I was completely disinterested in the upcoming Doom reboot until that trailer came out showcasing some of the new modes, at which point I got hyped. Over the weekend, I finally got to get some time with multiplayer beta on the Xbox One version of the game and now I’m left with mixed feelings as Doom’s multiplayer is good, but it could be great.If you didn’t ever play the old-school Quake and Unreal Tournament games and are the kind of person who sticks with Call of Duty, you’re probably not going to enjoy Doom. The movement is very fast paced, and the stick sensitivity feels high by default. Movement is so fast that it feels faster than sprinting in most modern multiplayer shooters, and honestly, that is refreshing.
That isn’t to say those who like modern shooters won’t enjoy the new Doom, as Halo 5: Guardians players will find a lot of familiarity here from character customization to being able to clamber up ledges. There are tons of options for character customization from different armor pieces for your chest, legs, arms, and helmet, to lots of colors, the shininess of paint, dirt, and patterns. The same options are also available to customize your gun; personally, I went with a rocket launcher with yellow stars.
Doom has an experience-based leveling system with unlockable guns, customization, and loadouts. By default, there are three loadouts available with three custom slots that are quickly unlocked. By the end of the third day of the beta, I had settled on using a custom loadout of a rocket launcher, a shotgun, and frag grenades, all of which felt more powerful than the other weapons on offer. Ranged weapons such as the sniper and lightning gun felt mostly useless on the two maps available due to them mostly being made of tight spaces and the high player movement speed. The shotgun just feels like an auto-include weapon, as it is the easiest to get kills with by running up to opponents and firing point blank. Perhaps with more map variety in the full game, ranged weapons can show their true potential.
Power weapons that spawn on map are as powerful as you’d expect, killing with one shot. The same can be said about the pickup that let players play as a demon, specifically that bony bastard with the jetpack and rockets. You can zip around the map laying waste to your opponents with ease since you have unlimited ammo and 300 health in comparison to the normal 100. If someone manages to take you down, they can snag the demon pickup from where you died and start their own reign of terror for a limited time. Somehow this never felt overpowered, though it sounds like it on paper.
I can’t speak for other consoles, but the Xbox One version had major screen-tearing, which was especially noticeable when I turned the motion blur settings to low in the video options. By default, motion blur is set to high, which makes spotting enemies while rotating harder. I typically don’t have a problem with motion blur, but I had to turn it off during my first match in Doom because it is poorly implemented. I have to wonder if that is why the motion blur is there in the first place — to try to hide the screen-tearing.