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Doom Beta


Buy it, buy it now…oh I’m supposed to do the whole preview thing first before getting you guys to buy.  Fine then lets get on with that…Seriously, that much fun was had during the beta

Shut up and take my money!  That is how I feel about the Doom multiplayer.  I’ll admit when it comes to the franchise that got me into first person shooting and gaming as a whole, it very difficult for me to be objective about it.  But objective I will be,  I am a professional after all so here we go.  The Doom beta was kicked off (in South Africa) on April 1st, I was lucky enough to be one of the guys with a Beta key to try it out all weekend.  I’m still paying for my all-weekend-gaming-sins with my wife, that’s just how much I enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down.

For those of you who’ve been under a rock for the last 23 years or simply weren’t born yet,  Doom is considered the Godfather of FPS gaming and multiplayer Death match.  You play a badass Space Marine on the planet Mars, who’s fighting an invasion from hell.  That’s right, demons, pentagrams and brutal violence folks, not for the sensitive gamers out there.  The beta focusses on multiplayer only, and featured 2 game modes…but we’ll get into those details in a bit.  If you’ve got the idea that  Doom MP is anything akin to Call of Duty Black Ops III, you would be gravely mistaken.  This is old school arena style multiplayer, with a few modern twists.  Picture this if you will, No recharging health, No reloading, No sprint button, No iron sights (trust me you won’t need it or have the time for it), just good old fashioned Quake III Arena fast paced blink-and-you-die gameplay.  And believe me, its fast…insanely fast, in a good way though.  I was way too busy having fun to realise I’ve been killed gruesomely 17 times.

Return of the Mac...I mean Rocket Launcher...
Return of the Mac…I mean Rocket Launcher…

First thing you do when you hop into Doom, is customize your character and weapons.  As you level up with XP you gain access to more Armour pieces like helmets, torso, arms and legs, added colour palette for the armour and you are also granted access to more weapons to slot into your Custom load out.  All of the armour upgrades you get all superficial so you need not worry about level 15 players getting an edge over level 8 for example.  As for the weapons they are beautifully balanced  and each of them has a handy secondary fire function which differs from weapon to weapon.  What makes the game different to the old school Quake III Arena, is that instead of picking up 10 weapons in the map, you start each match with a load out of 2 weapons, usable equipment like portable teleporter or grenade and four slots of a timed one-time-use perk (think along the lines of Titan Falls’ Burn Cards).  On the map itself you get a demon rune which basically turns you into one of the big bad demons, you get your usual collection of quad damage (self explanatory) haste, which speeds up your running speed and an all powerful single shot weapon with limited ammo. As mention above, the beta had 2 game modes and 2 maps.  The available modes were the classic Team Death Match which is a 6v6 affair and the new Warpath mode.  Warpath has the opposing teams fighting over a moving single control point.  First team to reach the magic number wins, trust me on this one, its stupidly fun.  Both game types were playable on maps Heatwave and Infernal.  The former is what appears to be a UAC refinery facility of sorts and the latter being…well…hell or somewhere really close to it.

Demon Possession...looks uncomfortable
Demon Possession…looks uncomfortable

I’d really love to get into more detail but come on, I have to leave something for the final review right?  After all is said and done, the game is intensely fun.  It reminded me how much I missed the old school MP. Visually…it’s a good looking game, not particularly the best, but definitely solid with fantastic, if not disturbing art direction.  I did feel a bit underwhelmed when I launched a match for the first time, but as I kept playing I realised just how much detail the game actually has.  In sound design too, you wanna be playing this with a good headset.  And boy does this game perform, we talking 1080p and a solid, never dropping 60fps no matter how much carnage is on screen at any given time.  I did however notice a pop-in issue at the beginning of a match, think back to Id Software’s very own Rage on Xbox 360 and PS3, hopefully that gets ironed out by launch.

Like I said in my opening statement, Id Software might as well take my money now…I had a huge amount of fun, and I’m not really that much into multiplayer, I honestly would’ve bought this game for the campaign alone…but after the experience I had over the weekend, that alone is worth the price of admission.  For more info on Doom and gaming news in general keep your eyes fixed to SkyGamers.  See you guys in HELL!!!!

(…insert evil laugh here…)