The gateway to Hell has opened again. Mistakes were made; I will undo them.
In 2016, we see the release of DOOM, made by iD Software and published by Bethesda. Both companies joined forces to make the 4th title for the series. Fans of DOOM have waited twelve years for the newest installment, which was delivered with bloody hands and a super shotgun. The visceral shooter that many remember returns in a cascade of bullets, blood, and demonspawn forcing the player to sit down to endure the torments of Hell. iD software has stepped away from the mediocre horror genre with DOOM 3 and provided yet another fantastic title that reminds the gamer why they are fighting the hordes of Hell: to save Earth, yet again.
DOOM starts off with a bang. The DOOM Marine is released from a stone coffin that had been containing him for an indefinite amount of years. The Marine immediately finds his armor, the Praetor Suit, and sets off to find out why demons have returned. Setting out from the chamber, the Marine walks out to discover he’s on Mars. A company called the Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) set up research bases on the planet hoping to use the Hell Gates to solve the energy issue that is currently overwhelming Earth. The scientists have overstepped their boundaries and accidentally opened a rift, causing seventy percent of the Mars population to transform into hideous creatures. The protagonist soon finds out that a lead scientist named Olivia Pierce has taken control of what's left of the station and intends to full open the gateway to Hell. The DOOM Marine takes it upon himself to stop Olivia, close the gateway, and save Earth from devastation…again.
The gameplay and controls in DOOM are remarkable and intuitive. In the campaign, the hero runs through each area collecting guns, power-ups, runes, and attribute crystals. Just like classic DOOM, the player moves around using WASD, the space key, and the mouse to bring vicious justice against their foes. Guns collected throughout the game range from a pistol with a charge shot to a rail cannon that can insta-kill. They can be upgraded the dish out more damage or provide alternative firing modes.
Ammo can be collected around the level and by glory killing enemies when in melee range.
Glory kills are a finishing melee attack that drops more health and ammo depending on the size of creature murdered. Power-ups are hidden and can be difficult to spot without consulting the map. When found, they increase scanner, dexterity, and weapon damage giving the DOOM Marine the extra edge to defeat the next wave of baddies. Runes require the player to complete a challenge before unlocking. Runes range from increase in effectiveness of the weapons to making ammo and health drops to magnetize towards you. Attribute crystals increase the 3 main stats in DOOM: max health, armor, and ammo capacity.
The multiplayer is fun and exciting to experience. Players have not seen a well-made arena FPS since the days of Quake 3 Arena and the Unreal Tournament series, which is refreshing compared to the commonplace FPS like Call of Duty or Battlefield. As the player levels up guns, power-ups, and demon transformations are unlocked, adding to the enjoyment as they figure out their own customizable loadout. Fast and explosive gameplay rocks the players psyche as blood, gore, and general viscera are thrown about as they murder one another.
The music in DOOM is full of blast beats and drop D tuning. Grinding and chugging guitar riffs push the Marine forward as he blasts, chainsaws, and pummels all the demons that are thrown at him. Metal soundtracks are often used when it comes to bullet-hells or heavy action games, but to hear the portrayed so well in DOOM was a relief. Metal and DOOM are like chocolate and peanut butter: perfect and delicious when combined. The soundtrack was a phenomenal accompaniment to the campaign in DOOM.
There are only a few downsides to DOOM, but they can be easily over-looked. The glory kills can get repetitive, as the player will witness the same gorey cinematic over a hundred times. The campaign progresses more through defeating enemy waves instead of really exploring the platforming areas, which makes exploration seem a bit unnecessary. The multiplayer is addictive and fun, but looks more like common-day FPS like Call of Duty. Even with the mediocre online play, DOOM still shines as a great arena FPS which players have not seen done well in a while.
Fighting the hordes of Hell can take some serious time and patience. Not everyone is prepared to face what's down there but the DOOM Marine is. He has seen this happen before and knows what to do. He has to stop the gateway from opening to save everyone on Earth, if not the universe. No more claustrophobic corridors to slow the advance of the hero, making him lose valuable time. Mars is free to roam and needs to be liberated of the demon threat or else all life will end. DOOM has brought back that feeling of fighting for survival because of the need to save everyone. With a great campaign and exciting multiplayer, DOOM will have gamers on the edge of their seats, as they will want to close the gateway to Hell and save Earth. Load your guns, replenish your health, check your armor, and buckle up - you are about to enter an inferno that would make Dante shit his pants. Welcome back, time to take out the trash – this time by using a shotgun on Mars. Fight like Hell? Hell yes.