What Say the Critics About DOOM

Doom is back, and despite a tepid reaction to the game’s multiplayer component, both during the betas and now that the game is out, most everyone agrees that Doom’s single player is where it shines, and there it shines well.

After 2011’s Rage, it seemed that id Software had perhaps lost their touch. Sure it might’ve taken them 5 years, but it would appear that they went and proved us wrong. Review aggregators, both Metacritic and OpenCritic, have the game currently sitting at a pleasant 84. There was some slight concern early on because Bethesda didn’t send out review codes to critics prior to the game’s launch, but evidently there was no reason to worry. Nor should there have been. Plenty of games have gone this route, both great and pitiful.

Most everyone likes the single player – with a few exceptions – but you can’t really get passed how uninspired the game’s multiplayer is. From even playing it myself, it seems pretty clear that a different developer made the multiplayer while id focused solely on the single player experience. If there’s any prevailing criticism for the single player, it’s that the game drags a little  near the end, and that the ending is a abrupt and a little disappointing.

Game Informer puts it well: “The campaign is a glorious, bloody return to form for the godfather of first-person shooters, but the multiplayer and SnapMap can’t match.”

Shacknews beams as well: “That a first-person shooter like Doom exists in 2016 is shocking. Its levels are vast and intricately designed, its gameplay diverse and joyful, its toolset robust. Multiplayer is its weak link, but the adaptability of SnapMap is more than enough to offset that.”

IGN scored the game a 7.1, but the content of the review itself is mostly positive: “Doom is a tale of two very different shooters (and one quirky creation tool). The single-player campaign’s reverent worship of the series’ roots results in an old-school run-and-gun shooter which feels like imitation Doom, a cover of an old hit which nails all the right power chords but isn’t exactly transformative.”
Slant gave it 3 out of 5 stars and said: “Doom feels stuck out of time, a gorgeous, gruesome beauty, but only inches removed from shooter conventions 15 years past their prime. There’s something satisfying about it in the moment, when all the elements work in harmony, but it feels obsolete the second you put the controller down.”
The most negative review (2.5 out of 5 stars) comes from a site by the name of Digitally Downloaded: “Like the greedy organisation that unleashes hell on Mars, this is the product of exploitation; the developers at ID Software and Bethesda are playing with fire in treating a property as valuable as Doom this way.”
It seems pretty obvious that if you’re looking for a single player shooter that hearkens back to the shooters of old, then Doom is right up your alley, unless you have an unhealthy reverence for the original game. Or if you’re like the guy from Slant who thinks maybe the game is a little too stuck 15 years in the past, even though it’s the only AAA game in the last 15 years to be like the AAA games 15 years ago.

About Josh Price

Josh Price is a writer who probably spends too many hours of the day playing video games. At some point he decided to put the two together to (hopefully) great effect. He also wrote some fiction. You should check that out if you're into such things, which you should be. Reading is FUNdamental.

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