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    dkirschner's Doom (2016) (PC)

    [December 28, 2020 08:51:04 AM]
    DOOM is back! Doom Eternal is free on Game Pass, so I grabbed this one off Steam to play first. It's sooo good. It's bloody, frenetic, and nostalgic. A million times better than Doom 3, which I liked (the only game I have bought upon release besides WoW expansions in like 20 years), but which was more of a survival horror game. I'm also trying to reconcile this with id's Wolfenstein reboot. The one way Doom reminds me of that franchise is that there's a robust "encyclopedia" with descriptions of enemies, areas, weapons, and so on. I guess I won't have to read most of that in Doom Eternal! Time-saver! But Doom is MUCH faster than Wolfenstein, which is the main difference in gameplay.

    So Doom actually has narrative depth now! You are, again, the Doom Slayer, re-animated on a UAC base on Mars by the scientist in charge of UAC research. The demons previously imprisoned the Doom Slayer in Hell after his earlier exploits there, and UAC expeditions into Hell recovered him. Why was the UAC in Hell anyway? An energy crisis on Earth! Commentary on how hot it's going to get here? Hot as hell! Anyway, another scientist has gone off the deep end and made a pact with the Demons. You pursue her through the facility and Hell itself and cause much destruction in the process.

    Back to gameplay. Back to the speed of the game. It's the fastest FPS I've played in memory and really does remind me of old id games, Doom obviously and maybe Quake even more. Every mechanic and piece of level design encourages movement. Demons are highly aggressive. If you stand still, you will be mauled. You sprint by default and can hold Shift to walk (though why would you?). You can also crouch with C, though I don't think there was a single time in the campaign that this was necessary. Is that control command a joke?

    Combat usually takes place in arenas. You'll enter an area, you'll hear a warning ("Demonic presence unstable" or something), demons will begin warping in, and you kill them all to progress. The only criticism I have of the game is that this formula becomes repetitive. Nevertheless, once I realized this was essentially an arena shooter, I at least understood what to expect. Various pickups (health, armor, ammo) are scattered around. Here's where it gets exciting though. You've got a bunch of guns, each with one or two mods that give them special firing modes, and you have a chainsaw and eventually the BFG-9000. If you shoot an enemy enough without killing it, it will get "stunned," at which point you can perform a "glory kill" by pressing F. The Doom Slayer launches forward for a melee execution. These are wonderful. When you perform a glory kill, the enemy drops health (and later, if you get the upgrade, armor too). They may also drop ammo sometimes. This is one way the game encourages movement (and risk-taking). Getting up close and personal is dangerous but rewards you with health, which allows you to continue taking risks. It's a brilliant loop. If you run out of ammo, you can use the chainsaw. Chainsaw kills spit out a ton of ammo. Chainsaw ammo is really limited though (as is BFG ammo).

    So, you're in an arena, powerups and drops are all over, you're running, jumping, switching guns, avoiding attacks and killing demons like a pro. In the first half of the game, I was thinking, "This feels too easy." Later on, the game definitely gets harder. It's not that later enemies are tougher. For example, the Baron of Hell, the last non-boss enemy you encounter, never killed me. I always saved BFG ammo and one-shotted them every time. I suppose if I had missed, I might have been in trouble. You fight so many demons that you get good at devising strategies for each. Which weapons are best? What distance is best? What are their attacks? How much health do they have? How do you handle them when they are with other demons? Etc. Summoners are pretty annoying because they are fast and teleport around the arena, but they are relatively rare. By far the most annoying enemies though are the Pinky demons and their invisible counterparts. I hated these things so much and surely died to them more than anything else. They are faster than you (so if you think you can turn and run, you are wrong) and love to charge. Shooting them head-on does nothing. You have to flank them, which means avoiding their charges first. And they often attack in twos, threes, or fours, making it even more challenging. I hated these things so much! But back to the #1 Doom rule: Keep moving.

    Some weapon modifications made combat significantly easier. For example, the rocket launcher has a lock-on mode that fires three rockets at a target. This made Revenants (previously a bit challenging due to their fast movement and flying around) pretty easy to deal with. The Gauss Cannon's powerful snipe upgrade kills Mancubuses in two shots and Cybermancubuses in three or four. Since those dudes are slow, it's easy to take them out from afar. My main weapon of choice though was the shotgun with the burst mod. You get mods by finding secrets, many of which are scattered throughout each level. You can also mod your suit (boost health, armor, or ammo) and acquire passive bonuses (like increased distance at which you can perform a glory kill or increase the amount of ammo that drops) by finding and completing "rune challenges," little speedrun arenas (kill x enemies or reach this spot in x time). I found and completed most of these throughout the campaign, and the more you do, the more you can equip (I had three).

    Later in the game, you encounter a few bosses, all of which are neat battles. Only one was really hard for me (the Hell Guards). I had to be patient and learn their attacks. Key to this fight is realizing that you can interrupt them. But it is still tricky to keep track of two fast-moving enemies simultaneously! The Cyberdemon I may have killed on the first attempt. He was easy. Finally, the Spider Mastermind took two tries and wasn't very hard either. When you fight bosses, quickly figure out how to get them to bleed health and ammo (usually a BFG shot). There is a lot of BFG ammo around the Spider Mastermind, so she really shouldn't be a problem. But of course, I was playing on Hurt Me Plenty (normal) and there are harder difficulties.

    Doom sets itself up for a sequel, which I am just about to begin playing! I have until New Year's Day to beat it and cancel my month of Game Pass. There are a few other games on there that I want to play, but they're all longer, or I know I want to own them (e.g., Slay the Spire), so no need for a subscription. One month and I will have knocked most everything out! Nice!
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    dkirschner's Doom (2016) (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 23 December, 2020

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 26 December, 2020

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Holy hell, this is intense. ---------- Great game!

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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