First impressions: DOOM’s multiplayer closed beta


Bethesda utterly stole the show at last year’s E3 Expo in Los Angeles with the announcement of Fallout 4. While a majority of the hype surrounded the Fallout franchise, they also dedicated a healthy portion of their stage time to yet another reincarnation of the grandfather of modern first person shooters: DOOM. Initially unimpressed I wrote an article for Nerd Reactor that begged the question: Will DOOM be a DUD? Clever titles aside, here we are nine months later and we have been granted access to the DOOM Multiplayer Closed Beta. I have logged about two hours into the multiplayer section of the game and I’m ready to share my initial impressions.

Disclaimer: I am still very new to the game so this is not a flushed out, fully calculated review. This is a steady flow of consciousness and my unfiltered opinions about a game in which I had very low expectations.

DOOM.. is.. not that bad. In fact its gameplay is pretty damn fun. The music in the menus and in-game are very reminiscent of that early 2000s heavy metal ambient that I personally associate with games like Unreal Tournament. My impressions is on the PC and I started off using a controller. After just 2 matches I found myself resorting back to keyboard and mouse, for no other reason than that in this game, “It just feels natural.” I’m not sure if Bethesda intended this or not, but they have basically developed an FPS time machine. After growing a little tired of the game’s music, I muted it and opened up my Rammstein playlist and genuinely allowed myself to have a nostalgic middle school FPS game night.

While initially the graphics are pretty underwhelming, this is a BETA. The menu options are limited and I was unable to increase the graphics potential or field of view, although I would hope that these adjustments will find their way into the finalized version of the game. The game’s menus, unlockable armors, colors, and customizations offer nothing innovative either. Chat is enabled on the closed beta and as you would expect, 75% of the conversations that I heard were gamers complaining about the motion blur (which I could not find a way to turn off).

Gameplay-wise the only frustration I found was with the playable Revenants that would work their way into battle and explode whatever was in front of them. Most of the games I played were well contested with very balanced teams. The game does reward teamwork and running off rogue rather than working with your team is not a great strategy. Headshots with a sniper rifle were very gratifying, and the same goes for perfectly placed shotgun blasts.

While so far DOOM doesn’t strike me as a totally innovative game that will be able to compete with the juggernauts of Call of Duty or Battlefield, I do see some potential in the DOOM multiplayer. While fellow journalists and gamers in my stream were pretty critical of the game, what I found the most important was the fact that it was still fun. Fun is a factor in video games that often gets lost. While only a few hours in the game is fun, I will be putting many more hours into the game in the very new future. When forced to do an actual thought out critique of this game, my tune will more than likely change, but for now as a guy who just wants to shut off his brain and gun things in the face… DOOM is fun.

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