Why Doom is the best FPS to play in 2016 (Review)
- Published on Saturday, 24 September 2016
- In the Member Blogging Category
It’s a bold statement, I know. It’s one that, as I cast my mind back over the past year and calling upon my 12 years of experience in online gaming, I feel extremely comfortable with; yelling down a megaphone, drowning out the disapproving cries of the Call of Duty, Counter Strike, Team Fortress and Overwatch faithful.
Doom – the fourth instalment in the franchise called, err… Doom, and the first instalment since 2004, which was called, err… Doom, hit the digital shelves earlier this Summer, but isn’t really a realistic rival to these shooters. It’s in a league of its own, in terms of game-play style, content, longevity and more. Honestly, if Bethesda (the creators) wrote a political and topical slogan for their brainchild, it would be: ‘Make Gaming Great Again’. Cheers for that, Donald.
So why is it the best FPS game of the year? Time to make my case.
I’m 27-years-old. I’m not an old man with grey nostril hair who’s allergic to smartphones, a toaster or indeed complex video games. That said, simple is always better when done properly (sorry – it just is).
Doom ties together its legendary arcade-shooter style blueprint for a game (which itself is nearly 27-years-old too) and just a few typical FPS features found in some of the stress simulators I listed earlier, to create a perfectly weighted experience.
It follows the lovable shooter framework seen in past Doom games, Unreal Tournament and Quake, but brings it into 2016 with easily manageable weapon loadouts, ‘hack modules’ (one-off power-ups) and character and weapon cosmetic customisation.
That’s it. You create your character and dress him/her. You create a comfortable loadout consisting of 2 weapons and a type of grenade/equipment. Select a couple of hack-modules. Jump into a game. Run around and kill people.
(There are, of course, various game modes, but I like Deathmatch. Something about an unhealthy addiction to killing people with no other objective or point. I dunno.)
Total honesty time: Doom does share some other popular FPS family values like XP, player ranks and unlockables. However, none of these aspects give unfair advantages to players – it’s always an even playing field. You’re not forced to play with players of your own skill level, like in CS:GO matchmaking – lobbies are totally random and consist of players all of race, religion and rank.
You may be like me and find the tedious twaddles of 10-year-old kids in other games (hey – like TF2!) to be, uhh… tedious. Thankfully, Bethesda has calibrated the modern day multiplayer concept to eliminate unnecessary communication between players. You know, such golden statements like, “ez noob I fuk u mom 2n8 huehue.”
God I miss those days.
But really, their calibration results in 100% attention on what’s in-front of you. Your gun, your health, your enemy. You know, the game itself. Not a stupid chat box or radio commands.
Doom is a perfectly weighted game. It’s like jumping butt-first onto a sofa in IKEA and becoming so comfortable you demand they ship the sofa to your home with you still on it. It’s like finding that perfect mouse DPI and weight setting. It’s like driving the perfect car, as if it was built just for you. It’s like… I’ll stop.
It’s such a joy to play – I’ve never so seamlessly and unnoticably gotten to grips with a game like I have with Doom. They haven’t tried to be overly clever with how the player moves, fires a gun, the recoil, the jump mechanism, etc. It’s pure usability perfection.
The last thing anybody needs is a confusing interface, especially when you’re being hunted for sport. The HUD you’re supplied with is clear, makes good use of colour, provides clear information like available power-ups, ammo and HP, and doesn’t intrude on the screen. See for yourself:
Prior to Doom’s launch, NVIDIA showcased their latest make-games-look-pretty video card – the GeForce GTX 1080 at 60FPS, using Doom as the guinea pig for game-play, and running Vulkan API.
It’s so magnificent that Jenny Lawrence would rip her own face off in envy and embarrassment. Despite the showcasing, Doom doesn’t need a GTX 1080 card to prove it’s undeniably the beauty queen of the gaming beauty pageant. Speaking for myself, I’ve partnered Doom with my GeForce 970 GTX 4GB, and the results are breathtaking with every frame.
Now, hand over the tiara. The queen has been crowned.
Speaks for itself really. You can temporarily become a Demon by picking up one of a few random Demon spawns throughout a game. You can then proceed to rip the lungs, kidneys, stomachs, hearts and throats out of your enemies. It’s delightful. Obviously.
TF2 frustrated me. Counter Strike frustrated me. Call of Duty frustrated me. I don’t have anger issues – I was, head-held-high, pretty damn good at these games. What I do have, though, is the increasingly-uncommon ability to spot a good game. I mean a really, really good game.
A game doesn’t make me smile because I gained pointless revenge on other players, like in TF2. Or because I overcame bullshit aiming potholes to kill one player, like in Counter Strike. Or because God finally found it in his miserable fucking black heart to give me a half-decent team, like in Call of Duty.
When treading across the online war fields of Doom, it makes me smile for everything that is around me and is happening. Even in defeat with a terrible team, I want to continue playing. Not for revenge, or to re-energise my manhood following a loss, but because it’s just a video game, taken seriously or not. Well, with the raw simplicity, the movement mechanisms, the absence of player communication and more, that’s what it feels like to me.
Aren’t games supposed to create a kind of competition with good sportsmanship and, ultimately, make you happy? I’m talking about all games, not just video games.
The gaming culprits I’ve picked on throughout this argument – TF2, CS and CoD, are all respected, awarded and recognised video gaming titans with a lot of plus-points in their favour.
But I’ve witnessed, day in and day out for over 10 years, the gaming industry become lazier, greedier, and deteriorate into a cash vacuum, feeding on the gullibility (e.g. PayDay 2 – Google it) and blind loyalty of their customers, all the while sucking up every penny from their pockets.
Doom feels like a breath of fresh air. It weirdly seems incapable of doing no wrong, like becoming a money-funnel like CS:GO or a DLC hog like PayDay 2, just because of the game it is.
It feels like the New Zealand on the planet of gaming. It’s far away from more common tourist destinations like the US of CoD. It’s small, and simple. It’s beauty is unparalleled. It delivers true adventure. And, when you get there, you’ll never want to leave.
In-fact, I’m off to book my ticket. Launching doom.exe…