408: Doom for the PS4 and Xbox One Review

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Well, it’s 2016, and just like Wolfenstein: The New Order from 2014, ID Software and Bethesda’s Doom reboot is this year’s surprise hit.  And really, that is a big freaking surprise. Knowing how long this game has been in development, and the universally hated multiplayer beta feedback, made this look like it was going to be one heck of a clunker. But then, it happened. I got the game from Gamefly, put it into my PlayStation 4, and had one of the best gaming experiences of this year. Seriously, I can understand the wait for a sale, but if you loved Wolfenstein: The New Order, you need to pick this game up! How about you check out my review first, and see if it’s your cup of tea.

Surprisingly, Doom does have a story, if you decide to listen to what the characters are talking about, and look into the lore and universe you are set into. You are basically the DOOM Marine. You wake up chained to a coffin-like thing, and are on Mars. You learn about these science companies that want to find an alternative unlimited energy source. Too bad they basically caused Hell to literally break loose and cause a multitude of smelly stuff to hit the fan. It is up to you to find the individual that caused all this, and make sure Hell doesn’t take over and turn you into a pile of meat and broken bones. I know I kind of glossed over everything, but it was great that the developers decided to give you a fleshed-out story, but also gave you the option to ignore it, since what you really want to be doing is kicking butt and blowing up demons that get in your way. They even give your main character personality, and he doesn’t even speak a word throughout the entire game. Luckily, his hand gestures and animations give him enough of a personality for you to get who he is as an individual.

Doom is not your run-of-the-mill shooter that caters to the regular crowd. This Doom is a fast-paced-no cover-no reload animation-no regenerating shield shooter. The game gives you an array of guns that you can hold all at once, and your main job is to take down the demons in each level as you platform, find keys to open doors, gain the occasional Easter egg, or upgrade, and have a boatload of gory fun. Each of the weapons you hold can be upgraded by upgrade points you earn in battle or by completing tasks. This means your weapons can have alternate mods that give you special abilities, like mini-missiles, a super-charged blast, a stun bomb, and so on. I loved using every weapon that I was given. Not only do you have a good array of weapons, you also have the glory kills. If you get an enemy weak enough, you can pull off these kill movies that gives you health items. On top of your weapons and glory kills, you of course get the iconic BFG and chainsaw, but they are more like limited power-ups. You need to get special ammunition for the BFG, and fuel for the chainsaw. If you decided to go all Texas Chainsaw Massacre, you will get a bunch of ammo pick-ups instead of health pick-ups. I need to repeat myself here, you won’t get a regenerating shield, cover areas, or a lot of generic current-day shooter elements. You run, shoot, and survive, and maybe find health and ammo pick-ups if you survive. If you can’t enjoy shooters from the past, then I can understand, but this is the mindset you need for this kind of game. The overall campaign will take you about nine to ten hours of brutal, gory, but incredibly satisfying fun. There is a multiplayer mode and a map creator section, but I will get to those in a bit.

Graphically, Doom looks fantastic. It has a lot of great graphical details, and everything ran really smoothly. It was great that the developer went for more fluid movement and combat over being graphically impressive. The soundtrack is just your slew of heavy metal earworms that fill the air when you enter an arena-sized gauntlet of enemies. When you are not in those gauntlets, the soundtrack is more immersive and eerie. Not scary eerie, but it makes you feel uncomfortable as you traverse your way across the levels and see blood and guts spewed everywhere.

So, what’s wrong? Well, like everyone has mentioned in one way or another, the multiplayer is garbage. It’s so boring and generic. No one is going to be playing this mode at all in the next few months, since everyone will be playing Battleborn and Overwatch, and rightfully so. Why use the resources and the beta events to show off this boring multiplayer mode? Heck,  that probably hurt the sales more than it should have. Not to say that the word of mouth is probably saving this game, but good lord, what a way to royally screw up and almost bomb your multi-million dollar video game. While the map creator mode is not a terrible idea, I’m sorry, but if you aren’t as great as Super Mario Maker, then you won’t be seeing many people use this mode as well. Why not use the resources for these two modes on making the single-player mode more varied? The biggest problem with the single-player mode is the fact that you do pretty much the same thing in every level. They don’t even throw in bosses until the last third. If they had, it would have made the experience more varied. I also found the ending to be mediocre. It’s a sequel-bait ending that will probably assure that we will get a sequel, but it seems like such a cop-out.

In the end, even with all those little complaints, Doom 2016 is this year’s Wolfenstein: The New Order. It’s one of the best new modern shooters around right now, on top of Overwatch, Splatoon, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and Battleborn. I would highly recommend you pick this game up if good personality-filled shooters are your thing, but there is no harm in waiting for a sale. If I had to pick between Wolfenstein and Doom 2016,  in terms of being the best of the ID Software reboots, I think I would prefer Wolfenstein, since it didn’t have a tacked-on multiplayer mode, and didn’t almost ruin its launch with said multiplayer mode. Still, we live in a time where shooters are becoming more than just boring paint-by-numbers schlock. Easily one of the best games this year, Doom 2016 will be one hell of a good time!

This game gets an 8 out of 10