Better Late Hands On Impressions – Doom (PS4)

Note: This is an impression of roughly a couple of hours of campaign and more mulitplayer than I’d like to admit.  SnapMap, the game’s level editor, wasn’t touched.
The Bottom Line: I would buy the crap out of this game – in a sale.
The original Doom induced some nightmares in my already frightful child mind.  Watching my step-mom mow down demons with shot guns and a chain saw probably mostly lead to my lifelong weariness of horror games and movies.  Snap to 2016 and Doom is a frantic, and ultra-violent (parents be warned), shooter where you run around and mow down demons with a shot-gun and chain saw, among other gleefully destructive weapons.  The “nope factor” is still in the back of my mind as gore-streaked, dimly lit, hallways mark my path of progression.  It’s the draw to the kinetic, and surprisingly vertical, action that keeps me moving forward.
The story seems to be neither here nor there, which is appropriately deliberate.  I am Doom-Marine, I’m worshipped by Martian scientists and buried in a sarcophagus and my power armor is surrouneded by a makeshift shrine.  I’m also a pissed off bad-ass.  I punch screens and push them harshly against walls, as if they’re as offensive as the invading demonic imps chucking fireballs at me.  The metal soundtrack is the icing on the cake, making me realize that what developer id is going for is more important and fresh than what most recent big FPS’ have done.  They want me to have fun.
Moving, and Doom-Marine moves really fast, feels fluid.  Shooting, running, jumping and punching/ tearing at flashing demons for much needed health or ammo looks amazing and plays great.  Being the main mechanics in the game, I do them a lot and glory kills add to the gamey immersion.  The game looks really nice too with a lot of debris floats around and wind whips up clouds of sand.  The explosions are super pretty and movement blur gives a great sense of speed and adds to the chaos.  The game just exudes nerdy awesomness.
There were some odd loading moments.  The game once briefly froze when I threw a grenade and blew up a red barrel (there are a lot of them).  Platforming and jumping feel a little laggy and sluggish, especially when compared to the frantic fluidity from combat.  It still works and is the best first-person jumping this side of Far Cry 3.

I played Team Deathmatch in multiplayer and came away impressed.  As someone used to CoD, and have been playing multiplayer since Halo 3, it’s nice to see a change of pace.  The fast and chaotic nature of the campaign carries over to the multiplayer.  Load outs are the name of the game, but the number of weapons are limited – even when you’ve unlocked everything.  The big glass ceiling comes from customizing my and my weapons’ appearances.  Like in the campaign, there is no auto-regeneration of health, or reloading of weapons.  Fleeing is a legitimate strategy.  Special weapons and power ups spawn at certain locations on the map and knowing where those spots are becomes as vital as winning those fire fights.

gk doom
I may have found that the best way for me to play Doom is in chunks.  The original game may have been the literal stuff of nightmares for me when I was little, and I may be a little weary of stuff jumping out at me, but this new Doom is both distantly familiar and a blast of fresh air among a genre mostly stuck in “Modern Warfare”.  The feeling of playing offensively rather than duck and covering to reload ammo and health is very welcome.  I get giddy from the idea of playing more and finding those much talked about secrets.  I didn’t think I would say that about a Doom game and much less one in 2016.
My potential grade: A –
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