64 people found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 29.8 hrs on record (23.4 hrs at review time)
Posted: May 14, 2016 @ 12:35pm
Updated: May 17, 2016 @ 8:33am

I honestly thought I was over FPS games and haven't been interested in one - save for games like Fallout 4 which I wouldn't count - but it turns out that I was entirely wrong about my disinterest in the genre as a whole. It wasn’t all FPS games that I was over but drab brown gritty military FPS games that have lost my interest. Give me a twitch arena shooter like DOOM, set in a world pulled directly from my 13 year old wet dreams, and I am a kid in a candy store once again. I can't stop grinning while playing and every other second I find myself fist pumping - seriously - and saying "♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ that was AWESOME" as I dismember another demon or pass through a portal to what can only be described as a pitch perfect recreation of my childhood fever dreams.

The graphics in this game are top notch. I'm running it on a the following:
i5-3570K (not currently overclocked)
GTX 970
16 gigs DDR3 Ram

I have all of the settings at ultra level - with the adaptive AA enabled - and it's running at 9000+ FPS. I haven't come across a single framerate drop or visual glitch/tear and I've only experienced 2 game crashes in my 16 hour playthrough of the single player campaign. I know that there are people with AMD cards, at the time of this review, that are having troubles and my heart goes out to them. I hope that those issues are fixed soon because this is a game that should not be missed.

Graphics are beautiful and there is so much post processing going on that I've often found myself standing in awe at some of the vistas in hell wondering how there is so much smoke and particle effects going on without dropping a single frame. The lighting is perfect for setting the mood and the enemy designs and animation are top notch. Jumping up on a platform only to find an imp scramble up right behind you is a fantastic experience because you truly feel like you're being chased and running for your life.
The gameplay is a breath of fresh air which is ironic since it's due to the stripped down barebones nature of the gunplay. You fun, you jump, you shoot. YOU DO NOT RELOAD. Thank god for that. This game is about speed speed speed in a way that would satisfy Sanic’s need to go fast. If you're on the PC, you NEED to be playing it on the hardest difficulty your first playthrough because this is one of those rare games – ala dark souls – that equal parts challenges you and rewards you for skill based play. You die quickly which means you need to constantly be on the move and if I find myself standing still for more than a second or two I start to wonder "how am I not dead yet?". More often than not, it's because you are and you are staring at the reloading screen. Deaths never feel cheap and are almost always your fault. More than once I’ve kited a ton of enemies only to find myself doubled back directly into them. Those are learning experiences that make success feel even sweeter.

The versatility in the gun upgrade mechanic is a surprising plus that I did not see coming and the game is constantly dishing out upgrades and new guns to you to keep things fresh.

The sense of pace and urgency that DOOM creates sets a new gold standard for this type of twitch based arena shooter game. I hope we see a lot of copy cat games try to recreate the style of play you see in doom. I would love to have a resurgence of titles like Painkiller et al.

The level design is great in this game too. I was afraid that we'd be running down straight corridors like every other FPS on the market going from set piece to set piece when the levels in the original DOOM game were more like puzzles intricately laid out to always give the player a sense of forward momentum with plenty of progress markers and just enough backtracking to make you feel accomplished when you get that pesky yellow key and can open up a door that was previously inaccessible.

In a way, it reminds me a bit of the levels you'll find in a Metroidvania style game with lots of areas that are inaccessible without the right item or ability (yes, you get a double jump in the game that makes platforming easier).

The game is still broken up into levels so you can never backtrack from the end of the game to the beginning but each level is a multilayered labyrinth and they did a really good job of making it feel like a proper DOOM game in terms of level design.

The sound design in DOOM expertly sets the tone for the game and evokes the same fast past mayhem of the originals soundtrack while creating a fresh contrast to the frantic guitar with quieter serene moments in between fights. I really do enjoy the voices of all of the characters since they all have a decent amount of post processing to make them seem sufficiently robotic or demonoid. When it comes to SOME of the guns, the sound design is a bit of a mess. There is a missing low end that is really needed - for people like me who game with surround sound speakers with a sub-woofer - that really adds a satisfying punch when shooting. It's not terrible, but it's heavily biased to the mid and high range and lacks a lot of the impact I was hoping for. There is one cool sound effect that I love, though: The muffled sound of the bullets coming out of the machine gun when you aim down the sights (with one of the mods) sounds like someone shredding on a guitar. It's really quite cool.

Speaking of guitar, the soundtrack to this game is epic and they do a really good job with the modular industrial-electonic-metal-choir style that perfectly ramps up from serene moments when you're exploring to head banging metal when you're knee-deep in the dead. The soundtrack perfectly accompanies the violence and mayhem on screen while setting the mood, which is almost always one of the following: “Who did I kill next?!” or “my god…I can’t believe I survived that”. It's not often that I notice the soundtrack to a game and DOOM is a game where I'm constantly grinning because the music is perfectly setting the mood and I couldn't imagine playing my own music - which I what I often do - over this game because I LOVE the dynamic shifts between quiet serene choir chants to industrial metal when you round a corner into a horde of demons. They absolutely nailed it... and it didn't even require Nine Inch Nails this time....

Bad pun..........

If you miss the days of old school twitch based shooters and you lament the current trend of boring brown drab military shooters or cover based mechanics that force you to stand still and play what amounts to a carnival shooting gallery then DOOM is right up your alley.

*Multiplayer component of the review coming soon*

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 9
Single Player: 8.7
Multiplayer: 7.7
Value: 9
SJW (game supports toxic masculinity and lacks strong black trans female presence): 3

Final Score: 8.8
SJW Score: 7.8
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Rabbit Heart May 15, 2016 @ 5:28am 
Hey brother - have a question for you regarding your system - I'm going to send a friend request if you don't mind.
crap May 15, 2016 @ 4:10am 
You're obviously a competent writer, and I liked the review. But, you should know better that you need to proofread this. It's filled with spelling errors.
phylum sinter May 15, 2016 @ 12:09am 
You do not have the graphics 'maxxed out'. You have them set to Ultra, but there is a level higher than ultra (not a preset) for both shadows and virtual texture size/quality. It's called nightmare, and like me - a fellow 970 user - you cannot turn these on :)

Time to get a new gpu, i guess! Great review otherwise. Cheers!