Editor’s Note: This is our first review coupled with a video review. You can watch the video review above, or read a transcript of the video below.
Hello, everybody, my name is Tyler Valle, and this is Doom. Now before I get into this review, I want to give a shoutout to my man Christian at Gamestop who hooked me up with a Doom poster even though I think it was a pre-order bonus.
You know when Doom was first announced to be in development I was already writing it off to be bad if not terrible. I mean, if you were to look at all the players involved in the creation of the game, it seemed like an almost certain disaster. You got ID Software, or what’s left of them, who let’s admit it, haven’t been really relevant in the game development scene for a while now.
Their last big release was RAGE, and that game fell horribly flat with bugs and budget cuts that kept it from being a new power franchise that ID wanted, and with Wolfenstein being shipped around to almost any developer to work on it, it seemed that ID was going to close up shop. Especially with John Carmack now gone to work in the emerging VR Field.
Not to mention the fact that the publisher of the game was Bethesda/Zenimax, who couldn’t release a finished game to save their lives. It certainly felt like this game was going to be a bust. But color me surprised that this game turned out the way it did. It’s good, in fact, it’s really good.
Doom, a game I thought was going to be the Duke Nukem Forever of the franchise, turned out far less Duke Nukem Forever and much more Wolfenstein the New Order. It’s a return to the classic formula of fast paced action that Doom was known for. You will be spending dozens of hours running and gunning your way through waves of demons, leaving your enemies lying in a pool of their own blood and guts, that’s if there’s anything left after you’re done with them.
Doom is a sequel to Doom 2, making it clear that much like most Doom fans, ID has decided to forget that Doom 3 existed. You play as a guy, the guy. Doomguy, a literal one-man apocalypse, able to run at speeds that break the sound barrier and has the strength to punch demons into paste.
This time, you’re not just a UAC Marine on Mars who was in the right place at the right time. Now, you’re the ultimate demon slayer, encased in a tomb held in the depths of Hell. You have been religiously prophesized as the man who will bring about the end times in hell. As I said, a one man apocalypse.
During one of the many times that mankind has delved into hell, they discover your tomb and bring it back to Mars. Shortly after that happens, a religious cult releases the demons onto the Mars base and decides that to further the evolution of mankind, they need to aid the demons in their conquest of Earth. This is when your tomb is opened, and you are freed to do what you do best: rip and tear.
After that very quick intro to the setting, you immediately start dispatching any and all demons in your way. Whether it’s with a handgun, shotgun, or your trusty chainsaw, you’re on your way.
From there you travel all across Mars and hell in search of a way to stop the religious cult from opening a permanent portal between our dimension and hell. That’s it, that’s the story. It’s light, as it should be. Much like the original Doom games that gave you the story bits in one-panel dialogue boxes, the new Doom understands we are not there to hear the story, we’re there to kick ass.
Trust me when I say there is an awful lot of ass to kick. One of the best parts of this game is that the environments look like your average, modern first person shooter, but are filled with bright glowing pieces of armor and health kits. This is not to mention the old school power-ups like invisibility and berserk.
A great new feature added to Doom is the ability to upgrade your weapons and armor. You can gather weapon upgrades by accomplishing certain tasks that are given to you every level, and you can find UAC marines and take a data chip off them to upgrade your armor. These coupled with the runes you can find around each level allow you to power up Doomguy to make him even more extreme.
As for the game’s actual graphics, they look good. Nothing to write home about sure but the new Doom runs well, plays well, and looks good while doing it. The monsters in particular look fantastic, their models are immediately recognizable from the older games. However, if I had any complaints about the graphics, it’s that the environments are all very dark, making it hard sometimes for me to see what I’m doing.
It’s worth mentioning this only happened maybe one or two times, it was still frustrating at the time and is what is partly to blame for many people’s worry about the game. What we saw didn’t seem like the Doom that we wanted and felt like it was another brown and bloom first person shooter to toss into the pile. However, I’m happy to say I was wrong, we were wrong, we were all so very wrong.
Oh yeah, Doom also has multiplayer…
What? What do you want me to say? No one cares about this game’s multiplayer and you know it. I will say that after spending 4 hours playing it that I had a lot of fun, but I can’t shake the feeling that the game’s online community will be dead within the year. Doom might as well have shipped as a single player only experience.
Honestly, I could probably continue to gush about this game for several more hours, but to save you time and me oxygen, let me just say that I haven’t been this pleasantly surprised by how good a game is since I first picked up Wolfenstein the New Order. ID knew to change just enough to modernize the franchise but made sure not to touch anything that made the first two Doom games work.
If you’re like me, you’ll be spending hours grabbing all the collectibles and finding every secret well after you finish the game, and with the multiplayer alive for at least the moment, there is also a good way to take breaks in between breaking Hell Knight spines. ID has won me back over as a fan of their work after nearly a decade of complete obscurity, and it’s great to be home.
Doom, Doom 2016, Doom 4, whatever you’d like to call it get’s a 9 out of 10. There is a wealth of content here for the singleplayer gamer such as myself, and while the multiplayer is fun, I can’t help but feel it will be dead within the year.
Had Bethesda marketed it better the multiplayer could have been a real contender for the market especially with the interest in games like Call of Duty at an all time low. I suppose there’s always next time.
Anyway, my name is Tyler Valle and make sure to check out Niche Gamer for all your gaming news. I’ll see you next time.
Doom was reviewed on PlayStation 4 using a retail copy purchased by Niche Gamer. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.
The Verdict: 9
- Fun Gameplay revitalizes a style that’s been dead since the early 2000’s
- The Story is interesting but doesn’t weigh your adventure down and instead is used as a light guide around the battlefields
- The enemies look great with their new models, You instantly recognize almost every enemy you see.
- While many of the environments looked good, it was hard to tell due to how dark the game is
- The soundtrack was pretty bland and in no way can compete with the original OST
- The multiplayer feels as though it will be dead not longer after release, and ID knew that.