RELEASE DATE: 2016.
Mode(s): Single-Player & Multiplayer.
GENRE(S): ACTION, Horror, Science-Fiction.
Developer: Id Software.
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks.
Director(s): Marty Stratton.
Writer(s): Adam Gascoine.
Music: Mick Gordon.
Voice Actor(s): Darin De Paul, Kevin Schon, Abby Craden, Bumper Robinson, Elizabeth Daily, and Piotr Michael!
My Overall Rating:★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10).
Have you ever wondered why violence is such a key feature of our entertainment? Why is it that, as the years go by, violence assaults our reality in a way that makes them so much more satisfying in the realm of our imagination? I won’t lie that I am greatly desensitized to the matter due to my field of study alone, but also by the numerous books, movies, and video games that have incorporated it in such a beautiful way. Do I condone it? Hell no. Violence remains in the domain of fiction when I indulge it for pleasure (no, not the sexual kind). Through the years, there is one video game franchise that has earned its reputation through raw, gory, and bloody violence: Doom. Ever since its release in 1993, it was quick to draw the attention of many for reasons that revolved around its unbound violence, and it is in 2016 that the franchise embraced a reboot that was welcomed with open arms by fans around the world.
What is Doom about? Set in 2149, the story unfolds on Mars, in a research facility owned by Union Aerospace Corporation. Under the directives of Dr. Samuel Hayden, a scientist who’s mind was put inside an android after a fatal brain cancer, the company is looking into the possibility of drawing energy from Hell to solve an energy crisis on Earth. Thanks to the Argent Tower, they are able to travel to and from Hell, allowing them to bring back specimens to exploit and study. Among these is a sarcophagus containing a Demon Slayer trapped by demons from a previous adventure in Hell. It’s on an unfortunate day when one of the researchers, Olivia Pierce, makes a pact with the demons of Hell to open a portal for them, that a pandemonium began. In desperation, Dr. Samuel Hayden releases the Demon Slayer from the sarcophagus retrieved from hell, unleashing the one hope left for humanity: you.
I’ve never actually played the original Doom games, but my experience with this latest reboot has definitely given me good reasons to want to stick around, while vouching to its homage in style to the original games. Making fantastic use of the current generation technology, they’ve revitalized the franchise in a stunning fashion with a purely action-packed shooter that invites players to continuously move, climb, and obliterate everything in their way. With their Glory Kill feature, which enables the player to get up, close, and personal with staggered demons to trigger a fully gore-tastic finisher, the game stimulates the player into building momentum in unimaginable ways. There’s no lying here. It is incredibly cathartic to wreck havoc on these demons without a care in the world for how they meet their demise.
The narrative in itself is fairly simply. Through a dozen of chapters, you’re directed to close down portals around the facility and beyond to ultimately put an end to the chaos that these demons and their mastermind have been unraveling upon the universe. With fairly little cinematic sequences and a little dose of repetition, the story remains a guideline and nothing more to the gameplay that remains the main attraction. With the extreme facility to swap around between iconic and new guns, to parkour across multi-level platforms, and to take a moment to enjoy the instant gratification of glory kills, there’s no denying the rewards of victory in disembodying demons and coming out of the journey unscathed.
Mick Gordon’s music is a quintessential element that plays a huge part in the overall enjoyment of this bloodbath. While your focus is on survival, on determining the right paths to avoid yet converge on demons to slay them, on making sure you have the health, armour, and ammunition needed to push forward, the unsubtle, rythmic, and enchanting lyric-less heavy metal music keeps you going on as you pummel your way through demons. It is only once the round ends, that the final demon of the level is taken down, and that the music calms down, that you realize how cathartic this game can be, allowing you to do something that you’re likely never be able to do in real-life: slay demons like it’s nobody’s business.
Doom (2016) is a gorgeously-gory and satisfyingly-stunning shoot-em-up with an arcade touch forcing you to keep on moving and glory killing the demons as you try to sever the ties between your world and Hell.