Doom 2016 Feature image

Doom 2016 Review: One Hell of a time!

Doom 2016 review score

Doom 2016 is the series reboot, with the last original entry into the series being in 2004/2005 with Doom 3. Containing obviously enhanced graphics, and a more modern FPS feel. It features the regular mix of demon slaying mayhem, with an incredible metal soundtrack.

It can then be a pretty exhilarating ride at times, with pretty incredible body explosions and fast paced action. Doom 2016 is very much a return to visceral gameplay that Doom is so famed for. Rather than the mixed reception horror roots of Doom 3.

Gameplay? 8/10 – Simple gameplay mechanics hide a more in depth system. With cute collectibles and gory action.

Honestly, this may be the simplest gameplay loop of any game I’ve reviewed. My last one, Dark Souls 3, has varied combat styles and some very intricate systems. Doom 2016, has guns, bigger guns, and fists. There’s also some collecting but mostly, it’s just the destruction.

So, let’s split this up as best I can.

Combat

The majority of your time will be spent shooting things, it’s that simple. You go into almost any room and hellspawn will be there trying to shoot you, or burn you alive. The variance comes from your progressively largening arsenal of weapons.

doom rocket launcher

There’s your pistol, which you start off with. It’s honestly not great but can be good for popping the heads of weak enemies.

You get a couple of shotguns, these are much better and can be a lot of fun. The Super Shotgun later on is especially fun to use. It can blow some enemies into tiny, tiny pieces. Which is obviously awesome!

There’s a couple of rifles, some plasma weapons, a rocket launcher, and the BFG-9000. You basically cycle through these weapons as you kill everything in your path. There are some other things at your disposal too though.

Grenades which are pretty standard, but you get access to a chainsaw, which offers no end of fun. It’ll pretty much cut through anything, and when you do kill an enemy with the chainsaw you’ll get a mountain of ammo. Good in a tight spot.

Talking of tight spots. Every enemy can be executed. This is called a Gloryt Kill. By dealing enough damage to an enemy they will start to flash, running in close you get the chance to execute them. This is where you really pull them apart, literally. There are awesome little animations, and give you a bunch of your health back.

Doom chainsaw

At certain points, and in certain rooms, you will get access to some power ups too. They come in a few types, like invincibility or increased damage. You’ll need to make good use of these in your battles, pretty much any time you find them. They can really make the difference in a tough fight.

I must say that I like the varied list of weapons that you can use, and the fights that you get into. I do have 2 complaints here though. Those being, the few times that you have boss fights they aren’t very good or interesting. The other issue is that the combat can get quite tiring to play. There isn’t really any other gameplay involved, it’s just shooting everything in a room and moving to the next.

Upgrades

There are quite a few upgrades for you though as you play, which provides some extra variation to the gun fights.

You can upgrade yourself with health, ammo capacity, and max armour. Getting access to these through Argent Cells, this is the name for the raw energy that is refined from hell. You basically absorb it and then are given a choice to upgrade one of these three stats. It’s a pretty good way of handling these upgrades in my opinion. You have to seek out most of the Argent Cells so you get some real rewards for exploring.

doom weapon upgrade

Next you can upgrade your weapons. There are 2 ways. The first is to find field drones on your way through, getting one will give you the choice of a weapon mod for your weapons. Each weapon gets a choice of 2 mods. My favourite ones would be, the explosive shot for the combat shotgun, and the homing missiles for the heavy assault rifle. Finally the mobile turret for the chaingun.

You can spend weapon upgrade points to improve each mod, then if you unlock all of the first set of upgrades it unlocks a challenge to get the final upgrade. This is also a good way to progress, it gives you something to work towards as you’re using a particular weapon.

Then there are Praetor tokens. These can also be found by exploring the map. They give you access to upgrades for your suit, like swapping weapons faster, getting more grenades, and making them recharge quicker. Again, like the Argent Cells, I like this kind of reward.

doom shotgun

Finally you can gain certain added abilities by completing rune challenges. These are stones that can be found around each map, interacting with them will teleport you to an arena. You will be given a specific challenge, a time limit, and a specific weapon normally. I’m not as big a fan of this mechanic, but mostly because I don’t like them in any game. So I don’t really hold this against Doom 2016.

Collecting

Now to finish up, let’s talk about the collecting. The maps can be quite large at times, there are often hidden paths, and alternate routes to take. You can skip all of these things as they are optional but they can add some well needed padding to the campaign.

Let’s start off with the weaker two. There are maps to find, there are devices that can point out certain other things on your map. It’s pretty standard, collecting these can make it easier to collect everything else. Not bad but kinda boring. The next is there are some secret areas, only there’s nothing really there worth getting, a shame but whatever.

Now for the better collectables. The first is, you can sometimes find special levers. What do these do? Well let me tell you! The open up secret doors that lead to old school Doom rooms. They are in the same pixelated format, with old school icons for pickups. Like ammo boxes and armour. It’s a very cool addition, it does literally take you out of the game for a little bit but it’s still a joy to find them.

The final collectible, and my personal favourite in Doom 2016, is the figures. These things are damn cute! They’re basically small figures of the Doom Slayer only in different colours and things. With a cute little tone that plays too when you find them. They are cute. You can also view them all from the menu which is nice. 

doom figures

They are technically super out of place in the context of the game, and they are placed in super odd places but I’m here for it. I think it’s a neat collectible and worth the extra bit of time it takes to find them.

Overall the collecting is good and bad, but I think the better collectibles, whilst out of place, are very good additions.

Visuals? 9/10 – A few low res textures are all that mar this absolutely stunning game. Hell never looked so good.

Doom 2016 is a beautiful game. Which feels weird to say, seeing as you spend a good amount of time, literally in Hell. But there you go. What can you do? The guys made Hell look real good!

I would say, nearly perfect, the only things that I take issue with are the few off textures. Mostly it’s just some of the ground, walls, and the like. It’s a shame that some parts just missed that little bit extra polish. Especially when everything looks absolutely amazing.

doom vista

Doom Eternal, now because it’s out, not included. I don’t think that pulling demons apart with your bare hands has ever looked so good.

It seems like a lot of care and effort was put into the demon viscera, which may or may not suggest something “off” about the team. I still appreciate it though so it’s all good. Using certain weapons will allow you to literally pop open demons all over the place. My personal favourite is to use the Gauss Cannon, which will allow you to just tear a hole through the middle of enemies. It is endlessly satisfying.

Audio? 10/10 – Amazing soundtrack, featuring some of the best video game metal around.

As a bit of a metalhead myself, the soundtrack is out of this world! There aren’t many games that pretty much devote their soundtracks to metal. Not only does Doom 2016 do this, they pull in some of the most amazing metal in a game I’ve heard.

Also, apparently there are sound effects somewhere too? I dunno, I just care about the metal…

Who knew that metal and mayhem would make such a good mix? It’s such a surprise that it works this well. 

One thing that I think deserves some recognition, is the way that the metal is utilised. It’s not something special, in fact the complete opposite. They use the music as you might in any other game, getting louder and heavier when there are enemies and combat. Not subsiding until every enemy is torn to shreds. It then lulls as you’re just exploring or have left any danger, the levels are perfectly in sync with the gameplay.

For me, playing with metal is the best way to hype me up. I spent my Halo 3 and COD 4 era listening to metal from my little MP3 to boost me up whilst playing. Doom 2016 perfectly captures this, only this time it’s on purpose. It also doesn’t deafen all other sounds, so you can still hear enemies, hear your weapon firing, and the sound of guts exploding.

It seems silly to praise a game for doing something everyone else does but it’s not as often done with metal music, and when it is, it’s rarely this perfect.

Story? 7/10 – Not much on offer in the story, what is there however is well written and enjoyable.

In my opinion, the story is the absolute weakest part of Doom 2016. Not a lot is on offer and what is there lacks a fair amount of substance.

Basically, not much happens. That may sound harsh, and maybe I am being too critical, but it’s how I felt at the end.

doom olivia

So here’s the basic synopsis. You wake up, chained down, and in some kind of lab. There are basically zombies around you, breaking your chains you start murderfying these guys. Moving to the next room, you find a suit of armour, yours obviously.

You don the armour and use a computer to check the status of your current location. The Director of the installation you are on, Dr Hayden, contacts you to suggest you work together. You break the screen because of course you do.

It turns out that this facility is used to harness the raw energy that comes from hell. This is used as an unlimited energy source for the human race, only one of the scientists has gone a wee bit mad. They’ve decided to just help the forces of hell take over, they opened the portal up for demons to come through. These guys have pretty much wiped out everyone in the facility, it’s all gone.

Doom

Your mission then, is to kill everything, then kill some more, then go around killing things, kill whatever’s left, and then close the portal to hell.

That about sums up the story, there’s not much else there honestly. It’s a pretty good premise, I do like the dialogue and the character interactions. I just think it could have been a lot more involved. 

My suggestion at this point would be just to add more, like if there were to be a sequel, expand the story sections. In this case, there is already a sequel. Whilst I’ve not played it yet, I will say that from what I’ve seen so far it looks like there is a much stronger story. So they have already made improvements from Doom 2016.

Acting? 10/10 – No complaints with any performance. Something cathartic about a giant robot man talking down to you.

This will count as “despite the story”. So, despite the story, the voice acting is on point. There aren’t a lot of dialogue sections, some semi cutscenes, and the occasional communicator conversation. That’s about all, but each of the characters is voiced perfectly.

I, personally, really liked Dr Hayden. He has just the right mix of spices. By spices, I obviously don’t mean actual spice, it’s a voice not a curry dish. The point is, that he has a well spoken voice, with a synthetic overlay, and just the right amount of condescension. It’s exactly what you would expect from one in their position.

Doom Hayden

At this point, I don’t know if this counts as controversial but I’ll warn you anyway. Tyrion Lannister as the Ghost in Destiny was perfect. He played a little robot, and he sounds robotic. That’s the only kind of voice that makes sense. 

The reason that I bring this up is that Vega, an AI construct sounds similar. He is basically a robotic voice, which makes sense. I prefer that, so I think it fits just right.

Writing? 8/10 – The writing holds up an other pretty weak story. Cleverness included.

Obviously the writing and the story really go hand in hand. That being said, I think the writing is stronger than the actual story written. Let me clarify, each part that is written, is written well. I just don’t think the story quite makes it.

It’s definitely an example of not being better than the sum of your parts. I think the dialogue that was written is good, the actual lore segments are also really good. The actions that each character takes is pretty believable, I mean Doom Slayer is an angry, violent hellwalker. Of course in every scenario he’s going to break things. So it’s nice that they stay true to this and have written around that.

Doom map

I hope that this doesn’t count as a spoiler, but just in case SPOILER WARNING.

There is a point where you meet up with Dr Hayden, he takes you into his office. This is a safe area, and he says that you can take supplies if you need them. He then turns his back. 

Now. I don’t confess to be perfect, or to have complete control over all of my impulses. If a game shows me a giant robot boy, and it gives me a gun. I’m going to shoot that robot boy. It’s not my fault, I swear! What I love, is that they knew you would do that. They have included extra dialogue for when you do shoot him. They then remove your use of guns for a short period of time, just like you’re a bad kid being sent to the corner. 

It’s a small touch but it’s one of my favourite things in the game. The devs knew we couldn’t be trusted and wrote around that. In my case they were completely right of course! 

It’s just a shame that the rest of the story is lacking. There’s not really a lot else going on, from what I have seen, Doom Eternal has a lot more. So it looks like they did learn from this and improved for the sequel.

Performance? 10/10 – Perfect performance on Xbox and PC.

Now I started Doom 2016 whilst it was on Game Pass, so I played on my Xbox One X. It was rudely removed from Game Pass before I could finish it. That led me to buying it on my PC instead.

Doom hell

What I’m getting at, is that I played it on 2 pretty powerful machines. Nevertheless, I experienced no issues with the performance. Not even a frame drop that I noticed. 

It’s actually quite an impressive feat, with all of the madness going on in every room of the game, there were no issues. Buttery smooth the whole ride, which is important for a game like Doom, which relies on your movement and flow being perfect.

Fun Factor? 8/10 – The gameplay on offer is definitely fun, the music amplifies this. Sometimes it’s just a bit much and you need to take a break.

This is an odd one. I found the gameplay, the destruction, and the music very fun. I enjoyed my time playing it. The flip side is that it’s quite a tiring game to play. I suspect it’s because you are constantly moving, going from one room to the next, and just killing everything.

Doom fist

I don’t think I was able to play for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time. So I had a few breaks whilst going through the 10 hour campaign. There aren’t many games that make me feel like this, even fewer that require me to take a break. 

That being said, don’t let me make out that it’s a bad game, it’s definitely not!

As I said above, I’m a bit of a metalhead and Doom 2016 really gets my jellies going. It’s hard not to be having fun when you tear open monsters, whilst listening to some excellent riffs. That’s heaven to me!

Value? 9/10 – Good value as a sale purchase. A lot of gory fun to be had.

Doom 2016 was one of the games that I got on the Steam Summer Sale, along with Code Vein and some of the Tales of games. It was down to £5. An absolute steal. If not on Steam,  you can also buy it for around the £15 mark.

It is short, I finished the campaign in around 10 hours. I also had to take some breaks whilst playing, as it can be a bit much at times. 

Doom hell

If you’re a fan of the Doom franchise I don’t think there is any question. This is worth any amount, it’s also a good setting off point for it’s sequel Doom Eternal too.

I will say however, it is good value for money now. Or on sale certainly. At full price, for me, I don’t think it would be so. 

Had Doom 2016 just released at full price this score would be much lower. Luckily for it, I am reviewing this some years later.

What is on offer is of very high quality, it looks good, plays well, and is epic. The campaign is just very short, and the story that is on offer is quite lacking to be honest.

Doom hell 2

Doom 2016 does offer Multiplayer and DLC as well, as I’m not a Doom MP fan it does nothing to increase its value to me. It also seems like the majority consensus is that the MP is worse than in the older Doom games.

How Much Did The Reviewer Enjoy It? 8/10 – A well made game, with amazing visuals and soundtrack. 

Doom 2016 is by no means a bad game, it’s a graphic, gore fest. Hosting some of the best video game metal around. An almost non-stop mayhem fuelled trip. 

My issues with the game are light, the story amounts to kind of nothing, it’s short and there’s not an awful lot there. Other than that, my only issue is that sometimes you need a break from it. Despite only being around a 10 hour game, I couldn’t find myself playing for more than a couple of hours at a time. 

Doom super shotgun

That being said, when I was playing it I had fun. From literally ripping hellspawn apart with my bare hands, to picking up the damn cutest little Doomy figures. Explosions, viscera, and blood flying everywhere, with an incredible metal soundtrack left me drained, but in a good mood! 

I don’t think tearing demons ever looked better before Doom 2016. It’s sequel Doom Eternal seems to follow suit. Meaning the franchise is going strong, and hopefully there will continue to be this kind of hellish delight for a while to come.

Doom 2016 Review.
Written by Kyle Munn.

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