Despite playing video games for twenty-one years, I had never played Doom. I was always aware of the series but I suppose I was intimidated by it. I saw Doom as a hardcore FPS that really wasn’t for me. Open world games are my happy place; they’re full of possibility but after many years of playing them, I know the perimeters. Doom was an unknown quantity to me. That was until January this year, when in a fit of new year spending fury, I picked up Doom (2016) as part of a two game collection on the PlayStation store. I didn’t have much intention of playing it – I bought the collection for the game that came bundled with Doom. Still, I wasn’t prepared to waste money, so I downloaded the game and took my first tentative steps into the universe of Doom.
My first experience with Doom (2016) was… problematic. Beginning the game I found that I couldn’t see a thing as the screen was so dark. I presupposed this was an issue with the game and quickly rage quit instead of just trying to find a solution. After cooling down I returned to solve the issue, turning up the brightness level on my TV and thankfully it worked a treat. I expected to be shepherded through the opening mission, but I was very wrong. What followed was around nine hours of non-stop demon killing, head mashing action!
I’m generally terrible at first-person shooters, but there’s something about Doom that mixes difficulty, gunplay, and motion in just the right way, that makes it immensely playable & accessible to newcomers. Your enemies are monstrous, terrifying at times; yet I never felt like I was at a disadvantage. Doom (2016) is a difficult game, but this makes it all the more rewarding when you decimate an area full of hideous creatures from hell. Speaking of hell, each area design is hellishly beautiful! From the most intimate chamber to the tallest of foreboding towers, everything is tinged in this yellowish, red hue that make you feel unwelcome in this dangerous world.
If Doom (2016) had featured laborious movement, it would have mired the experience but this was far from the case. In Doom (2016) fluid movement is a must as your enemies give no quarter. There’s something highly satisfying about jumping ten feet in the air, landing on an unsuspecting demon and effectively crushing his face.
Although there was a campaign threading all this shockingly violent action together, I’d be lying if I claimed I paid too much attention to it. I got the basics; a portal to hell has been opened and now I need to close it. Most of the missions are a case of going through several areas filled with demons, trying to find levers to open doors with. In any other game I would criticise this because I love myself an interesting story, but the brevity of Doom (2016) story works in its favour. All you need to know is you need to stop the demons of hell; that’s it. Accepting this allows you to enjoy the real standout feature – the gameplay.
Movement and gunplay is IDs bread & butter and their expertise is on full show here. Weapons are rusty, punchy, and brutal. With a few upgrades you can easily get through the game with your starting weapons. With your handy chainsaw, you can rip through your enemies with ease and your shotgun, a staple of the series, provides a satisfying punch. Just a couple of shotgun blasts to the gut will open up an opportunity to perform a gruesome take down kill. It’s a fun, fast, and a remorseless thrill ride.
I picked the right time to jump into the world of Doom because the hotly anticipated sequel, Doom: Eternal is coming out November 22nd, 2019 and is currently available to Pre-order, so I haven’t got that long to wait until I can enjoy that addictive gameplay once more. Doom (2016) was a game I never expected to like. On paper, it has several elements that would lead me to avoid it, like FPS shooting and a fairly weak story, but, somehow, Doom (2016) is the exception to the rule; it’s a contrarian game in that respect, it manipulates expectations in such a way as to make it a must play and that is why I love it.
Doom (2016) is currently on sale for £19.99 on the PlayStation Store