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After completing Doom 2016 a while ago, I’m still reeling from the experience. It’s a new take on the franchise that kept me on the edge of my seat for many gameplay sessions. If this intro sounds like I’m lauding the game, that’s because I am. I really, really am.
Let’s be honest here, if you wanted to play Doom then you’ve more than likely already gone out and bought it. For those of you still sitting on the fence, or waiting for an inevitable price drop, this is another review to salivate over. It’s difficult to find much wrong with Doom.
As always, the game takes place on the planet Mars. Your character wakes up from some sort of sleep and is attacked within for first 15 seconds or so of gameplay. Yes, all of those Let’s Play videos were right, and the game doesn’t screw around with intros and exposition. Doom is not about character building or some sort of deep realisation within yourself.
It’s difficult to find much wrong with Doom
In fact, shortly after disposing of the initial enemies, one of the game’s few characters explains to the Doom Marine what’s going on, but he doesn’t care. The brute protagonist smashes a monitor where the voice is coming from and carries on his way. Anything he’s told to do, he’ll do it his way– anyone else be damned. There is a story in Doom, I personally found it to be interesting, but it can be ignored if you wish.
For those that don’t want to, the game is told through intercoms and dropped information page. It really is decent when you delve into the lore of this Doom game.
Then again, this Doom (as with most) isn’t about the story — it’s about using big guns to blow the living hell out of anything that crosses your path. Unlike the sluggish, frustrating gameplay of Doom 3, this title is fast, frantic, and one that’ll have you swearing and cheering all the way through it.
It feels like the Doom Marine is constantly on crack. Each and every guy has a fantastic weight to it and actually feels as though it’s doing damage to the enemies. He basically runs through areas, jumps like a metallic Mario character, and doesn’t care what gets in his way. It’s incredibly satisfying blowing holes in demons or ripping them apart when their health is low. Fatality (yea, this isn’t the right game)!
It’s not all fun and games though. The demons are much smarter than in previous Dooms. They’ll retreat if you take pot shots from a distance, and they’ll even hurl barrels at your head. You’ll need to learn their attack patterns and they’ll constantly keep you on your feet later in the game. They’re bastards, but in a fun, high octane kind of way.
As with almost anything and Mars and science-fiction related, the game’s palette leaves much to be desired. There are grey floors, grey walls, and grey ceilings. Sure, there’s red dust for Mars, but after the umpteenth level, you may be wanting to venture through the likes of Skyrim for just a bit more colour in your gaming life. Oh and there’s lots of red blood everywhere.
The biggest let down in Doom, besides its multiplayer, is its length
I did notice a few minimal frame rates drops, but they were mostly rare and nothing to really worry about. Overall, playing the game on Xbox One was a smooth and satisfying experience.
Accompanying the death, mayhem, and shotgun shells is the kick ass sound track. There’s no other way to describe it. It’s heavy metal all the way with guitars wailing and drums beating. Now if only they could have gotten Corey from Slipknot to throw in a few words here and there.
The biggest let down in Doom (besides its multiplayer system, which I hastily played a few matches of and gave up on) is its length. The game is long with a lot of maps to explore, but towards the end, I felt fatigue setting in after the umpteenth ending boss. There. pacing takes a turn for the worst and you’ll almost wish it was all over.
There are a tonne of collectibles in the game, which both serves as padding and unlockables, but they too may be given up on after struggling to find where the next figurine is on the map.
Release Date: 13 May 2016
Developer: ID Software
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: First-person shooter
Game Engine: ID Tech 6
Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One (review platform)
Price: From R799
Industry Average Score: 87/100
Verdict: Doom 2016 is a fantastic, satisfying, and adrenaline-inducing experience. In single player guise, it’s my contender for game of the year.