Every once and a while a game comes along that you enjoyed so much, you struggle to understand why it took you until now to play it. In fact, even though it only came out a couple of months ago, I am ashamed I did not get to DOOM sooner.
DOOM surpassed all my expectations. It’s a challenge (particularly at the highest difficulty) which forces the player to succumb to an instinctive zen-like mode. For every combat encounter in the game – of which there are many, specific thoughts cease to exist, and are replaced by a euphoria of pure bloody and violent indulgence.
You need to act fast, which is why the precise controls, as well as monster and environmental queues mean everything. I found myself focusing my attention on a range of harder enemies, but still dodging attacks from everything around me with little to no thought. I felt like a King.
Enhancing the combat further is the smooth and consistent interplay between health, and the glory kill system; sometimes activating that kill animation keeps you alive for just a little longer. Similarly, the chainsaw builds on this mechanic; it has a limited amount of uses, but a kill with it restores the player’s ammo. Weighing up your expenditure of ammo and use of the chainsaw is a simple but effective tool to increase difficulty.
“It’s a challenge which forces players to succumb to an instinctive zen-like mode.”
But what really makes every fight feel fresh, aside from the expanding list of demon spawn you encounter, is the map design. Each area is tailored to extracting your absolutely pro capabilities, and multiple platforms exist, with various hazards, exploding barrels, health/ammo and powerups to aid you in your struggle against the horde. That’s not even mentioning the intrinsically designed secret collectable areas, which overtime your mind adjusts to discovering, as you adapt to the level design.
DOOM has been the best gameplay experience of this year so far. I’d advise bumping the difficulty up to maximum on your first playthrough, because through the tension created when every action counts, you can pull off some incredible death defying feats.