This past weekend ID/Bethesda opened the gates of hell for everyone to dive in. With a May 13th release, a final beta for the games multiplayer was expected. With a public beta, the game developers can fine tune the game prior to launch, usually in the form of a day one update. With roughly ten hours of play time during the beta and countless, “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!, NO XXXXING WAY, I SHOT FIRST!!!” I was left with numerous praises and grievances. Keep in mind, this was still the beta and the team over at ID/Bethesda will be looking at the data gather from beta to fix issues that can break the games dynamic.
This might be reminiscent of Halo, with a dash of Call of Duty, but from someone who has played both, I can say that Doom, leaves their level of play at the starting line. Where Halo and Call of Duty play a more conservative play style, Doom is all about the run and gun style combat. Players can go from respawn to the grave in seconds. Although there are indicators when you player is being shot at, often times this is a second or two before getting fragged. Sure you can attempt to camp, but do not count on living to long.
So for many of us that have played the old style doom and quake games we are familiar with the games armor feature. Armor is basically treated as extra health, where your health will start out at 100%, you can pick up armor to gain an additional 50% health, that your opponents will have to break away at to ultimately frag you. For new players with will be a bit misleading since, when you shoot a player a number will pop up showing how much damage the player received. Logically if you shoot a player and the numbers 42 and 28 that will tell you that the opposing player has 30HP left. This would be true, but always remember to factor in that your opponent more than likely has armor equipped and its gonna take a few more shots to bring them down. This would not be an issue if there was a way to see how much health the opposing player had (not counting the hack-more on that later-) but to see the amount of the damage your weapons are causing without total health is a bit annoying and makes the damage total useless to me.
The beta allowed for a fair choice of weapons to begin with and to unlock as you level up (max level 15.) Some of the weapons however felt a bit muzzled. It was pretty common for an enemy player to survive multiple direct shots from a shotgun or sniper rifle. Two weapons which in most games are considered the go to weapon for racking up the kills. Hopefully this is addressed with the games day one update.
This is nothing new to FPS games, sometimes you just have to pistol whip someone who does not respect your personal space, we have all been there. With Doom however, a melee attack that kills an opposing play, or even yourself is rewarded with a “glorious” cinematic. This reminds me a lot of Gears of War, death cut scenes, but it should be noted, unlike Gears, in Doom when one of these scenes are initiated you are not in god mode and can be killed. The melee could use a bit of tweaking however, there were times you could randomly melee mid fire fight and kill your opponent just off proximity, even if you have your back turned to them.
QUICK SCOPE BE GONE!
That’s right looks like they are punishing the classic “No scope, 360 headshot” style players. In order for your sniper rifle to reach full power a player has to hold down the scope button for two to three seconds. While you can still no scope, your weapons power will be greatly reduced.
Not even the Vatican can save your opponents from the power of the “Demon rune.” During the beta only the Revenant was available for play. When a player picks up the demon rune, they are possessed by the spirit of the chosen demon they select when they choose their load out. The player becomes the demon for a certain amount of time and given an HP boost and powers of that demon, (300 HP and rockets for the Revenant.) Your screen will change colors as you see the world through the demons eyes and enemy players will glow bright red. If the demon is killed they will drop the rune and it can be picked up by the enemy team. The Revenant was insanely over powered, one hit from its rockets can level all players in it proximity. Pair this with weapons that take multiple shots to take down a normal player, with the Revenants health, and you have force that can tip a match easily.
Ultimately though, Doom was a lot of fun, and sure to be a popular choice in the upcoming months of LAN parties, especially with Quakecon 2016 only a few months away. The game handled very smoothly and I did not have a single crash the entire time I was playing. One of the biggest complaints I saw about Doom was the graphics, which yes compared to other 2016 titles, Doom does not come close to their graphical offerings. With that said though, I personally take game play over graphics any day of the week. To many times have we been promised eye candy, only to be delivered a beautiful 4K rendered turd. After all was said and done, I can definitely see Doom as part of my steam library once its released, and taunting fellow players with the smooth dance move, known only as “The Carlton.”