Battlefield 1 had the unending misery of World War I to drive it forward. Titanfall 2 had a smoothness so satisfying that it was like diving headfirst into butter. Overwatch had butts.
But no FPS this year captured the spirit of its predecessors and thrust it back into the public consciousness, bringing the most influential FPS series of all-time to a whole new audience, quite like DOOM did.
Over the past year, I’ve been glancing over enviously as my colleagues Dan Phillips and Kieran McLoone had the chance to write about DOOM for its review and place in our best games of 2016 countdown respectively. I’m probably going to retread old ground here, but DOOM is a game that we could talk about for days.
They say that the first fifteen minutes of your time with a game determines how you think of it throughout the rest of your playthrough. It’s a blessing then that DOOM’s opening sequence is one of the best examples of how to start a video game -even forgetting the heavy expectations on the shoulders of its developers to do the series’ legacy justice- in recent times. DOOM is a game of immediacy, exemplified by a pistol being put in your hands in its first minute.
From then on, you know what DOOM is all about: killing demons and having fun while doing it. There’s no pretension here, DOOM is comfortable in exactly what it has and keeps its identity intact throughout. Sure, the enemies may get bigger and the screen may become more crowded than some kind of hellish music festival at times, but the objective of eliminating hellspawn with increasingly impressive weaponry while you have a smile on your face never strays from its refreshing simplicity.
By stripping back and chucking modern FPS conventions out of the window, DOOM thrives. There’s no cover system, no regenerating health to worry about, and certainly no hand holding as the game takes you through minutes upon minutes of exposition. id Software, who almost disappeared into the shadows following 2011’s Rage, could have lost their nerve and delivered yet another FPS game, but by sticking to their many, many guns and allowing the purity of hails of bullets and rockets to be the driving force behind its gameplay, they’ve crafted something that feels modern yet retro in the best possible way.
Away from the single-player campaign, DOOM’s multiplayer stacks up, despite some concerns. The backlash surrounding it has always seemed out of place – DOOM has always been about one versus all, so the inclusion of multiplayer should only ever be seen as a bonus. It of course can’t hold a candle to some of its peers, but for an added cherry to the DOOM experience that lets you run around an arena and transform into demons, it’s more than good enough, at times fantastic.
A feature of new DOOM that not enough people talked about is its SnapMap mode, which allows players to customise their own maps and modes for players to enjoy. It’s something of a holy grail, allowing you to unleash the BFG upon waves of demons in a weirdly therapeutic way, or enjoy DOOM’s very own version of Five Nights at Freddy’s. It offers you hours upon hours of added content for free, which is a running theme throughout the game. DLC is a paid optional, but id also show their passion for the project by releasing free updates to make one of the best games of 2016 even better.
For daring to stay true to its roots in a market that seemed to be dead set in its ways, DOOM rips and tears its competition to create an endlessly replayable, joyously violent game, it should not only go down as the best FPS of 2016, but also be in the running for best of the decade.
Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.
Gamezeen is a Zeen theme demo site. Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.