Wot I Think: DOOM (Singleplayer)

I feel sorry for the guys down the metaphorical hall, working on Fallout 4. There they are, stuck making Team Post-America with an ancient engine and the puppety, stilted shooting that seems to entail, and then, from the same stable, there’s DOOM. A new epitome of speed, motion and combat. The fastest gun-game in the West. Press V for VATS? No, press F to rip a demon’s head in half.

I never would have believed it, but DOOM is back.

Back as in really back: not just a name. Back as in fights which go on and on until you think you just can’t handle any more, but you do. Then you breathe and charge into another one. Back as in never stop moving. Not for a second. Back as in Hell.

I never would have believed it because screenshots looked so colourless, and chest-thumping about secrets and kill moves had me fearing triteness. That wasn’t DOOM, pure, clean, colourful, and precise. But this is DOOM. Or, at least, as close as I think anything I’ve played since to that chest-tightening feeling of mingled tension and exhilaration I had when first knee-deep in the dead in all those years ago. It’s a different game for modern control sensibilities, not a retro affair by any means – it recaptures the spirit rather than the actuality. And then takes it to newer places.

I’ll come back to good things later, but let’s get a few gripes out the way now. Quite a few of the enemies are dull brown things, and even the more interesting later ones (the vast majority pulled from the classic DOOM bestiary) are disappointingly desaturated and lumpy. This plays into DOOM’s generally pedestrian view of Hell, which I hope you’re not ridiculous enough to believe is a spoiler when discussing a DOOM game, which eschews free reign to be as weird as it likes in favour of rocky canyons, lava and bleached skull imagery.

The classic 80s metal aesthetic yes, and I appreciate there’s an appetite for that, but speaking purely visually DOOM never quite goes crazy – almost to the point where it feels as though the artists were making an entirely different, far less interesting game to what the frenzied, cackling bloodlords in the combat department were. I probably sound like a broken record from 1993 here, but man, a little more colour would have gone a long way.

Fortunately, it doesn’t really matter, because it feels so damn good, and in any case you’ll find your eyes scanning the scene at faster-than-light for specific sights and opportunities during the breathless dance of combat rather than ever worrying that the Cacodemons aren’t sufficiently Fisher Price red.

The other major gripe is that the focus on secrets and collectibles threatens to overwhelm the meat of the game. There were many occasions when I was impatient to get through some huge, impeccably-paced fight because I knew there was a pick-up hiding in a side-room, and if I didn’t find them all I wouldn’t be granted that extra upgrade point for a weapon alt-fire mode that I never used. The trouble is not that the secrets and collectibles are there, but that they’re slathered all over the UI and this creates an anxiety that they must be found, otherwise the experience is somehow incomplete.

Repeatedly hopping around the same four platforms to try and find wherever the hatch hiding another bobblehead is, which unlocks a piece of artwork I’ll never even look at, also kills the keen sense of urgency, that rocketfuel-for-blood which makes DOOM such a damn good time. But maybe that’s just me and my Skinner box: others may have stronger wills. Certainly, even the collectibles which upgrade your guns or other abilities can be found in sufficient quantities to succeed simply by playing normally. Speaking from hindsight, I kind of wish I’d just blasted through once then gone back again on Nightmare difficulty with the aim of finding everything.

Final, smaller gripe because pretending that I’m playing a Doom game for the storyline is completely absurd: the plot and characterisation is total bobbins. Often, it feels as though the narrative has been very wisely chopped right down to barebone so as to not interrupt the action or fake that this about anything more than killing lots and lots of monsters, which I am entirely on board with, but sometimes there are these odd longer sequences where it feels as though someone involved wasn’t quite prepared to kill their dull darlings.

Woven into the jerkily-paced ‘oh there’s this company mining energy from Hell and you’ll never guess what but…” plot are assorted suggestions of wider Doom mythos that links old and new games. It’s sweet to embrace the past like that, but I’m not sure the attempts to transform Doomguy into something more potent than Arnie In A Green Suit achieve much. Whatever the mythological intentions though, and whatever the sporadic interruptions from a quartet of other, more garrulous characters, the blessed reality is that our wordless hero has no time for anyone’s shit, and is only interested in constant, unrelenting shooting, with a side-order of rending. Yep, that’ll do.

I had been concerned, based on the first few hours, that the desaturated rabbit warren design of the initial levels bode poorly – I wanted to spend my time fighting, not traipsing back and forth looking for that one door or switch I hadn’t been through yet.

Fortunately, it turns out this was just a casualty of the earlier stages having comparatively few enemies (though still more than most of its contemporaries) and so preferring smaller rooms and corridors in which to house them. By around a third of the way in, DOOM’s cranked things up so much that the level design becomes more about vast, multi-tier arenas that you sprint, double-jump and plunge around as part of a beautiful, widescreen cat’n’mouse chase.

Only one where there are, like, 50 lions and tigers and jetpack-wearing panthers and one mouse with a selection of experimental weaponry. And that mouse can double-jump, mantling and perform infinitely long drops without injury, which it very much needs to be able to do because the maze it’s being chased around is now enormous.

One trick DOOM most overtly borrows from its noble forebear is to introduce you, earlyish on, to a huge foe that is far more monstrous and challenging than anything you’ve yet faced. The battle is tense and difficult, and you’re relieved when it’s over – a boss fight, basically.

Fast forward forty minutes and you’re routinely fighting three of whatever it was at once, with half a dozen Imps and a couple of Hellknights charging around too. Fast forward eight hours and OH MY GOD EVERYTHING. The idea that I felt threatened by a single Mancubus or Revenant simply seems laughable now. OK, maybe not quite Doom II at its most sadistic ‘everything’, but given that many of the enemies have a particular set of skills which makes them far more dangerous than their earliest incarnations, the challenge level is right up there.

As to what changed, it’s a combination of my own skill improving (you really do learn movement, weapon capabilities and enemy vulnerabilities on the job, through the natural course of play) and my weapons and hitpoints amping up hugely through assorted upgrades. I opted to bat away a suspicion that enemies are made slightly weaker later on in order to deal with the ever-growing hordes, but my character really was a death-machine by that point, plus ancient circle-strafing experience had awoken fully.

Coming out of DOOM, the world feels as though it’s in slow motion. It’s not as simple as the character’s rollerblading-at-an-ice-rink movement speed, but about how that enables double-jumps, clambering onto far ledges and dropping to the ground like a stone to get out of dodge for a heartbeat. The mantling, oddly, is one of the keys to it all: traversal from the high to the low and back again, but with a sense of physicality attached, rather than Mario-floatiness. Then there’s the melee system, aka Glory Kills, which enable you to insta-murder a temporarily stunned monster after you’ve unloaded enough lead or plasma into it. This yields health (and other stuff depending on upgrades), which means it becomes the game’s key survival technique rather than just a show-off effect.

Recharging health would kill the pace, scavenging for health packs would make you too vulnerable, so the solution is to make the act of killing also the act of recovery. It works beautifully, but even when a health top-up is not required, charging towards a blue-glowing demon then slamming F when you’re close enough that the glow turns golden is compulsive and thrilling. It’s the act of victory, and the gruesome animations make that very clear. It’s also a part of movement, as Glory Kills activated from a slight distance away drag you right over the beast, and if you find the upgrade which expands this range, it becomes an oddball but effective way of hopping around the arenas.

I had a whole host of notes stored in a draft version of this post, made after my first five or so hours with the game. I deleted them all, because they were essentially talking about a different game than the one I discuss above. There’s an argument to be made that DOOM has too slow a start – depending on how much you explore and secret-hunt, you might be looking at as much as eight hours of what is, essentially, a shooter a bit like the recent Wolfenstein sequels, but played at speed. The second half, which lasted me another good eight hours, is so different, but in a way I didn’t realise until I sat back and thought about my journey through Mars and hell. I’d learned so much. I thought differently. I moved differently. I played DOOM, not just a first-person shooter.

My drafted gripes were deleted because I realised only then that DOOM had been gradually training me – training for a frantic, kinetic way of play that simply is not the norm in today’s focus-tested, handheld shooters. It’s a great shame that its training wheels involve making cramped and dour maps for that first half, because even revisiting it on Nightmare or Ultra Nightmare, as I will, can’t solve that problem, but at least there’s freedom to choose levels once you’ve finished them.

I should also note that the game runs remarkably well given how high-tech (if dour) it looks – there were a few dips, but most of the time I was seeing the hallowed 60 at 2560×1440 and medium-high settings on a GTX 970. I didn’t feel I was missing out on any high-end effects and, most of all, it felt lightning fast throughout, although I wouldn’t argue that the new generation of id Tech powering it feels like a big leap forwards from what we saw in the last couple of Wolfenstein games.

Multiplayer and map-making I’ll be covering in a seperate feature, by the way: this was a surprisingly long campaign mode and I simply haven’t had time to look at the other options on the menu yet. So, for now, I’ll leave you with this: DOOM is the most satisfying singleplayer shooter I’ve played since Wolfenstein: The New Order, and easily eclipses it when it comes to movement and gunplay. The noisenik soundtrack and demon theme entirely disqualify it from any thinking person’s shooter accolades, but it does not want to be a thinking person’s shooter and nor do I want it to be one. It is a shooter. It is the shooter, returned.

Not a replacement for Doom the first, no, but, at last, a true companion to it, and if I am going to accuse it of intelligence, it is to say that it has clearly thought long and hard about what extrapolating Doom’s values to 2016 really means.

Propulsive, thrilling and breathless, DOOM is the triumph I never expected. I just can’t see there being a better shooter this year, I really can’t.

DOOM is out now for Windows, via Steam and Humble.

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146 Comments

  1. Hideous says:

    The only thing I miss is your character going “unf” when pressing E on a wall.

    • GallonOfAlan says:

      That’s why we’re on PC. Will be a work of mere moments for the mod community.

      • anHorse says:

        With Denuvo?

        Haha good luck

        • Blake Casimir says:

          And for that reason I’m currently reluctant to put down sixty dollars on this game, even though the single player is exactly what I want in an FPS. But for now I’m going back to Quake One and 20 years of maps I never got around to playing, and it’s utterly class.

        • ludde says:

          Well, that’s sad.

      • Wadanny says:

        I really want to see an updated ‘Simpsons Doom’ (guessing it won’t happen, given the more limited modding for this game – feel free to correct me on that if you know something I don’t!).

        Can picture the Mancubus making Homer’s exaggerated eating noises when you perform the glory kill on him. Would like to give the Baron Principal Skinner’s voice as well, can imagine how he’d be trying to sound so in-offensive whilst lobbing fireballs at your head!

  2. rayyeter says:

    “I should also note that the game runs remarkably well given how high-tech (if dour) it looks – there were a few dips, but most of the time I was seeing the hallowed 60 at 2560×1440 and medium-high settings on a GTX 970.”

    I have everything set to ultra, and rarely see any dips at 2560×1440 (57-60 is my average), with this same card. I usually only dip in MP mode.

    • Guvornator says:

      Ive got a 670 and, a few weird stutters aside, it’s as smooth as silk. Gameplaywise, I was comparing it unfavorably to Bulletstorm and the Foundry level revisited some of my most loathed “were do I go now” FPS memories, but now I’ve reached Hell I’m having all sorts of naughty demon ripping fun. I like how you can plan a fight purely on ammo resources – deal with the imps with the combat shotgun, then work upwards through the guns and enemies as your ammo runs out without ever manually changing guns. They actually sync up rather nicely.

      I have ignored all the secrets since the first time it became clear the devs were willing to include bits of old doom in the maps, which totally broke immersion for me. I suspect that this has, if anything, enhanced my experience.

      • Furiou5 says:

        If you get lost look for green lights; the path forward is ALWAYS marked with green light.

  3. epmode says:

    I haven’t been this surprised about a AAA game since Wolfenstein: The New Order. Doom is brilliant.

    • ramirezfm says:

      Is it as brilliant as Wolfenstein TNO? I found it rather tedious and boring. Seen several people streaming DOOM and seems very similar, ie. it might be great, but it will bore me to oblivion.

      • Chalky says:

        Are you fan of other fast paced shooters? You might just not be a fan of the genre since from what I’ve seen of Doom it seems to be the pinnacle of it in recent times.

        • ramirezfm says:

          I liked Shadow Warrior, Bulletstorm, both quite fast paced shooters. All the previous DOOMs were quite allright for me, but it was a while now…

          • dethtoll says:

            Doom is very much in the SW ’13/ROTT ’13 vein. I think you’ll like it.

          • Darth Gangrel says:

            When Alec wrote “The best shooter of 2016, or I’ll eat a Cacodemon’s hat” at the headline, I immediately thought of Shadow Warrior 2 as a contender for the best shooter of 2016. Then again, I played the first Shadow Warrior mostly using the sword, only using guns when I wanted to get rid of large/annoying enemies fast, so Shadow Warrior 2 might instead become the best first-person melee game of 2016.

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            PoulWrist says:

            Doom is better than both those games though. Also way better than the ROTT reboot.

      • Antongranis says:

        I did not like wolfenstein TNO either, but i love the new DOOM. Never played The other DOOM games.

      • Jinoru says:

        Its neither of those things, I thought the same from just watching, and you should try it.

      • Sinjun says:

        It’s the least boring FPS since Half Life 2. The only way I can picture being bored by it is if you’re just not a fan of the genre.

        • Tekrunner says:

          I would argue for least boring since the second half of Serious Sam 3.

    • airknots says:

      Does DOOM have a quick-save shortcut? I stopped playing Wolfenstein TNO because the lack of quick-save annoyed me. There were collectibles that are easily missed and you can’t backtrack to get them when you accidentally trigger a new checkpoint.

      • CameO73 says:

        Nope, only automatic checkpoints. But the “now you’re leaving the map” points are very recognizable, so you can take your time finding all the secrets before you leave.

        • phimuskapsi says:

          The best part is that when you backtrack and find everything you can just kill yourself and you’ll warp back to the checkpoint with all the secrets still cleared. That, is a great mechanic.

      • KDR_11k says:

        You can usually backtrack quite a distance, there are only a few points of no return in most levels (that said, some are fairly annoying about it where one wrong step gets you locked out…) and you can select previous levels from the campaign menu to replay them (and only grab the items you missed) without losing your progress.

        • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

          Wait there’s NO MANUAL SAVING???

          • Caiman says:

            There’s a lot more saving than there was in the original Doom. You don’t need manual saving here, checkpoints normally come after you’ve successfully survived a particularly vicious onslaught, and it works extremely well. It’s not a story based shooter, you won’t miss it.

  4. KDR_11k says:

    Secrets are definitely a pacing problem in many games, I hated that in Bioshock Infinite. At least Doom lets you replay previous stages with your current gear and clean out the remaining secrets at a later point if you feel you missed anything of note.

    • Sulpher says:

      That’s a great feature!

    • airknots says:

      Good to hear. I would really love it if more games implemented a “collectible mode” similar to Life is Strange.

  5. Chorltonwheelie says:

    Glad it’s not just me. Loving this to bits.
    My 3570K and Overclocked GTX780 are absolutely shredding it. That engines come a long way since Rage. Great work Id.

  6. ape_escape says:

    Perhaps id’s best SP since.. oooh, Quake 2 or so?

    I completed it in around 16hrs on Ultraviolence, with a good number of secrets found. Some absolutely joyous moments of mayhem, and many many chaotic explodey deaths. The checkpointing system seemed decently placed and gave me no problems, especially as the secrets and unique pickups remain collected after you die.

    Also, I chose to play with the kill highlighting turned off, as I felt it was a little distracting. The enemies have reliable animation tells when they’re staggered and ready to be ripped apart.

    • dethtoll says:

      Yeah, I’d say Quake 2. I liked Doom 3 okay but bounced off Rage (tried too hard to be Borderlands-but-serious, pass.) This is absolutely a return to form and I have to credit Marty Stratton and crew for pulling it off with none of the original id founders.

    • Blake Casimir says:

      Nah, since Quake 1. 2’s endless corridors and less diverse bestiary made it a more dull game. The running around shooting 5 different enemy types at once from different directions in Doom or Q1 is almost never present. Good deathmatch though.

  7. GallonOfAlan says:

    Not really fair to compare the engines. I’ll wager Doom is mostly very tight areas or medium-sized areas with lots of fog. Fallout 4 has a huge draw distance and a whole other level of stuff going on in terms of AI and the like. Which is all fine, they’re different games. But apples and oranges.

    • automatic says:

      Indeed. That kind of comparison is pure merchandising talk though. I take it as a parody of 90’s video game merchandising, like Sega vs. Nintendo. Just provocation for people to check it out.

    • aircool says:

      There’s some massive areas… and some are definitely of the ‘don’t look down at where you started the level’ variety.

    • MercurialJack says:

      I’ll wager Doom is mostly very tight areas or medium-sized areas with lots of fog.

      You’d lose that bet. Lots of the areas are massive (not open world massive, but nothing like the corridor shooters of late you might be expecting), and there’s little or no fog or distortion to mask the distance. It plays like butter, with huge areas with lots of verticality.

      Fallout 4 to Doom is not an apples to apples comparison, but it’s a pretty close apples to pears.

    • GettCouped says:

      They have some pretty huge open vertical areas. There’s one level you climb and huge open tower area, and you can see all the way to the top.

  8. Borreh says:

    Uhh, I felt dissapointed by Doom, honestly. It wasn’t bad, the game is extremely solid – But nothing more than that.

    The fights are amazing, but everything besides those fights – The storyline, the lore, the secrets, the atmosphere – is lacking. Which is a shame, because the storyline (as over the top as it is) has potential and some great ideas, the idea of exploring huge levels on your own pace is a blast (too bad the exploration isn’t as interesting as it wants to be), and discovering secrets becomes busywork as they add little new into the game other than giving you a stat boost or something simillar.

    Lastly, the game really doesn’t have much going on as far as atmosphere is concerned.

    It just feels shallow and souless, a game designed with pleasing the oldschool gamer crowd and doing little beyond that.

    It’s a 8/10 for me, a perfectly adequate title… But it’s a shame because it could have been so much more.

    • TΛPETRVE says:

      I think the lore was actually largely quite brilliant – when it went all-out in its pretentiousness, that is. The way the standard pistol is described just oozes wit. But sadly they had to fuck it up by adding this worthless bastard of an exposition fairy that is Roboface Hayden, taking away a lot from the game’s sense of self-awareness.

      • Borreh says:

        I agree with the lore! As I said, it has great ideas going on – The self-awareness, the cult nature of the UAC – It’s all a ton of great, great things to build upon. Too bad the game doesn’t dwelve into those things; It’s all broad strokes.

        I really hoped for some audio logs from the station’s crew that would further explore the lore and atmosphere. But there wasn’t a single piece of info like that.

        “The UAC is a Apple-meets-satanistic-cult type of thing now” – “Oh, that’s cool! Tell me more about it!” – “Uhh… LOOK, A DEMON! SHOOT!”

        And I actualy liked Hayden. I expected him to be corrupt or possesed or something like that, but he actualy believes in what he is doing. The effectiveness of his actions (cheap energy, keeping the base running despite the demon research, surprisingly logical safety measures) and his personality make him a surprisingly interesting character.

        Then again, the game doesn’t expand on this, all we’re left with here is a sequel hook.

        • TΛPETRVE says:

          I despise Hayden. He a completely trite character in a game where “normal” has absolutely no place whatsoever, and he talks way too much without any sense of wit to his monologues, other than Doomguy’s increasingly irritated and disrespectful reactions. It’s like forcing a Christopher Nolan insert into Mad Max: Fury Road, it just doesn’t work.

          • Borreh says:

            That is kinda’ true, altough he has a cool voice and, while he doesn’t seem to be self-aware of the comedy, he seems to be very much aware of the setting itself, and I liked that.

        • klops says:

          Fuck audio logs! Now and always!

          • Borreh says:

            Whatever, everything’s better than nothing at all.

          • johnweythek says:

            omg thank you! fuck them with a double barrel shotgun.
            one of the 1st computers starts talking to you for too long and doom guy just shoves it away. Just one of MANY early signs that i was in for something great.

          • Unclepauly says:

            I like audio logs.

      • aircool says:

        Right at the start.. I love it that you’ve basically been discovered as an archaeological artefact and been chiselled out of a chunk of rock.

        • Borreh says:

          Yeah, I loved that too. I also loved how literaly the first thing you did in the game was punching a zombie’s head off and then killing a few other enemies with your pistol. It was shooting from the get-go, and it was awesome. The idea of first exploring the base already after the invasion (but not long after) was damn cool.

  9. polecat says:

    I loved Wolfenstein TNO, partly the mechanics but partly the wacky 60s nazis theme and the unexpectedly good characterisation. I’ve only just started this and it’s coming from a completely different place in terms of recreating visceral feel of the original – as the article describes very well.

    Even in the first few hours I’d be surprised if you found it holistically boring – it’s mega tense and speedy and I would be amazed if it doesn’t get your pulse going. The thing I’m still on the fence about is whether that’s enough. I realise at points I am missing New BJ Blazkowicz and his sad eyed righteous crusade, and am very much on the fence about the hyperviolence and glory kills, which are a good mechanic in many ways but I just can’t sustain empathy with the level of anger that Doomguy sort of IS, especially when if you want your mini health boosts you have to spend really quite a long time watching those glory kills.

    Also I think the sound design is ok not brilliant – there are moments where nothing is happening, the game has told you you’ve killed everything in the area, but you’re still listening to a pounding metal track at same level of intensity; and another moment where everything is 100% quiet, then you look over a parapet where a handful of the smallest monsters are, and an enormous Hellish roar goes up.

    But mostly my feelings about it are all down to preference. I genuinely think they have achieved what they set out to do, I’m just not sure I’m enough of a repressed psycho for it. Maybe if I hated my job.

    One thing that you can’t take away – the performance is rock solid. Hooray for that in the era of triple A porting cockups of last couple of years.

    • polecat says:

      Having read @Borreh above – I agree I think, though still trying to stay open to it. Good job of listing the areas where it doesn’t deliver, but fair play to those for whom that isn’t an issue.

      One bit I strongly agreed with – secrets / hunting. I think this is an iffy idea anywhere and it’s boring here. It breaks flow and so is incongruous because this game is all about flow and rhythym. I thought it was ok in Wolfenstein TNO since a) you weren’t incentivised so strongly to go looking on first play through b) Wolfenstein TNO was a more interesting place to be / explore and c) Wolfenstein had stealth.

      Stealth would be totally wrong for Doom but is just another of the ways TNO gave you some variety which so far I’m finding lacking here.

      • Borreh says:

        Yeah, I also loved TNO (One of the best games I’ve played in my life), and I agree with the secrets.

        That’s a problem because it disrupts the flow of the game, but also it misses a chance to give more insight into the game’s story. Where I hoped I’d find audio logs and data pads about the history of the place I’m in, I’ve only found “+1 to Gun Upgrade” points at best, and supplies (already abundant in the levels) at worst. Once or twice I’ve found a new gun a level or two earlier and it felt great, but it happened only near the beginning.

        I miss exploration like the one in Doom 3 – You had a storage device/room, locked down with a keypad, so you searched through the level to find any info with the code for it, and once you did find it you returned and gained your prize.

        It was a lot more investing than Doom’s “Where do I jump… Here… Oh a +1 to armor upgrade, too bad I already have everything I need”.

        Maybe that’s what the game needed – Audio logs or data logs suggesting the location of secrets. Say, you’re on your way somewhere, and you find an audio log from an engineer mentioning that there’s a service hatch that’s about to fall off in place x. So you go there, look for that hatch and you find a secret. Much more intuitive than scanning the entire level meter by meter, with the map in hand, for random secret locations.

        Also, secrets like this work much better if you find custom loot there. Like unique guns or something like that.

        • KDR_11k says:

          Audiologs have the issue that you need some quiet time to listen to them, during combat it would be very hard to follow them. Doom 3 had hints in audiologs but it also had much slower pacing and even then people complained about having to listen to those logs all the time.

          • Borreh says:

            I’d agree, but… Doom has a surprising amount of time for you to do such things. You often go exploring or secret hunting after you’ve cleared a chunk of the level, there’s also a lot of time between the fights in which you either explore uninterrupted or with very few weak enemies in your way. The game was great at signaling that a fight is about to happen.

            So, paradoxaly, audio logs for you to listen while you’re exploring would fit right into the tempo of the game.

            In fact, that would be better than the huge amount of text logs you gather, which force you to pause the game and enter the menu to read them, rather than having them shown on-screen while you play. If anything, audio logs would be less time-consuming and pace-blocking than what’s in the game.

        • Da5e says:

          It sounds like you’re looking for a game that isn’t this one. Stick to Doom 3 and other tedious audio log-filled things if you like, let us have this joyous guns-blazing bouncy killfest. Jobbing voice actors mumbling about how “Jenkins left his chainsaw out again, you know, he’s always leaving it on the table; anyway I put it back in his locker. Locker 43. The keycode is 1337” would have ruined this game – what little plot there is gets in the way a bit too much.

          I do like the way a couple of times Hayden essentially gives up trying to tell you stuff and just lets you get on with it, with an exasperated sigh.

          • Borreh says:

            No, I’m perfectly fine with a game that’s action packed and focused first and foremost on killing. Hell, I’m still in love with Devil Daggers.

            But if a game has problems and lacks in certain departments then I won’t ignore them while yelling “hurr durr oldschool furevah die audio logs die!”…

            I’m not asking Doom to be Bioshock, nor should it have an audio log in every second room (I’ve used those audio logs as an example, didn’t even know Doom fans are so obsessed over it). What little story the game had could have been done better. Exploration could have been better. Simple as that. No need to get all overprotective about leaving your favourite shooting gallery alone.

          • Borreh says:

            Not to mention, people are against audiologs which can play while you’re exploring (and you’re doing that A LOT in Doom), but have no problems with data logs that force you to stop playing altogether to read through them? I don’t get this.

          • Da5e says:

            Blud, the departments you’re saying it’s lacking in are unnecessary departments that are not needed. Do you see? I imagine Doom has got things that you can read if you pause the game – I don’t know, I was too busy leaping about firing guns at sods.

            Doom isn’t pretending to be narrative-driven high art, and you’re being really oddly aggressive about the lack of stilted recordings of men talking over the action.

          • Borreh says:

            For the last time, I don’t care about the audio logs, they were just an example. And I’ve had no issues with the culture of the discussion until you showed up.

            And “blud”, if I spend half of the game exploring without any combat then no, it is not lacking in “an unnecessary department” if I spend half of the in said department.

            I wouldn’t give a damn about the game’s lack of a story (even visual one) if it would be non-stop action, but Doom 4 makes you spend A LOT of time slowly exploring – And this exploration is mediocre, simple as that. Something that is such a huge focus of the game shouldn’t be mediocre.

      • airknots says:

        Seriously, I love secrets and collectibles but I do wish developers would tone it down a bit. Or maybe not lock things like weapon upgrades like what TNO did.

        • polecat says:

          @airknots – I quite liked the weapon upgrade ‘perks’ system in Wolfenatein TNO since it was pretty much impossible to get stuck, and encouraged you to use different weapons and playstyles. The gold collectibles on the other hand, yawn yawn.

          The more I play Doom 2016 the more I find that it’s recreating aspects of old shooters, including old Doom, I didn’t like. Like the saminess of the environments, the lack of direction/purpose partly because there are so few cues to take from the level design. I get that’s consistent with the theme, and I know this is a game about pire combat not heart, but wow I am bored of airlocks and corridors.

          • Borreh says:

            I was bored in Hell. Which was supposed to be the best and most impressive location in the gane. I understand the idea was to make it so cheesy as if a 16-year old metalhead would, but it was so obvious and banal exploring it was just terribly uninteresting, just brown walls and corridors and skulls and gore. One or two moments later on were a bit better than that, but for the most part it was a chore and easily the worst part of the game.

    • Borreh says:

      For me it was a problem – Doom doesn’t have almost anything going on story-wise (It has like… Five dialogue scenes? That add almost nothing at all?), and while I appreciate the no-nonsense approach to a degree, after a certain point there’s not much going on in the story other than killing demons. Which is fun, the combat is excellent, but it gets tiresome to just run around shooting without much context for all the violence.

      I thought the game will go down the Dark Souls route and add some interesting lore in text notes you unlock, but most of the stuff that’s there is just plan and boring.

      The story starts to add interesting things in the last four levels or so, but everything turns out to be a tease for a sequel.

      • dethtoll says:

        This is actually true to Classic Doom, though. Doom doesn’t need a story; it’s always been Aliens meets Evil Dead. Doom 3’s problem was it tried too hard to actually write a story around a concept that is fundamentally ridiculous. Doom ’16 makes no pretensions about it, and indeed Doomguy himself seems to care very little about the plot that’s going around him. If it doesn’t involve stomping Hell flat, he doesn’t give a hot shit. That bit where he’s asked to carefully extract a fragile piece of equipment to disable some machinery and he just smashes the shit out of it is hilarious and brilliant.

        • aircool says:

          Indeed. One of the things that divided opinion on Doom 3 was that extra tier of interactivity; listening to logs, writing down locker codes etc…

          I’m happy with the way Doom 2016 handles the extra layers beyond shooting; minimal, but with enough flavour.

        • Borreh says:

          Sure, but you don’t need to have the story up-front and in center to have it interesting. Look at Dark Souls: The storytelling is very, very minimalistic, but there’s tons of stuff going on under the hood that are actualy very interesting to read about.

          They could have as well have the storyline as simple as it is in the final game, but they few words spoken by the characters could have been much more interesting. Most of the lore of hell is so silly and dull I’m surprised someone spent their time typing it on the keyboard, let alone hire actor and record the voiceovers.

          I’m not saying it should be Bioshock (it shouldn’t), but a game should keep the player somehow captivated to finish it. The fights were amazing, sure, but after putting six hours into it there’s really not that much new stuff happening during them. After you’ve discovered all the gameplay has to offer, what’s the reason to go on through the game?

          Even before finishing the game my buddy (We’re both hardcore gamers since 20+ years, not the CoD-ear crowd) said that, after a certain point, it just becomes tiresome to play.

  10. ohminus says:

    I feel sorry for the guys down the metaphorical hall, working on Fallout 4. There they are, stuck making Team Post-America with an ancient engine and the puppety, stilted shooting that seems to entail, and then, from the same stable, there’s DOOM. A new epitome of speed, motion and combat. The fastest gun-game in the West. Press V for VATS? No, press F to rip a demon’s head in half.”

    Have fun, but stop confusing an RPG with an FPS and your own skills with those of the character.

    • Crimsoneer says:

      Fallout 4 is absolutely more FPS than RPG.

    • Duke Flipside says:

      Fallout 4 is hardly an RPG, it’s a Borderlands-esque open-world FPS/RPG mashup – considered as an RPG alone it’s pretty poor.

    • tattertech says:

      Others have said, but with Fallout 4, they clearly signaled a switch to focus on the FPS aspect over the RPG aspect.

      • Blake Casimir says:

        Sigh. So that’s it then. Even Bethesda don’t want to make first person RPGs any more. (Bring it on Skyrim fans, all prior ES games were better at being RPGs)

        Why must the most immersive, interesting and satisfying genre – the first person RPG – be the rarest?

  11. Kefren says:

    It sounds better than I expected as a Doom/Doom 2 purist. One thing no-one has mentioned, which probably means it isn’t in there, but I’ll ask anyway…

    In Doom and Doom 2 I loved the fact that after I died I could tap space bar and immediately begin the level again – but with only the basic pistol. It felt like I was a new marine who’d staggered through the carnage left by the previous one, and could now take over from Poor Dead Marine; I was a raw new recruit with only a pistol from my locker. Suddenly it wasn’t a case of replaying a level identically again (boring), or reloading (which seemed cheap): it was like a new level, with new challenges, because when you only have a pistol you can’t go in guns blazing. If I played well I’d soon be as tough as the previous marine with a full set of weapons; if I didn’t I’d try a new tactic until I cracked it. Suddenly Doom became a puzzle game about options and the environment, and the best order to do things, and the best way to use what was available. Each level then properly became unique. I always played on ultraviolence, so a level restart meant being as canny as possible, trying to get demons to fight each other so I could pick off the weaker ones from the edges, and using exploding barrels because I had nothing better to defend myself with. It felt amazing. And I can state that there wasn’t a single level in the four Doom campaigns (if I include the ultra-hard Thy Flesh Consumed) that couldn’t be completed on ultraviolence starting only with a pistol.

    I’m pretty sure that process of dying, groaning, but then tapping space and finding the game played differently was one of the things that kept me addicted for years. I had to develop the skills to survive each level in a harsh environment – which is what Doomguy did. Suddenly I was immersed because I felt like I was really there.

    Anyway, what happens in Doom 4 (for want of a less confusing name) when you die? Can you restart with space bar and begin from there with just basic weapons, or is it always a case of quickload or checkpoint, continuing as you were? I’m sure I’d still enjoy Doom but I’ll really miss that basic restart feature, which seemed to disappear from games after that once they got too obsessed with telling a story or being “cinematic”. That feature told me that good Doom players weren’t good just because they had the bigger guns, they were good because they could survive even when you took their guns away.

    If that feature is in the new Doom I’ll be well chuffed.

    • Antongranis says:

      You go back to The latest checkpoint, nothing like You are describing.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Nah, it doesn’t remove your weapons (in fact it keeps your equipment progression even if you restart an earlier level) and AFAIK most people played Doom and other early FPSes with quicksave/quickload so it’s what most people are expecting. I mean, how many people actually engaged with the lives system in Descent?

      • Blake Casimir says:

        You earn bonus points for mentioning the OTHER great FPS of the early 90s, Descent. Thank goodness the true spiritual sequel Overload is in production…

    • identiti_crisis says:

      It’s sort of there in the sense that certain weapons are more suited to dispatching certain demons, if you have the space and / or time (if not, another weapon might work). The challenge doesn’t come from having no weapons and cannily having to structure the fight to get to full operating strength, especially since with the chainsaw you are likely to die sooner than run out of ammo (and dieing itself feels part of a Souls-like learning facility, what with the checkpoints). Instead, the challenge comes in observing what’s around you in terms of the space (literally an arena at times) and the monsters, plus any pickups (Berserk is ace).

      Then you pick off the critters that are the largest obstacle to success at that time; this might mean dodging multiple Hellknights whilst chasing down evasive Summoners and one-shotting those annoying beam weapon dudes on the way. Or perhaps circle strafing a bullet-sponge Mancubus whilst dodging literally everything else etc. That’s very Doom, for me.

      All of this whilst traversing the arena – there is an element of the navigation and flow of bunny-hopping (Quake onwards), only in a more accessible form due to the mantling and double jump. There’s a fair bit of Quake in it like that, actually; and not just Quake; I got a distinct flavour of jump-match instagib UT99 using the gauss rifle on Summoners whilst hooning around like a lunatic! So the singleplayer seemingly has carefully engineered elements of competitive multiplayer shooters in general; which is interesting given how the multiplayer is reported to be (not tried it myself). The asymmetry of players’ skill, map knowledge and weapon loadout are replaced by the careful asymmetry of the monsters.

      There’s a reasonably good variety of monsters, in terms of “tactics”, but most of them offer little challenge once you get to grips with the requisite approach(es) for each. What matters is how they come together in numbers, and in the spaces, and how that affects the way you play. Again, very Doom.

      For instance, you can pretty much ignore imps and zombies (“possessed” in the new game) past a certain point, as they get taken out by the splash damage and cross-fire (plus rare in-fighting); but get careless, strafe into a fireball, miss a ledge or fumble an experimental tack, and they’ll just as easily take you down as they did at the start!

      • Kefren says:

        Thanks, that’s useful. Goodbye to games the the basic respawn! I’m sure I’ll buy Doom, though I’ll wait until the price drops a lot – I still have 100 unplayed games on GOG and Steam.

  12. Will Tomas says:

    Sounds quite like a muddier cross between modern Serious Sam (yes, I know that was following Doom as was) and Bulletstorm. Fair?

    • KDR_11k says:

      Doesn’t really describe the way you play the game. Serious Sam is backpedal while shooting hordes, Bulletstorm is setting up stylish kills and when the going gets tough reverting to cover shooting. Doom has smaller enemy counts than Sam (though they are also more mobile and diverse in their tactics), arenas that are more comparable to what you’d see in Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament than the wide open spaces Sam favors and neither style nor cover are aspects in Doom. Maybe it’s more comparable to the shooty parts of Space Marine since it uses the same execute-to-stay-alive system but Doom’s verticality is unmatched in singleplayer FPS AFAIK. There’s a lot of jumping up and down platforms.

  13. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    I see a lot about the combat and movement, but what about the level design? From this review and others I’ve seen, the levels are praised for how they enable the combat, and the amount of secrets they have, but I don’t see much about the other hallmarks of DOOM level design.

    The original game had great levels because the designers used a relatively small palette of simple elements to create so many different and memorable experiences that weren’t dependent on combat. And not I’m not just talking about puzzles and mazes, but that “a-ha” moment you get when you really figure out how a good DOOM level works. You weren’t just trying to get through a level, you were trying to solve it.

    Is that part of new DOOM?

    • derbefrier says:

      I don’t think anyone can answer that except you. Not when you Decbribe doom levels like that.

      But I can tell you there are doors, some of them pocked requiring certain keys. You find those keys and unlock the door then go to the next area etc.. just like the old doom. It probably won’t reach the heights of that pedestal you put the orginal doom on with that description though.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:

        To be clear, I’m not referring to some rose-tinted nostalgia. I played DOOM 1 & 2 completely through for the first time three months ago. I don’t think anyone who’s played them recently would have trouble understanding what I’m talking about.

        • Blake Casimir says:

          Am I the only one that absolutely hates it when people criticise those that look back with genuine appreciation and fondness on old games / films / books etc and accuse them of having “rose-tinted nostalgia specs”. This notion needs to die.

          • Buggery says:

            Yeah, absolutely. It renders good level design and gameplay mechanics as a solved problem, instead of an ongoing development of ideas and experimentation — with some ideas having been unnecessarily dropped.

            Doom’s level design is fascinating in how it leads the player to explore and discover not only the game, but the gameplay type that they were inventing (after all, FPS games used to be known as “Doom clones” because FPS games weren’t really a thing until Doom showed how it should be done!)

            Anyone can go watch the videos of John Romero in the “Dev’s Play” youtube series explaining how he designed levels to find out exactly why Doom plays the way Doom does. Likewise, the NES remix series shows the level of precision required to make a “good” Nintendo game, balancing gameplay mechanics with clever design.

    • Geebs says:

      From what I’ve seen of the early game, levels are more like a series of quake deathmatch maps strung together. What this means is that the movement feels fantastic – you spend most combat sections tear-assing around the room, and they’ve managed to make the maps in such a way that you’re running towards stuff to get stuck in, not endlessly strafing or running backwards; it’s not got the same sort of exploration that the original Doom maps had.

      I still do need to emphasise that it’s got fantastic shooting, though, and plays more like an old-school FPS mixed with the more agreeably chunky bits of Doom3 and Rage; that id software feel is in there (apart from some slightly tepid sound design).

    • gnalvl says:

      To be honest, there is no level design in Doom 4. It seems like there is at first, but after a few hours, you realize it’s just a bunch of mindless horde mode arenas with empty “exploration” segments dropped between to give the illusion of a classic FPS campaign.

      So sure, technically you do have to find keycards or pull switches to get to the next arena, but thats as far as it goes.

      During these “exploration” segments 90% of the time the only resistance you encounter are unarmed zombies that are such a non-threat even on Ultraviolence mode, that you’d be hard-pressed to die from these guys if you got their attention and then left to pee without pausing the game. They are pretty much the equivalent of the bushes and blades of grass in Zelda; if you’re bothering to cut them down you must be REALLY bored or REALLY desperate for that measly one-rupee item drop.

      Aside from that, on rare occasion there are some imps and possessed soldiers in between the arenas, but they don’t really seem to know how to fight without a massive arena battle going on, so you can mostly just sit back and snipe them with the assault rifle without them noticing you’re there.

      That’s pretty much it. It doesn’t have that classic Doom feel of methodically clearing rooms, slicing the pie to spot and shoot the demon around every corner before they get the drop on you. You’re not constantly trying to anticipate traps and planning for places to fall back to if you get mobbed, because the only “traps” are the big obvious arena areas which can’t be skipped, which lock behind you so there is no “falling back”.

      To me that’s what makes it feel like there is no level design. In most classic FPS campaigns, the entire strategy to it is developing a methodology to avoid being surrounded from every angle. In Doom 4 this goes entirely out the window because the entire game is about being funneled into a giant arena room where monsters immediately spawn all around you.

      In a word, it feels like Bethesda based the entirety of Doom 4 on the map Dead Simple in Doom 2, instead of…you know… all the other maps in Doom 1 and 2. There are segments in-between, but they are basically just there for show.

      • aircool says:

        At least there are no monster closets. The originals relied heavily on monster closets and cutting off your exit for the intensity of the fighting.

        There was plenty of opportunity in the originals to explore at leisure once you’d cleared the main rooms in an area. It was only on repeated plays, where you knew the layout and the best route, that you’d be moving from encounter to encounter at pace.

        In fact, many of the secrets could only be found when you had plenty of time on your hands and no threats in the area.

        • Premium User Badge

          gritz says:

          I… actually kind of liked Doom’s monster closets. They were just another trap to throw at the player. Realistically, it never made sense that monsters just lived in this little box until you picked up a rocket launcher or something. But Doom level design was always more concerned with abstract gamism over any kind of realistic simulation.

          Even the final scene of the Knee Deep in the Dead teleports YOU into a monster closet and kills you. Monster closets are DOOM!

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            I’ve only recently become aware of this adversity toward monster closets, and as a long-time doomer I don’t really get it. What’s not to love about hordes of monsters jumping out of the walls to tear you to bits? Y’know… aside from the obvious. Ahem.

            Anyway! They’re still used semi-frequently in doom’s mapping community so I can only assume you and I are not alone in liking them.

      • Premium User Badge

        PoulWrist says:

        Well, original Doom was basically what you’re describing. Going from point a to point be, with not much level design other than a bunch of mazes funneling you into arenas where you shot a lot of demons that would pop out of elevators coming down from the ceiling, doors opening behind you as you crossed the sectorline to the key or exit area and a rising floor cutting you off.

        There weren’t really much in the way of traps or anything like that other than when you saw the key or weapon lying on a glowing box or whatever. Then you knew that there was going to be a bunch of monsters coming at you from somewhere after you had it happen the first 3 times… it didn’t get old because the fun was in fighting the monsters, not trying to guess at where they could come from next, because there was no rhyme or reason to which wall would open up to reveal a group of them. Or just a tiny crack in to a teleporter closet.

        Doom 4’s realistic environments prevents it from just opening doors up with monsters waiting behind them, so it spawns them in instead. Although several places in later levels do have containers with monsters in them, but they’re the minority.

        Really, Doom and Doom 2 are among my most favorite of all times, but they weren’t anywhere near the nirvana of perfection you seem to set them up to be compared to Doom 4… the first game had the strong 1st episode, but the later two become increasingly weaker in their design as each goes on, and the 4th later added episode is overall bad, with only a few good maps in total. Doom 2 has the same sort of issue, and is largely saved by just having the many arena style battles with a horde of monsters as what you’re waiting for.

        Playing the new Doom is as fun as the old ones. There’s an equal amount of absurd level design here, it just looks realistic compared to what the old ones delivered, but there’s absolutely nothing realistic or even sensible about the way things are placed or work. It’s all done in the name of making a fun level, and it generally succeeds at that.

  14. Demiath says:

    DOOM is exceptional. I haven’t finished the game yet, but every new level I play is the most fun I’ve had with a shooter in 10-15 years.

    • Premium User Badge

      Tallfeather says:

      I concur. They really did a great job. I had doubts through the storied development, but apparently all those restarts paid off with a fun and refreshing game.

  15. TΛPETRVE says:

    The whole sad attempt at a narrative was something that really irked me, because the game didn’t need it, and it felt very tacked on, standing in strong contrast to the otherwise actually pretty damn hilarious writing. All the environmental cues such as holograms declaiming “Opening the Gates of Hell with the key to the future” are brilliant, as is the knowingly po-faced pretentiousness of the data logs. But the talking heads™ of the game, especially robot face Hayden, are just trite and boring, and every single second of them waxing exposition is a second wasted. In its best moments, DOOM is the more subtle and clever elder cousin of Far Cry: Blood Dragon. Where the latter jumps up and down, yelling “LOOK AT ME, I AM SO FUNNY AND NERDY!”, DOOM just hawks up a snorty chuckle and announces “Demonic presence at unsafe levels” over the public address system. A shame it cannot hold this level all the way throughout.

    • gnalvl says:

      The narrative in the original Doom was entirely down to the progression of the level design.

      You start in the Phobos base, which is relatively straight-forward, but gets progressively weirder as you get closer to the gate anomaly. Then you warp to Deimos, which is being actively “terraformed” by the demons…you start in the twisted remains of the UAC buildings and progress into dungeons and towers built by the demons themselves. Finally you get to hell, which starts out way darker than anything on Deimos and continues to get even weirder.

      It’s a simple, slow-but steady, Dante-like decent into madness which requires absolutely zero dialog or exposition to communicate. Bethesda didn’t seem to understand this.

      Aside from the in-your-face exposition ruining all the mystery, there simply isn’t a progression in the environments. Instead of progressing gradually deeper from Mars into Hell, you go back and forth. It’s the Doom 3 mistake…coming back to Mars when you’ve already been to Hell is boring! And despite all the times you go back to Hell, it never really feels any more hellish than the first time… it’s all just more of the same rocks with skulls in them.

      Lastly, the idea that the protagonist is not just a regular old marine, but actually an immortal “doom slayer” that’s been killing demons over and over since the beginning of time, ruins the feeling of vulnerability that is central to Doom. No matter how overrun you get, you just can “glory kill” your way through all of it. Even the demon narrator in hell admits that the doom slayer will win “as he always does”, which doesn’t make facing these opponents very intimidating or scary.

      • KDR_11k says:

        They chose to leave out the vulnerability aspect this time, Doom 3 tried to play that up and people didn’t like it much. It’s funny to see how many different interpretations of what constitutes the essence of Doom can be found in these comments.

        • gnalvl says:

          But you know what was even worse than monster closets in Doom 3? When the developers were too lazy to even build a monster closet into the level, and just had the monsters spontaneously spawn into the middle of the room.

          …except that’s exactly what’s happening everywhere, all the time, in all the arena segments of Doom 4, which are 99% of all the game’s combat!

          The original Doom games had monster closets, and they had spontaneous spawning, but they were used FAR more sparingly. The majority of enemies actually came at you from somewhere on the level, and anticipating/spotting these locations in time to avoid being surrounded and killed was your entire strategy as the player.

          The way Doom 4 enemies continually spawn into the arena ruins this aspect, and doesn’t substitute anything particularly good. Sure, you can overlook it for a while and still have some fun, and Bethesda were kind enough to compensate by making the enemies horrible at hitting you when you just run blindly in circles when they have you surrounded. I even have substantial suspicions that the other monsters politely wait for you to finish your glory kills before they continue attacking you, because I pretty much NEVER get punished for stopping to glory kill in the middle of a bad situation… but none of that is a substitute for actually having monsters that are part of the level design, instead of a GOW horde mode type of wave spawn.

          • identiti_crisis says:

            The spawn points and timings seem designed to me.

          • Premium User Badge

            PoulWrist says:

            You are invulnerable during glory kills.

            Play some of the classic maps, you’ll see how they are not waiting around for you to do nothing as the possessed soldiers will be charging up their big attack while you’re glory killing their buddy and that’ll hit you just as you come out of the hit.

            I don’t think you’ve played Doom in a very long time. Sometimes half the monsters in a level come out of closets, go play the computer station (e1m7) and see how that’s like.

            Doom 4 is probably the best possible way to take something that was in 1993 and bring it up to today. Yes, you can glorykill your way through everything, if you’re good enough, but that’s because the focus of the game is the combat and being in combat all the time.
            Not running away trying to find a medpack somewhere in the level or being screwed if you suck enough that you just run out. Original Doom, when you learned just a little, you didn’t run around with no HP, you had plenty all the time because you were good enough at killing the enemies that they never managed to take out chunks of your health.
            Only later levels in Doom 2 where you get swamped by huge amounts of monsters in very tight corridors make for much of a challenge today.

            And yes, I’ve played Doom recently. It never leaves my harddrive and I play various WADs at least once a month, trying out new things, seeing what’s been released. The things that have been created since original Doom, even if we’re just talking mappacks, far outshine the difficulty of the original and this new game feels more like the gameplay in a modern megawad.

          • gnalvl says:

            Re: Poulrist, I just played the original Doom last weekend. I have gone back and revisited the original Doom games at least a few times per year, for decades. I know what I’m talking about.

            You missed the point that monster closets > spawning in, which is what Doom 4 does constantly. This is because when you have monsters coming from at least SOMEWHERE on the level, it creates skill and strategy in anticipating and cutting off these routes with architecture and gunfire. The level actually becomes PART of the combat, and your main strategy is to avoid being surrounded.

            By comparison in Doom 4 it’s pointless to try to anticipate any enemy approaches because regardless of what you do, they will just instantly appear, making you instantly surrounded. The level design becomes irrelevant and you just run in circles wherever you can blindly shooting whatever shows up in front of you.

            And of course, people try to argue that this makes it more like multiplayer arena battles, but it’s really not at all. The combat is just too damn simplistic. You can beat every big monster with the same routine; just double jump out of the way of their huge telegraphed swing and shoot them in back with rockets/gauss. It’s not even up to the level of basic Quake/UT bots.

            Often, merely jumping up to a platform and then jumping back down over and over is enough to keep enemies too busy climbing up and down to fight you. It’s just not enough to keep the game engaging when you take level design out of the equation by ALWAYS putting the combat in an arena and spawning the enemies around the player.

  16. DeFrank says:

    RPS, plz : link to fancyapps.com

    Plz…

  17. ammythomas45 says:

    jkljlj

  18. ammythomas45 says:

    just as Rosa explained I am startled that any body can earn $5302 in 1 month on the computer . i was reading this

  19. Cruyelo says:

    Warning:
    Performance is great for users of 970, 980, 980 ti, Titan.

    GTX 700s users report much lower performance than normal. The difference between a 770 and a 970 depends per games, but goes from 30 to 70%. In Doom, it’s 130%.

    The R9 390 and 970 are meant to be equals (and are, normally). In Doom, standing in the SAME SPOT, the 970 at ULTRA gets 100fps while the 390 at LOW gets 86fps.
    This is a sharp decrease from the open beta, where the game was running at Medium and the 390 was faster than the 970.

    The 960 has good performance, but gets limited by its 2gb. If you have the 4gb version, you’re good.

    Other than that, the game is great. Just be careful about performance!

    • tomaac says:

      Playing on 770 without any problems. Performance is good. solid 60fps on medium/high.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      AMD has confirmed that there is a driverrelated problem with the 390, they are working on fixing it.

      • Premium User Badge

        PoulWrist says:

        link to guru3d.com

        The driver has now been released by AMD and can be downloaded from at least that link or amd.com I figure. Just easier to click the link at guru3d than trying to figure out AMD’s wizard :p

  20. PENIF says:

    I really appreciate that you guys (RPS) didn’t rush to post a partial review in order to gain advertising revenue at the expense of your integrity. You also didn’t whine about not having a pre-release copy, and gave a thorough review.

    Little things like that, along with your oldschool gaming heritage, are what make RPS my favorite and most trusted game review website.

    • KDR_11k says:

      I think talk about no pre-release copies was less whining and more warning. Usually that’s a sign that the publisher is not confident in the quality of the game and wants preorders to resolve before reviews arrive. Bethesda is just super weird about it.

  21. kwyjibo says:

    Yes, but can we finally talk to the monsters?

    • Premium User Badge

      Nauallis says:

      Yes, you can… but the experience you are looking for is called “Call of Duty: Black Ops III Multiplayer”

  22. thekelvingreen says:

    It sort of feels like Borderlands to me; I know Borderlands is a bit of a dirty word around here, but I mean it as a good thing.

    • aircool says:

      I dunno, Borderlands and Borderlands 2 are amongst my favourite fps games, I absolutely love them.

    • Ragnar says:

      Borderlands isn’t a dirty word.

      Crevice is a dirty word, but Borderlands isn’t.

    • baozi says:

      I loved playing Borderlands 2 co-op. The humor, too.

  23. thelastpointer says:

    I’m so glad this game turned out good.

  24. aircool says:

    The game is, to be blunt, fucking awesome. Everything feels just right. There’s times where you can take a breather, go back and pick up the health and ammo that you know would best be saved for after the next battle. However, there’s always the impulse to keep moving… the next locked objective or the next locked door.

    I did think that you could fall without taking damage, but there is a limit to how far you can fall without dying.

    Special mention of the weapons… there’s something for everyone. I’m a fan of the assault rifle with the scope that gives bonuses for headshots, but at some point, you know the double barrelled shotgun is going to be used.

  25. nootrac4571 says:

    “there wasn’t a single level in the four Doom campaigns … that couldn’t be completed on ultraviolence starting only with a pistol.”

    This, absolutely. I’d go further to say that most of them are actually better playing from a pistol start. The boss levels in particular. E3M8 (the original spiderdemon final boss,) is a completely different experience depending on you weapon loadout. With a BFG the level is: Run at monster, fire BFG, win game. But if you start with no weapons, which it’s pretty clear was how the level was designed to be played, it’s a wonderfully tense encounter: Run around the edge of the arena, picking up rockets, get the Spiderdemon to accidentally shoot the other monsters causing infighting that will distract him long enough for you to sprint past and pick up the last few rockets, then finally engage him in a tense fight around and through the central building. You’re given just enough ammo to do the job and it’s great.

    Doom 2 is less consistent about this – some levels are murderously punishing from a cold start – but Map07, ultraviolence, pistol start has been my default “I’ve got ten minutes and I want to feel like a god” gameplay fallback for decades now.

    On topic: New Doom does not have this approach to level design, but it is still very good.

    • nootrac4571 says:

      Supposed to be a reply to Kefren. Insert standard “Oh RPS why is your comment system so rubbish” comment.

  26. japstersam says:

    I really thought I’d bounce off Doom as I am normally not one for super high-octane stuff, but I am really loving it. I find dying never seems to be a problem or a frustration because it means I get to do the fights all over again. Its a whole different feeling to other games where a fight is a spectacle, or an obstacle. In DOOM the fight IS THE GAME. And its so much fun!
    I also think its one of the only games where you MOVE around the arenas so much. Most games you approach a room/area from a certain direction and in DOOM you are constantly moving to new areas, dashing around wildly but with a purpose. I just love that it completely shakes up the standard FPS cover-peek-shoot mechanics. Very glad I took the jump!

  27. identiti_crisis says:

    What this game needs is a replay system.

  28. malkav11 says:

    I know Doom doesn’t -need- a story, but neither does Wolfenstein and yet The New Order did brilliant work with its. I was really hoping that similar magic could be wrought with this. But then, I don’t think Machine Games had anything to do with the new DOOM, and neither id nor Bethesda have ever shown that kind of native storytelling gift, so I suppose it was always a bit of a pipe dream.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Actually the end credits have a section crediting “Machine Games Support Team” (or something to that effect), so I figure they probably called them in back when they saw what they were doing with Wolfenstein and id were in the throes of “Call of Doom”.
      The game certainly feels very much inspired by Wolfensten: NO.

      But the storytelling in the setting we’re talking about is absurd anyway. In Wolfenstein it somehow worked, even though the actual gameplay would largely be completely grotesque violent superhuman actions and the story’s characters were so “human”. The clash somehow worked, but I don’t think you can do that with schlock like Doom. Glorious schlock it is, though.

      There’s a Robocop vibe (original Robocop, not the trash reboot) to the world, with the UAC spokesperson happily announcing absurd things like “Weaponising demons for a brighter tomorrow” and the scientology-esque description of the UAC in the text-logs you can collect. Lacking is the biting satire of the Verhoeven film, instead we’re left with competent slapstick ultraviolence.
      A comment not on society like Robocop, but on the state of the first person shooter today.
      The clean, crisp experience of war in your regular Modern Military Shooter’s campaign, where you play a superhuman character, who they try to disguise as human, violence is very clean, leaving at most a bit of dust and broken buildings and bad things only happen to manequins and demonised representations of modern fear.

      Doom strips away the pretty veneer and revels in chainsawing heads in half, places actual demons as the enemy and you play as a literal superman. It works, on so many levels.

  29. johnweythek says:

    I thought this game was beautiful. Granted I can run it on EVERYTHING ULTRA (HELLA would have been a better setting) and locked onto 60fps. But i spent 90 minutes in just the 2nd level, not so much searching for secrets and bobbleheads but admiring the complexity and details of a recently destroyed future facility. All the glowing consoles, keyboards, screens; flashing, spinning and blinking lights (and NO FLASHLIGHT) were perfectly placed and appropriately cracked and bloodied.

    The enemies looked a bit dull in the “art” view from the menu but an imp juggling a fireball before hurling it at you with the style of a trick pass the harlem globetrotters would be jealous of is as mesmerizing as it is deadly. Oh and the satisfaction of shooting an imp as he fumbles his charge shot into his buddies!

    I haven’t been this instantly impressed from a new game since the 1st half life demo.

  30. Jabba says:

    I picked this game up yesterday played through the first 5 missions then sold it today it’s a pretty dull game in my opinion

  31. Uderfrykte says:

    Thanks for the great review, Alec. However, what surprises me is how all of the reviewers fail to mention/notice that this game is not just Doom reborn, it’s all of the classic ID legacy reborn. This game’s got a very heavy dose of Quake II in it, and the original Quake as well, I thin (hence the creative decision to make some of the levels “dour”, perhaps)? Am I wrong? It does feel like I’m playing an awesome fusion of Q2 + Doom.

  32. cunningmunki says:

    Damn, I’m struggling really hard to resist the temptation to pay full-whack for this. I haven’t payed full price for a game in about 3 or 4 years. I need to go and play some Brutal Doom to scratch the itch.

    • cunningmunki says:

      I meant ‘paid’ obviously, since I don’t live on a ship. Damn the lack of edit feature.

      • goettel says:

        Got a Steam key for €33 from cdkey.com – not intended as a plug, but just saying there are deals to be had.

  33. theapeofnaples says:

    Well, this sounds excellent.

    I should probably play the Wolfenstein remake at some point too, eh?

    • Premium User Badge

      AutonomyLost says:

      Yes you should. Both are *surprisingly* good at what do.

  34. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    Can you still get the monsters to fight each-other?
    To me, that’s always been one of the core elements of Doom; you’re fighting these monster who are only united in their hatred for you, but will turn on each-other in an instant.

    • aircool says:

      Yes you can. You’ll even come across monsters already scrapping with each other.

  35. Bombuzal says:

    This is one of the best ID games I have played since Q3 Arena.

    The only thing I hate is that killing is uninspired. In the original Doom all those years back, when you shot imps there was the gratifying possibility of it spewing blood as it tipped its head back and fell when you one-shotted it with the shotgun. The sound it made when dying was also satisfying… similarly shooting the grunts also produced excellent sounds. The baddies in this doom (although pretty terrifying when they are jumping around and throwing fire and stuff at you or even just looking at you) just seem to completely lack that life from the original doom which for me makes combat very dull.

    Don’t know how far in I am but hoping for a little more diversity in terms of the textures/objects used in environments. So far it’s all been same/same/same/same.

    Now if they would just remake Quake :)

  36. goettel says:

    It’s the combat. Three hours in, I’m not convinced by the map design. But the combat: it’s a thing of beauty. My 660Ti is having a hard time spitting out frames fast enough, but even hovering around the 35-40 FPS mark, the feel is great. As I’m already planning a 1070 system for BF1 (and VR, if it takes), it looks like end of the year will have me replaying DOOM, hopefully in the tripple digit FPS it deserves.

  37. Voqar says:

    This game looks really good but I just don’t like shooters enough to justify a AAA price tag. There isn’t much replay value in something like this (for me at least) and paying that much just for pretty graphics isn’t worthy. Probably grab it in a few months when it’s on sale.

    It IS nice to see a somewhat more classic shooter for a change vs what has become the ultra generic and over done story-based shooter.

  38. 502true4you says:

    I’ve been playing the game for a few days now and I must say that Doom: 2016 is pretty solid. I am one of those gamers that thoroughly enjoys a game with an epic storyline accompanied with epic cut scenes (the Uncharted series is a prime example). Needless to say I was scared to death to even buy this game due to all of the “no story at all” comments I was hearing. I was relieved to see that the devs did focus on a story after all which is what prompted me to go ahead and buy the game. Although Doom: 2016 doesn’t contain the “epic cut scenes” that I enjoy, the devs did a really good job of blending the story with the game. The way they did this really gives me the feeling that I AM THE DOOM MARINE! I would have liked there to be a little more to it than what it is, but I am satisfied.

    As for the guy that doesn’t like shooters cause they do not justify a AAA price tag. He surely hasn’t played any Far Cry, Gears of War, Uncharted, Wolfenstein, Mass Effect or any other of the countless titles that belong to an extremely good series of games and sequels! A long time ago (a very long time ago) I used to feel the same way. I was an RPG genre type of gamer. Then I played Medal of Honor: Alied Assault. MOHA changed the way I felt about shooters for ever! That game prompted me to begin building computers and gaming rigs… I’ve been doing it ever since then… And that was in 2001!

  39. LurkingPresence says:

    I haven’t seen anybody say this yet, but what the game reminds me of most are mid 2000’s shooters (specifically Prey, FEAR, and Quake 4). I’m barely 2 hours into it, so that may be a poor assessment.

    I’m a huge doom fan (in the sense of ‘Doom the crazy thing it has become in the past 20 years’ not specifically the 2 iwads that id put out in the early 90’s). I play through Plutonia Experiment at least once a year. Honestly it doesn’t feel like ‘that’ doom to me. I mean WADs like Alien Vendetta, Hell Revealed, Unholy Realms etc.

    To be fair the original Doom is a game I feel like a lot of people misunderstand. They get so caught up on the setting (which to be fair was quite novel at the time) they fail to notice the actual game underneath. The original Doom is more like a first-person Smash TV than it is a modern FPS. It’s a game more about dodging than aiming. Dealing with large groups of hostile demons, navigating surrealistic levels where walls disappear and the floors rise up.

    Doom 2016 is not that game. Compared to games like the modern Call of Duty titles it’s quite vicious and fast-paced, but if you have played Hard Reset or Shadow Warrior (or even Serious Sam) it doesn’t really offer that much new (or better) than those games.

    Granted I may change/develop my opinion as I get further into it.

  40. SpaceToaster says:

    id’s like “Let’s make shooters great again!” and DOOM 2016 has come.

    I will be downloading tonight.

    • Premium User Badge

      AutonomyLost says:

      I hope you’re enjoying it!

      I began playing this last night and already have nearly nine hours logged.

      It grabs hold, not unlike Cacodemon jaws, and simply refuses to let go.

  41. Premium User Badge

    AutonomyLost says:

    This game is incredible! I’m stuck on a certain arena fight, where I’ve fought and died maybe 30 times… It’s a bitch, but I can’t wait for my next attempt tomorrow after I’ve given my reflexes a rest.

    DOOM is back, as Alec has made clear. This game is the cat’s pajamas.