Game review: Doom

Screenshot from console game Doom.
Screenshot from console game Doom.

Doom's first half hour is explosive. You wake up and punch everything in your way before acquiring a suitable weapon to waste the screaming demons running for your face.

After a quick sojourn through some corridors and up an elevator, the game opens up massively. The title screen drops, metal music blares, you're outside, on Mars, and demons are everywhere. Welcome to hell.

It's exhilarating and fast-paced; damaging enough enemies allows a window for a melee "glory kill". The enemy will flash and after any number of graphic deaths, you're rewarded with ammo and/or health.

Screenshot from console game Doom.
Screenshot from console game Doom.

As you progress, more enemy and weapon types appear. Some are nostalgically familiar while other grotesque imaginings are new and exciting.

The single-player campaign takes an interesting turn when it goes to hell (literally). The art direction is absolutely stunning and the game runs smoothly the majority of the time.

Some environments will make you laugh at their creativity, or reel back in horror. We're talking goat heads bleeding from the eyes-level stuff.

Ultimately, the campaign suffers from a lack of things to do. The jumping puzzles are fun but shortlived. Rune challenges are cool, if a little easy. But the crux of the game is shooting demons and running out of ammo. Constantly.

A couple of boss fights spice things up, and the last boss is particularly great, but the game struggles to remain engaging after you've killed the same demon hundreds upon hundreds of times.

Screenshot from console game Doom.
Screenshot from console game Doom.

The multiplayer, however, is a blast. Games are incredibly fast and varied. The demon rune, which transforms a player into an overpowered monster, controls the pace of most games in a really fun and interesting way (why-oh-why didn't they include it in the single player?).

I particularly liked Soul Harvest, a team death-match mode where kills result in soul drops that can be picked up by either team to rack up a score. Best part of all, the demon rune has no time limit. It's pure chaos.

Authentic, artless Doom.

Review: Doom

Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Rating: R16
Verdict: A work of (Satanic) art with a sad dearth of variation.

- TimeOut

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