DOOM 4 is here and I’ve played it

DOOM [First Impressions]

  • I won’t spoil anything major.
  • Current hardware: i5-4690k @ 3.50 GHz, GTX 970, 16gb RAM
  • Playing on the “Ultra-Violence” difficulty level.
  • I’m a DOOM fanatic. “Fan” doesn’t do it justice.
  • I really liked DOOM 3, so yeah… take my opinion with a grain of salt. 

So how is it? It’s glorious. So fast. So aggressive. Like digital coke. If you thought the multiplayer was slow, just wait until you try switching to it right after playing single player. It takes a long time to get used to the decrease in speed—that’s how fast the main campaign is.

Speaking of multiplayer, I am happy to report that it seems to be functioning just fine. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen that happen on launch day. In fact, the entire game is highly polished. Minor mouse acceleration issues aside, this game has been entirely glitch-free for me so far.

SnapMap, which I didn’t think I would care about at all, is already awesome. It feels like the level editor from TimeSplitters 2 (so much so I didn’t even need a tutorial) and some of the content feels like the kind of weird stuff you’d find on Garry’s Mod. However, I did see enemies in SnapMap mode I would have rather encountered in the single player campaign first. It’s kind of spoilerish in that regard, so I probably won’t be checking it out again until later. But the potential is huge.

I spent a lot of time doubling back in levels looking for secrets. The process of looking for secrets does not feel dumbed down at all. I’m having as much fun figuring out levels as I did twenty years ago. In fact, I may enjoy it even more now than I did then.

The imps throw fireballs way faster than they ever have before, but the usual baiting tactics still work. You just have to be a lot quicker because they climb and jump everywhere.

I miss the sounds the doors used to make. I’m not sure why it bothers me so much, but it might even be my biggest complaint. I don’t even dislike the new door sounds—they sound pretty good, actually—I just want the old ones back.

The game isn’t scary. I mean, if you thought the original games were scary, then this one will scare the shit out of you. They’re just not going for horror the way they did in DOOM 3. It’s creepy, sure, and super intense, but nothing I’ve seen so far indicates there’s going to be a Ravenholm level or anything like that. The focus is on action, which makes it feel way more like old school DOOM than DOOM 3.

The action is wonderfully absurd. If you’re wondering why my screenshots have a lack of enemies, it’s because there just isn’t time to take a screenshot when you’re in combat. I am beginning to notice a pattern, however. If this pattern continues throughout the game, I can see it becoming repetitive, but it hasn’t gotten there yet.

I don’t like the checkpoint system. It’s a good checkpoint system, but checkpoints feel a little out of place for a game like this. I understand players tend to save too often when given freedom to do so, but whenever I play old school DOOM, I have a strict rule: only save after discovering a keycard or starting a new level. The checkpoints force me to save way more than I would have on my own. Since they usually come after clearing a room of enemies, they make you tell yourself, “Oh, I guess I’m safe now.”

The finisher moves are a lot more fun than I thought they would be. It’s yet another one of the features I was neutral on until I actually tried it.

I’m not really sure how much modern gamers will enjoy it. Like Shadow Warrior, it seems like something that’s made for old heads and doesn’t give too much of a shit what younger gamers think. I’m sure I’m going to have a lot more to say about it in the future. But I think I’ve gotten my point across: I love this game. I don’t think I’ve ever been won over by a game so quickly, especially when it had such a huge game to live up to.

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