This past weekend was the launch of an open beta for DOOM’s multiplayer mode. While the 2016 DOOM game is highly anticipated, the multiplayer mode has been received very poorly by the majority so far. I did put quite a few hours into this weekend beta and have reached the level 15 cap so my experience with the game was thorough. Here are my two cents on the open beta for DOOM multiplayer:
TL;DR: There is some deserved negativity towards the game, but it was an overall enjoyable experience and some nice arena-ish faced paced shooting action.
This post will be broken up into the following segments:
- Common Reception / Opinion
- My Opinion / Review
- What Was Missing
In order to speak of what the majority thinks of the game I’ll be glossing through the Steam page for the beta and the reviews posted to it. While this doesn’t encapsulate all players, it does show the strong side of public opinion (though from a PC gamer’s POV)
The main complaints reviewers had was that the game doesn’t feel like how DOOM multiplayer should be, it is too generic, and it is tailored too much for console gamers.
The first point of these three is that the game should’ve played more like Quake or Unreal Tournament. To some the gameplay felt sluggish and the weapon selection wasn’t up to par with other arena shooters. If you are someone looking for a Quake-like experience in a DOOM setting then you may be disappointed.
Another point made is that the game seems too generic which includes character
design, weapons, customization, etc. The design of the DOOM marines for the game are perceived as very generic to some, taking the typical space soldier “halo-ey” route. Also, the selection of weapons available was disappointing to many as some weapons were almost completely useless while others were extremely effective in most situations. This also leads into the customization and loadout system that some say is way too similar to a typical modern shooter where customization seems to now be priority (while those mechanics are good in most situations they are frowned upon for DOOM as they are not typical for an arena shooter).
A final huge point made was that the game is tailored too much for console gamers. From the customization options to the handling to the movement and pacing this game seems too much like another Halo to some, while others see it as simply too many compromises to make an arena-ish shooter work for all platforms.
For this section I’ll be mostly contrasting my own opinion with the previously mentioned common comments.
First of all I want to make it clear that I am by no means a veteran in the original DOOM or in other arena shooters such as Quake, though I do have some experience. My opinion is mostly that of a typical consumer who is being exposed to the depths of this gameplay style for the first time.
The controls weren’t the tightest, there’s no denying that, but I feel as though that could be mainly due to mouse acceleration not being an toggle-able option for the beta (c’mon Bethesda/id, that’s a big no-no for a PC game). While not many games in recent memory compare to the responsiveness of games like Counter Strike: GO the game was by no means sluggish. I was able to get used to aiming pretty well and nail some solid shots even while double jumping and strafing. Also since I am not too deeply attached to games like Quake I can say that the beta did deliver an enjoyable gameplay experience with good pacing.
As for being generic I can agree with complaints aimed at character design. However, looking back on older art and renderings of DOOM marines, this game isn’t too off and the customization options were enjoyable to me. I also liked the loadout system though I did find myself only using two of the available weapons 90% of the time as the other weapons were for the most part useless.
Finally the point of the game’s development for console gamers: I do see the points made about this and can agree to some extent. While some gameplay elements and mechanics do seem there only for the sake of working on a console, nothing of the sort hindered my experience with the game too much. I actually enjoyed the game’s functionality as it was an enjoyable and fast paced experience whilst not being too much like oldschool / hardcore arena games that many PC gamers are used to.
Overall I had a great time with the game. I can agree with some of the negativity, but I don’t think this beta deserved nearly as much hate as it got, although this reception may lead to some much appreciated improvements for the final game.
Now it’s time to talk about the things I want changed.
First of all: Music. DOOM is known for being the game to ensue total carnage on demons with some kick-ass music backing you up. The tune playing in the multiplayer lobby did feel like a DOOM-meets-modern type of song, but what I wanted was some aggressive thrash metal-ish music playing while pumping super shotgun shells into opponents.
Another big issue was the weapon selection. When I started playing the game on default loadout I quickly learned that the automatic weapons were utterly useless. Myself as well as everyone else soon adapted the shotgun and rocket launcher only play style for a long while. I eventually transitioned to a sniper/shotgun loadout and actually got really proficient with the vortex rifle (sniper) after a while which is a somewhat uncommon primary for these types of games.
The open beta for DOOM Multiplayer was an overall enjoyable experience. I spent some great hours pulling of dope assassinations on my enemies and getting some sketchy sniper kills on high level opponents. While I can agree with some of the complaints most people had I don’t believe the game deserved the amount of hate it got and definitely recommend it to anyone who likes arena style shooters but aren’t experienced in games like Quake or Unreal Tournament yet.