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NSFW Reviews Part Three – Doom

May 26, 2019
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I follow two simple rules in writing reviews: one – don’t reveal spoilers, and two – the article should take no longer to read than it takes the average person to take an average crap. One of those rules I am going to break today. If you want to be certain of which one, feel free to conduct your own field research.

Doom is not safe for wives.

Let’s get this part of the review out of the way early – Doom is not safe for wives. Not unlike its other id software stablemates, the games in the Wolfenstein series, Doom is painted with a deep scarlet palette of visceral gore. While the decoration of stages with lashings of blood and the arrangement of torn carcasses is plenty grisly, the true gore of this title is found in three player generated outcomes: the use of the chainsaw, the use of the berserk powerup and the “glory kill” each of which involve the graphic dismembering of demonic bodies.  While there is a certain perverse satisfaction in watching a demon being  either decapitated or vertically bisected by chainsaw, or ripping off the arm off one and using it as a warhammer to cave in its skull, this was not something my wife found particularly appealing.

Story

If you’ve played the earlier pixelated original version of Doom you’ll be aware of the basic story line – humans have colonized Mars and made contact with demons who in turn threaten to turn our world into a living hell. Enter the hero, the Doom Slayer, whose role is to fight back the demon menace and close the portal allowing them in.

The story follows largely that same premise with a couple of important twists. At the end of the day, this is an action filled first party shooter and any story is of little real importance.

Gameplay  

I played Doom using the Pro Controller, as opposed to using motion controls. As a result, the aiming mechanism was a little clunky, making precision shooting more difficult, something rather standard when comparing console controllers to the vastly superior accuracy of a mouse. While sniping is made more difficult, run and gun players should have no difficulty.

One thing that needed to be ironed out, but likely never will, was the mid-game boss being annoying on two levels. First, you need to kill him twice, and second, he is harder to kill than the final boss, leading to a potential mid-game roadblock for the less skilled.  On the first play through it took me several deeply frustrating attempts to kill this guy, compared to the final boss which I beat after the second try.  The boss rejuvenation trope occurs a little too frequently in this game for my liking as well, destroying the flow. The next thing that needs fixing is the text size in portable mode, but that’s small potatoes comparatively speaking.

Doom also offers additional non-compulsory challenges to extend replay-ability. These take the form of “rune challenges” which provide ability power-ups and in-level challenges the successful completion of which provides points which can traded for weapon upgrades.  The difficulty level of the Rune challenges is appropriate and offers the skilled player a challenge requiring precision or strategic analysis of the objectives.

Graphics

Panic Button has basically set the gold standard for Switch ports, putting together a game whose graphical fidelity is far superior to its XBOX 360/PS3 parent versions. While it’s not on the same level as a PS4 title, it is one of the best-looking games on the Switch and is able to maintain a relatively constant framerate. This is a game that Switch owners will be bragging about for years to come.

Overall

The game is a viscera filled splat-fest which is curiously satisfying. Doom offers replay value through the ability to replay missions and uncover the game’s many secrets.  That said, the story mode is relatively short if all you wish to focus on is getting to the end of each mission.

A major flaw in the title is the unduly long loading times for individual levels. This is soon forgotten once the action is underway.  A minor flaw is the fascination of the developers with the blood motif, especially given that it strikes me as odd that necrotized demon flesh would bleed bright red blood as opposed to a darker, almost black fluid one might expect.

All in all a great title that you should pick up, particularly given that the sequel, Doom Eternal is on the horizon for release.

What did you think of Doom? Let us know in the comment section.

Full-time lawyer and dad, part-time gamer when the former allow.

Gameplay
8.0
Music and Sound
7.0
Graphics
9.0
Controls
8.0

Total Rating

8.0
Tags:
John Smith

Full-time lawyer and dad, part-time gamer when the former allow.

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