On the Borderline: DOOM (2016)

Maybe this is just me but for I don’t know how many years now, there has existed a certain subset of games in my collection. These are games that I bought fully intending to play, but just can never find the right time to play. They are interesting enough to buy, but I’ll consistently prioritize both newer releases and older favorites over them.

I just can’t bring myself to take the plunge for one reason or another I suppose. One of these borderline games was DOOM (2016). I’d seen all sorts of awesome clips and my friends could never say enough good things about it, but I just wouldn’t play it for whatever reason. Well, DOOM’s time finally came, and I have to admit that I’ve been missing out!

I suppose the main reason why I stayed away from DOOM was my general dislike of gore. When it comes to movies and such, I don’t really like seeing blood, and I like seeing insides even less. One of DOOM’s main mechanics is its “Glory Kill” system, which has you eviscerating demons in the nastiest of ways. Yes, they are evil demons and I’m really not sad that the Doom Slayer is getting rid of them, but I still don’t want to see monsters ripped in half and eyes yanked out of their sockets. Doing “Glory Kills” is necessary for recovering health mid-fight so I did end up engaging with it, but I still wasn’t a fan. Fortunately, the rest of DOOM’s experience more than makes up for this.

Controlling the Doom Slayer is satisfying in a way that only the likes of Mario can match. Movements are precise, the Slayer is FAST, and his power actually carries into it all too. Between his speed and armaments, the Slayer feels like a lightning-fast tank! Even when I’m running around trying to avoid damage and set up a glory kill, I still have this sense that the Slayer is every bit the unstoppable force the lore plays him up to be. It’s fantastic!

Mick Gordon’s amazing soundtrack does an excellent job of playing all this up too. Thanks to his sick tunes, every encounter feels all kinds of intense! It doesn’t matter if a fight is a cakewalk or an actual struggle; the music ensures that it all feels both grand and frenetic. DOOM would likely still be an incredible experience even without the music, but it certainly wouldn’t be the same. Heck, I’ll even go so far as to say that the music is the best part. Even so, it’s one thing to hear the music via a video on YouTube and another to experience it alongside the gameplay. It really is something else, and I have to say that the game is probably worth playing for that alone.

I also really appreciate the punchiness of the weapons. It’s something that FPS games so rarely get right, so it really stands out whenever I play a game that manages it. It’s not just the fact that the weapons do a lot of damage, it’s everything about them. It’s their strength; it’s the way they “pop” when they fire, and it’s their recoil too.

These weapons are so strong that they all knock back the Slayer to some degree when they’re fired. It really adds to that “unstoppable force” feeling I mentioned earlier. I cannot stress how rare it is to encounter satisfying weapons in games. I mean not even DOOM Eternal hits this particular nail quite so squarely. Just like the music, this is enough to make wish that I hadn’t sat on it for so long.

Maybe one day I’ll learn my lesson and start giving all my games the fair shake they deserve. Who knows how many other potential DOOMs are sitting in my “to play” list. For now though, I’m just glad that I finally got around to this one.

How about you? What do you think about DOOM (2016)? What games did you procrastinate too long with?

Image from Nintendo eShop page