Let’s just say it’s been a very bloody weekend as I got my hands on the DOOM Closed Multiplayer Beta. We’ll have to wait until May to jump into the finished product, but I walked away thinking “hell yeah, I’d play that again.”
DOOM starts out as what you’d expect from a first person shooter multiplayer lobby; beginning at level one, you can customize your load out and appearance, with new items and options unlocking as you earn experience. It was intimidating at first, starting out against players who were much higher levels than myself, but matchmaking seemed really fair when selecting teams. It didn’t take long for me to reach level 14, and to unlock a few more weapons like my new favorite, the Lightning Gun.
The closed beta gave us access to two modes, Team Deathmatch and Warpath (King of the Hill) and two maps, Heatwave and Infernal. I found Deathmatch to be the most popular and waited a while in the Warpath lobby to locate other players. Hopefully as additional modes become available and the whole world can play, finding teammates/opponents won’t be such an issue.
Gameplay, itself is very similar to Halo in that “he who knows the map and the location of power ups” gets the advantage, but I really like the layout of the two maps we had access to. I tried a couple different techniques, from camping to running and gunning and (gasp) actually using teamwork a couple times. The corridors curve in a way that allows for near misses (or escapes) and just when you think you’ve found the perfect sniping spot, you realize that you’re wide open to attacks from above or below. Both maps seemed like confusing labyrinths, but after multiple games I started to learn my way around and get the hang of things.
For the most part, I held my own but was hardly a threat to the top players in-game. One member of each side can, at times, transform into a demon and wreak havoc on their opposing team, which turns into a blood bath real quick. I actually got to experience this a couple times, but was quickly destroyed, which was obviously rather annoying. Speaking of annoying (or awesome), DOOM introduces some fun taunts like salutes, touchdowns and even an 80’s dance, so you can mock your opponents in style. Since you can crouch, tea bagging in the traditional method will still be possible (as one player was happy to demonstrate over my lifeless corpse.) I also enjoyed dramatically assassinating with a melee attack.
I instantly fell in love with the powerful soundtrack by Mick Gordan and hope that it will be available for purchase this summer! The perfect blend of driving industrial bass lines and pounding, metal riffs make you feel like a badass…even when you get killed a lot, like me. But hey, I dished out some carnage, myself, so it wasn’t all that bad. I just wish I had more time to improve before launch!
DOOM First Impressions and Tips:
- You will find a number of occult symbols throughout the game. I don’t like it for religious reasons, but I also know that we are battling a demonic take over in the story, so their presence, although disturbing, makes sense in context. Be forewarned if you are new to the DOOM franchise or don’t want sensitive eyes to see, like your children or your mother.
- As we saw in the multiplayer trailer, there is a LOT of blood, so the squeamish need not apply.
- For best results, play with headphones or surround sound; the maps are crazy, winding death traps, so your odds are better if you can hear where your enemies are coming from.
- Experiment with load outs, and don’t forget to upgrade when you earn new weapons. If one load out doesn’t work for you, try a new one when you respawn.
- I wish you were a little tougher when playing as a Revenant in Team Deathmatch. It seems like they are far too easy to take down, even though the “demonic possession” only lasts so long, which prevents any one player from becoming invincible. Some balance adjustment may be needed in this regard. At one point, I became a Revenant and was dead in literally 2 seconds from a couple blasts.
- Use your mods to give yourself an advantage, like spawning with extra armor or knowing where the nearest, power weapon is on your HUD.
- Just like any first person shooter, there is a learning curve, there will be jerks and you will die. Try not to rage quit, as you will be given a small penalty for leaving the match.