|System: PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Dev: id Software|
|Release: May 13, 2016|
|Players: 1 (2+ online multiplayer)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080i||Blood and gore, Violence|
Multiplayer is the old-school, arena affair that you'd expect from id. Like the campaign, how much fun you have playing online will depend on your expectations coming in. I was a little disappointed in the multiplayer betas because of the pacing and simplicity of it all. Thankfully, the full version comes with so much more to unlock and a few extra game types. Whether or not id actually sped things up I don't know for sure, but it certainly does feel much faster than before. The fact that you never reload your weapon and your health doesn't regenerate automatically means that you have to stay moving. Additional ammunition, health, armor, and power-ups are all scattered across the maps as pick-ups, and you won't find a lot of cover to duck behind when things aren't going your way. If you stay still for long you're a dead man; multiplayer is similar to the campaign in that regard.
For your multiplayer pleasure, you have your standard deathmatch and domination game types with a couple of variants. Warpath is a game of domination with one big zone that moves on a set path through each map, so even when you're holding down your control you're still forced to move. Freeze tag I found to be quite dull. It's basically team deathmatch, but when your health reaches zero you're frozen in place. Teammates can come thaw you by standing nearby for about 5 seconds, but they risk vulnerability during that time. The game ends when an entire team is frozen. It sounds neat, but it really sucks when you only have one or two teammates left and you just have to sit there, frozen, watching everyone else play for however long your buddy can outrun the enemy team.
Other than freeze tag, games are relatively quick and tend to stay interesting because of a special demon rune that will spawn in a random location at certain points during a match. As soon as the heads-up is given and an indicator appears, everyone makes a mad dash for the rune which transforms your marine into 1 of 5 hulking, overpowered demons. In demon form you're guaranteed to get at least a few kills, and the power makes you absolutely reckless - you'll find yourself running into concentrated groups of enemies and spamming the triggers, racking up kills until someone murders you and claims the power of the rune for themselves.
Apart from the campaign and multiplayer there's also "SnapMap" mode. SnapMap is a level editing suite that allows you to create custom levels from scratch for versus multiplayer or co-op and upload them for the community to rate and enjoy. It's incredibly robust, and so full of options that I found it rather intimidating - going through the tutorial I got a little overwhelmed. This is something that PC players will have a much easier time with; lots of editing functionality means a lot of basic tools are mapped to random controller button combinations. It's not prohibitively difficult to use, but it's no Super Mario Maker. There's a big learning curve that I doubt I'll feel compelled to overcome, but for those who like to tinker and create it can offer practically endless possibilities.
I honestly think we're looking at a spring blockbuster and a truly worthy reboot of a timeless classic. DOOM isn't for everyone. The blinding speed of play, demonic symbolism, demanding controls, and hyper-violence may discourage some from jumping in. If you can handle it, though, it really is a thrill ride. It's a brass-knuckle punch in the mouth. It's a 2-ounce shot of hard scotch from a skull chalice. It's a shot of adrenaline straight into your eyeball. It's DOOM.
Date: May 16, 2016