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Doom … and Gloom

This is going to be a bit of a stream of consciousness following the Bethesda E3 stream. I might throw some pictures in if I feel like grabbing them, but I probably wont.

I have little hope for the new Doom at this point. I know that as someone with a testing background, I’m going to notice more flaws than the average person (your character isn’t even visible as a silhouette in the reflection of his Master Chief helmet), but showcasing the successor to one of the most PC gaming of games with a controller and a low FOV? Bad form.

I get why though, speed is perceived relatively, and slow gameplay looks faster when zoomed in, and on a controller. Yes I said slow. Now I realize that what we saw was likely tweaked for the sake of making a presentation, but that gameplay was… slow. It was faster than Doom 3, sure, but so is a screen saver. As I’ve detailed before, Quake has a rhythm, Doom has a flow. This game has neither. I applaud having more than two to four weapons equipped at a time, but the jolting pause of weapon switching during combat destroys any rhythm or flow. It feels like Zack Morris calling a time out, rather than selecting the most appropriate weapon to kill a demon.

The player movement speed doesn’t look particularly quick, it was certainly a more casual pace than how I played Advanced Warfare, and it doesn’t seem particularly necessary either. The combat was two dimensional, more so than in Doom/2. The player only had to look up during specific occasions, and during that time the only threats were on the level he was looking at. Combat was happening distinctively in arenas, or in small controlled groups with cool down spaces between. That isn’t particularly Doom, Doom is about level designs which pull you through combat, items, or curiosity, from one place to the next, forming a greater idea as to your environment and either building a sense of foreboding, or escalating the danger.

Hell was an arena with a few pillars and spawning enemies hopping down, Mars (not Phobos, yet again) was flat platforms connected around a skybox. Yes, the whole smelting environment looked cool. But it was a skybox effectively.

The chainsaw felt more like a canned animation trigger, rather than a weapon of variable usefulness depending on the opponent.

Items seem to mostly be dropped by monsters on death, emphasizing getting any kill over spatial awareness and resources. One low level enemy (killed by a single shotgun blast) dropped multiple rockets, which suggests that either the drops are random (ugh), or they fulfill what the game thinks is your present need (ugh ugh). Either way, the player relationship to the game world is altered by this quite a bit. It also looks bizarrely arcadey, more like something from Rez than from Doom.

The absence of reloading is nice, but coupled with everything else it just felt like a tick box for “old school” rather than an appreciation of what sort of gameplay it encourages.

The deathmatch looked like Halo, with gibs. SnapMap highlights how two dimensional the gameplay is (and I know people will say the original was two dimensional, but height variation and different sector height connections into earlier places was a major aspect).

I know this was a ramble, but, I had to vent. I shut the stream off once they finished with Doom. They don’t get it. They just don’t get it.