Game review: 'Doom 4' has us glued

May 22, 2016, 10:13 IST | Jaison Lewis

With gory kills, amazing weapons and a great single player campaign to boot, Doom 4 has us glued. But, is it the best gaming experience on offer? Read on to find out

Doom in 1993, pretty much made the whole FPS genre the glamourous thing we know today. Even with the first Doom, it was gore, gore and more gore. Of course, back then, all games looked like cartoons, which did not keep them from getting a mature rating.

Shift to 2016 and Doom has resurrected itself for the fourth time. You still play an unnamed Space Marine, who goes on a rampage, killing off demons from hell. The story starts with your character waking up from a deep slumber on Mars, where the gates of hell have been opened and most of the population has been turned into zombies. Now, demons have taken over the facility. You have one ally in UAC research chief Samuel Hayden, who has transferred his consciousness to a robot. He explains how they opened the gates of hell on Mars to end the energy crisis on Earth and introduces you to the villain Olivia Pierce, who is responsible for unleashing the demons. You obviously have to take Samuels help to defeat Pierce. He will guide you through the Mars base to recover Argent energy that upgrades your stats permanently, making you stronger over time. The end after defeating Pierce is a little predictable, but the journey is so much fun, you won’t care too much.

Gameplay is where Doom shines. There are a lot of enemies that have been brought back and weapons too. There are also glory kills, where your attack weakens the enemy and puts them in a temporary stupor, so that you can go and kill them up close, usually by crushing their skull in some gory way. There are a lot of weapons to choose from (more than 20) — the most iconic ones include the BFG9000, rocket launcher, super shotgun and our favourite chainsaw.

The chainsaw is, by far, the best weapon. Not only does it kill your opponent in the goriest and most brilliant way possible, it also delivers on loot. In fact, we felt it might be close to what Ash from Evil Dead would feel when mauling down demons from hell. Hopefully, some genius out there will make some sort of Evil Dead FPS mod, where we can permanently play with the chainsaw without the fuel running out so quickly.

Though there is no modification support in Doom right now, users can make their own maps in Snapmap editor. It is a simple editor that lets you build a new map. However, there is very little you can do beyond building a map to make it simple. A lot of options have not been given to the user. So, despite the hard work you put into making a map, there is a good possibility that it will end up looking like other maps already out there.

There are several multiplayer modes in Doom like Team Deathmatch, where teams are pitted against each other. Unfortunately, the pairing is completely out of whack. On several occasions, we had to face opponents at level 34 and above, while we were at level 2. Needless to say, it was a complete massacre, especially if one of them manages to get a demon rune. Demon runes can turn players into huge demons — boss level types — and they can go on a killing spree before they are killed.

Soul harvest is another interesting mode in multiplayer, where you have to steal the soul of slain players. The first player that dies leaves behind a demon rune, which can turn the player into a demon and since there is no time limit on being a demon, you can pretty much annihilate your opponents till you die. The game is won when a pre-set score is reached. Along with Team Deathmatch, this mode is great fun, especially if you manage to get the demon rune first.

Other multiplayer modes include Freeze Tag, Warpath, Domination and clan arena. We also found it very difficult to get paired with other players in any mode, other than Team Deathmatch.

Overall, Doom is a fun ride and there is a strong possibility we will end up replaying the game in harder modes, just for kicks. However, we can only wish the multiplayer is improved over time. The broken multiplayer is not a deal breaker, but thanks to the fantastic first-player mode, Doom 4 is well-worth buying.

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