I admit I’m biased. The First Person Shooter genre, led by the original Doom back in the 90’s, spelt the end for planar-based systems like the Commodore Amiga. I’m still rather fond of the Amiga, but the problem with the original Doom and this more recent reboot, is they’re both AWESOME!
Both have immersive and scary graphics and sound, great level design, simple yet responsive controls that become second nature. Doom 2016, as you’d expect, brings the production standards right up to date. Amazing and genuinely scary (if played at night with headphones) directional sounds and superb graphics. When I entered the hell levels, I actually stopped for some time to gawp and remember thinking this was the most impressive visuals I had seen on any platform (I haven’t played Forza 4 or RDR2 yet, so this may change). I’m used to some proper tough games back in the day, so I do still like to be challenged by a game without having to mess about with the settings too much. Doom (2016) gives three difficulty levels and choosing the mid-level gives a decent challenge. The Imps are pretty tricky initially and each different foe extracted it’s ransom in blood until I worked out it’s pattern of behaviour. When you destroy a gore nest, all hell breaks loose (literally I guess), at which point the old school power ups are usually available if you can find them: quad damage, beserk, speed. These nest destruction pieces usually take place in a multiplayer-style arena with great design: lots of power-ups which encourage you to move about using the super-shotgun up-close-and-personal-like. It’s all pretty satisfying gameplay. There are lots of extra bits and pieces: secrets, add-ons, weapon mods and decent storyline, which add depth to the whole thing and give a good sense of immersion. It’s one of those games where hours disappear without you noticing, suddenly it’s 1am, how did that happen? It is all scary hell-based action too, so if you have hang-ups about that sort of thing, prepare for some odd dreams!
Anyway, scores time. I have to admit that I’ve only just got back into gaming and have focussed mostly on Bethesda/id games so far (loved Wolfenstein also), so this review is somewhat blinkered to any other excellent FPS’s out there. Still here we go.
Gameplay – There is a bit of adventure gaming going on, find a key, open the door etc. The platform-based action was nostalgic but a bit annoying. The immersion is excellent and some moments of destruction with a new weapon were superbly enjoyable, but it didn’t put as much of a smile on my face as Wolfenstein. This might be due to the realism of the WW2 scenario in Wolf. The fact that I found it very difficult to stop playing, probably warrants 4.5 out of 5.
Effects – Genuinely scary effects, though the easiest foes seem to make the most noise. You don’t always know a foe has appeared until you’ve taken damage, this seemed to work better in previous Wolfenstein games where you could rely on the sound direction alone.
Difficulty – Just about right at mid-difficulty-level. You’ve got auto-checkpoints so it’s never really difficult.
Graphics – I was constantly amazed by the Mars and Hell environments. Summoners still give me the creeps.
Overall – Now it’s only £10 (PC version) with DLC included, it really is hours of top-quality entertainment for the price of a Wetherspoons breakfast.