When we don’t play games, we’re having, pointless most of the time, conversations about them. But whatever we do, we don’t review them. We love games too much to feel they deserve to be reviewed.
As soon as my Doom-guy broke the chains off the Satanic altar and unleashed hell on unsuspecting, umm, Hell, I have this inexplicable urge to talk about how cretinously awesome the game is. And because I don’t want to descend into a praise-spewing frenzy (and be accussed of a slanted ‘review’), I had a look at what others have to say.
Does It Do the Original Justice?
The original Doom meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people. It was born in a vastly different climate, a climate unaware of the word ‘meta’, or half the world’s population dissecting video games’ very marrow. There are conditions under which any game could have had an impact as powerful as the original Doom. Those conditions are now plainly impossible to re-create.
2016’s Doom, I feel, doesn’t even have to do the original justice. It needs to do its heritage justice. And exactly that, it does. I am willing to bet actual money on Carmack and Romero not sitting down with an idea of creating this fabled legend, this “exquisitely violent”, “wordless narrative” epic, back in 1993. They sat down to create a game. And the new Doom is just dripping with that mindset.
Is It Colourless?
Rock, Paper, Shotgun didn’t have a substantial lot to rubbish Doom with in their review, but their first impressions highlighted something that I immediately stopped to hover over. It was a sudden spike in concentration of words such as “bland”. “Samey”. “Homogeneous”. “Gloomy”. “Mr. Hanky”. I thought, haaang ooon a minute, really?
I am not for a second going to suggest that none of that is true and that Doom is an endless stream of colourful fireworks putting Battleborn to shame. But I disagree nonetheless. Long over are the days of jaggy shapes distinguished for their role on the playground only by their colour. With expert confidence, id Software do well realise that and their marvellous engine enables them to take this a step – maybe even a few – beyond.
I absolutely adore how accurately can hellspawn be identified with just a glance at their movement. They’re so beautifully built and splendidly animated, for the majority of the time they don’t have to so much as peep or step out into direct light to be unmistakably recognised. It’s uncanny.
Does Its Multiplayer Drag It Down?
IGN’s verdict over Doom tells “a tale of two very different shooters”. And sure thing, when it comes to value for money, it is a reviewer’s job to tell the consumer what’s what. Welcome to the world of responsible, correct and economical fun.
A post-Call-of-Duty world it is we live in, too. It’s the infamous duplicate desktop shortcuts and those almost insulting, wishy-washy 3-hour campaigns that I blame for this utterly ridiculous frame of mind. A first-person shooter, any first-person shooter, is 50 single and 50 multi player and that’s a given. That’s how the numbers under a review’s bottom line are crunched.
I don’t want to sound like I’m defending, well, anything, not least in terms of: “You say it’s bad, but I’m willing to stick my hand up to the shoulder in the arse of very existence to prove you otherwise!”. By no means is it my intent to dis any of those reviews. All I want is there to be a discussion. Pointed, or pointless. The comments section is exactly where you’d expect it to be.