and you have to be moving and then all it does is 60 damage. You have to jump through hoops for an extremely low power outcome.
    They have slowed the game down and watered the weapons down. I prefer a faster game with more lethal weapons. I had fun but I won’t be buying this game.

  20. C0llic says:

    What a shame . All they had to do was essentially remake quake arena. There is an appetite for that and a big budget game, with attached single player draw, could really garner a large player base.

  21. Wadanny says:

    I really, really like this game and the id back-catalogue are the games I grew up playing. Whilst I respect all perspectives, this feels like people are having more fun attacking this game based on what Doom used to be, not what it must inevitably evolve into.

    The criticisms also seem mainly to be coming from PC players like myself and seems to be targeting ‘console’ elements. I just read the book ‘Masters of Doom’ which describes how id created the Doom and Quake franchises. It seems ironic that the very reason those games took the world by storm was because no one had ever seen anything like it before. Now over two decades later it seems a shame that no one is willing to give something new a chance.

    With all this being said, I have always been more about the single player, so maybe it just seems all the more impressive to me because I suck at Quake 3!I just hope this game gets reviewed on its own merits and not purely for how similar/dissimilar it is to its predecessors.

    • RobF says:

      Problem for me with a lot of it is that it isn’t new, doesn’t feel like an evolution of anything. Which isn’t a requirement or anything, a thing can be great whilst not really moving forward.

      This feels tired, old and lacking in identity. It doesn’t feel good to play. It’s boring. That’s me looking at it entirely on its own merits. It’s the most nondescript game I’ve played in a long time.

      With or without the baggage of the Doom name, that’d just where it is for me.

      Mind, if anyone else gets some enjoyment out of it, cool!

      • Wadanny says:

        See I totally respect that, I guess what I find so odd is why people have such divided opinion. I don’t understand how my favourite video games are the early id titles which I found so engaging, yet I find this muliplayer just as awesome and so many people with my gaming background don’t!

        You say you find it bland, I find it exciting, two perfectly valid opinions and yet when the original Doom and Quake came out everyone thought it was amazing.

        I guess I’m just being an idealist, wanting everyone to like the things I like! Although shame on Steam users for panning the open beta before it was even playable!

  22. Harvey says:

    I’m not into multiplayer shooters, and when the DOOM beta popped up in steam I downloaded it thinking I was gonna get a taste of id’s new FPS, like the shareware DOOM of old.

    Imagine my sadface.

  23. Elusiv3Pastry says:

    “Knee deep in the suck” would have been an acceptable headline. I managed to play for 30 mins before I couldn’t suffer the terribleness any longer.

  24. rgbarton says:

    “It doesn’t feel like doom.”

    Of course it doesn’t one of the things that defined doom was the fact that it wasn’t full 3D so of course a multiplayer won’t move and feel like like a 2.5D game. And I do think maybe you are being a bit to harsh on the game considering nearly everything you described about it makes it seem like a very fun game.

    • Wadanny says:

      Agreed, a key problem here is that people are taking completely subjective elements and calling them ‘bad’.

      The only real disagreement I picked up on in the review was hell being ‘bland’ that being said I am curious to know exactly what constitutes a ‘witty’ version of Hell.

      Again a lot of what is being labelled ‘bad’ is actually preference rather than quality. I have to wonder if what is being called a ‘grab bag of modern shooter elements’ would be described as simply good modern fps design by a modern fps fan.

  25. buzzmong says:

    I thought this was going to be a single player game? As, you know, it’s a Doom game?

    • Wadanny says:

      It is there are single player trailers, it should be the game’s main draw!

  26. Briddie says:

    I will openly admit that I have never played a DOOM game, I have briefly played Unreal Tournament 2004. I came into the DOOM beta with no idea of what to expect, I did have high expectations as I knew this franchise was extremely popular and known as one of the Daddy’s of FPS/Arena games. I was impressed by the game, I found it too not get repetitive and I never got slightly frustrated at the game. The gun-play was fun and as I love to play sniper in most games I thoroughly enjoyed it in this game; even though it is vastly superior to any of its Beta counterparts. All in all I enjoyed the game but I think the game would be much better received under a different alias as this has let down alot of fans of its predeccessors.

  27. ruhe says:

    I wish I could say it felt like Q3 Arena with a demon power-up tacked on so they call it Doom, but it’s no where near that good unfortunately.

  28. ninenullseven says:

    check those comments. Classic. Every time there is talks about arena shooters – people always blame consoles.

    1) Loadouts are not console thing. Original quake and doom were on consoles. Plus gamepad has a lot more buttons than your left hand can efficiently use on keyboard (unless you are piano player) – many buttons is bad design, not some PCMR goodness – that’s why a lot of games group weapons or limit inventory space.

    2) Mouse acceleration has nothing to do with controllers and consoles. It pre-dates controllers. It’s like Y-axis inversion – some people like it. Open Paint and try to draw a smooth line – and you’ll know why mouse acceleration is so often implemented in games – it could help to smooth our your hand’s jerky movements. Or may not, just as any other thing in a world. Preferences.

    3) Don’t forget even Quake had controller support and could be played efficiently. And even Quake had aim assist. The problem with new Doom is not ‘consolefication’ (because it doesn’t exist, consoles do not affect your games, your own decisions as a customers do).. The problem with new Doom – it’s lack of direction, new Doom is a product made by marketing division, created by market research and filled with things that might sold it. Just like Fallout 4 for example (drop rpg part in favor of crafting), or Wofl: Old Blood (fan-service). It’s Bethesda for you – marketing and PR. Don’t forget that Doom is known for it’s still blooming modding scene – and new Doom won’t get any mod support from devs (and don’t forget Fallout 4 SDK delay). This is your Bethesda, this is what money smell like. That’s the real problem with Doom.

    ID games were never a product, they were born in creative process. That’s what makes icons. Wolf? Started as stealth game remake in 3D. Doom? Started as dark Aliens game. Quake? Started as gothic RPG with dragons. Even Rage was weird cross-breed of Twisted Metal and frantic FPS in fallout disguise. New Doom isn’t your ID software game, this is big shiny product made appealing to wide masses. That’s the problem.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Re 2: cursor positioning is a different task to first-person view orientation, with different requirements. Mouse accelleration also doesn’t help you draw straight lines; that’d be smoothing, usually implemented at the application level in more serious art tools like Sai. Accelleration helps you sweep the cursor from one side of the screen to the other and also make small adjustments to move to an adjacent button both using the same overall sensitivity setting (otherwise a scaling factor that’s good for one is horrible for the other).

  29. feverberries says:

    Doesn’t feel like Doom? Should they maybe remove support for mouse aim, which the first two in the series lacked? I mean, it was pure WASD movement back then. Is that the Doom feel?

    The originals played pretty much exactly like Wolf3D, but they only had more complex maps, that supported vertical levels. Who wants that anymore?

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Well, I actually do know a couple Doomers who still play keyboard-only. Even among the “vanilla as possible” crowd that’s considered unusual, though, so you do make a fair point.

      To you and the many others making said point, though – there’s a pretty huge difference between the gradual evolution and enhancement of a fundamentally great game that was loved from the beginning, and fixing a game that’s just no fun at all. DOOM getting mouse-aim was the former. Whatever they’re going to have to do to this, if it’s indeed possible, is the latter.

  30. Tekrunner says:

    I feel like I must really be getting old when I read all the complaints that the game is slow paced. It seemed plenty hectic to me. Horizontal movement may not be super fast, but maps have a lot of close-quarter spaces, and with double-jumping my screen was usually full of other players zipping around at high speed.

    I certainly wouldn’t buy the game for the multiplayer in any case. These days I enjoy a few rounds of competitive shooting here and there, but that’s it. But I didn’t find it as bad as everyone seems to think it is.

  31. twistedrunes1421 says:

    Thinks lightning gun is bad, thinks launcher is bad, plays as “sniper.” Maybe next time have someone who isn’t noobie trash review this game.

  32. tolian says:

    Who doesn’t love all the easy fresh meat with a new FPS? With all the new players I felt like a god for a few hours, with some exceptions of course.

    It was good for a few hours, but I would feel cheated out of £40, because it’s a console port. This is not the same Doom that had me DESPERATE to buy a PC to replace my Amiga. It’s the Attack of the Clones of Doom, not the Force Awakens I was hoping for.

    We are already knee-deep in games like this, you can remake a game like Doom without borrowing from all of them. Doom should be a fast-paced, bloody, simple skill based game. None of this XP crap, none of these hack modules, sniper rifles, grenades, or loadouts, or fad features noone but game designers seem to think we want.

    Give us Doom with the same atmosphere as 1 and 2, the same loud guns, designed for the PC for the latest technology. That was Doom. These console ports are a self-fulfilling prophecy, might as well just buy an Xbox, have children, and begin the slow decay into mediocrity and not giving a fuck about your hobby.

  33. Tomo says:

    I was prepared to hate this game, but I’ve spent most of the weekend playing it! I’m astonished at how good it is.

    For reference, I was predominantly a Quake 2 player and then moved on to Urban Terror mod in Q3. Hate most modern shooters and thought this looked a little too-halo from the trailers, but there’s some really good stuff in here.

    The double jump is great – a really neat counter to rocket splash damage. The rifles are basically railguns, but now there are 3 of them. The twitch shooting is strong in this. The Super Shotgun is meaty as hell – really good. Lightning Gun I hated in Q3, and still do here. But, I struggle against people with it when I have my SS out. I think its a short range counter. You can be quite a way from an opponent and be very accurate.

    The levels are great. Really tightly designed with some nice nooks and crannies and a nice mix of long and short. They also flow well – you can run around picking up power-ups, health etc if you’re quick.

    Let’s be honest it’s not Doom. It’s closer to Quake. If it had been marketed as a new id IP I think the response would be hugely different, obviously.

    Improvements for me:
    – lose the names over people’s heads. Makes seeing them too easy
    – fraction faster movemenr. Not much, but a bit more
    – bit more feedback when you hit people
    – footstep sounds! I want to be able to hear when people are around the corner creeping up on me

  34. Acidworm says:

    I played it for a few hours today. I am not a fan of this game. It just comes across as another frantic arena shooter that doesn’t really do anything especially good.

    The mouse acceleration makes it too difficult for me to aim properly. I really can’t get used to this at all and it is very frustrating. The weapons feel poorly balanced (maybe they will fix this in the final version). I am tired of thinking I have full health and then just suddenly I am dead from a single shotgun blast. I agree completely with others saying that we can’t tell very well when we are shot. The instant kill melee thing does not feel right. It is gimmicky, but very easy to pull off and overpowered compared to the weapons. The weapon noises are weak.

    There are only 2 modes and 2 maps. The maps are fluid and seem anti-camping. Every time I stop moving to try to shoot someone, I seem to just get killed from behind. This is a good thing for me, although I wish there were some vantage points. The maps don’t feel particularly memorable either. I remember when the first UT and Q3 Arena came out and both of those had some very memorable maps. Hopefully, other maps will be more memorable.

    There are those in this conversation saying that the game is being criticized for not feeling like Doom, and believing that so many of the criticisms are unwarranted. Well, it doesn’t feel like anything at all to me, and my opinion would not be affected if this game was developed by a different studio and had a different name. I wouldn’t say it is a bad game, but it is rather mediocre.

    • Cleave says:

      Just FYI, the melee finishers aren’t instakill, they only activate when the player is at low health (not sure of the exact number) otherwise you just do a normal melee attack for 40 hp.

  35. franciscasparks says:

    Fantastic work-from-home opportunity for anyone… Start working for three to eight hr a day and get from $4000-$7000 each month… Regular weekly payments…… ITS ORIGINAL SITE AVOID BY FUCK SPAMMER….


  36. Ham Solo says:

    And just like that, one of the earliest and most fun shooter series is crashing into the ground, burning it’s legacy along the way. Well done, guys… well done.

  37. Acidworm says:

    I was reading that players that use gamepads are given aim-assist and that it is far easier to play with one than mouse and keyboard. If this is true then that is terrible. If they want to do it that way then at least have something like Grand Theft Auto 5 where players are placed in separate lobbies. This would help explain why I was towards the bottom of the leaderboard every time.