There's a lot of advantages to an open beta. Gamers get the chance to test something before release; developers get the chance to fix bugs and find out how robust their servers are.
Unfortunately, it also gives gamers the chance to absolutely pan the living snot out of your game. And that's what happened to the new DOOM over the weekend, making it Bethesda's second-lowest rated game on the service.
At the time of writing the reception has been nothing short of savage. At the time of writing, only 37% of the 11,717 reviews are positive for iD's upcoming shooter. The scathing score makes the DOOM beta the second most hated item Bethesda has published on Steam, with Fallout 4's Wasteland Workshop DLC having the dubious honour of being the worst.
Many complaints from regular punters have centred on the fact that the modern DOOM doesn't really represent the ideals of an arena shooter. Uninspired and derivative are two of the most consistent cries, with users on social media and forums remarking that the game borrows too much from Call of Duty and not enough from older iD titles.
The warning screen for NVIDIA users on launch didn't leave a great impression either.
Doom Beta for NVIDIA users.
— DeviantXS (@DeviantXS) April 15, 2016
Mind you, this is a beta and you'd hope that gamers factored that in. Complaints about a 60fps cap were a bit off the mark too, considering the developers announced the frame rate would be unlocked for the full release.
I wasn't a fan of the closed beta, but it should be acknowledged that there were plenty of improvements since then.
The performance was slightly better on my PC, with the frame rate consistently hovering around 60 this time. The movement speed was noticeably increased. Games of Warpath were much easier to find, which made the matchmaking experience more enjoyable. And despite pings hovering around 60-70ms at their absolute best, the overall performance was quite smooth. Even a field of view slider was introduced for the open beta, which makes a huge difference for some, and there was an option to hide damage numbers.
Given how many tweaks were made in such a short period of time, I can't help but wonder whether iD were already debating them internally and wanted to wait for the public's reaction before acting. Nevertheless, they're just some of the things I noticed — and figured the developers deserve some credit for responding so quickly to feedback.
But that wasn't enough for fans to overlook the absurdity of the Revenant, the peculiarities of the audio, the lack of weapon damage, the truly awful announcer, the presence of loadouts, auto targeting on the Gauss Cannon (a one-shot kill weapon), and the lack of audio feedback in general.
The new DOOM launches May 13. Bethesda will undoubtedly be hoping the reaction then dwarfs the reception right now — and the next time they do an open beta, don't be surprised if comments and reviews are disabled altogether.