DOOM Review

Richard Walker

Excuse me while I scoop my melted face up off the floor. DOOM is back, and it's never felt quite so unapologetically balls-out visceral and deliriously gratifying as this. From the very get-go, DOOM sets up its story at a brisk pace and then hurls wave after wave of unrelenting demons right at you, introducing new tools of destruction to add to your arsenal, with which to eviscerate the best Hell has to offer.

From the lowly pistol to the Super Shotgun, every one of DOOM's weapons feels fantastically meaty, and that's before you even get into upgrading and tailoring the game's plethora of guns. And you'll quickly come to realise that there's a tool for every job. Cacodemons giving you grief? Shoot their faces off with the Gauss Cannon or chainsaw their eyeballs out. Need to stop a Hell Knight in his tracks? Give 'em both barrels with the Super Shotgun.


See that glowing orb thingy? It's a Gore Nest. Kill it!

In no time, you'll be gleefully wading through entrails and lumpy chunks of twitching flesh, bounding from one part of the doomed UAC facility on Mars to the next, with the occasional sojourn to the fiery pits of Hell. An almost non-stop ghost train of nightmarish demon encounters, DOOM slows down only for bouts of traversal, as you're now able to leap and mantle your way up to high ledges, bound between platforms, and once you get hold of the thrust boots, you can double jump too.

These traversal sections aren't really DOOM's strong point, however, and often you can be left jumping between platforms or climbing scenery, while desperately salivating at the prospect of the next wave of demonic hordes to blast into giblets. DOOM excels when you're shooting rockets into the huge maw of a Mancubus, shoving your fist into a Revenant's guts or ripping an Imp's head clean in half with your bare hands; not when you're jumping between platforms. That said, these bits do give you a chance to catch your breath in between all of the gore and Glory Kills.

Ah, the Glory Kills. The gloriously gory Glory Kills. They're some of DOOM's most stomach churning, air-punchingly rewarding moments, initiated when a weakened enemy glows blue then orange as you close in. Hit the melee button, and the screen is filled with heads being punched off their shoulders, arms being torn off and used to batter foes, or horns and teeth being snapped off and used to gouge and slash. When it comes to showers of arterial gloop, DOOM doesn't pull any of its punches Ever. It's like id Software squishing a big raspberry jam doughnut into your face whenever you tear an enemy to shreds. Just pick up a Berserker power up and go on a rampage to see what I mean.

As such, DOOM's campaign is stupidly fun, with just enough depth in its weapon and armour upgrades to keep things interesting. Picking up Praetor Tokens from deceased Elite Soldiers give you points to plough into your suit's damage resistance, equipment effectiveness, and navigation capabilities (locating secrets and such), while weapon points earned through combat enable you to imbue your guns with mods and additional abilities. Track down Argent Points, meanwhile, and you can boost your health, armour and ammo capacities too. By the end of the game, you'll be a nigh-on unstoppable bad-ass.

By comparison, multiplayer can seem a little tame, even if it does fly along at a swift pace, with shotgun shells, rockets, and lasers shooting through the air, left, right and centre. Playable demons including the Revenant, Baron of Hell, Mancubus, and Prowler can be called into action by either team via a spawning demon rune on the map, turning the tide in battle, while injecting something unique to proceedings. Fast-paced and seldom dull, DOOM's multiplayer is uncomplicated fun, but I can't imagine going back to it on a regular basis.


Stupid Revenant. Pull its intestines out.

DOOM's SnapMap editing tools add extra longevity to multiplayer and single-player too, offering masses of easy-to-use options for creating and sharing your own content. Making a map is simple, with multiple templates to choose from and numerous pieces that easily slot together. Single-player, four-player co-op and multiplayer maps are all catered for, so there's more than adequate scope to build practically anything your brain can conjure up. Once you've built your layout, you can get into the nitty gritty, placing demons, assigning AI routines, creating puzzles, and so much more. You need only take a cursory look through what the community has already created to see how powerful SnapMap is. It's a genuinely worthwhile and valuable addition to DOOM that ensures you've always got plenty to do.

If you want all of DOOM's achievements, you'll have to jump into SnapMap and play through the tutorials, and sample five user created levels too. There are achievements for reaching milestones during the story, collecting every secret, completing certain objectives and for reaching level 5 in multiplayer. The spread is perfectly pitched and there's a good, varied selection of tasks to tackle. DOOM's achievement list hits all of the right marks. It's about as solid as it gets, even if completing every mission challenge will take some doing.

With a robust 8-10 hour campaign, solid, if somewhat unremarkable multiplayer, and the ability to build your own content using SnapMap, DOOM is a fantastic package. But really, it's all about the core campaign mode. It's here that DOOM really comes into its own, riffing brilliantly on the original games with insane, gore-soaked set-pieces and more flesh-ripping mayhem than you can shake a BFG-9000 at. Put simply, DOOM is fucking great.

DOOM

A Satanic shooter that's as gratifying as Hell, DOOM pays due respect to its legacy with a game that delivers on everything that makes the series so great. You need DOOM in your life.

Form widget
80%
Audio
80%

Metal music that'll make you want to mosh only ramps up the tension during some of DOOM's more frantic moments. It fits perfectly.

Visuals
85%

Disturbingly detailed demons to slay and Hellish red-hued environments scream pure DOOM. The game moves at a fair old lick too, never dropping a frame, even when the screen is full to bursting with monsters. Beautifully grisly.

Playability
80%

Pure and unadulterated FPS mania, bristling with offal bags waiting to be torn a new one. It fast and frenetic, gory and extreme: everything you could possibly want from a DOOM game.

Delivery
80%

An 8-10 hour campaign, decent multiplayer mode and SnapMap represent excellent value for money. You won't feel short-changed.

Achievements
80%

A superb set of achievements that cover all of the requisite bases, with the lion's share devoted to campaign, and four or five spread between multiplayer and SnapMap. A good list.

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