Written by Dave Navarro, May 17, 2016, at 8:24 p.m.
It’s been twelves years since Doom 3 kicked down our doors and dragged us to hell. Finally DOOM is back, and it’s faster, harder, more brutal, and frankly unforgiving. In short, it’s f***ing fantastic.
Since release, I’ve found the time to sit with the new DOOM on just three different occasions. All three occasions were met with a hefty amount of hesitation, a metric ton of anxiety, and a slew of breaks to walk away and collect myself. It’s not as dark and scary as I remember Doom 3 being, but it still scares the pants off of me with its relentless attempts to murder me and send me back to the beginning of intense and heart-pounding brawls.
It has a much brighter palette than its immediate predecessor, a faster pace, and a soundtrack that is both terrifying and exhilarating rather than just pants-shitting-terrifying. But something about slaughtering demons on Mars just feels like the Doom I remember. It has taken me out of the well worn groove of the impenetrable super-solider with regenerating health and thrown me onto my heels with a pea-shooter, no ammo, and a horde of fireball shooting demons ready to rip me in two, all the while assaulting my ears with demonic howls and headbang inducing electronic-metal fusion tracks.
This last year or so has seen a strong steer away from easy games with light replay-ability towards difficulty and depth. DOOM follows recent releases like Darkest Dungeon, Xcom 2, and Dark Souls 3 in the path towards taking gamers seriously and giving them challenges that take a deft hand and countless deaths to perfect. Difficulty and danger in video-games seemed to be on their way out, but lately a handful of studios seem to have remembered why gamers love games.
It’s not the beauty of the setting, or the epicness of the campaign, it’s the difficulty. The challenge is what keeps us coming back and dying again and again because we know that if can just get a little faster, move a little smarter, and shoot a little sharper, we can beat it. DOOM scratches that itch for a game that assumes I’m a gamer, and trusts me to get better and eventually topple it.
While contemporary shooters take the route of rehashing whats worked so many times before, id software went back to basics and made an arena shooter that’s designed to kick you in the teeth, and I can’t thank them enough for it. I miss the days where my hands grew slick with sweat as my game sessions marched on, and I’d found a way to renew that feeling. DOOM has yet to be out for a week, and it’s already induced panic attacks, cheers of victory, and double takes in dark hallways.
DOOM is fast paced, as an arena shooter should be, brutal, like a DOOM game should be, and fun, like all games should be. It’s a perfect balance that should find no trouble being a staple in this years gaming catalog. All of this is of course made more impressive by the developmental hell that DOOM has sat in for the better part of the last decade.
I’d love to write more about this spectacularly insane FPS, but I really must be getting back to slaughtering demons on Mars. Duty calls.
Have you played DOOM yet? Tell us what you think about it in the comments below!