If you have been online in the last few days you may have noticed a dominant swell of communal negativity toward the recent open beta for DOOM multiplayer. It has been a week since the beta closed, but even after being removed from the store page on Steam, the echoes of user reviews still resonate.

A great majority of the aftermath of negativity was geared toward the feeling that the current installment of Doom just does not play like the original games – of course, Doom 3 is an exception, for the most part, to the series as a whole. Instead of a fast-paced, finger-twitching brutal form of play, most people came away feeling like the multiplayer portion of the game played more like a Call of Duty clone with Doom textures added on. Personally spending about two and a half hours playing the beta on PC, I definitely empathize with the public sentiment.


Though some things are lost in this modern translation, at moments DOOM does harken back to the intense, in-your-face style of gameplay that defined the older games.

I understand that id software is doing their best to juggle the responsibility of pleasing old fans while drawing in new ones, and for that I can see how the DOOM multiplayer is a success. Everything expected to be in an online multiplayer shooter can be found here. This includes aspects such as loadouts, hack modules (which are like minor upgrades), taunts, game announcer, and cosmetic upgrades. You’re usual standard fare -which is to say nice additions, but not necessary. Although I will say that the added verticality that comes with the new double jump mechanic is an aspect of the gameplay that I quite enjoyed. There were moments when the extent of a gunfight was prolonged thanks to this added dimension of movement. Another noteworthy addition was the demon spawns that allowed for someone in the game to spawn into a demon (in this case, a Revenant) for a short while. This addition added new opportunities to widen the lead gape or even out team scores based on the situation. Also, the noise the spawned demon makes in the distance still sends goosebumps up my arms as I think back on it.

Do not get me wrong, all of this is fine and dandy. My time spent with the game was very much appreciated by yours truly, and if I had to say, I would classify my time with the game as positive. Yet even still, as I was playing I could not but help have this sinking feeling that the game was being held up by restraining AAA mentalities. Like I said earlier, it is perhaps in id software’s best financial interest to adhere to two very different groups of gamers. For one, you have fans of Doom who throughout enjoy the originals, and the other group is that of younger players who were raised on Halo and Call of Duty. As it is with any artistic creation, when it is created with too general a philosophy it tends to come off very generic and stale. This is perhaps the biggest fault that I perceived as I was playing. This seems to be most of heart behind the negative outcries as well. For myself and for those people as well this reaction is justified in what was expected of the game.


The ability to customize characters is nice, but somehow seems inappropriate for what DOOM stands for.

Lest we forget the long and tumultuous development cycle of this game. Circa 2008 when the game was initially announced it was supposed to be a very cinematic experience that took place on earth (a la Doom II), but was eventually scrapped and completely retooled from the ground up to be more focused in on bringing back a pure, technically modern representation of the classic Doom experience. For those interested enough to be following along in the news, this very much declared a promise to make it fast, brutal, and thematically morbid. Cut to 2016 and what we are given is the ability to make our characters shinier and more chromey as well as to taunt other players by flashing the devil horns. Sure, these inclusions would find their place suitable in other games, but not here. What stems from these decisions is an aura that hangs around the neck of the multiplayer portion. This aura lacks a true sense of identity. At times the game wants to be the brutal, one-track minded bull of a game that is Doom – it only takes turning another player into a pile of gibs with a nice shotgun blast to the face while a heavily distorted guitar blares away to know this. Other times, the game comes off as wanting to conduct itself in a manner that will make sure it does not stand out from the crowd too much.

Would I consider spending more time with this multiplayer game again? Yeah, sure, why not? I do not think any of the negativity surrounding this portion of the game can be attributed to it being not fun. What I do have reservations about is whether or not some of the disheartening thematic decisions made for multiplayer will carry over into the single player. We will definitely have an answer to that thought when the game sees official release on May 13th.

For any future news on DOOM, and for our DOOM review, make sure to keep your eyes peeled to the Mouse Joypad website. Also, if you played the open beta and have any similar, or differing, thoughts, comments, or queries, makes sure to leave ‘em down in the ‘comments’ section below.