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Game Info:

DOOM
Developed By: id Software, Certain Affinity/Escalation Studios (Multiplayer)
Published By: Bethesda Softworks
Released: May 13, 2016
Available On: Steam (Windows), PS4, Xbox One
Genre: First Person Shooter
ESRB Rating: M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
Number of Players: 1 offline, 12 online 
Price: $29.99
(Humble Store Link)

Ah nostalgia, it can be a very powerful thing. People love nostalgic properties because it can remind them of the good old days. We’ve been in a pretty big nostalgic boom these days 'cause all of the 80's and 90's kids are now 80’s and 90’s adults. Said adults are not at the mercy of mom and dad, and now have access to their own money. What better way to spend money than on a trip down to your carefree days of childhood, where the only thing you had to worry about back then were grades and Saturday morning cartoons. Doom is the latest attempt to the nostalgia cash in to grab the Millennial's money. But is this Doom only meant to sucker desperate people out of their hard earned paychecks?

Doom of 2016 is a reboot of sorts of the original Doom series, with the ever known Doom Slayer (or Doomguy) enacting his revenge on the forces of hell with the only way he knows how; by breaking the bones and ripping out the guts of every demon he comes across. In hopes to wash away the bad taste Doom 3 left in many fans' mouths, the Doom of new attempts to return to its roots and bring back the quick and hectic style the series is known for. Doom as you know is a First Person Shooter, where the entire game is seen through the player character's eyes. The plot takes place on the planet Mars where our main character, with the help of two AI assistants, have to stop the forces of Hell from taking over the planet, and a woman by the name of Olivia Pierce who may or may not be the cause of said major issue.

The gameplay is part action-adventure, with your character walking through the lands of Mars and Hell, finding power-ups and abilities along the way, while fending off the many enemies that want to stop him. Every once in a while, our Doomguy finds himself in an arena-like area, and this is where the game truly shines as you are tasked to eliminate all your enemies in the vicinity.. Doomguy is fast, outpacing every demon he comes across. This gives the game a wonderful sense of speed, as you need to be constantly maneuvering and quickly thinking of a plan to blow your enemies to bits, without becoming bits yourself. Doomguy can soar through the air with little effort, almost as if he had wings, and can turn and stop on a dime. The weapons at his disposal are shotguns, machine guns, rocket launchers, Gauss cannons, and even the ever famous BFG9000 and chainsaw (which are relegated to special type weapons).

Highlights:

Strong Points: Fast, frantic, fluid combat. Wide variety of weapons and secrets.
Weak Points: Fairly weak ending. Multiplayer is lackluster.
Moral Warnings: Usage of demonic powers and imagery. Strong use of swearing. Insanely violent and bloody.

All your favorite enemies are back like the Cacodemon, Reverant, Mancubus and others, and they got new tricks up their sleeve to try and halt your progress. Like the games of old, your health does not regenerate on its own, so you have to forage for health instead of cowering behind a wall waiting for it to regenerate. The weapons all feel like they pack a punch as they are loud, expansive, and all have a distinct weight and sound to them, as they tear apart the enemies that stand in your way. They even have a few temporary power-ups that can either make you even faster, or eradicate your enemies in one punch. Something fairly unique to Doom is the Glory Kills, taking inspiration from the mod Brutal Doom. They are quick cinematic kills, similar to fatalities from the Mortal Kombat series that one can execute when an enemy glows yellow, giving you ammo and health drops. Glory Kills fortunately do not break the flow of combat, as they are a quick animation and transition very well. You can shoot, perform a Glory Kill, and proceed to hop around the battlefield without missing a beat.

Did I mention that this game is violent? Because oh is it ever so. You bash, tear and gib your enemies in such spectacular fashion with anything that you can get your hands on, and sometimes even with your hands. Blood splatters everywhere, and depending on the weaponry used, guts will fly. This game is extremely violent, and enjoys every single second of it. The soundtrack and quality of the game mostly consists of types of rock, techno, and metal. If you like that kind of music, it's a very solid choice as they really put you in the mood of the nature of the game. The voice acting isn’t anything to write home about with it being fairly standard. The controls feel sharp, precise, and accurate. I never felt at any moment that the times I died were at the fault of unresponsive controls. The game itself has sharp graphics, and even though it only takes place in three areas, the scenery and atmosphere never feel stale.

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 84%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 45%
Violence - 0/10
Language - 5/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 0/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7.5/10

There are quite a bit of moral warnings in this game. There is heavy usage of demonic and occult imagery such as the inverted pentagram for example. Your main character is implied to gain his power form Hell itself, your main enemies are demons, there are Satanic symbols seen throughout the game, swearing is present throughout the game with a few F’s and S’s here and there. Oddly enough, your character uses his demonic power to save others, not destroy them (besides the demons), which is a very interesting take for a game. Some of the log pieces found throughout the game even give detail on how the demons are absolutely terrified of Doomguy and the lengths they’ve taken to try and rid of him in the past.

Besides the game ending on a cliffhanger, and sometimes the game stopping you at points for unneeded exposition dumps, I had very little issues with the single player campaign. Sadly, I personally cannot say this about the multiplayer. The multiplayer side, created by the assistance of developers who worked on Halo 5 and Call of Duty’s multiplayer as well as Disney Infinity? Well, that’s kinda out of left field. Anyways, I wasn't a fan of the multiplayer as it felt slower, floaty, and a bit more laid back, than the high intensity and adrenaline rushing single player. The multiplayer takes a more class-based approach with people choosing a preloaded or customized loadout into battle, akin to Call of Duty and Battlefield to kill each other, and the ability to turn into the demons of Hell from the singleplayer portion. I do have to give it some positives, as it does have some exclusive weapons to its multiplayer portion, as well as the pretty deep Snapmap portion of the multiplayer. Sadly, I don’t have a creative bone in my body so I tend to stray away from user created content, but I’ve heard only good things about that portion.

Doom took me about two sessions to beat, in which I played 6 hours each. I have not encountered any game breaking bugs, crashes or detrimental glitches while going through. In a way it’s not a very long game, only lasting 13 levels, but there are many reasons to come back for more demon squashing action such as the loads of secrets and lore in each level, with some even being retro levels of the original Doom, played in the modern engine. The multiplayer has a fair replayability with its DLC packs and a fairly lengthy leveling system if that is your sort of thing. Multiple difficulty levels for all types of players can warrant multiple playthroughs (with a Ultra-Nightmare difficulty where if you die even once, you have to start the entire game over again). They even added an Arcade Mode, introduced in a recent update. From a very sour first impression from the cinematic heavy E3 trailer to the lackluster and disappointing multiplayer beta that I took part in before release, my expectations were blown away from the single player. It is a very welcomed and much needed return to its roots and a huge step in the right direction. I personally think shooters need to take notes from Doom as the game is worth buying for the campaign alone. It's a nice modern take on an old established IP and is worth a go for any FPS fan, though for some people new to the whole Doom franchise, the heavy use of demonic imagery, occult usage and gray moral ethics of the characters may turn one off from such an experience.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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