Every four years on January 20th in the US, inauguration day takes place, and depending on who’s taking office, it can either be really good or really bad.
Then there was this year.
Tonally speaking, it felt on point.
I don’t ever need much of an excuse to pick up DOOM, but if I’m ever feeling particularly apocalyptic, its a good go to. I usually rock out with DOOM 2, one of my favorite shooters of all time, but I picked up the DOOM reboot around launch, and only played it for a little bit, despite thoroughly enjoying the game. The choice was obvious, when I considered my demon slaying options.
Continuing my habit of discussing not-so topical ultra violence in the world of video games, I figured I would jot a couple of quick thoughts about DOOM down, as the game really does help to set the standard in how not to over think a reboot.
I think first and most importantly, it was clear from moment one that ID knew exactly what they were doing, upon their first showing of DOOM earlier this year. The trailer screamed simplicity, which makes sense, as the DOOM reboot is back to basics in the most ideal way. They looked at what made the original DOOMs so great, and it turns out- it wasn’t a whole hell of a lot.
In that sense, the DOOM reboot really is stripped to it’s core essentials and not much else, and the experience greatly benefits as a result. There aren’t many elements feeding into the design experience, which works fantastically, as the original DOOMs had a very minimalistic but effective charm that made them such gaming powerhouses. It’s minorly amazing to think it’s been this long since we’ve had a proper follow up to the PC classics, not that DOOM 3 wasn’t a great game, it was just a different beast all together.
DOOM succeeds through its strong emphasis on simplifying gameplay, and there’s hardly any clutter to speak of. Much like the originals, the maps are sprawling without feeling empty, the secrets are tucked away without feeling laborious to find, and the demons are quick and many, adding to an overall chaotic feeling of combat DOOM pulled off back in the day.
Perhaps, one of the most impressive feats the developers pulled off with the DOOM reboot, is the accurate recreation of the character movement found within. The speed and mobility aren’t a 1:1 feel of authentic recreation to the originals in terms of rushing and dodging through the hellscapes, but it’s damn close, and helps to make the experience feel old school in a satisfying manner.
Not only that, but all of the weapons you remember (plus a few more) make their way into your arsenal, so you can destroy the legions of hell in style, and to your hearts content. Everything from the BFG to the Chainsaw makes a triumphant return, and the meaty feeling of ripping through hellspawn flesh is oh so satisfying. The Super Shotty of course makes a triumphant return, bringing with it the two best features of old school DOOM games.
The story is straight forward and to the point: I.E-RIP AND TEAR, and the campaign isn’t cluttered with many cinematics, instead focusing hard on what DOOM does best-let you blow away the legions of the devil himself. Sure, there are a few new caveats, like a very minor RPG-like system that helps strengthen your character, and some cool little challenges scattered throughout, like how fast you can make a demon shit stain suck led, but overall, just good old fashioned gun toting, curse ridden, blood lusting fuck fest of fun.
I amazingly haven’t beaten the game yet, but am pushing forward through the circles of hell with pomp and circumstance. While I look forward to harvesting the wicked souls of the underworld a few times through, I have serious doubts on how active the multiplayer community still is. Outside of the biggest titles, few online communities last much longer than six months of shelf time, so in that sense, some value may be lost with DOOM, but never the less, plenty of bang for your buck with single player alone.
I am hoping DOOM sold well enough to merit a follow up, as every 2nd installment of the DOOM series is impossibly more satisfying than the first, which seems absurd, but true non the less.
If you’re looking for some quality, old school shooting to sink your teeth into, I would definitely check out DOOM if you get the chance. You’ll have a hell of a good time.