Chris’s Top Ten Videogames of 2016: #2
Developer: id Software
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
PS4, Xbox One, PC
Doom is one of the most influential games of all time and its impact on the gaming world can still be felt today, some 23 years after its original release. I’m sure most people have heard of Doom but if you’ve been living under a rock, Doom is a first person shooter where you fight demons from Hell. It features increasingly aggressive and violent weapons such as a chainsaw and the iconic BFG 9000. You’ll have to use your imagination if you aren’t sure what BFG stands for, but let me tell you that it doesn’t stand for Big Friendly Giant!
In all honesty the story and plot of Doom isn’t really that important and the character you play, (only referred to as unnamed marine or Doom Slayer), thinks so as well. Let me give you an example; the first scene in the game plays out as you wake, realising that you are chained to an altar about to be killed by a monster. You manage to escape finding a weapon and armour ready to face unspeakable horrors. An unidentified person starts to explain what is happening and your character picks up the TV monitor and slams it against the floor. This sets the whole tone for Doom as a no nonsense, balls to the wall, kick ass shooter. The main character doesn’t give a shit about plot, he just wants to kill the spawn of Hell in every conceivable way possible.
The first thing to strike me about Doom was just how fast it moves! I’m not going to get all nerdy talking about frames per second, but let me tell you that Doom moved like shit off a shovel! Initially it was a “woah” moment and I had to get used to the speed of the controls. Pretty soon I was flying around the levels and let me tell you that you need to be quick or you will be torn to shreds.
The original Doom was famed for its open areas filled with secret rooms ready for you to explore. The 2016 version continues with this but also adds to it giving you lots of collectables to find. I must have spent at least 2 hours on each area trying to find all the secret areas and hidden items. It wasn’t necessarily because I was particularly bothered about the collectables, but mainly because it was so much fun to explore the intricately designed levels.
Of course Doom is all about shooting and there has been no other FPS this year that has been as exciting and fresh to play. There are a number of classic weapons from the original game that have been given a fresh lick of paint and each of them are hugely enjoyable to play with. Each weapon can be upgraded and has a modifiable secondary attack. I usually favoured the shotgun which could also be used to fire an explosive grenade.
Each level has different challenges which unlock upgrades for your character and weapons. This helps to mix up the gameplay making you play a certain way in terms of how you tackle enemy encounters.
One of the best things about Doom is its simplicity and pure unadulterated fun gameplay. You don’t even have to reload your weapons! Doom introduces glory kills as a way to gain health and ammunition. As you weaken enemies they begin to flash blue or yellow. At this point you are able to approach them and carry out a glory kill. This basically means carrying out a special attack based on which part of their body that you target. Your reward for this is more health and ammunition and let me tell you that the glory kills never got old. There was something so fun and exciting about clearing a room full of enemies, using numerous weapons and managing to come back from the brink of death by carrying out a glory kill on a bad guy.
Speaking of bad guys, there are a number of enemies that you will recognise from the original 1993 game. As with the weapons, they all look fantastic and most importantly are lethal if you let them get too close to you.
Graphically the game looks stunning and I was surprised at how well it played considering you are moving so quickly. As you can imagine, Mars looks suitably industrial and dusty with Hell being all fire and bloody brimstone.
The music of Doom is another integral part of the game and every encounter with enemies is accompanied by a suitably heavy metal soundtrack, which really adds to the overall excitement whilst providing a massive adrenaline rush.
Doom is without doubt the most fun, fresh and exciting video game I’ve played all year. Although its roots are firmly established from the original game in 1993, it brings everything up to date but, stays true to what made the original game a classic. Essential!