Bethesda and id Software recently held a closed beta for the upcoming shooter, DOOM. Fans around the world were able to engage in bouts online in two different maps, Heatwave and Infernal. The game modes included were Team Deathmatch and Warpath (which is a take on a normal King of the Hill mode, except the capture-point moves around the map in a circle along a marked path).
Plenty of opinions were tweeted, posted and lengthily written-up online. But there's one aspect of the game that almost everyone was in agreement about; it feels old. For some this was a blessing and a pleasant throwback to the days of yore, while others were reluctant to revel in the sense of nostalgia.
DOOM will have an open beta weekend from Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17 on PS4, XBOX One and PC (you can preload it now). But we're wondering how the general public will welcome it.
Doom, Retro Gaming & The Modern Shooter
The name 'Doom' carries great weight in the history of Video Games. This is the first-person shooter that is thought to have popularized the genre - a lot of developers and publishers are indebted to the work of id Software and their revolutionary design. But a lot has changed since 1993.
FPS games are extremely popular in the modern world. Call Of Duty has annihilated previous sale records and the likes of Destiny, Battlefield, Titanfall and Halo continue to succeed in what must be the most popular gaming genre in the west. But all of the updates that these games have introduced to the face of shooters stand in stark contrast to what id Software is proposing with DOOM. Perhaps a modern audience won't be very receptive to its charms - does it actually have any charms to speak of?
Here are some of the more negative opinions on DOOM that the media have published:
- "[The] game didn't feel very DOOM-y in regards to the classic games I remember playing. If anything, it felt like a generic twitch shooter with the ability to turn into a demon thrown in for good measure. While it was fun becoming a revenant for a short period and blowing everyone up with rockets, the core aspect of the multiplayer felt like any other FPS game and it was disappointing" - SelectButton
- "So far, this DOOM doesn’t feel like one of the greats. It feels like a pretender. And with just over a month until release, I’m crossing my fingers in the hope that there’s something I haven’t seen that changes that." - Kotaku
Is This A Game For Modern Shooter Fans?
Doom has attempted to blend modern shooter expectations with that of the early 90s. Unfortunately for some, the balance is completely off. Some gamers likened the experience to Unreal, as opposed to Doom, while others felt like it resembled a cheap indie knockoff of the classic.
Some feel it should have been more retro, with faster movement speed and less of the conventions we associate with modern shooters. Others couldn't adjust to its alterations and felt like the game was irrelevant amongst modern competition.
This weekend will ultimately be the decider. I would have enjoyed to see id Software attempt something like Devil Daggers, or at least a more skillful blend of retro and new. But who knows, perhaps this weekend will hold many revelations and we'll come to see DOOM as an exciting new shooter that we'll be playing for years.