Few games can be called truly iconic. Fewer still can be called seminal. Undisputedly among those ranks, however, is Doom. From the first release in 1993 to the present day, you’d be hard pressed to find a gamer who isn’t at least aware of its existence. I can still remember riding my bike to my uncle’s house so my brother and I could play deathmatches over our 26k baud modem. You can imagine my excitement when I saw a new edition was being released by Bethesda and id, and that it wasn’t going to be garbage (looking at you, Doom 3). So grab your shotgun and buckle up, cause Doom is back, and it means business.

Hint: It's exactly what you think.

Can you guess what’s going to happen next?

Doom 2016 stays incredibly faithful to the formula that made Doom popular so long ago: constant action, constant pressure, a wide range of weapons that are fun to use, and tons of secrets to discover. From the moment the game begins, you’re thrown into combat; literally waking up on a slab while being attacked by zombified UAC scientists. New additions such as equipable Runes to boost your abilities and a more 3 dimensional layout to the levels makes the action even better. Redesigned but still very recognizable demons, giant enemies that can soak up tons of punishment, and all the gore you would imagine a demonic invasion from Hell to include really bring home the Doominess.

The story is also quite well done. Nothing too complex, it’s nonetheless compelling and you do find yourself invested in what’s going to happen next. In this iteration of the Doom story, the UAC has been using Hell’s energy as a renewable resource to compensate for the depletion of fossil fuels on Earth. Humans are corruptible, however, and things don’t always go according to plan. Most of the story is told through bestiary entries and datapad logs found in the levels. As such, if you just want to shoot demons, you’re not forced to sit through hours of dialogue and plot development; if you want to know exactly what the UAC has been up to, you can find out. It’s a great way to please both action junkies and lore nerds, and I applaud the effort.

Or maybe its ochre?

This one’s more of a burnt orange.

As much as I love the game, it’s not without its faults. The points used to upgrade your weapons are earned by completing combat challenges and discovering secrets throughout each level. While not necessarily a bad thing, I did find this to be distracting at times from what I really wanted to be doing: blasting my way through the rest of the demon hordes. Searching an empty level from top to bottom for a hidden lever so I can earn that last upgrade point isn’t really my idea of fun. That said, this is only really a problem if you’re a completionist like me. Those who don’t mind missing a point here and there won’t be too bothered. I also found the color palette to be somewhat dull compared to the earlier entries in the franchise. Again, not a huge deal, but it does get tiring looking at yet another reddish brown area.

At the end of the day, Doom is a thoroughly enjoyable romp through hell that I would recommend to anyone, provided that they are old enough. Ultra-violence and disturbing imagery make this one a no-go for the kiddies and, in my opinion, most teenagers as well. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up if you haven’t already.

Kaiju Verdict

3/4 Pops: Exceptional  A significant cut above the crowd. Though flawed or otherwise not necessarily for everyone, it does things other games in the genre do not, or tries something new with a great deal of success.

PC version reviewed

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