May 23, 2016

Demonic Invasion in Progress

If you ask me what my favourite Video Game is the answer will always be the Original Doom from 1993. Over the years it became somewhat of an ritual for me to beat it at least once a year. For such an early FPS it did so many things right, every weapon has it´s purpose, every enemy has an weak point, the levels are fairly open considering the limitations of the engine and computer hardware and the music kicks some serious MIDI-Ass. I wouldn´t go so far to say that is perfect, but it is pretty close. Doom 2 while still being very good didn´t too much for me. Some of the new enemies it introduced wheren´t balanced enough and overall it has the awkward feel of an Expansion Pack sold as a new game. After that humanity had to wait a whole decade to get a new Doom, and what a change of pace that one was. The Original games where fast, twitchy, gore fueled and heavy metal powered games, Doom 3 slowed things down. A lot. It had the same enemies, weapons and basic story as the original, but the gameplay was much more of an Horror game that in places took it´s time to build up some suspense. And because of that the version of it on the Original X-Box is the version of Doom 3 you should play. It cut´s out a lot of the slower parts, shortens some maps and feels a bit faster and more like an action game because of it. Between 2004 and now we only got an Add-On for Doom 3 and an re-release for more modern Hardware, but we finaly got a new Doom, and oh boy, what a glory one it is.

And to be honest with you I´m somewhat surprised that I even say that it is good at all, I hated both the Closed Alpha and Open Beta Multiplayer Tests for it, I was highly sceptical when I watched Videos with 10-15 Minutes of uninterrupted gameplay of it, I didn´t like the idea of even having unlockable weapon- and armor upgrades and yet I am now here saying that it is the best FPS I played in the last decade. Why you may ask? Well, because it is a modernized version of the Original. It is fast, twitchy, gore fueled and heavy metal powered. Everything is designed to be fun, nothings slows you down while you plow your way through hordes of demons, heck, you shouldn´t even slow down while in combat, Imps are bombarding you with Fireballs while the Pinky-Demons blindly charge in your general direction and only stop when they hit a wall or die. And because reloading weapons would slow you down you don´t have to do it, all the ammo you have is ready to be fired all the time, only the double barreled Shotgun (better known as the Super Shotgun) has a reload animation, but it happens so fast that it never becomes a problem. And even the Glory Kill dubbed Killmoves don´t get old over the duration of the campaign, the animations are quick, they are varied enough and they give you a short moment to take a breath when in combat. And even though there is a fairly decent Story somewhere between all the gore it never get´s in the way of all the fun, it just does whatever it needs to do and even the Doom-Guy himself doesn´t give a fuck about the details.

 The campaign levels are filled with secrets, each one even contains an unlockable Classic Map, featuring Pixelated Glory from Doom 1 and 2 and populaed with the new interpretations of the old Monsters. They are fun to play, but they need a slightly different approack than in the originals because of the changed gameplay mechanics. But the fun doesn´t end when you finish the campaign, after that you can jump into either the Multiplayer or the Snapmap mode. The later is basicly a Doom Lego Set that allows you to easily build your own maps with predefined room pieces, then you can fill it fith demons, objects, weapons and such fun things, set some rules, make it Single- or Multiplayer or even Co-Op. This Mode alone could be the source of endless fun. Sadly the Multiplayer is much weaker than everything else in the game. The reason for this is probably the fact that the MP-Part wasn´t developed in-house at id-Software. It was outsourced to an Studio that previously worked on the MP Parts of Call of Duty - Ghosts and the Halo Masterchief Collection, and you can see and feel that everywhere. It features Weapon Loadouts with just 2 Weapons and Customizations straight out of Halo. Don´t get me wrong, the MP is fun for a few matches, but it surely is nothing you will play for extended periods of time. Overall the new Doom surely is a loveletter to fans of the originals and it can even be considered an apology for Doom 3. It comes highly recommended.