Doom’s opening minutes tell you everything you need to know about this game. The Doom Marine, now known as the Doom Slayer, wakes up naked and chained in a sarcophagus. He proceeds to smash the brains out of the first demon he sees. Within the next five seconds you’re holding a pistol and shooting your first set of demons. You watch a quick holographic display of people worshiping the Doom Slayer’s tomb, walk into another room and grab your famous Praetor Armor, push away a computer pad for daring to try to insert plot into your Doom, and walk into another corridor to experience your first glory kill and pick up your shotgun. This all takes about three minutes, and is part of the best opening to a video game in recent memory.
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Critics and fans love to talk about why Doom 3 failed, but they typically struggle to specifically entail what it should have been. After all, it’s not like others haven’t tried to create some concept of a new Doom since the mid-90s. We’ve had Serious Sam, Shadow Warrior, Painkiller, Bulletstorm, and so many others in the past two decades try to replicate what Doom was to different levels of success. But Doom was both a very simple game and not one that directly translates into modern times. Although it is famous for introducing 3D shooting concepts, it mostly functioned on a 2D level. You couldn’t jump or aim. It’s not like releasing Doom 3 with fewer monster closets and more enemies suddenly recaptures what Doom was. Doom was fast and frantic. It was about exploring every inch of a level for secrets. It gave you the ability to deftly dodge enemy projectiles. It was painfully difficult at times, especially as you bumped up the difficulty.
So let’s start with how id Software managed to both recapture and modernize the feel of Doom. There is only one movement speed in Doom, which is fast. The Doom Slayer is always running. You can jump, duck, and grab ledges, all at a pace which makes you quite mobile. The game doesn’t sprinkle enemies throughout levels, but sets up deliberately designed combat zones and arenas. Much like in the original Doom games, you can’t really settle on a single weapon. You don’t reload weapons in Doom. Instead, you switch weapons. And each gun tends to work best against certain enemies. The plasma rifle makes short work of Imps, but you’ll need more stopping power when a Baron of Hell shows up
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Doom introduces its enemies and weapons at a fairly rapid rate. Often times, the game introduces a single copy of a new enemy, and then within seconds asks you to beat three or more of the same enemy. An important element of all of this is that the game does an impressive job of teaching you its concepts and strategies without requiring tutorials. When you encounter a new enemy or pick up a new weapon, you’ll get an overlay with a quick text blurb. But rather than pausing events to teach you about this new game concept, the game asks you to learn it by doing it.
This all finally comes together with perhaps my favorite element of Doom’s movement: the double-jump. You pick up the double-jump a few levels into the game after you’ve grasped the game’s basics. At this point, the game starts putting you through platforming sequences. You’re probably groaning at the sound of that. After all, Metroid Prime is about the only game to ever get first-person platforming right.
For that reason, I was quite happy that Doom pretty much uses Metroid Prime’s jumping mechanics. Despite the fact Metroid Prime is considered a classic, it never influenced the genre to much degree. Doom has thankfully rectified that. These platforming sections are rather simple, though may feel a little un-Doom-like at first. You’ll soon realize they’re there just to acclimate you to the feel of the game’s double-jump. And almost without even noticing it, you’ll incorporate double-jumping into combat. Double-jumping essentially takes the place of what strafing did in the original Doom. It lets you move about the battlefield at ease, dodge enemy fire, and move between high and low ground at will. Even early demon encounters quickly grow hectic. Fights will seem overwhelming if you try to employ standard FPS tactic. The thrill of combat though is incredible. I actually caught myself releasing tension after standard encounters in the same way I would after beating a Dark Souls boss.
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And that brings us to the newest concept to Doom’s combat mechanics: the Glory Kill system. After taking a certain amount of damage, a demon will start flashing orange. That’s your cue to run up to them and execute a Glory Kill. You get a quick animation of the Doom Slayer executing the demon as well as receiving a small amount of health. This system is vital to staying alive. You’re out in the open the majority of combat after all. You can also use your chainsaw to kill enemies for more ammo. Combat thus becomes a juggling act of using Glory Kills to stay alive while using your chainsaw to refill your ammo. While your chainsaw can instantly kill even the toughest enemies, it uses up more fuel. Thus, you need to decide if you want to reserve its use for grabbing ammo or taking out one or two stronger demons.
Every level of Doom is brimming with secrets and Easter eggs. You can expect to find at least fifteen to twenty on every level. These range from lore items to collectibles to things I don’t want to spoil. Finding these secrets, along with completing in-mission challenges, are key to unlocking upgrades to the Doom Slayer’s arsenal. For instance, the shotgun can be upgraded to either firing a three-shot burst or to firing a charged shot similar to a grenade launcher. Upgrading weapons in this game thus feels significant.
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Doom is both graphically and technically stunning. On my PC (Intel 4690k, 16 GB RAM, Radeon R9 390 8 GB), I had a smooth 60 FPS framerate on Ultra High settings throughout. On top of that, the game crashed not a single time while I was playing it, which has become a rare PC gaming experience. Even the soundtrack, composed by Mick Gordon of Killer Instinct and Wolfenstein fame, is fantastic and does a great job of harkening back to the feel of the mid-90s id Software shooters with its gritty industrial metal feel. It’s actually a little more Quake in feel in some ways than Doom-influenced.
The game’s art direction is only part of what recaptures the feel and tone of Doom though. There is just the right amount of callbacks and references to the original Doom without going overboard. The Doom Slayer often explodes into a pile of gibs upon death. While the Slayer is irreverent to the game’s events, the rest of the characters aren’t. Doom would not work if it was Saints Row. It strikes the right balance of dark comedy and dumb sci-fi horror.
It’s clear that this game was made by a group of people who get Doom. This isn’t simply a rehash of twenty-year old concepts, but a recapturing of Doom’s spirit. Much like the original, it’s a simple game at its core. But simple isn’t a bad thing. A lot can be made of making simple really good, which is a lesson other games could once again take to heart from a game titled Doom.
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Developed by id Software, the studio that pioneered the first-person shooter genre and created multiplayer Deathmatch, DOOM returns as a brutally fun and challenging modern-day shooter experience. Relentless demons, impossibly destructive guns, and fast, fluid movement provide the foundation for intense, first-person combat – whether you’re obliterating demon hordes through the depths of Hell in the single-player campaign, or competing against your friends in numerous multiplayer modes. Expand your gameplay experience using DOOM SnapMap game editor to easily create, play, and share your content with the world.
DOOM STORY:You’ve come here for a reason. The Union Aerospace Corporation’s massive research facility on Mars is overwhelmed by fierce and powerful demons, and only one person stands between their world and ours. As the lone DOOM Marine, you’ve been activated to do one thing – kill them all.
Doom video game KEY FEATURES
There is no taking cover or stopping to regenerate health as you beat back Hell’s raging demon hordes. Combine your arsenal of futuristic and iconic guns, upgrades, movement, and an advanced melee system to knock-down, slash, stomp, crush, and blow apart demons in creative and violent ways.
Return of id Multiplayer
Dominate your opponents in DOOM’s signature, fast-paced arena-style combat. In both classic and all-new game modes, annihilate your enemies utilizing your personal blend of skill, powerful weapons, vertical movement, and unique power-ups that allow you to play as a demon.
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DOOM SnapMap – a powerful, but easy-to-use game and level editor – allows for limitless gameplay experiences on every platform. Without any previous experience or special expertise, any player can quickly and easily snap together and visually customize maps, add pre-defined or completely custom gameplay, and even edit game logic to create new modes. Instantly play your creation, share it with a friend, or make it available to players around the world – all in-game with the push of a button.