Bethesda Softworks has been hard at work to bring back some of our favorites franchises from the past like Wolfenstein and more recently, DOOM. Known for its bloody, brutal and fast paced gameplay — DOOM is one of those games that keeps your blood pumping and keep you mind on edge as you scuttle around every corner, super shotgun in hand.
While the campaign for the new DOOM looks absolutely fantastic, I couldn’t help but wonder how Bethesda was going to bring the classic feel of multiplayer into a modern first-person shooter environment without making a few changes. But this past weekend after spending some time with the closed multiplayer beta certainly helped to make me a believer.
DOOM features all of the classic mechanics that aren’t found in modern shooters, like non-replenishing health, armor and ammunition. This means that knowing each map is paramount to success because you’ll consistently have to worry about picking up health packs, armor bonuses, and ammunition for your weapons after each engagement with another player. These pickups are timed too, which forces every player to navigate around the entire map in order to stay alive.
Honestly it’s a really refreshing change of pace in a multiplayer title to see everyone traversing the entire length of the map, and that’s not just because DOOM is more fun with each movement. In most shooters these days, map movement and knowledge is centered around a few set paths or defensible points which discourages players from moving about – but with the regular pickups and special power-ups available within DOOM, players are consistently moving about.
One of the more significant powerups is the demon rune, which spawns at different locations around the map and turns the player into the demon they selected for the match. During the closed beta, we only had access to the Revenant, the infamous demon from the advertisements wielding rocket launchers and a jetpack. While powerful, the demon rune is on a timer that prevents it from being on the battlefield for too long. Plus, if a player manages to take down someone carrying a demon rune, they’re able to pick it up for themselves until the timer runs out indefinitely or taken down by other players. It’s a nice way to manage the power behind becoming a demon without cutting the fun out of the experience for players.
During the beta we had access to two separate gameplay modes: Team Deathmatch and Warpath, both of which were pretty standard in their format. Team Deathmatch was as you’d expect while Warpath helped to change up the variety a little bit. Essentially Warpath is a moving game of King of the Hill, where players fight to control a zone that moves around the map on a set path similar to a train following the tracks. It’s interesting to have the objective on a set path within a fast paced game though, because it allows players to move about and attack from a variety of directions – keeping you and your teammates on your toes for the entire match.
DOOM also features a simple customization system that allows you to build loadouts consisting of two primary weapons and a grenade to take into battle. You’re also able to collect different armor pieces, paint colors and patterns that you can customize your character with alongside some fantastic taunts. Nothing like throwing up your metal hand after bashing in a demon’s skull, right?
Overall, the multiplayer beta was a pleasant weekend of brutality filled with classic multiplayer mechanics I never thought I’d miss in a first person shooter. Each match is extremely fast-paced, balanced and filled with engagements across the map, fighting to pick up powerups and item pickups to keep their killstreak going. While we only had a chance to play a limited portion of the multiplayer section DOOM is offering – it’s certainly a good start that makes me excited to get hands-on with the full experience.
DOOM will release on May 13 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.