I doubt I’ve been alone in wondering what the frantic action of the classic first person shooter, Doom, would look like polished up and running on today’s hardware.
Well now we all know.
Never has the heart and soul of a classic game been recaptured so perfectly as it has with Bethesda’s new version of Doom. Running at a brisk sixty-frames-per-second, Doom’s frantic gunplay brought back some pretty vivid memories from a simpler time when you didn’t need to spend as much money on your graphics card as you did the rest of the components in your PC.
The campaign mode follows the same story as its predecessors set in the aftermath of a demonic infestation on a Martian colony. Scientist trying to utilise the power of Hell itself for the benefit of mankind had inadvertently opened the gates of the Satanic realm allowing demons into our plan of existence and possessing the Martian colonists, turning them into murderous killing machines.
Taking us back to a demon-infested Mars, the derelict base reminded me a lot of Alien: Isolation, but chock-full of monsters to shotgun, chainsaw and literally tear my way through. With each new area I couldn’t wait to run headlong into the next batch of unfortunate and disfigured former colonists.
From Mars the action goes to Hell, literally, as your legendary Doom Marine faces off against an increasingly grotesque and malformed horde of demons.
The game looks superb and the engine so well optimised I could maintain 60fps with all the setting cranked up to the max. Of course, performance depends on your PC spec, but the ease at which the game run, even on day one, without dedicated driver, says to me that id has spent a considerable amount of time honing the code.
The fluid motion compliments the immensely satisfying combat. Doom is a fast-paced shooting frenzy packed full of blood and gibs. Ah, those gibs, the chucks of flesh flying about help the game echo the original but with a modern feel.
With a full arsenal, including a chainsaw, each encounter feels like a ballet as you leap around firing at the enemies, sometimes at point-blank range picking off the stunned with epic, health rewarding, slow-mo glory kills.
Of course, the campaign is only the starter in Doom’s feast of carnage. The game’s multiplayer mode continues the pure shooter action with near unlimited gameplay. Sure, it does lack the sophistication of some of it’s peers, but the jumping and old-school hip-firing makes for some frantic matches- very much in the spirit of the original.
Wannabe level designers are also accommodated with Snapmap, the game’s modular level creation tool. Players can download community-created maps, or create their own to share, play solo or with friends. Map templates based on different game modes get you creating in moments. Rooms and corridors can be added to your level and easily snapped together. You can then add objects, effects, triggers and hordes of enemies. Whilst it is easy to use, to get a good result you still need to spend a great deal of time creating your level.
Of all the shooters that have recently been released, Doom stands head and shoulders above the rest and is an absolute delight to play. The game’s old-school mechanics are offset by beautiful visuals running at a blistering pace. It’s great to see such a classic game reinvented for a new audience.
Doom is available now on Xbox One, PS4 and Windows PC.