Monday 16 May 2016

A.J. Waters' Spoiler-Free Doom Review

Nowadays, it seems as though First Person Shooters (FPS) follow a very special blend of ingredients to keep their regular customers satisfied. You can pick up any controller on any platform and put in a game you’ve not played before and know exactly what it is you’re doing, almost as though you’re fluent in the genre and you fancy yourself as some sort of veteran. DOOM, however, turns that whole concept upside down and laughs at you because now your face has turned purple and he can see your pants. As a man who has been playing FPS on a regular basis for over twenty years, it threw me for a loop, and I have to say that I ruddy well loved it.

Though for the most part the controller interface is pretty much what you would come to expect from your classic FPS, this does have some creative qualities that I can only hope other FPS will at least try and meet (though I will confess, I often found myself clicking the left stick in the hopes that I would start sprinting - alas, my effort was fruitless and my prayers went unanswered). But hey, enough of me going on about the controls and what have you, let’s get to the good stuff!

Okay, where to start…oh I know! The reason we all play DOOM to begin with: the awesome array of massive fucking guns! Let’s face it; we all know the game, and we all know the guns, but my word that does not keep this arsenal of awesomeness from surprising you! And what I love most about them? You can upgrade/customise them to your own gaming style! If anything, alongside the sickening executions known as “Glory Kills”, this had to be one of my very favourite features in the game. I had a shotgun that could fire explosive shells, an assault rifle that could fire missiles, and a super shotgun that could…well, you know, that one kinda speaks for itself.

One of the other things that impressed me about this game was the maps, because it has to be said that they were absolutely stunning, from the dusty plains of Mars to the depths of Hell (where I swear, you can almost feel the heat coming out through your magical moving image window). This hardly comes as a surprise when Bethesda are typically known for pushing the boat out when it comes to landscapes (for example, their last major instalment into the gaming world was the mightily impressive Fallout 4 so need we say more?). What I really liked is that you don’t normally see this attention to detail unless you’re playing Open-World, but a linear FPS? Not to this extent, at least!

The game is pretty straightforward on the whole, after all what would you expect? This is DOOM we’re talking about. There’s nothing complicated about it, nothing there to force you to think, no confusing puzzles. They stick markers on the map so you can’t get lost, and hell – they’ve even done you the courtesy of eliminating that pesky “reloading” nonsense (seriously, you just keep shooting! It’s awesome)! And as far as the enemies go – though all unique in their own special little way (just like you, little buddy) – they all have the same principle when it comes to beating them: Just keep shooting until they stop moving. Failing that – Super Shotgun. Done.

As far as complaints go, I only have a few. I know, it’s a beloved franchise and to speak ill of such things is surely nothing short of blasphemy, but let’s take off our fanboy shorts and put on our grown-up trousers for a second, shall we, ladies and gentlemen? For the most part, this game is hours of gun-toting, flesh-carving, eyeball-popping, skin-gouging, bone-cracking, gut-wrenching, arse-kicking fun; there's no doubt about that! When it comes to a game like DOOM, I expect nothing less! However, I did expect a little more. Don’t get me wrong, when your game is called DOOM I don’t expect there to be huge cinematics and an abundance of characters and side-missions and fuck knows what else, but after a while the novelty of guns blazing and tearing off heads with your bare hands began to wear off, but thankfully this didn’t happen until quite late in the game. It also got to the point where I was thinking “come on now, let’s not drag this out any longer than it has to be” . Unfortunately they did, even if it was only a little bit.

I managed to beat the game in just a little under 12 hours which is pretty much what I have come to expect from FPS games nowadays, but I felt even this was a little bit too long for DOOM, which is absolutely gutting, but if I had to be honest, I think it’s because it just became a bit too repetitive towards the end and all the missions seemed to just end up on repeat.

However, on the whole, I absolutely loved this game! I found myself smiling like an idiot throughout most of the carnage and always felt like an absolute demon whenever I landed an awesome grenade shot or went on a headshot streak. The soundtrack is absolutely flawless and keeps the pace of the action going until the very last bullet, the guns are absolutely beautiful, the story is eerie and keeps you guessing, and the visuals are positively stunning. If you are a fan of FPS I cannot recommend this game enough! It is action packed, brutal and more violent than Shark Week! This far into 2016 I can honestly say that DOOM is a heavy contender for Game Of The Year, but with releases like Dark Souls III and Quantum Break as its competition, it just may get overshadowed.


AJ Waters is a pulp fiction writer from Kent in England, who specialises in horror and flash fiction. With a novella in the works, AJ Waters is an up & comer in the British pulp scene.

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1 comment:

  1. Nice review. I remember playing Doom 2 as I was a little girl. Was hoping to buy Doom to play, but still haven't. Been busy playing other games. You can also read my video games reviews.