The last day of classes has come and freedom reigns. The latter part of that statement isn’t true, for my life is still haunted by the final exams in microeconomics and quantitative methods that follow in the next couple of weeks. However, this is the second part of the Joyful Days Playing Betas—the glorious weeks from April to May that have brought us a great number of games in the making: Battleborn, DOOM, Halo 5 Firefight, and Gears of War 4. The focus of this second part is Bethesda’s soon-to-be-released DOOM remake.
PRIMAL AND UNFORGIVING
There is something primal and rustic about Bethesda’s remaking of DOOM. From the moment the matches’ commencement to the very last kill, the feeling that you belong here and that you have been here before is inescapable. In every sense, DOOM’s beta delivers the incredible feeling of being transported to a simpler age, a time when first person shooters were bold and yet common—basic and yet unforgiving.
DOOM’s beta, if we can view it as an accurate representation of what the ultimate multiplayer will play like, succeeds in capturing the spirit and core of what DOOM has always been as a shooter game: fast, lethal, and creative. From the variety of futuristic weapons at your disposal, to the customization mode for your space marine, and the over-powered demon transformation that turn your avatar into a virtual tank, DOOM succeeds in glorifying its former self and in delivering an exciting multiplayer experience.
The learning curve was steep and yet enjoyable. It was exhilarating to see as my K/D progressed match after match, quickly catching up the speed of the game, the preferred weapons, the best way to use grenades, the importance of wisely using boosts, and the critical element of shoot first, melee now. In a simple but wholesome manner, my pre-finished time playing DOOM delivered what I expected: a shooter experience focused on speed and lethality—primal and unforgiving.
ROOM TO GROW
Even though excellent in many ways, DOOM’s beta contained some critical issues where Bethesda and id Software have room to grow.
Every third or fourth match I somehow managed to lose connectivity to the game servers, which would turn out in getting dropped from the match I was dominating in. This is an issue Bethesda and id Software are most certainly going to work on. That shouldn’t be a concern to the DOOM community. In addition, the beautiful gameplay and terrifying settings of each match were hurt by drops in frame rates that were quite noticeable—this is also an issue that I am certain will be addressed.
In a previous article here at PSVG, I mentioned how I doubted whether DOOM could reinvent itself in an era of great and polished first-person shooters. Even though my experience playing DOOM has taken some of the edge off from my previous article, I still wonder whether DOOM can survive. As I mentioned above, primal and unforgiving is the name of the game. DOOM is fast, lethal, and exciting. However, does it deliver a formula that can lead to a long and abundant community? That is yet to be decided.
DOOM succeeds in reinventing itself as a multiplayer game with a campaign (yet to be played) but with a great focus on the legendary multiplayer which earned the series its place as a forefather of modern shooters. The smooth combat of DOOM, faithful to the original and yet innovative, is sure to provide hundreds and thousands of hours of fun to many players, but in an era of excellently-built shooter games, it’s long-term success is on the hands of gamers everywhere.