Originally developed by Id Software, the Doom franchise took PC gaming by storm and subsequently spawned a series of epic follow-up titles. The last development of the series was released in 2004 (Doom 3) with an expansion (“Resurrection of Evil”) released in 2005. Gamers then waited 3 years until the announcement of another Doom title was made in 2008. Fast forward to 2016 and we now are able to play the long awaited title in a closed multiplayer beta!
Launching into the beta playlist I wasn’t sure what to expect. I will admit I am not a diehard and was never into PC gaming. My personal knowledge of the series is limited to gameplay I have seen online and long summer days spent watching walkthroughs and reviews on G4 while simultaneously being extremely creeped out by the intense visual aspects Doom 3 provided. This current rendition noticeably matches that same aesthetic and fits quite nicely within the Doom universe.
Without a story mode to try, my only real option was to go straight into multiplayer and do my best. After the initial login, you are greeted with two choices of a playlist: Team Death Match and Warpath. I decided to take the classic route and put myself in the queue for a Doom deathmatch experience. The result was for better or worse, the video below. Notice me struggling initially with the control scheme and quickly learning that if you can’t handle the heat, stay out of the matchmaking dimensions of hell.
Being based off the Unreal Engine, the game plays like a modern rendition of classic shooters like Quake and it has a particularly old school classic FPS vibe while retaining a high-end graphical presence. You have the choice of three load outs with the ability to unlock 3 custom load outs once you have gained enough experience. I was refreshed to experience the broken-in feel of this shooter and the difficulty associated with it. The matches are very chaotic and fast paced and the weapon handling demands high skill in terms of movement and tactics.
Power ups and weapons spawn on the map naturally and you have the chance of happening upon a demon rune in which case your character is possessed by a Revenant. The Revenant is extremely powerful: increased health, a strong jet pack to stay mobile, the ability to see enemies through walls and at a distance, and two devastating rocket launchers.
Video from Martin Balhar‘s Youtube Channel
Outside of the matchmaking, you unlock various color options for both weapons and armor and the option to change preset patterns to make the gear look cosmetically unique. You can even change the amount of dirt on your guns and armor to add to the feel of the game. You also unlock new taunts from Irish jigs to more obscene gestures to express your true feelings of adoration to your opponents after devastating them.
The other game mode presented in Doom is a different take on your standard “King of the Hill” game variant in which the actual capture zone is continuously moving around the map. Teams have to battle while moving through the map to maintain control of this dynamic zone which though subtle adds a dynamic that keeps the game physically but also statistically moving and also adds a new level of difficulty in using the whole environment rather than small pre-selected sections.
Video found on Queen Faith‘s Youtube Channel
The game thus far seems like it will be a contender for fans of classic competitive FPS and has the potential to bring new fans into a classic series. I can’t wait to get my hands on this title on May 13th. Though not huge in content, the Doom beta was refined and played extremely well. If you have time to get in before the 17th download the beta now and try it for yourself!!
-Featured image courtesy of polygon.com