Doom early impressions: this classic does not disappoint

It's the best shooter since Wolfenstein: The New Order

Within ten seconds of starting Doom’s campaign, you murder your first demon. Great! That’s it—that’s the pace, here. Doom (available for $60 on Steam) is a game where you run by default and hold Shift to walk, a game where oftentimes the only way to score more health is to kill something and harvest little blue pickups from their body. It’s fast, it’s gory, and it’s fun.

Damn, is it fun. Even now, writing this at 3:30 a.m., I’m fully aware that I should be asleep, but a part of me wants to wrap this article and then head back to Mars. Actually, a fairly large part of me wants to ditch this article entirely and jump back into Doom. It’s the best shooter since Wolfenstein: The New Order.

Doom

Okay, let’s qualify that statement: The best-playing shooter. Wolfenstein had a whole second layer to it, a weird existential dread about war, that elevated it from dumb shooter to can’t-tell-if-it’s-dumb-or-really-smart shooter.

Doom is all dumb. I’m only through the second level (I’ve spent a lot of time hunting down collectibles) but so far the story is pretty much “Demons were unleashed on Mars and you need to kill them.” Same old, same old. It’s as deep as a puddle of blood, and no one cares. It’s Doom.

Doom

Going back to those collectibles: Yeah, they exist. It’s couched in the ol’ “Find the Secrets” nonsense that classic 90s shooters loved, but the modern twist is you’ll nab upgrade points to unlock new armor/weapon capabilities. The good news is you can pretty quickly upgrade your armor to just show you where the secrets are, which takes a lot of the tedium out of it.

But fighting you every step of the way is the map. It actually wouldn’t be too bad, except for the fact every time I open it, it’s three-dimensional mess of blue and grey lines has reoriented itself to an entirely unusable position, which is frustrating because it disrupts the pace of the game to sit and swivel and zoom each time.

Doom

Other than that, I’m having a blast. The game runs spectacularly—we’re talking 100-130 frames per second on Ultra on a GeForce GTX 980 Ti, which is incredible given how good the game looks. The shooting is tight, the guns are loud and in-your-face, and the demons are just smart enough to occasionally get you in a bad situation. I’d recommend playing one step above the Normal difficulty if you’re a shooter veteran, but you should definitely play it. If you’re a shooter fan, at least.

Doom, I’m sorry I ever doubted you.

We’ll have a full review soon, and at some point I should probably touch the (ugh) much-slower multiplayer. For now, though? Time to lose more sleep.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags games

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Hayden Dingman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?