Doom (2016) – quick impressions
Well, I went in with great excitement and hopes, with a great bias hoping it will be as good as Doom 2… here’s my experience/thoughts as the credits are rolling:
+ yeayy, new doom game
– the level design was totally not thought out compared to what i had hoped based on Doom 2 (geometric interesting maps with original gameplays that make you approach things in interesting ways, original radical location ideas), instead there was generic environments based on real-ish , not very original, places like industrial locations and laboratories, all done very generically. For example within the same framework the game Dead Space mixes the same elements (scif+demons+rituals) in ways that actually have you stop and observe at times, with pacing between moments of observation and even admiration and inquiry and moments of action (and I wasn’t even mad about Dead Space, just sayin’)
-, -, the artwork quality was a bit kid-ish, despite the gore and all that it felt simplistically treated
+ the music was decent, not fantastic like I found quake 2 and even 3 soundtrack, but also pretty decent for the adrenaline music that it was, didn’t disturb and occasionally even engage. I was worried at one point they’d put dramatic voices over the music but it was nicely just instrumental
-, -, + the environments were quite simplistic, you’d think i’d like them as they touched on things i’d enjoy, medieval elements and all sorts of gothic and skeleton stuff, but they weren’t top of the line as i would’ve expected from such a high profile AAA budget game, the environments were all feeling as if you’re a kid/ant in a giant place, and I don’t mean in the good way, but in a way in which a wall had sometimes like 5 bricks, felt unbelievable even if one imagined some kind of giants are living there. And no, it didn’t feel like the place had any function or purpose or thinking other than it being an arena
+, +, + the actual gameplay in the sense of weapon behaviour was very well done. They not only managed to touch the emotional chords with old weapons but even largely kept the feeling of the old ones all in solid shooting mechanics
– multiple times i got lost/was frustrated not knowing where i was supposed to go next. Normally i’m excited to have an open environment but this felt open only in a similar way in which Quake 2 was open: you had to kill all enemies in an area and then find the thing that you were supposed to do to get to the next one. A directional marker was supposed to help me but since it only gave a general direction and sometimes you had to go in the opposite one to get there it sometimes actually hurt, leading to wasted time/frustration. Again, i would’ve loved a real exploration game (thinking here even of an environment like in the souls games, with action), but there was i felt not much to see/explore
-, -, – very limited number of environment types, i counted like 3 only, an industrial type, a mars type and a hell type. They were all done pretty simplistically and their looks were just skin-deep and just for show
-, -, + it felt like a series of connected arenas, as opposed to a a world. This compares quite bad to for example some beautifully done locations in their previous game Rage where the environmental artwork quality was top notch years ago, but eventually i could get into the arenas simply because i had played a lot of Quake 3 Arena back in the day and I could get into the zone
+, + they did a decent job of semi-plausibily going through a checklist and reinventing all of the old enemies, giving a nostalgic touch
– the story was very “meh”. Generic and filler, once or twice i had hopes there’d be more thought put into it as they went into the whole resource exploitation direction but it never materialized
+, – i was hoping the snapmap editor would bring great expanded life to the game, and maybe it will, but from what i’ve seen so far the limitations inside it are way too big and maps made inside it all look the same bland same-same that even the main game had quite a bit. A big test/disappointment/proof of this limitation to me was when i searched for the mandatory level remake of Doom 2 e1m1 that has been redone by now in so many different engines and editors but obviously the designer couldn’t do the v-shaped stairs and just ended up putting a square room connected to another square room, just like a lot of the new doom’s environments. It’s ironic that a game which was fundamentally 2d from more than a decade ago actually offered the ability to be very creative as within that top-down view of the editor you could create any shape. Maybe i’ll be proven wrong and in the future great maps will be made by the community (i hope with all my heart), but something tells me from what i’ve seen so far the chances of the gothic cathedrals and temples i’ve seen made in Doom 2 engine are pretty slim. Hope I’ll be proven wrong.
– it no longer feels like a cutting edge of 3d like iD software used to be. I was generally resigned that they’re not the best artwork games, but heck, at least they’re FPSs which i love and they bring cutting edge tech with them, this no longer felt like this.
All in all i’d consider this a mediocre game by the standards of modern games. For those who really want to go back into the world of Doom/Doom2 it’s still there, providing a bit of a fix, but that’s in my humble opinion simply because there’s such a shortage of games in this genre that give you even a little bit of freedom to explore outside cinematics. If there were more games like this … well, how do i put it, i think this game feels like a mediocre FPS from the 2003-2006 period, it’s nice that it’s there… but if i had 5 others worthily competing for it with different environments and gameplays and more atmosphere and location exploration or at least better done locations I’d probably choose another one. I’d give it an overall 1 on a -5 to 5 scale, it was good enough to play, but not good enough that I’d recommend it… which is a shame because i would’ve really liked to and i hope more games with these themes and gameplay will come out.
Doom (2016) - quick impressions, 2.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings