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Eliwood8

Doom Review

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5a58e0ffdefa7_Doomboxart.jpg.f8a82f1041082840a18cd51b75b977d5.jpgOf all the games to release on the Switch in its first year, who could have predicted that Doom would grace Nintendo's portable/console hybrid? Not just for its M-rated content, but for its specific brand of brutal and bloody M-rated content that truly revels in its own gory combat. Doom is a unique brand of visceral action and, putting aside any comparisons to how the game might run on other hardware, Doom on the Switch delivers on all fronts.
 
As the game begins you awaken in an empty room in a research facility on Mars. The Union Aerospace Corporation has opened a portal to Hell in order to draw power and solve Earth's energy crisis, but wouldn't you know it, demons have poured through the portal and are decimating the facility. It's up to you to stop the rampaging demons and send them back to Hell. For a Doom game, you might assume that's enough of a plotline, and for the most part that's all you really need to know, but there are still more details that make the game's infrequent cutscenes pretty interesting. The player character may not be terribly deep—though it is a nice nod to the series that you are once again playing the iconic Doomguy, this time called the Doom Slayer—but the game's universe is interesting and worth exploring.
 
There's one thing you should always expect from a Doom game: tons of vicious, bloody action. This latest entry in the series doesn't disappoint on that front. In addition to the general mayhem of gunning down hordes of demons, Doom features brutal melee finishers called glory kills. You need to be up close and personal with a dazed demon to execute the attack, which can be dangerous, but in addition to just plain looking cool glory kills reward you with health, so they can be worthwhile attacks. They also speak to the fast-paced philosophy of this Doom game. This isn't the type of FPS where you hide behind cover and snipe your enemies from a distance. You need to be constantly on the move, gunning down monsters, punching them in face, and dodging their attacks. The rapid fluidity of battle can be disorienting at first—glory kills in particular can be a little rough on your eyes since, when the animation finishes, you often end up looking in a different direction than where you started—but after a bit of practice with it the hectic nature of the combat is actually quite satisfying. It's visceral action, and exciting to play from the first enemy encounter to the last.
 
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The bane of modern FPS games is corridor level design. Too many shooters put you on narrow paths where you dash from cover to cover, popping off shots between waiting for your health to regenerate. Doom has none of these weaknesses. The level design here is fantastically elaborate, with branching, interconnected paths and tons of secrets to find. You're never at a loss for things to investigate, which is an all too rare treat in FPS design anymore. The secrets are well-worth finding as well. Doom has quite an elaborate upgrade system, from weapon mods to health/armor boosters, and taking the time to survey your surroundings often rewards you with such upgrades. The only annoying aspect of Doom's exploration is that oftentimes there are points of no return with no warning, and with the auto-saving checkpoint system you can easily accidentally lock yourself out of sections of the map in each level. It's not a terrible hassle to replay a level but it is rather inconvenient.
 
In addition to a pretty lengthy single-player campaign—which also has the added replay value of multiple difficulty settings and a score-chasing arcade mode—Doom offers online multiplayer. Many of the usual multiplayer game features are available here, including old standbys like Team Deathmatch and modern features like leveling up to unlock new equipment. There are also a few unique features as well, though these can be a little daunting to new players, such as the ability to transform into a demon during a match. However, the fast-paced action of Doom's gameplay makes for a somewhat rocky multiplayer system. Any slight delay between players can really make things rough on your aim when everyone is zipping around so quickly. Your mileage may vary depending upon your internet connection but in my experience the gameplay seemed to be too fast for the actual multiplayer infrastructure.
 
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Visually, Doom is everything you would expect. Several levels literally take place in Hell, and the landscape is suitably demonic, and the monsters themselves are delightfully horrific (though still clearly based on classic Doom enemies). Overall though the game's setting doesn't lend itself to a ton of variety in the visuals, which is a bit of a shame since what you do see looks pretty great. And of course the fast-paced action is complemented by a heart-pounding soundtrack—just the kind of intense music you want while tearing demons apart with a chainsaw. There is one huge problem with the presentation though, and it's a glitch that is still prevalent two months after the game's initial release. Occasionally the sound cuts out entirely, and other times you'll get a sharp blaring noise for a split second. These issues can pop up seemingly at random, and you'll have to restart a checkpoint to fix the audio when it goes silent. These glitches may not affect the gameplay but they are extremely distracting when they happen in the middle of a fight.
 
Doom is everything you'd expect it to be: an intense FPS with brutal combat around every corner. What might be surprising though is how well that formula is used in this game. This is far from mindless action. The fast-paced gameplay is thrilling but it also changes the way you approach battles and encourages a true understanding of your surroundings. The level design makes exploration not only rewarding in terms of power-ups but engaging in its own right. The multiplayer system is somewhat less unique and exciting but it still scratches an itch for a bit of classic competitive gameplay. Aside from a few technical issues Doom on the Switch is an intense and intensely satisfying experience.
 

Rating: 8 out of 10 Demons

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My bro got this for me for Christmas and I just recently completed it.  Gotta say, I had a total blast with it and even though my only real experience with the franchise is Doom 64 one of the cool things about playing this game is that it really feels like classic Doom for a modern era.  No idea if like, Doom 3 was like that or anything but just my own experience with this game it nailed the experience pretty well while tossing some new into the mix.  I've only touched the Campaign and like two maps in Arcade mode though so I still have plenty to go back to.

 

My only gripe would have to be the bugs that you can encounter such as the sound cutting out (as you mentioned) or getting softer and softer until it cuts out completely which is another I experienced a few times.  I also had an issue where I could access the menu but could not use the directional buttons or the shoulder buttons to scroll through the menu options.  The only fix was a hard reset, although the game itself played just fine and the buttons worked and everything, it was just in the menu things stopped working.  I only encountered that bug once though in my entire run.  Apparently Bethesda knows about these bugs so hopefully the common ones will be patched sooner rather than later.  The game has some really good sound design to it that adds to the experience so you can imagine these are some fairly annoying glitches to deal with for such a great game.

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Yeah it really stays true to the roots of the franchise without coming across as derivative. I'm most familiar with the original Doom on PC and this game still feels true to that experience that I remember as a kid.

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Oh, another thought I had and this one is kind of a spoiler for one of the early boss fights and why it felt more difficult and more like a final boss fight than the actual final boss:


 

Spoiler

 

The Cyberdemon.  Throughout the early parts of the chapter you fight him in you get various lore excerpts about experiments and how they created the Cyberdemon which really played up to how terrifying it is.  It was already tough to fight it when you first encounter it and then you get transported to the demon's realm and the atmospheric energy there revives it for a second round which totally caught me off guard. Luckily I had one BFG shot and max chaingun ammo which helped a lot to reduce his health.  But yeah, that boss fight felt like the hardest in the game and I was somewhat disappointed that you only encountered it one time in the entire campaign.  Mind you I did play it on Hurt Me Plenty difficulty so no idea if that makes a difference.

 

I just remember how stressful it was dealing with them in Doom 64 since there were more of them and it also didn't help that you could hear them clomping around through the walls so you knew they were there but no idea when they would appear or if all the walls in the area come down and reveal a giant arena with a Cyberdemon in the center and a bunch of other demons coming at you.

 

 

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Cyberdemon pretty much always steals the show (though I prefer when there’s only one of him in a whole game/campaign, as having multiple cheapens his presence as a boss), but Spider Mastermind was overdue to return as a boss as well... Kinda see it as a Ridley and Mother Brain comparison, oddly enough. =p

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On 1/14/2018 at 10:20 AM, Ridley Prime said:

Cyberdemon pretty much always steals the show (though I prefer when there’s only one of him in a whole game/campaign, as having multiple cheapens his presence as a boss), but Spider Mastermind was overdue to return as a boss as well... Kinda see it as a Ridley and Mother Brain comparison, oddly enough. =p

 

I suppose.  But I was totally expecting to face down at least one more Cyberdemon before the campaign was over.  Though I suppose reading the lore they were only able to put together enough pieces of the original demon that makes it up and that alone was difficult to contain.  As for Spider Mastermind, this goes to my only Doom experience being from N64, but I thought it was just a giant Arachnotron repurposed into boss material.  You don't see them as regular enemies in the game so I thought maybe they singled out one and gave it a new standing. :P

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I got Doom as a Christmas gift. It was the first FPS I have played since the original Halo (which I did not play until around 2009). 

 

I absolutely love it. Doom is incredible. It was the first game I finished this year. My biggest complaint is that there aren't more shooters like it (ok...and the sound glitch).

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