In a dark period at an innovative level, our beloved world of video games has long since run into the vicious circle of remasters, titles re-proposed by software houses at a distance of only one generation of consoles from the other without the slightest attempt to renew that title. in particular or the same saga / brand in general. Bethesda and id Software for their part, with the due risks taken without hesitation, have decided instead to re-propose not a remaster, but a real reboot of a brand that at the very thought of being able to talk about it now I get goosebumps: ladies and gentlemen is back DOOM. The title, true founder of the FPS genre together with Wolfenstein 3D, debuted for the first time ever back in 1993 and now, more than twenty years later, will it once again claim the throne of King of first-person shooters? Let's find out together!
Back to the origins
Always, DOOM's real strength was the campaign. Many years ago, without yet the overbearing multiplayer sector to be the master in this type of titles, the true essence of the game had to be sought by the player through a classic single player or co-op adventure that could in one way or another leave the mark. Now, however, the software houses, also forced by commercial needs and purely for the sale of titles for all age groups, have slowly and inexorably neglected to want to tell a good story in order to prefer and develop only DLC (for a fee of course) to make spend months and months the average user on a game where for better or for worse the content is somewhat poor and recycled from year to year.
Bethesda and id Software, on the other hand, while adequately balancing the campaign and the multiplayer sector, opted for an old and glorious return to basics for the FPS genre with the DOOM reboot. In fact, the campaign is first of all a real challenge with yourself thanks to the possibility of selecting different difficulty options that, trust your heart, will put you to the test like no game these days (always referring to the first person shooter genre) hardly did.
Leaving aside the first four difficulty levels, the real mountain to climb will be there Ultra-Nightmare mode. In addition to obviously an enemy AI at extreme levels, the scarcity of medical kits and the low availability of ammunition, the real nightmare will be the presence of the permadeath: no checkpoints, if you die even once you will have to start the campaign from the beginning. We have therefore returned to going level by level without really knowing what we are going to meet, the unpredictability will be the master and will give that sense of emptiness that is decidedly appropriate given the dismal setting. Unlike other titles worthy of this genre, in DOOM it will not be possible to repair or recharge. A perfect choice in my opinion because it will force the player to take the situation head on and face face to face, between dismemberments and blood at will, the hordes of Demons in front of the fearless Space Marines. The importance of facing the Demons closely will also be vital in order to recover, after killing and eviscerating cells of energy, armor and above all ammunition very useful for survival.
Death on Mars
The campaign DOOM is set on the planet Mars which, thanks to the irrepressible desire for development of mankind, has become a planet at least habitable used for the proceeds of precious energy Sterling silver; useful to satisfy the energy demands of the Earth. Without going any further, due to involuntary and unpleasant spoilers, we will find ourselves facing the disaster caused by the unattractive Mrs. Pierce and many other madmen who, regardless of the danger, by making a demonic pact have opened the gates of Hell unleashing hordes of hungry Demons which, having also taken possession of the humans present in the industrial complex of the Red Planet, have given rise to aberrant and somewhat disgusting monsters.
The narration, as usual in this saga conceived by John Romero, is set aside in favor of a frenetic gameplay that gives the player moments of pure ecstasy and videogame enjoyment. If you have enjoyed the recent Wolfenstein: The New Order, also developed by Bethesda and born from the brilliant mind of Blazkowicz for the plot as well as for the gameplay, know that DOOM, as a good reboot, he deliberately decided to pulverize the past by giving us a complete reset of the plot in order to enhance a fresh and useful gameplay to bind and create a union between a father and a son who love video games. Be clear, the plot is more than positive, but obviously don't expect to find a story worthy of the good Tolkien.
Another point in favor of the campaign is the constant fear of stopping, therefore the static. On precise guidelines dictated by the various developers, DOOM will never and I mean never downtime and this, let you tell it with the joypad in your hand, will allow you to try again some retro-videogame sensations flanked by the graphic and sound evolution of our days; in simple terms Bethesda has managed to create the perfect time continuum between two sharply divided eras in the history of the modern video game. Returning to the discourse of static, in DOOM the refill is a mere utopia and therefore you will have to shoot, shoot, shoot up to the last cartridge in your magazine and hope to find new ammunition through bloody kills. We will therefore find historical weapons such as the Gauss Cannon, the BFG-9000 or the satisfying and spectacular chainsaw.
DOOM is not just about shooting and hoping to survive, the campaign will have influences deriving from the RPG genre. In fact, customization will be a real beating part of the heart of our adventure and it will be up to the player to be able to find the right setup of the Space Marine and above all that of the weapons as, dear gunsmiths, weapon customization is one of the most complex yet fun features of the title. How can you customize your character? First of all, as well as continuing along the lines written by id Software, between the various levels you will have to be a good investigator and find secrets of any entity but above all find the energy cells Argent.
With a single energy cell, therefore, you can upgrade: Health, Armor and Ammo. The first will allow you to increase your health by 25%, the second by 25% of your armor while the third will allow your weapon magazine to have a greater capacity of ammunition. Obviously the customization does not end here as, this time by always searching in the various levels for special points Token armor and weapon, you can improve your character's innate abilities and make changes to your weapons.
Through armor upgrades Praetor for example, you can increase your character's dexterity, improve resistance to environmental damage and much more. Different speech instead for the weapons, as each will have two different types of modification; for example, a tactical sight with the necessary perk or a mini-rocket launch system can be added to the assault rifle, always with the necessary perks; the customization will be extreme and varied and will therefore allow (thanks also to the various difficulty levels) to constantly modify strategies and gameplay in general.
Between past and present, innovation is not intrusive
If until now we have emphasized over and over again the precise intent to render DOOM an old school title, we are still in 2016 and therefore modern technology has also invaded the Underworld. The title brings for the first time ever the id Tech 6 graphics engine, the sixth evolution of the famous graphics engine of the Texan development team. Right from the start we can see the benefits, that is greater optimization and above all the tranquility with which the new graphics engine manages very large areas and geometries without ever suffering sharp and uncomfortable drops in frame rate; Unfortunately, the inconvenient flaw of long loading and loading with some difficulty of the game textures persists.
Together with sublime graphics on PC and very good graphics on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with their constant 60fps, DOOM has a decidedly first-rate sound accompaniment. Biting, electric and heavy metal sounds will lead the player to plunge into a bubble of isolation made of suspense and adrenaline. The alternating change between hard sounds and decidedly more choral sounds, make the shootings even more lively and dynamic.
Accessible from the main game menu, Snapmap will allow users to create real maps and share them with all other players in the DOOM community. Honestly I had some difficulties, also dictated by the lack of personal imagination and above all creativity, but potentially this feature will in the future greatly expand the contents of the title in an infinitesimal way.
I am also sure that, as happened for example in the Halo Forge, this editor will allow and facilitate the exchange between development team and user, enhancing the best ideas in the future.
The Arena is calling you, it's time to flex your muscles!
As happened in the Campaign, even the gameplay of the Multiplayer sector will be frenetic and will NEVER give you the opportunity to "camp" or play wait-and-see. Just as it happened in the famous Quake or Unreal Tournament, you will run madly among the various maps in a spasmodic search for an opponent to face and annihilate. The frenzy will therefore constantly lead you to face close duels to the death that will force you to master the rapid movement in the shortest possible time and raise even more your already shod reflexes from inveterate gamers and also will force you to have a knowledge of the map, as you will have to get there before your opponent to retrieve medical kits, ammo and power-ups.
Unlike other titles, Bethesda and id Software have decided right away to make all the weapons available in order to make the player create his / her own custom classes and therefore quickly take hand with the various weapons present in the title. Furthermore, at the beginning of the match and every time you respawn, you can select (if available) a hack module; this module will give your character special temporary perks such as maximum armor or scout vision to analyze the map and find the position of our enemies; they are consumables therefore they cannot be reused a second time and only five can be brought to each match. To make the game experience even more exciting, for the first time ever, by collecting a special demonic rune placed at regular intervals of time on the map, the player will be able to transform into one of the following Demons:
This perk will influence the progress of the game exponentially as the Demon, inside the Arena, will be truly devastating and difficult to face and defeat. However, if you manage to get the better of the Demon, you yourself will transform it until the power of the Demonic Rune runs out. The multiplayer compartment of DOOM consists of six game modes:
- Team Deathmatch: classic FPS mode where two teams of five players each will have to reach 75 kills
- Domination: famous mode of DOOM, here the opposing teams will have to conquer three areas located within the map and will have to stay on them in order to accumulate the points necessary to win
- Freezing: in my opinion very funny mode, whoever freezes the entire opposing team first will win. To avoid defeat, if one of your allies is frozen you will simply have to approach, interact with him and after a short time you will make him operational again.
- Way of War: this mode is an even crazier version of the King of the Hill. A single conquest point will move around the map along a predefined path. On the opposite side of the path instead there will be constantly a demonic rune to collect in order to crush your opponent even more. Points will be awarded to the team that controls the conquest point, the winner is whoever collects the most points until time runs out
- Arena Clan: another classic mode of DOOM, it's an elimination match: the team that survives wins. The map has no upgrades and players will never be able to restore their health and / or armor; even the Demons will be absent
- Reaper of souls: very similar to Team Deathmatch, in this case, however, the deaths will not be worth but the accumulated souls of the enemies. These souls will be released after you kill your opponent but be careful, if you are not quick, a companion of your killed opponent will collect the soul and prevent you from earning precious points
As with many other titles of the genre, even in DOOM you can customize your beloved character. Among myriads of colors and armor, obtainable by completing online challenges and / or level progression, you can create your dream Doom Marine. You can even customize the emotes, for example there will be that of mockery or that of victory!
The only two flaws of the multiplayer sector in my opinion I am a low level editor of the maps present at the launch of the title and above all, but surely in a short time it will be balanced, a clear imbalance between certain perks, the resistance of the armor on all, and above all weapons, first of all the decidedly double Too strong.