It appears that reboots aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Whether it’s Disney remaking all their animated classics into live action, or a variety of films from the 90s’ being turned into mediocre television series’, reboots have become so commonplace nowadays that no new re-imagining reveal is too surprising anymore. However, with gaming fans asking for a new chapter in the “Doom” franchise since the release of “Doom 3” back in 2004, it’s unfair to say that all reboots go without a demand. And considering the fact that this re-imaging of the original “Doom” is a superb thrill-ride of blood and ultra-violence, who would be complaining about this specific reboot in the first place?
“Doom” is a horror first-person shooter developed by ID Software and published by Bethesda Softworks. Taking the role of the nameless marine character (commonly referred to as “Doom Guy” in the online/gaming community,) you awaken on Mars to find the planet overrun with demons. Discovering that the UAC (Union Aerospace Corporation) has been trying to harness the powers of hell as an unlimited energy resource through a portal in the red planet, “Doom Guy” sets out to close the portals to hell once and for all, while hunting the rogue researcher Olivia Pierce, who has formed a satanic cult around the powers they have discovered on Mars.
I was beyond excited for the release of “Doom” since it was first announced back in 2014. The original “Doom,” released in 1993, is such a fun little treat to pop in and play now and then, and it also helps how funny it is to look back and see what people considered controversial at the time. To be fair, “Doom” was a big step in gratuitous video game violence back in the day, and it helped spawn the ESRB rating to inform parents if the game was age appropriate for their families. So, it’s only appropriate that the 2016 rendition of “Doom” takes the controversial violence from 1993 and amplifies it to the highest extremes you can imagine.
Let’s get the game’s main negative out-of-the-way first, the story. This game really isn’t designed to have a remarkable narrative with twists and turns at every corner. There’s plenty of communication logs to learn more about the state of Mars and the UAC that inhabits it, but they’re not really in the focus. This game is designed to be an adventure of “Doom Guy” fighting demons in the goriest ways possible, and stopping some bad guys in the process, and that’s exactly where it delivers.
What’s excellent about this game? Well, just about everything else. As far as journeys about ultra-violence and fighting the legions of hell go, “Doom” is as superb as it gets in the FPS genre. Not only is there a wide array of weapons for you to try out on a variety of in-game enemies, but there’s also plenty of challenges and upgrades to make said weapons even more devastating. Glory kills are an especially emphasized staple in this adventure, allowing the player to weaken many demons to the point where a special execution move can be performed. Considering how one glory kill has you shoving an explosive down the throat of a demon, then watching as he implodes into a bloody mess, should give a good idea of what these special moves are like. The best part about them? There’s such wide range of moves to try out that they never get old.
Fan favorite weapons, such as the BFG -9000 and the chainsaw, make a welcome return to the game as well, further adding to the range of gory deaths you can try out through the 13 hour campaign length. However, gore isn’t the only thing the single player has to offer. By far one of the single player campaign’s biggest highlights are the rune challenges. Provoking the player to kill hordes of enemies a certain way in a certain amount of time, rune challenges offer a balance of fun and difficulty that feels all the more rewarding once they’re completed and you receive your prize. And with secret old-school “Doom” levels to find hidden throughout the campaign, and other secret collectibles, you’re bound to have plenty of hours exploring the levels to coincide with the blood and gore.
Yet, on a side note, you should be aware that the multiplayer has been receiving a mixed response from other critics. It differs from the campaign in terms that it doesn’t offer the same level of gratuitous kill streaks in a bid to balance out player to player combat. Personally, I still loved the multiplayer though, as it offered just enough of the same explosively violent entertainment that the single player offered. If you aren’t a fan of “Quake Arena” style multiplayer combat, then perhaps you’ll be a tad bit disappointed with it. However, I had a blast before writing up this review, and I look forward to exploring the six different multiplayer modes even further.
Overall, I am more than happy to have picked up “Doom” the week it was released. Thanks to the immense amounts of blood, guts and fun this game has to offer, we’re likely looking at the beginning of a beautiful friendship with this rebooted franchise. With plenty of glory kills to perform, secret levels and collectibles to find, and a fun “Quake Arena” style multiplayer to explore; this fantastically fun reboot definitely won’t be spelling “Doom” for the franchise anytime soon.