Just as the original DOOM built upon the foundations of Wolfenstein 3D, this long awaited franchise reboot learns from 2014’s acclaimed Wolfenstein: The New Order. Not only does it expand upon certain areas, with visuals that are approaching CGI quality in places, but it also strips back the bloat many first-person shooters suffer from.
The result is a game that’s unmistakably DOOM.
Right off the bat a pistol is placed in the mute marine’s hand, indulging players with a spot of grizzly demon slaying. There’s no opening cut-scene or anything of the sort, save for a short interlude a few minutes into the game where the nameless hero steps into a suit of power armour; an ancient artifact discovered on Mars, along with the answer to unlimited energy.
Foolish wielding of this raw energy results in a portal to Hell opening on Mars, and you’re the only one that can close it. Not because your new-found powers bestow the ability to do so, but because you’re the only human at the UAC base left alive.
From start to finish, no other human soul is seen. You’re instead instructed by a softy spoken AI overseer known as VEGA, and the charismatic Dr. Hayden – a cyborg who sounds uncannily similar to Optimus Prime. For the entire game’s duration we firmly believed that Peter Cullen supplied Hayden’s vocal talent. The ending credits however revealed a case of mistaken identity. Hayden and VEGA are able to track the location of Olivia Pierce, a cyborg doctor who has sided with the demons in hope of creating a new world.
Backstory are lore can be taken in at your own pace, as both take a backseat – DOOM features surprisingly few cut-scenes, preferring to put the focus on pleasingly raw shooting mechanics.
By which, we mean there’s no reload button – when a weapon is out of ammo, it’s automatically replaced with the next in the weapon wheel. There’s no run button either – DOOM’s pleasingly heavy-handed hero constantly sprints through the blood spattered corridors of the UAC Mars base and the candle lit catacombs of Hell. We’re going to go ahead and assume they aren’t scented candles.