Demons, hell, blood, guts and glorious super shotgun blasts; it can only be Doom! This weekend id Software’s new entry in the series has an open beta test, so whether you’re on Xbox One, PS4 or PC, you can try the online multiplayer component free of charge(and we’d recommend you do).
waterfalls of blood, fiery pits of lava and shiny metal platforms provide the backdrop for multiple-murder...
The pace of the game is fabulously frantic, the action moving along not only at speed but with a silky smooth frame-rate too. The graphics are decent; waterfalls of blood, fiery pits of lava and shiny metal platforms providing the backdrop for multiple-murder. The weapons look great too, in particular the super shotgun with its huge barrels jutting outwards towards your victim(s). Unfortunately though, the character models are one part Halo, one part Power Rangers, and really don’t fit the 90s blood-and-heavy-metal style of play. We’d like id to throwaway the god-awful post-match celebrations too please - can’t we just have the losers getting turned to a bloody pulp, instead of the disco-dancing?
The action itself gazes triumphantly back to the late 90s - expect health kits, ammo crates and armour vests as well as special weapons and abilities to be available around the map. Becoming the Revenant (turning into a colossal demon) affords the player the joy of devastating rocket power, increased health, and a boisterous jetpack. The controls reflect this fun, arcadey simplicity; sticks for movement and aiming, one button for jump (tap twice for double-jump), and triggers and bumpers for weapon usage. This really is a throwback, the kind of online multiplayer popularised by Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament, and feels like a fresh injection after all the CODs, Battlefields and dense RPG-likes such as the upcoming Overwatch.
A couple of minor concerns did arise from our playtime, mind (on-top of the character models and post-match dances); the complete lack of feedback in the controller, and the minimal sound-effects and music in-game. The absence of rumble effects in the pad seems very strange; every blast of the gun and every bullet taken should correspond to a sharp, deep quivering from the pad, but nothing takes place. Similarly the lack of sounds minus gunshot were strange, with the only the odd footstep or fall contributing to the beta’s aural offerings. Fingers crossed these irritations will be eradicated in time for launch, and that the heavy metal soundtrack from the menus makes the odd appearance in-game.
This beta has sufficiently whetted our appetite for Doom - we can’t wait to get our hands on the finished game. If the single player follows the multi-player beta and forgoes bland, bloated storytelling for bold, brutal fun, then we’re in for a treat. We have everything crossed in anticipation.
Have you played the Doom open beta? Will you be picking the game up at launch? Let us know your thoughts on the forums.