After a couple days of playing the latest Doom Open Beta, I can definitely say not much has changed since our last play.
It seems the speed has been slightly increased (it could also be that it’s just running a bit faster on my machine). The grappling animations have been sped up a bit. A few slight tweaks like that to help flow have been. Some other minor comfort features were added such as field of view; and now motion blur can be completely turned off. Those are definitely good things. It also appears that now the demon power up spawns in one of a few places within each stage. This is a good change, making the location less predictable and discouraging camping.
Unfortunately, the game still feels a bit weak, due in no small part to its lazy throw away sound design. Still no music, still really weak sound effects. The weapons also feel somehow less powerful. Less visceral, tactile, and less satisfying than they should be to use. Some element perhaps in the animation or timing is off and doesn’t feel quite Doom enough. Sorry if that’s a bit too nit-picky, but it’s how I feel.
However, all of the above lies in the shadow of the elephant in the room. The loadout feature. Perhaps the most counter intuitive feature they added in a “skill based arena shooter”. This feature removes the need for complete weapon mastery and lessens the importance of stage memorization. Both key features for skill based arena gameplay. The game speed could also be forgiven if speed were more controllable with your movement. Bunny hopping and strafe jumping for example.
As has been said a lot, Id Software (or Bethesda) has attempted to satisfy everyone and in doing so has underwhelmed all targets. Console players won’t be amazed because the new-to-Doom features have already been done by FPS giants like Halo and COD. Meanwhile, the core fans, the ones who play Quake Live and Doom source ports, have definitely not been serviced here. Which is the grossest mistake done in the direction of this multiplayer experience so far. When the majority of your fan base is left out, you stand the risk of terrible reviews and a lot of cancelled pre-orders. I want a new Doom way more than the average guy, but I’m not so blind as to accept a sheep in wolves clothing. I have to be critical of this game, because it’s Doom and because I care.
Weapons work well.
The Siphon Grenade is a nice addition.
Love the double jump and cliff grabbing.
Nice map layouts.
Perks add some gameplay.
Demon power up is fun.
Great music, for what little there is.
Loadout is terrible and cheapens the gameplay.
No character pain/jump grunts.
Sound effects are weak.
Strafe jumping and Quake 3 style movement is gone.
The easiest way to fix this issue is to add a Hardcore Mode for multiplayer. Give us back the speed, bring back advanced movement, and remove the loadout. I guarantee if you do that, fans will pick the mode they like best. In turn, you will save this game from disappointing perhaps the most volatile fan base in the history of gaming. It’s been a long time since the world has gotten a truly skilled based shooter, and it would be tragic if the successor was not Doom 2016. I don’t care if you have to delay the game and I know the fans won’t care either. We just want an amazing DOOM game.
Doom is developed by Id Software and published by Bethesda. The Doom release date is May 13, 2016 and will be released on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4.
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