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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?