This Is Not A Doom For Doom Fans, It’s For New Fans – Doom Multiplayer Beta Impressions
Doom was shaping up well, the trailer looked fantastic. How could you not be drawn in by the return to old school FPS? Bunny hops, rocket jumps, carrying an entire arsenal on your back. It was supposed to be beautiful, it was supposed to be great…so why did they have to go mess it up?
After 2 hours with Doom’s mutliplayer Beta I don’t think I could hate the game more. Hate may be a strong word, but it’s used correctly in this case. Doom 2016 is not Doom, it’s just a cash-in on the franchise. They’ve stripped all but the art style away from the game, replacing it with modern console tomfoolery.
The most glaring issue is the introduction of Loadouts. As soon as I laid eyes on the Loadout option, I felt a chill down my spine. Why does this game need such a option? Why isn’t it staying true to the pick up formula established by genuine arena shooters? What they’ve gave us removes any sense of balance, leaving the rocket launcher king…and as a starting weapon.
Arena shooters were built around the idea of balance. The rocket launcher was never far from the rail gun, giving players the chance to counter either pick up. Every weapon was placed in such as way that its hard counter was never far. This added the risk/reward dynamic to the game, along with a touch of strategy.
Doom 2016 merely gives players power weapons and lets them fly around the map. Constant rocket launcher spam reduces most other weapon choices as pointless. Restricting the player to two weapons makes no sense, further driving home the fact this is a pale imitation of arena based shooters. These fast paced titles support quick, twitch based, shooting. Switching from gun to gun isn’t a mere feature, it’s a core mechanic. Go back to a decade ago and watch any clan match or 1 v 1 from back in the day, witness the importance of weapon switching.
Unfortunately for those hoping for a return to old school shooters, Doom is nothing like it wants to be. Rocket jumps removed in favour of double jumps, the ability to grab onto ledges, it’s all taking elements from modern console games. Reaching vantage points in the likes of Quake and Unreal took skill. Players needed to use rocket jumps and well placed jumps in order to reach them. Now it’s just a push of a button away.
It’s disappointing that the game is weighed down by such unnecessary features. The general movement and speed suggests there’s some potential there for a top notch arena shooter. What we have is the concept of old school mutliplayer action, decorated with features tacked on to try and ‘appeal to the biggest audience possible’. This is not a Doom for Doom fans, this Doom is for new fans.
On the plus side, least Unreal Tournament fills that arena shooter itch free of charge. The Doom film is no longer the worst thing to happen to the franchise.