I’ve been playing Doom since it came on eight 3×5 floppy discs, the third game is one of my favorite first person shooter titles, and to say that I am a bit excited for the new installment is an understatement. I’ve even been listening to the new soundtrack on repeat to help set the mood as I write this. Somehow with all of that I managed to miss out on the closed beta, but made sure to put a good number of hours in this past weekend when the open one was held.
It was a bit disconcerting that the first screen was a giant notice from Bethesda about some performance issues they were aware of—at least for the PC version where I played this—but that promised not to be a problem after the first time. It still gave me a bad feeling though as the title screen popped up, an unwarranted one. Other than not saving my settings and some small graphical glitches, the game ran smoothly and gave me no problems with connecting or dropping. Glad to see the old boy isn’t having performance issues.
Visually the game looks fine, with good colors and tight spaces for fighting in the two maps I played, but I was expecting a bit more. This one isn’t going to blow players away with how good it looks, but some of that may have been sacrificed in the multiplayer to ensure the game ran smoothly. I expect more in these depictions of Hell, rather than looking like a map that had a couple of blood pools and pentagrams thrown around like drapes from Ikea.
In fact, as cool as it is to become the Revenant and lay waste to the other team with rockets as you fly through the sky like a banshee on prom night, I felt a serious lacking in what should make a Doom game standout amongst its peers. I want more demons, teleporters, strange environmental hazards while in Hell, fire, death, decay—we didn’t even get much brimstone!
the only thing that felt odd was
not having a reload button
The mythos and genre of the series lends itself perfectly to something that has every excuse to be different and not follow the path the rest of the FPS world has made the norm, and yet the feeling was like I was playing some creative Call of Duty DLC where Ghost was sent to the underworld to bring Captain Price back (could we make this happen?). This didn’t seem hardly any different from the little time I spent with Halo 5’s multiplayer, and I honestly hate that. I expected more, as the term ‘bland’ is something that should never be associated with this franchise.
The potential is there and not being used, like how they have this awesome music that isn’t used hardly after the title screen. The developers were concerned about the game being too similar to the top titles in the market, and it looks like they were right to be worried.
I hate that because I did have some fun. There were plenty of satisfying kills. The gore is still there, and I can’t wait to see more of the weapons and items. The controls were simple. I played on both a controller as well as mouse and keyboard, and the only thing that felt odd was not having a reload button—reloading is a nervous twitch for me. It feels competitive, and I did want to play more, but not everyone feels that way. I have seen a lot of negative reviews and can understand some of the complaints, many of which hint towards the game losing what made it the juggernaut it was and streamlining more towards a console generation. I have to wonder myself if that is what some of the changes are for, bringing in a new wave of younger fans who, unlike myself and many others, didn’t grow up with the game and may not like an unfamiliar aesthetic or handling.
Doom was never known for its multiplayer experience, which could be why the development team is releasing a single player demo afterwards since that will be what draws many fans like myself back in. I still want to get my ass to Mars, but I hope this weekend wasn’t a sign of what actually awaits me on the other side.