DOOM Multiplayer Beta – First Impressions

Soon, it will be upon us. The next eagerly awaited installed of the grandaddy of FPS games, DOOM. The fourth main game in the franchise, it’s aiming to get back to it’s fast paced and hectic roots. We get a little taste of what’s to come in the multiplayer beta, with a couple of weapons and gamemodes to try. I’m going to talk about my time with the PC and Xbox One versions of this beta.

Let’s just get out of the way. The New Doom is a lot of fun. It’s fast, it’s insane and it’s got interesting mechanics tied into it. It feels like a great mix of classic arena shooters of the Quake and Unreal era, but also feels modern like Halo 5. It’s a bit of a weird mash up, and I can’t help but feeling that it’s all so familiar, even though it’s not exactly like anything I’ve played before.

In the multiplayer, you’re given loadouts to pick two weapons and an ability. All of them act very different and harken back to staples of old. Lightning guns, railguns and rocket launchers. They all feel great, and require a lot of precision to beat out the opposition. Your character can also double jump and clamber, uping the mobility of the fast, but bulky, movement in the game. There are health and armour pick-ups around each map as well, helping you take that extra hit or two. Power Ups also have a chance of spawing on the map, and these spots are hotly contested by those who already know where the can appear on the map.

One of the most interesting mechanic in multiplayer however, is the ability to possess a demon during play. The pick up for this is announced to everyone in the game, and once you grab it, you become a demon you chose with your loadout. Currently the only one available is the Revenant, which Doom fans of old will remember. His Jetpack and Rockets make him a beast for anyone who can grab the pick up, but once he dies, someone else can grab it and become the slaughtering machine themselves.

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At the moment, I feel like it’s a great mix of old and new. It’s fast but precise, and it makes me nostalgic for the days I played Unreal Tournament oh so much. It is an interesting beast though, and can sometimes feel like it doesn’t really have it’s own identity. While it strives in it’s ability for a fun and frantic multiplayer shooter, it seems to want to be a competitor to the likes of Call of Duty and Halo, when it’s oh so much different than that. You can even see the influences from the armour customization you unlock and the emotes at the end of matches for the top three players.

Once you’re in the game itself, it feels fresh and nostalgic at the same time, but the extra things added on feel like they’re trying to be something else. It’s a strange dual personality, and it’s one I worry about when the full game comes out. The last thing I want is yet another franchise that I grind away on just to make my character look how I want.

I’m optimistic though, besides those faults, the way the game plays is exactly how I want a new Doom game to feel. It’s hard to get my complete thoughts down about it, because I’m just not sure. I want to see how the single-player stands, and I’m curious to see how much different the multiplayer will be with all content available. Only time will tell, but the beta has ensured one thing; I’m very interested in Doom.


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