New Doom Combines Old And New, With Mixed Results

New Doom Combines Old And New, With Mixed Results

I played a couple matches of the new Doom over the weekend at QuakeCon. I come to you bearing Thoughts.

Doom is fast and brutal, so I'm gonna deliver my impressions in the form of RAPID-FIRE BULLET POINTS. Warning: if you get too close to your screen, I can't be held responsible for what might happen (probably eye strain or something).

  • It's solid. The six vs six TDM matches I played felt good and looked nice. At this stage, Doom is not horrible. Hurrah!

  • It's fast, but not quite old-school fast. Heck, I'd say that even Quake IV was faster. Nu-Doom (not to be confused with Nude Doom, which may or may not be an actual thing and now I'm afraid to look) attempts to rocket-jump the line between old and new, and it lands in a pretty nice spot, speed-wise. Old-school evangelists might object, but I liked the way movement felt. I was able to get my bearings and feel competitive quickly. I even managed to pull off a sweet 360 spin shotgun kill once, and I felt like the coolest person on Earth as some kid on the other side of the table shouted, "THAT'S BULLSHIT." (Note: I am not actually very cool.)

  • It's vertical. Oh how I missed you, jump pads and levels with more to them than "ground floor" and "slope that could be mistaken for a large pothole." Boost jumping and the ability to grab surfaces and hoist myself on top of them left a fair amount of room for improvisation, too.

  • There are health kits! You know, like from the Before Times. Thank goodness.

  • The static cannon is a cool embodiment of what the new Doom is all about. It's a gun that charges up as you run. If you stop moving, its single, lightning-bolt-of-Zeus-like blast is kinda cruddy. If you dart, dodge, sprint, and strafe until its meter is topped off, however, you're suddenly packing a one-shot kill cannon. Unfortunately, it wasn't super useful on the constrained, corridor heavy level in the QuakeCon demo, but I'm looking forward to experimenting with it more.

  • I didn't really dig the new loadout functionality. In the new Doom you can only carry two guns and one item (say, grenades or a teleporter) per loadout, and in the demo we could only switch between two custom loadouts per game. I'm all for meaningful gameplay choices and constraints breeding creativity, but Doom's limitations felt constraining and arbitrary — like they were detracting from my tactical versatility, not helping me devise new strategies. It struck me as a modern shooter trope that got tossed onto Doom's sacrificial demon altar because, you know, that's how all the cool kids are doing it now.

  • No John, you are the demons. On the level we played, there was a power-up that temporarily turned one player at a time into a demon. Whoever became the rocket-spewing Revenant was pretty much guaranteed at least a few kills, so the power up was hotly contested. It gave the level a nice focal point, which immediately became a "fuck it all" point as soon as someone on the other team turned into Mr Jack Hellington and wreaked havoc. The net effect was a nice ebb and flow, a noticeable churn in the sea of combat. That's a tough thing to achieve in a deathmatch mode, and Doom's way of making it happen was very, you know, Doom.

New Doom Combines Old And New, With Mixed Results
  • Melee? Meh. I think Doom's melee splatter-splosion kills look rad. Right now, though, they seem like a better fit for single-player than multi. In team deathmatch, I felt like I was asking for a thrashing every time I rushed in to knee someone's head clear into space god's lap. Even if I thought I'd isolated one of my enemies, their teammates were usually waiting in the wings to punish me for getting that close.

  • I liked it, but I didn't love it. I came away from the Doom demo satisfied, but I didn't feel that tingle in my fingertips, that tug at my soul to play more. Granted, I only played a couple matches, and it's still far from finished. Given this one's developmental ups and downs, it could've been a fucking disaster. Instead, it seems to be on a right-ish track. That's certainly something.

  • It's still not the right colour.

So those are my Doom BULLETTHOUGHTS. I hope you enjoyed them and did not die of eye strain or shrapnel. Did any of you get a chance to play Doom this weekend? If so, what'd you think?

To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @vahn16.


Comments

    I was kinda gutted when I found out Doom even had multiplayer I was hoping it would be like wolfenstien and just a really solid Singleplayer game. I'm still going to buy it and will give the multi a chance to impress me.

      Honestly I think the focus should be multiplayer. The single player story really only needs to be 10-15 hours.

      Doom and Quake were always at their best as multiplayer titles, and the formula for the tightly-honed arena based competitive shooter is a timeless one IMO.

      The old ones had multi me and Norton use to play over the phone lines back on dial-up haha

    It looks great, no doubt.
    But something seems off and I can't quite put my finger on it.

    I have always been stuck on the idea that Doom is a tough beast to bring forward in to modern gaming in it's original light, that the need for deeper themes means new games will inevitably break that balance between the technological and supernatural that the originals did so unapologetically. (What I mean is Doom just......was, but now we demand more from story telling and setting etc)
    Doom 3 for example was a great game, but the theme for me seemed more technological and horror based.

    Interestingly I actually think the new style is pretty damn close. Maybe I just need to get my hands on it.

      I disagree, we don't need a rubbish story getting in the way of meaty shooter gameplay.

        I don't mean some sprawling epic novel like story, I mean the standards today in multiple aspects of gaming requires more depth. (I use the word standards broadly)

        Doom 1-2 was about demons attacking a Mars base, it simply worked because it didn't need to be anything else. We had crazy demons mixed in with a technological feel and the two had a unique balance.
        Doom 3 was essentially the same story, but for some reason it didn't feel like the original Doom. It's themes were changed up and the balance was skewed to create something different. That's not a band thing either, it was fun in it's own right.

        But D3 left me wondering if it was even possible to recreate the feel of the originals with modern development standards, to find that perfect balance. Nostalgia aside, people do want more in games these days and some companies chase that so it's expected that one aspect might be built upon.

        I did say I found the clip to be pretty damn close and I am keen to lay waste to hells minions with the wild bad arse abandon I remember.

    Will the nVIDIA SATV console be powerful enough to maybe get a port of this game in the near future?

      It would have to be a pretty crap port, the SATV isn't much more powerful than a high end phone judging by the specs.

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