Get your ass to Mars – somebody famously once said, can’t remember who. The thing is, why would you want to? It’s red, it’s cold, it has a really bad pollution problem and in this reboot of Doom, it’s full of demons! This version of Doom definitely has the same ethos as id Software’s 1993 original in that it’s absolutely mental and more about arcade action than spooky scares. Doom 3 had us creeping around with a torch, this one has you running about with an arsenal of guns bringing the pain to the spawn of hell with great aplomb. The game begins with you waking up in a chamber, grabbing a gun and your Praetor suit and finding out that the UAC facility you’re in has been overrun by demons after a Hellwave was activated by one of the scientists. This has resulted in more than half the crew being possessed and other creatures teleporting in to kill you.
The first thing you’ll notice is how great this game looks. The textures are super shiny and detailed, the lighting is incredible and most of the time it’s super smooth at 60fps on Xbox One. There is occasional slowdown when lots of things are going on but it’s nothing that’s going to worry you. You’ll also enjoy the Trent Reznor style metal soundtrack pumping when you’re locked in a room and have to clear it of everything before the doors unlock. Apparently it’s because of hazardous levels of demons in the area. Isn’t one on its own hazardous enough?
There is some story here but your character doesn’t speak, you’ll pick up clues from data you find around the base and from terminals where characters talk to you. You won’t really care though because it’s just an excuse to shoot stuff and it’s really fun. Being aggressive is encouraged. Shoot a possessed and when they get stunned you can go in for a glory kill with a click of R3. It’s a good way to save ammo and get the kill early, and also get a health boost when they drop blue health items on death. There’s no recovery here so, like in the old days, you’ll have to run over green armour and blue health if you want to survive. You’ll also find suit and weapon upgrades littered around hidden areas as well so it’s encouraged to explore before you leave a level to try and collect all the goodies, earn those bonuses and then apply upgrades that will give alternative firing modes to your super shotgun, plasma rifle and heavy machine gun amongst others.
Playing on normal difficulty, as long as you keep moving you should be alright. You’ll have to pick your moments to go in for glory if you need more health – it can be a gamble running into danger when your health is low but that kind of makes things more interesting. This game is intense so unless you’re really into shooters, you may get a little exhausted by the time you get near the end of the campaign.
Multiplayer of course gives you the chance to team up with others and play against around the world. It’s all very fast-paced as you’d expect and really has the feel of Unreal Tournament as you run around, learn the lanes and get the jump on your enemies. You can also become a demon by running over a demon rune that spawns on the map which makes you all-powerful but also a massive target for the opposing team.
Snapmap is also a great addition. They’ve opened up the game to the community so expect some great levels to emerge over the next few months. Some will be traditional such as this boss arena and some go on a more sideways tack such as this memory game which quizzes you after each segment. Get things wrong and it’s game over for not paying attention!
I really like Doom because it provides something different to all the heavy story-based games on the market at the moment. It’s a super-smooth arcade shooter and very satisfying to play. Single player might outstay its welcome but if you also like going online, there’s plenty here to keep you amused for months to come. Doom gets an excellent 8.5 out of 10.
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