DOOM looks to be channeling Quake III: Arena’s fast-paced multiplayer mode in spades, and that’s a good thing
If this morning’s reveal trailer for DOOM’s upcoming Closed Beta gave you pangs of nostalgia for developer id Software’s 1999 multiplayer masterpiece, you’re not alone. Littered with bounce pads, rail guns and chunky old fashioned gibs, DOOM’s multiplayer mayhem certainly looks a lot like Quake III: Arena on steroids, and this makes me very happy. In an era filled with gritty, all-too-serious shooters built around tired objective-based gameplay, it’s refreshing to see DOOM’s online gameplay shaping up to be a return to form with its modern multiplayer component, crafting an experience that looks to bring out the raw thrills that id’s early releases delivered like no other studio could.
From the combination of surprisingly well-lit industrial arenas and hellish catacombs that play host to the game’s ensuring carnage, to the booming baritone of the game’s announcer as he shouts “genocide!” after a player mercilessly slaughters a gaggle of ill-prepared Space Marines, DOOM’s adversarial bloodbaths seem to be a far cry from the dark, foreboding footage we’ve seen showcased by the game’s campaign. Frantic jumping, bullet-absorbing shields and a heavy focus on frantic, kinetic carnage seem to channel Quake III: Arena at its best. We can only imagine rocket-jumping over the head of an player as he takes control of a raging demon, landing behind him and disintegrating his horned noggin with a healthy dose of rocket-propelled justice.
It would have been easy for id to capitalize on current gaming trends to create a multiplayer mode that feels closer to what we’ve come to expect from our annual avalanche of first person shooters, but id deserves credit for choosing to deliver something more primal and nostalgic to longtime fans of their classic franchises. As a gamer who’s been pretty burned out on the usual shooter suspects, this kind of high octane, arcade-style carnage looks to scratch that itch in a way no shooter has managed to do for me in well over a decade.
Of course, it’s much too early to call DOOM’s multiplayer component the second coming of the classic FPS, it definitely looks like it could play the part if id Software manages to deliver a solid number of maps and interesting weapons to keep the visceral action entertaining for extended periods of time. What we’ve seen so far certainly looks to be a great start – with the series’ signature double barreled shotgun taking center stage alongside the requisite rail guns, plasma rifles, mines and other destructive tools of the trade. The ability to take control of a demon and rampage around the arena, turning Space Marines into piles of pulverized mush look fantastic as well, so long as id Software manages to get the balancing right. Then again, if this mode is indeed the spiritual successor to Quake III: Arena that it looks to be, I don’t think we’ll have anything to worry about in terms of content, as id lavished that pioneering multiplayer shooter with fresh maps and updates for years after the game’s release. Then again, the industry has changed quite a bit in the 17 years since Quake III blasted its way onto the PC, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the developer can deliver the goods, keeping DOOM’s multiplayer fresh for the foreseeable future after the game blasts its way to retail in May.
In any case, we won’t have to wait long to get our hands bloody while we play with the writhing inner-workings of the game’s multiplayer component. DOOM‘s multiplayer Closed Beta kicks off in just a few short weeks, launching on March 31 and running through April 3, before carving a bloody swath onto the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC when it officially launches on May 13, 2016.
So, our dear readers, did the latest footage of the game make you nostalgic for the mindless, murderous carnage of Quake III: Arena as well? If so, are you happy with id Software’s decidedly old school approach to DOOM’s multiplayer gameplay? Be sure to sound off in the comments section below and let us know.