The upcoming Doom reboot has a lot to live up to.
Doom has spawned many, many imitators, but still holds a special place in the hearts of gamers across the globe. The third main instalment in the series was a big hit, selling millions of copies and racking up plenty of great reviews – but fans have been left waiting too long for a sequel.
With this new release, id Software and Bethesda are promising to take Doom back to its most violent, most insane origins, giving fans an explosive experience that builds on the classic elements whilst adding new ones.
However, as most of us know, the multiplayer beta attracted more than its fair share of criticism recently, leaving id Software to defend their game and put players minds at ease. This portion of the game is sure to be tweaked and improved before its release come May 13th.
Still, Doom’s single-player campaigns have always been the main meat of the series, and this new release looks set to continue the tradition. A couple of days ago, Bethesda streamed an hour of gameplay from the campaign, talking players through a decent chunk of the adventure with detailed commentary – so how is it shaping up?
Feel the Need … the Need for Speed
Doom is fast. Super-fast. As you can see from the footage, the protagonist is able to tear through enemies with impressive brutality – blasting away with the shotgun, for example, causes enemies to drop in an explosion of blood, while cutting away with the chainsaw leads to some of the bloodiest finishers you’ve ever seen.
Navigating the levels appears to be satisfyingly simple, with the hero scrambling over obstacles and running through environments at a nice speed, making any backtracking that may come up less of a chore. Doom looks set to be a refreshing change for players fatigued with games bogged down in too much story and cut-scenes, with an emphasis more on action and the experience itself over stringing a plot together.
Not that there isn’t a story, but the way in which it’s told poses minimum interference. As with Bethesda’s Mass Effect games, Doom features a codex chock-full of background on everything from the UAC to the demons they’re experimenting on. Audio logs are also available, but listening to these is totally optional. This puts the narrative more in the player’s hands, offering the chance to learn more about the world and the context of the adventure at your convenience without irritating those who couldn’t care less.
Without cut-scenes or branching conversations slowing the action down, Doom looks every inch the old-school shooter many of us want, with the gorgeous sheen of 2016’s graphics.
Up for a Challenge?
Anyone who blasted their way through previous Dooms with relative ease should be satisfied with the amount of challenge id Software have tossed into their latest game.
To start with, multiple difficulty levels are available, with the familiar Hurt Me Plenty, Ultraviolence, and Nightmare modes jacking the challenge right up. However, if that’s not enough for you, there’s Ultra-Nightmare too, which threatens to return players back to the start of the game after dying. This means you have one shot to plough through the game, and the team behind it has apparently yet to actually complete this mode themselves – what chance do you think you have?
On top of this, plenty of secret areas and Rune Trials (giving players specific tasks to complete in exchange for rewards) give you lots to hunt for. The massive variety of demons also differ in size and power, with a mix of cannon-fodder and bigger, meaner monsters to play with.
Of course, to take down said enemies, you need weapons – and Doom has more than you can shake a double-barrelled shotgun at. As well as the rifles, the chainsaw, and the cannons you’d expect, the BFG is also back; it might have a refined look, but it’s as powerful as ever. Guns can be modified extensively, and the player’s suit of armour can also be upgraded; as the footage shows, equipping yourself with the right gear as you progress is key to stand any chance of reaching the end of the game.
As well as blasting demons into pulp, Glory Kills give players the power to execute enemies with close-up moves. Triggering one of these will reward you with ammo, and while they result in a brief animation, these move so quick there’s no chance of their slowing the game down. You can also get through the game without using them at all, if you prefer a hands-off approach.
For both Doom purists and first-timers, the upcoming reboot looks set to deliver everything you could want. With the emphasis on wild shooting, ridiculous weaponry, constant action, and a relentlessly bloody, dark tone, Doom could be the best instalment in the series so far.
Want to watch the sample of the single-player campaign for yourself? Check it out over at YouTube, on Bethesda’s official channel. Enjoy!
Are you impressed by the footage of Doom’s single-player campaign? Let us know!