When you start up ID’s DOOM you’ll notice three options, Multiplayer, Single Player and Snapmap. Since the servers at the time of testing were not live, we have to instead rely on our time with the beta to tell you our initial impressions of the multiplayer. But before that, let’s start with the campaign.
DOOM’s campaign does come with a story of sorts, as you try to stop an evil professor from infesting Mars with a bunch of demons, something which involves a trip to hell along the way. That aside, the story is probably best summed up by one of the in-game story descriptions, where it says something along the lines of, “you are offered some help to get to your goal, but all you need to know is where the bullets are”. Yes, it’s that type of campaign, where there are a load of demons, “badass guns” and oh so much gore. You could probably fill a few hundred shipping containers with the amount of limbs you’ll pull off and if you are partial to feeding demons their own hearts, then you’ll probably be in your element here.
To be honest, at first I though the game felt pretty cheesy, almost b-movie in approach, however as you start to fight against tougher enemies and find bigger and better weapons, you actually get sucked in and start to enjoy yourself. There was one point, when my character found a berserk pick-up, that I even let out a scream of surprise as he ripped every single demon in sight to shreds. It was quite a spectacle and as you would expect, provided even more gore than usual, and that’s saying something.
When it comes to the weapons you have a fantastic choice, as near the beginning you’ll find the staple that is your shotgun, before going on to find the Chaingun, Heavy Assault Rifle and Gauss Canon. Of course you’ll also get hold of the Chainsaw too, at which point you’ll be cutting every enemy in half - Did I mention that this game is a little violent?
There is an element of progression within DOOM as all of your weapons can be upgraded, making them even more devastating. You’ll also find plenty of pick-ups, from armour to artefacts, the latter of which will provide anything from invulnerability to quad damage. You’ll even find boots which help you double jump, which comes in handy in latter levels when you are trying to get to otherwise unreachable areas.
Graphically, DOOM is a decent enough looking game, but at the same time feels quite old school in approach, almost as if it is excellent HD remake of the original title. It has it’s graphically flaws, such as the occasional pop-in, but oddly it doesn’t feel out of place, as you almost expect this given the presentation style and feel of the game. Environments provide nice lighting and when combined with the music which drones away in the background, you know that you’re in a shooter which is going to throw all manner of nasty things in your path.
While DOOM’s campaign is forgettable as a story, if your only purpose is to find lots of weapons and tear all manner of demons a new one, then you’ll enjoy your time with it. If that’s not your purpose, then you have to question why you are playing DOOM in the first place.
Away from the main campaign, DOOM decides to dip its toes into the multiplayer arena in two ways, first with Snapmap and also with its fully fleshed out Multiplayer experience. The Snapmap is hardly a new idea, however it’s still a welcome one. Basically you can create your own maps, upload and share them with the community. You can also play maps that other people have created, either with friends or online with others. Making maps seems fairly straightforward, with all manner of different sections for you to play around with. When first creating your map, you do start with a template based on a standard map, but from there you can do what you like really.
As far as multiplayer goes, the servers were not yet live at the time of writing, so we can only base our impressions on our time with the beta, as well as telling you what is included at launch. If you’ve already played the beta, you’ll know what to expect. Just like the single player, it’s full of gore and quite fun too. The action feels very early 2000’s and it’s lightning quick, with all manner of things to pick up as you dart through the well designed multiplayer arenas. It’s likely that DOOM’s multiplayer won’t win any awards for innovation, but if you’re picking this game up then you already know what to expect.
At launch, DOOM multiplayer includes six game modes (Team Deathmatch, Soul Harvest, Domination, Warpath, Freeze Tag and Clan Arena). It also launches with nine maps, as well as those found within the Snapmap mode. The servers are dedicated, although as mentioned only went live at the same time as our review, hence why we could only give limited thoughts based on our time with the beta.
Having first been announced in 2008, DOOM took its time to get here, thankfully though it’s a lot of fun and offers the kind of experience that you’d expect from a new game in this series. DOOM may not be the best looking game you’ll ever play, or even the most innovative, however it’s certainly one of the goriest.
(Version Tested: PS4)