Stomping my foot through an Imp’s easily crushed skull, I switched my weapon from a double-barrelled shotgun to a targeting rocket launcher and aim for the incoming Hell Knight. Its hulking form is soon turned into a steaming pile of flesh.
Orange lightning strikes around me in all directions, the indication of another demon invasion to eliminate. I’ve killed hundreds, thousands, millions. What’s another few dozen more?
My chainsaw kicks on effortlessly and I carve through a charging Pinky, collecting enough ammo and health to adequately dispatch the demon foulness.
Instead of continuing my spree, I bust out my BFG and shoot a charged green plasma ball, exploding energy at every enemy within its lengthy reach, and turning each of them into poofy clouds of red mist and chunky body parts.
The demon presence dispatched, I charge forward towards the entrance, a giant gaping skeletal mouth, and further into the depths of hell. My ultimate goal? To kill every single demon and shutdown their portal into our universe forever.
The gameplay term coined for Doom (2016) by its developers at id Software was “Push Forward Combat”. You are constantly moving and strafing to shoot demons’ bodies until they turn blinky blue and orange colors, (like a ghost in Pacman!), so that you can get in close and melee, complete with a flashy kill animation.
That all combines to create the definition of combat in Doom: A merciless onslaught of varied demons, in varied arenas, all destroyed by your weapons or your bare hands. I tore through so many demons in the course of this game, I knew each and every type of demon, from the fast, little shit imps, to behemoth, mintaurish devils, inside and out. Mostly inside after I would tear off their jaw, heart, limbs, and other various organs and body parts.
There were a couple of bosses, some just a little harder than the average demon, others a true feat of skill to defeat. The final boss wasn’t too incredibly difficult, yet it still took about an hour of learning every tick and identifying move to beat the final demon bitch on Nightmare mode.
The guns are well-made, well-polished, and well-executed. Every kill is unique to the weapon used, both in reaction from the targeted demon and the player. Upgrading your weapons also unlocks modes and unique secondary abilities for each one, furthering their diversity and usefulness on the battlefield.
Upgrading is something that you will do to both weapons and your Praetor body suit. Through a combination of challenges, mission performance, and hidden areas, you can upgrade and customize your ability to kill and to kill quickly.
The environments are awesome. Bethesda always does a great job on their linear shooters and the grand vistas and hyper-detailed arenas of Doom are no exception. Many times I would stare off into the distance, caught in the swirling storm of Argent energy, or fixated on a burning pyre of spiraling symbols and wide-eyed corpses.
Details are what make a game like Doom, Doom. It has to that look, that lighting the game series has had since it became a thing. Doom does that with all the green glows, red flame hues, and complete darkness at times that I’ve come to, not necessarily expect, but instantly attribute to the mood of the series. It takes me back, I tells ya!
And the frame-rate does not skip a beat. From a fully-packed arena, to explosions among explosions, Doom holds up like it always has; Like a bat out of hell. A game like this doesn’t hold the reputation it does with a chuggy engine or stuttering enemies. It never skips a beat and I couldn't blame any of my failures on the game performance itself.
When you have good sound in a game, it makes you realize how important good sound design is in a game. From heavy-hitting metal rocking out at the precise time you shove a demon’s organ down its gurgling throat, to the low, distant moans of pain in a dimly-lit corridor, all complete a sensory experience rare even in modern video games.
This is a headset recommended game, as most are. But if you don’t surround your ears in all that is Doom, you’re just missing out on the complete experience.
In most games, I could care less about the story when you have action at such a breakneck speed like this game does. Luckily, Doom gives me a story that I want to see completed. Awakened from your long slumber inside a tomb, (perhaps a reference to your past playthroughs of the series throughout the years? I like to think yes), you discover demon are once again loose on the planet Mars.
Through some exposition, you discover that humans have tapped into Hell as an energy source called Argent, and you have been summoned once again to kill every single escaped demon. It flows like poetry. Though I must warn, without spoiling, that the ending is pure sequelbate and the only disappointment I had through my playthrough.
There is also a Multiplayer mode that has the frenetic action of Quake along with customizable characters like Call of Duty. I only played a few rounds, but the maps were varied, the action was fast and fun, though thoroughly forgettable in comparison to the main campaign. Same goes for Arcade mode.
Rating: 5 out of 5. Doom takes its own legendary FPS torch and beats a Cyberdemon over the head while ripping out its beating heart. I rarely have this much fun while simultaneously getting my ass handed to me. It is a labor of love and transcendence completing a playthrough of Doom.
Doom evolves the FPS genre it help define from its infancy and pushes it even further. The wide, open levels of varying heights and fast-paced shooting made Doom (1993) THE foremost FPS in gaming history. Doom (2016) adds Push Forward Combat, uncensored gore, incredible sound design, an affinity for hard-hitting metal music, and a mission you actually want to see resolved.
This game property has evolved beyond just a shoot, kill, repeat. It has once again taken the crown of FPS combat with unbridled aggression. If the kids of the 90’s had played this, they would of implemented chainsaws with throat crushing into their school shooting sprees and increased the body count fourfold.
I finished this game on Nightmare mode, the only way to play any FPS and fully understand what the game developers and designers were trying to achieve. Any lower difficulty is only hindering yourself and your ability to push through ever-increasing odds. It took me longer to beat, yes. But I emerged bathed in glorious combat, exalted amongst warriors, and vanquisher of the demon scourge. Join me, and complete the game on Nightmare mode.
This was the Cheap-Ass Gaming Garbage Man. Until the next game, keep playing, players.