The DOOM closed beta took place this past weekend and after spending a couple of hours with it, I have to say that ID Software are on their way to making the jump in multiplayer competitive shooters.
Think Quake III Arena, but with better visuals, a new set of guns and mods, and Demon Power.
During the closed alpha test, things did not look pretty. The multiplayer was box-standard with no character progression, weak matchmaking, and one map to explore.
Booting up the beta however, was a complete surprise to me. Character and weapon customization, a deep and rich progression system, and two maps and modes were all packed in.
Following in the footsteps of Call of Duty: Black Ops III, DOOM seems to be on the right track when it comes to individuality.
Armour can be customized with different armour parts from your head to your boots, and you can then head into the paint shop to change the look of it all – adding scratches and dirt to it to make it a little unique.
As you progress up the character ranks, you will unlock more armour parts and colour palettes, which let you stand out a bit more. One of the best parts of all of this is that later on you will be able to unlock armour sets which change the styling of the armour completely.
Think of the Elder Scrolls series with its different styled armour schematics, but in DOOM.
Weapons follow the same system, everything from your rocket launcher to your line rifle can be modded with layers of colour to create a unique look.
If you are lazy, like I was, you can just randomize – which will mix the colours and patterns around until you are happy with the result.
I will not go as far as to say that DOOM offers the same type of customization as Black Ops III’s template system – which lets you paste patters across items – but it offers enough for you to stand out from the crowd.
Customization aside, DOOM has brought the gun fights – and they are great. If you think that it comes anywhere close to DOOM 3′s multiplayer, then think again as it’s the complete opposite.
You cannot hide away in the dark, nor can you use the “scare” tactic to your advantage. From the start of the match right until the end it is one fast-paced experience.
Running around the maps is quick and easy as there is no sprint button. Your character is sprinting at all times – jumping up on ledges and then double jumping across gaps to grab double damage, or just climbing a wall to find a vantage point to take enemies out from afar.
It’s all very easy to master and it kind of gives you the idea that movement is the least of your worries, as skilled gameplay is the focus here.
I would even go so far as to say that camping is not an option, as the game plays out so quickly that you will be able to hide in the vent with a line rifle for about 5 seconds before some player finds you by accident.
You can choose to go guns blazing with a shotgun or stay away with a lighting gun. The guns have been balanced quite nicely and I did not feel that any had a severe advantage over another, besides my initial lack of skill with them.
Like previous DOOM titles, you have your shield and your health, both of which can be increased by picking up shield and health pickups around the map.
It would be wise to spend a few seconds each time you spawn running around and pushing your health and armour over the 100% mark, for the sake of the next gun fight. You would have to go up against a rather weak player to win if he has full armour and health, and you do feel the difference if you have made the effort to buff yourself up.
The classic Quake III Arena mods (invisibility, quad damage etc.) have also made a return. These spawn at various times across the map and you just need to be near one to pick it up. You can also make use of power mods which can be used once per match.
These power mods never really make you more powerful, rather they provide certain UI tweaks. For example, one will highlight the respawn timer for a pickup, while another will show the location of the player who just killed you.
Making use of these mods further enhances your match experience, without increasing your damage or health.
The biggest addition to the game is the new Demon Rune, which transforms you into a demon once picked up. The beta featured the Revenant demon with a jetpack and double rocket launcher on his back.
Once you pick up the Demon Rune, you can then run around killing players almost instantly – but you also have a set amount of health which can deplete, causing you to drop the Demon Rune for another player to pick up. Once the timer ends however, it will vanish to return when the spawn takes place again.
Modes and Maps
The two maps available were pretty diverse. One took you to the UNSC base with vents to hide in and long corridors to snipe down. The other was set in what looks like a pit of hell, with lava pools and cliffs to traverse.
As for the game modes, Team Deathmatch returned along with a new Warpath mode. This mode saw you and your team taking control of a zone which is constantly moving along a track-like path.
This forces you to keep moving along with the zone while adapting to each new room it moves into. It is similar to control and domination, but the constant motion adds to the fast-paced speed of the game.
If anything, the DOOM beta proved that this generation of gaming has been missing a solid Quake III multiplayer game.
With everything the game has going for it, we could see players taking a break from Call of Duty and Star Wars to get into this fast-paced method of shooting. It’s one huge hurricane the entire time, and I loved every second of it.
Are you looking forward to DOOM? Let us know in the comments and forum.