REVIEW: DOOM (Campaign)
Providing a bloody and brutal experience, DOOM manages to capture what made the original games so great, whilst introducing fresh mechanics that shows DOOM is very much still alive and kicking. This feels fresh, something the FPS genre has needed for a long time.
You are ‘Doom Guy’ (or ‘Doom Marine’), and you find yourself imprisoned within a UAC Mars facility – why? Who knows. But for whatever reason, demons are spilling in from Hell itself and have quickly made their presence known, leaving guts and viscera along the way. This automatically makes it your mission to find out how these hellspawn have made it onto Mars, and how to stop the demonic invasion. There are more twists and turns along the way, but ultimately this is DOOM – you’re going to be killing lots of blood-thirsty enemies, whilst having a blast doing so.
Practically from the start, you’ll be thrown into the action as you take on The Possessed; once functioning humans turned into mindless and violent zombies if you will. These guys aren’t too difficult, but are fun to mow down as you get accustomed to the game and such. Soon, you’ll be taking on Imps, who just love to throw fireballs straight at you. They’re a lovely bunch once you get to know them.
A good way of quickly getting health is by ripping enemies apart, quite literally. Glory kills are special kills which allow you to completely obliterate demons, but only if their staggered enough to do so. Essentially, when you deal enough damage, enemies will glow a blue or orange colour, indication you can perform a glory kill. These are usually highly satisfying as the sounds of yourself smashing an Imps head clean off, combined with the blood spatter, makes for a very DOOM-like experience. Just wait until you glory kill the tougher enemies – you won’t be disappointed.
As you progress through the game, you’ll come across much stronger enemies such as the Mancubus, Summoner, Hell Knight, and the iconic Cacodemon, among many more. This creates a learning curve that allows you to get well adjusted to the game’s mechanics as you prepare for larger scale battles against the best Hell has to offer. The Cyberdemon and Spider Mastermind both make appearances, however whilst I found them visually incredible, they were very underwhelming in terms of difficulty. I felt they could have been much stronger.
In order to survive these horrific demons, you’ll need weapons – lot’s of weapons. You’ll be treated to the beloved Super Shotgun, Chaingun, and Rocket Launcher, however a new weapon making its debut is the Gauss Cannon; a rail-like gun capable of killing enemies in one hit with well-placed shots. The Chainsaw is back with a vengeance, able to rip through the spines, legs, heads, and torsos of your enemies – however, this doesn’t have unlimited uses and is treated more of a power weapon this time around, so use it wisely.
DOOM wouldn’t be DOOM without the BFG-9000 – this beast has the power to wipe out entire hordes of enemies in a single blast, even the more difficult ones, making it a must-have for the later stages where things really get chaotic. Ammo can be scarce, so it’s probably worth saving until you come across a few Baron of Hell or Mancubus. Killing enemies with this thing is highly satisfying as all it will leave is blood splatter and guts when used. Mmmm…
One of the first things in DOOM that stuck with me was the urge to actually explore each level – there isn’t just one linear path to follow as most levels are large in scale, in turn promoting thorough exploration. This can often lead to finding secrets and various collectibles, which is always a satisfying experience. If you search hard enough, you can even find secret areas which actually turn out to be classic maps from the first two DOOM games.
Collectibles can range from data tidbits, ‘Doom Guy’ figurines, weapon mods, armour upgrades, and rune trials. More interestingly are the rune trials; each one tests your skill in a particular gameplay environment, such as being able to kill 20 Imps with the Combat Shotgun in a certain time limit, using the Gauss Cannon to get rid of certain enemies, but with only 1 hit point. Once completed, a rune will be given, giving you advantages during the game such as receiving more ammo, performing Glory Kills quicker, and so forth.
Power ups are scattered throughout the game, including the extremely useful Beskerk, sending you in a fit of rage in which your fists are able to instant-kill enemies. Quad Damage is also available, upping the damage dealt significantly. One of the more rarer power ups is Invulnerability, which I suppose is understandable, but once you get it, make sure you don’t waste any time as you can blast away without having to worry about getting hurt. Especially useful in DOOM’s newest difficulty setting…
Ultra Nightmare is a new difficulty mode, allowing you to take on the demons of hell in an extremely challenging environment. And there’s a catch; if you die once, you must restart from the beginning. Someone has already beaten the entire game this way, which is something I could only dream of doing. If you’re up for a thoroughly challenging experience, then knock yourself out.
Resembling non-stop action of its earlier games, DOOM manages to keep you on your toes in a gameplay environment that punishes you for standing still for too long. Movement is key if you want to survive in this game as enemies will constantly be on the hunt for you, throwing projectiles and stomping around until you either die first, or they do. I can’t recommend this game enough, whether you’re a veteran of the series or a newcomer. Fight like Hell.
Available On: Windows PC, PS4, Xbox One