DOOOOOOOM!!! So with this finally out of the way, I’ll start to focus on another game. I’ll either finally get into Metroid Prime 2, or finish my playthrough of Transistor. That is, between my sessions of No Man’s Sky. Fricking loving that game so far! I’d say the worst part of the game is accidentally naming your first planet Colorado…..
My Thoughts on DOOM (2016):
Where Ultra Fast Combat Meets its DOOM
I’ve never played Doom before. When I first learned about the series, I was eight or so and too young to step into the hellish bloodbath. Around the time I got my PS3, The BFG Edition of Doom 3 had come out. I was old enough to play and enjoy the game at that point, but it was 2012 and a lot of better games had released. When the newest installation of Doom released earlier this year, I was entirely planning on skipping it. Another, more multiplayer focused, shooter that I was actually interested in had come out around the same time. But due to the convincing of a friend, and the fact that I didn’t want to spend 60$ on a multiplayer only game, I took the plunge into DOOM. And I loved it! Mostly.
While I prefaced this by saying that I’ve never played a Doom before, I can safely say this game is true to the classic. It’s certainly not the same as old Doom, but it retains the fast paced carnage known to the series. I mean compared to other modern shooters, the base walking speed of Doomguy is ludicrous! Plaid even!! If Usain Bolt was made to rip and tear! And with multitude of unique Glory Kills, you could rip and tear demons 100 different ways. My personal favorite was sweeping the leg, then immediately face-punching the mid-air hellspawn all anime style! Though I really loved ripping off a demon’s arm then beating the shit out of him with it or pushing a demon to the ground, twisting its leg around, then forcing its foot into its own skull. Ooh, and I can’t forget all the chainsaw decapitations. As for the shooting, it was just as great! Busting a cap in demonic ass never felt better. Seriously, the shooting experience in DOOM is by far the best I’ve ever had in a shooter before. I felt like a damn bloodthirsty animal when in the thick of combat. And coming out the victor was always a rush.
I had my biggest problems, however, when not in combat. I’ll go more into the shooting and shit a few paragraphs down; I just have to get this all out first. Combat was fast and violent and chaotic, and withdrawing from that high when all the demon dust settled was always relieving. Problem is, I spent as much time in the midst of combat, as I did walking around in near silence not shooting a damn thing. In fact, I probably spent more time doing that. All of the levels are wide and expansive, with many different corridors to go down and areas to explore. And every level had many secrets to find, items to collect, and challenges to complete. With most of the game being about absolute carnage, I enjoyed taking the time in between the bloodshed to go through the nooks and crannies of the levels to find secrets. And since I’m a bit of a completionist, I made it my mission to collect, find, and complete everything in its entirety within the campaign. The collectables in most of the levels were among the following; Doomguy action figures, small drones holding boxes of weapon mods, and tokens found in the corpses of Elite Guards that could be used to upgrade the Doomguy’s Praetor Suit. There were also secret areas to discover; either an area housing extra health, armor, or ammo pickups, or small sections of older DOOM levels that could be opened up through a lever. And with each secret found, a weapon upgrade point was awarded, used to power up the equipped weapon mods or give improvements to the weapons without mods.
Since every level was large and there were so many collectables and secret areas to find, discovering everything took a fair bit of time. While I did enjoy finding all the secrets, for the satisfaction of 100%ing the game and for the weapon upgrades, I didn’t enjoy searching for them. Looking for everything wasn’t at all hard though, it was mostly just boring and annoying… First off, the in game map was far too useful in finding the secrets, as it pretty much showed were every single collectable was. The hidden items being clearly shown on the map completely took away from actually exploring the level and searching for the items. And secondly, the slow and quiet ambience music that played when not in combat made all that searching so boring. When in combat, high intensity metal music that completely fit the high intensity of combat blared. The light ambience music that played during all other segments of the game, however, drained almost all of the energy I had attained when eviscerating demons. Oh, and the game needed more demons TO eviscerate! Most of the MAJOR combat happened in select, contained areas while only a handful of stray demons meandered around the rest of the level. It felt only those confined areas were actually overrun with demons, rather than the entire level. Demons should have been more balls to the walls, festering in every corner of the map. All of those things just took so much fun away from exploring the razed Mars base and the literal Hellscape. And, because of how great the game actually looks, exploring the environments should have been just as great.
While I’m not much of a graphics person, DOOM’s graphics really impressed me. The game truly felt “next gen” to me. The game running on its own, brand new game engine certainly helped it look as good as it did. Enemies were highly hellacious, weapons and items were suitably solid, and the environments were mostly marvelous. I say mostly, because I wasn’t quite fond of Hell’s color palette. The Martian base and landscape looked top notch, but Hell looked too yellow and brown. It wasn’t as fiery and vivid and as… well as red as it should have been. But that’s a minor nitpick. A more major nitpick is how often I FELL TRHOUGH THE ENVIRONMENT, OR GOT STUCK IN FLOORS AND WALLS, OR DIDN”T HAVE CERTAIN ACTIONS REGISTER. Like, oh my god… I got stuck between two large rocks, fell through a small opening in a grate, glory killed an enemy from above and went straight through the floor, took a jump pad directly into a pillar and got jammed in it… Not only that, but sometimes I wouldn’t climb up a ledge when jumping at it straight on! Multiple times! And those were just incidents involving the environment, I also had a few issues with enemies. Very rarely, when enemies spawned in an enclosed room, one damn demon wouldn’t appear and I’d get stuck in the room going around in circles unable to find and kill the bastard! Oh, and more often, when I killed some demons their bodies would get stuck in the floor or in a wall and rattle around for a few seconds before deteriorating. And it wasn’t a quiet rattle! But that’s not all! When I had the chainsaw out, sometimes I would walk into an enemy, expecting to split its skull in two, but end up standing still with chainsaw LITERALLY INSIDE THE DEMON”S STOMACH as it clawed my eyes out because the damn the animation of Doomguy ripping into the demon’s face wouldn’t trigger! I don’t know why I ran into so many glitches like this… Issues like these shouldn’t be popping up in a Triple-A title in fricking 2016! Though the game is running on a newly created engine. And this is a partly a Bethesda game after all… Even though, when I looked online, people didn’t seem to be running into these problems… Hah, I guess I’m just a lucky SOB!
But the demons in the game… Well they weren’t as lucky. Doomguy terminated every creature of the damned with extreme prejudice through the use of ballistic arts. These ballistics include a near useless pistol, two damn shotguns, a heavy machine gun, an even heavier gatling gun, a plasma rifle that fires blue balls of death, an electromagnetic cannon, the tried and true bazooka, and the iconic BFG 9000! While I had clear favorites among the guns (both the plasma rifle and double barreled shotgun racking over 900 kills), most of the boomsticks felt good to use. Most. The pistol, despite its unlimited ammo, was really bad. I know that the starting pistols in older DOOMs are usually bad, but I wish the pistol in this DOOM had some use. I also wish the BFG was better because it sure wasn’t as great it should have been. There were just very few times when I actually had to rely on it. But every other gun was great! And because every gun but the BFG had upgrades, improvements for the pistol and super shotgun and two different modifications for the other weapons, every gun could be made ever greater! Not every mod was great though. DOOM is a fast paced game, and most of the mods suited it. A triple charge or explosive shot for the combat shotgun, a heat blast or stun bomb for the plasma rifle, homing rockets for the bazooka, the ability to keep the chaingun rotating without firing. All of those mods were useful and kept with the speed and fervor of combat. Putting a scope on the heavy assault rifle and gauss cannon though. Those mods didn’t fit at all. But since the guns had two mods, you didn’t have to use the stupidly useless ones. And besides, who wouldn’t give their assault rifle unlimited micro missles?
Not just weapons were moddable though! Doomguy himself could also be modded through the use of runes. Rune slates were scattered throughout levels, and upon touching the plate, Doomguy would be transported to another realm and given a challenge. Completing the challenge would unlock the rune’s ability, and man, were some of the abilities wild. One let you have unlimited ammo if your armor was above a certain point, another made the quick glory kill animations ever quicker, while my personal favorite rune let you blink into a glory kill from several feet away. Instantly teleporting into a curbstomp was always exhilarating. With all the guns and the upgrades and the runes, Doomguy was a one-man armada of annihilation. And oh boy, did I annihilate! It was a helluva ride slaying the legions of hell, and by the time I got to the final level, I felt truly unstoppable. I’m not lying when I say this is the best shooting I’ve ever experienced! And Doomguy himself only added to that experience. He was a total badass with the sole purpose of ridding the demonic infestation of Mars. And despite being a silent protagonist, his actions alone clearly showed his lack of fucks to give about the world around him. All he wanted to do was rip and tear. I would have liked it if he made more vocalizations though. Growling, screaming, and roaring, like Link hopped up crack and bath salts.
Despite how searching the levels for the hidden items bogged down the game and how the glitches got on my nerves SUPER HARD, DOOM is a very high contender for my GOTY. The shooting was great, movement was great, environments and enemies were great. The whole game was just great! The most fun I’ve had on my PS4 so far and I’m itching to go back into the bloodbath and try out some of the *harder difficulties. And I’ll gladly buy any single player DLC that’s announced in the future!
*Side note: I rarely felt like I was in danger on the standard difficulty, “Hurt Me Plenty”. It was honestly a bit too easy for a title like DOOM. The hard difficulty, “Ultra-Violence”, forces you manage your ammo, be more aware of where the demons are, and, overall, just felt more fitting for DOOM.