Christmas was right around the corner, meaning shops were then awash with cheap gaming deals, all hoping to take your hard earned cash. Even digital shops have joined in the fun over the past decade, making sure that no gamer with an internet connection is left out from the wintery goodness that is a Christmas sale. 12 days of PSN (actually called 12 days of Christmas on the PS marketplace) was a wonderful chance to pick up some of the best releases of 2016, at a fraction of their original price. DOOM, created by id Software, in collaboration with Bethesda, is perfect for the festive season; and any other time of the year.
Playing DOOM is like having an IV drip containing pure caffeine and adrenaline, mixed with bullets strapped permanently to your arm. Not only that, but you’re on a roller coaster inside a hurricane with a bear that’s trying not to show it’s scared, thus giving a thrill like no other. It may sound ridiculous, but DOOM, as a pure-blooded shooter, does what no other title has done authentically in a lifetime: made killing enemies fun again. There’s no overbearing narrative, no overly-complex characters that you’ll hate by the end of the campaign, with no distractions either. It’s one psychotic marine, you as the player, a heavy metal soundtrack that is nothing short of perfection, and approximately 61,000 demons to obliterate into dust.
DOOM knows full well what sort of gaming crowd they’re gunning for, which instantly making the experience infinitely better. It doesn’t cater to any genres, and certainly doesn’t pander towards a trend. As a remake of the grandfather of modern 3D shooters, the standard it has to live up to, with just nostalgia alone, is frankly stupid. But it surpasses all expectations, mainly by applying the age-old technique of “shotgun-to-throat” to every enemy in sight. The visceral, brutal nature of the game oozes from every part of its design. As seen when the walls bleed, or viscera is strewn about the Mars base, and, most importantly, that destroying demons is gratifying.
Some weapons in video games can lack kick, a distinct ‘oomph’ that feels very satisfying to fire. DOOM’s weapons don’t have this issue. Each of the eight equip-able guns feels like it could take on the universe, and win when the Doom Marine is using it. Not only do the guns feel godly, the melee, and ‘glory kill’ system is the best part fighting any horde that spawns near you. When you shoot an enemy enough to stagger, but not kill, it, that enemy will flash blue/orange. When any enemy is in this state, the Marine will use his fists to break, rip, tear, eviscerate, snap, and generally rend, that poor soul before him in wide variety of ways. Doing this gives additional health, and ammo drops to pour from their twisted corpse.
The raw, bloody nature of the combat is what makes this game so much fun to play. Because not only is it fantastic stress relief when you’ve had a particularly bad day, but it’s fast-paced, and rewarding. And cobbled together in that mess of wonder, is the difficulty that, even at lower stages, forces you to move faster, think ahead, before leaping into the fray. The soundtrack is absolutely perfect too. With heavy guitar riffs, blended with distortion, and incredibly intense drums in the foreground, it only spurs the player on with pure rage in mind.
The only thing wrong with this masterpiece, is the map system that will confuse everyone at least once. It’s backward, and awkward to control. But that can be forgiven, because that’s one of the few, few flaws this game actually even has. Even if you’re not a fan of shooters, this game is worth playing, because it’s not often a triple A title can be so brilliant to play.
DOOM – 93/100
Written by Matt Dawson