Friday, 24 June 2016

First Impressions: Doom Demo

After playing the beta and finding the multiplayer all right at best, I didn't have too high hopes for this game. However, after hearing people's glowing reviews for the single-player and the fact that this demo was free, I decided to download and play. I really enjoyed it. Here are my thoughts on the first level of Doom (which comprised the demo) #readlikehell

Games always seem to try to strike a balance between story and gameplay, becoming a jack-of-all-trades kind of game. Then you have the games who go to one end, some fail and some like The Last of Us and Doom really work. The story is barebones in Doom and this factor works for it, allowing you to get into the action and start punching demons to death without having to have some tragic backstory about why. I mean, you wake up from a coffin, grab a demon's head and slam it into the side of a coffin, grab a gun and just start shooting. There's plenty of lore for you to read if you want to but none of it is necessary and that's great. We have Dragon Age to fill that itch.

The speed of the game also demonstrates it's approach to accessibility, I beat the demo in 1/2 hour and 9/10 of that was in fire-fights. No slowing down to hear conversations or observe the view. Lots of running, gunning and explosions but all in a tight-knit and polished way - none of it felt added on or boring. The guns I got to use in the demo were the standard pistol and shotgun, later on with explosive rounds and they were both satisfying to use. Of course, what made it better was the Glory Kills.

Glory kills are basically what Doom is in a nutshell. Not needed, extremely over the top and really good fun. Once a demon has an orange highlight around them press a button and depending on where you are in relation to said enemy, perform a different Glory Kill, otherwise known as a one hit death. They're great to use but not overpowered, especially in the harder difficulties (I played the Hurt Me Plenty mode, the second hardest available in the demo), as it still involves you having to get to the enemy to perform the glory kill. I even died on the first level, something unheard of in most games - in my defence, those fireballs hurt.

The graphics and environment are awesome, with crisp visuals and stunning backdrops of Mars. Yes, the colour scheme is basically red but it is still a lot better than what I thought the game would look like and again, like anything else in this game, looking at the environments or whizzing through them at breakneck speed is entirely optional, which is what games should be.

Humour is also at the forefront of the game but via actions rather than convoluted jokes. I found myself gasping and laughing throughout the game from the over the topness of it all, especially when Doom Guy, whenever he hears one of the speakers talk, punches it until it breaks. That the space-station has a machine to check the scale of a demon infestation was also great due to the plain absurdity of the situation. A situation, I hope becomes even more absurd as you go on in the game. Alas, I'll have to wait to get the game to see.

Conclusion: overall, it was a great first experience to the 'single player' aspect of the Doom franchise and I'll definitely pick the game up in the future and Fight. Like. Hell.

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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