Welcome back to Mars. Doom 2016 review!

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I wasn’t really following the progress of new Doom since its announcement months and years ago. I’ve heard about it and how id Software is planning on making Doom 4, but I was like OK. I’ve never been that die hard fan of Doom franchise. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve played it a lot because it was just so satisfying to gun down monsters, but I’ve never been a hardcore fan. Spotted a release date that was just few days away and thought, fuck it, I’ll just buy it. It was one of those impulsive purchases and man I’m glad I’ve done it…

Lets break it down how I usually do it, starting with…

Graphics

This has always been the strongest point of Doom and it doesn’t disappoint this time around either. It looks absolutely spectacular, there are no compromises or trickery used to cut corners and make things run faster. And it’s a lot brighter than Doom 3 which is probably the reason why it’s more pleasing to the eye. Models, weapons and world are incredibly detailed, textures are sharp, lighting and post processing is beautiful and it just gives the impression it will age well. Not many engines can brag with this, but new Doom certainly is giving that kind of vibe. And best of all, it runs insanely fast. We are too used to brand new games running like crap on everything but the most ridiculous high end systems running dual GPU setups. But not this one. If you have a decent quad core CPU and at least GTX 970, you can expect the game to run at around 100fps at 1080p using Ultra settings. It’s almost unheard of for a brand new game running on a mid-high end graphic card from last year this well. I’ve been playing it on a very capable overclocked hexa core with 32GB RAM and single GTX 980 at 1080 and it was absolutely flawless from start to end. I’ve even tried it using 4K DSR and it was surprisingly playable. Not up to my standards where I want silky smooth V-Synced 144 fps, but it was playable. On a single freaking overclocked GTX 980. And it’s not even running Vulkan as it was originally suggested. This is plain ol’ OpenGL! Imagine how fast it’ll be with Vulkan:) I don’t know if Carmack was involved in development of this engine, but I have to say, incredible job id software!

Audio

New Doom is a lot less about scary moments like in Doom 3 so, sound doesn’t play such a huge role, but it’s still something worth mentioning. The music score is really good, from somewhat depressing and dark menu music to punchy and energetic gameplay music that doesn’t really stand out in any way but does blend amazingly with the gameplay itself. It can enhance the atmosphere when nothing is happening or just pump adrenaline in your blood during combat. Which is good. That’s the point of music. It shouldn’t ever take away the focus from the game, instead it should always be a supporting component. And as such it’s used perfectly.

Ambient noises and effects are also really good and they compliment graphics well into creating a believable world on Mars. No complaints here.

Can’t complain over sound effects of monsters either. As I’ve said, this isn’t Doom 3, so it’s using monsters sound a lot less to build up the tension and scary atmosphere, but they just blend in nicely with the entire game. I do have tiny complaints over certain weapon sounds. While some are incredibly satisfying like the incredibly deep and punchy faster and faster sound of the chaingun as it spins up and massive noise on railgun discharge, I kinda miss a bit more punchy double barrel shotgun sound as well as more empowering noise from the iconic BFG gun. I miss that tension as it powers up and discharges, you know, like it was in Quake 2… I miss that. That longer weeeeeeeeeee BEEEEEEWWWWWW and everything just gets obliterated from the screen. It is there, but not in such scale. It’s just not as satisfying as it should be. Too bad.

Gameplay

With around 26 hours of total gameplay (probably some counted as I sometimes left the game in main menu or paused) playing it on Nightmare difficulty, which is the highest possible on first run, it was very satisfying. Incredibly challenging as monsters kill you very quickly, but still very satisfying. I did take time to poke my nose everywhere and even restarted one huge chunk of the game because I thought I missed one huge secret (a Rune challenge). Turns out I haven’t missed it.😀

We often hear things like “going back to roots” but most games just fail to deliver. I’m happy to report that’s not the case with new Doom which is an actual reboot. While there are some changes to the location, monsters and so on, it’s full on back to roots Doom and Doom 2 and exact opposite of Doom 3. Doom 3 was more focused on terrifying atmosphere and stronger individual monsters in tight and dark areas where new Doom throws you into big “arenas” with tons of monsters attacking all at once. It demands constant motion and smart usage of correct weapons at given situation. Not all weapons are good to counter all monsters so you do have to switch them quite a lot.

And here is the interesting part… Weapons have several upgrades and fire modes. One might say such thing has no place in a game like Doom, but you’d be wrong. Weapon modes aren’t fiddly, they are easy to use and give you choice to create your own gameplay style. You can go with brute force and be more up close and personal or you can have weapon modes more suitable for long distance combat, keeping enemies at distance. And the way things upgrade and progress, it’s very hard to mess it up so far that you’d have to start the game all over. Around half way through the game I already had all the upgrades I’ve wanted. So I’ve started experimenting with the rest of them. I did find nearly all secrets though. Which brings me to the next interesting part…

I’ve always been a bit meh for hidden secrets in games. Especially the ones with Doom first person shooter style. I did poke my nose into every tiny hole in games like Deus Ex or System Shock 2 where it’s expected to do this kind of stuff, but not in games like Doom. But here, you’re double rewarded for finding secrets, so you’ll happily spend . You find the secrets, obviously, but doing so, you also earn weapon upgrade points which further encourages you to look for them. You also unlock viewable 3D models of weapons and monsters by looking for miniature Preator toys (basically cartoonish big headed toys of your own Preator suit). You can then zoom and view all the models up close in main menu without having to fight them. It’s a tiny but cool detail. I’ve checked all of the models and they are made really well.

Your protective suit also comes with upgrades just like weapons which are earned by picking up upgrade modules from corpses of Elite soldiers scattered all over UAC Mars base. They aren’t offensive as much as the weapons upgrades, but they focus more on location awareness and faster movement.

And if you’d think this is is as far as upgrading goes, there are also Runes. You have to complete Rune challenges which are again found on various locations and they provide you with runes, special upgrades that can further enhance you or your weapons. You can pick up to 3 Runes at once from selection of like a dozen of them.

Oh and there were some changes to the equipment as well. It was a bit confusing at first, but equipment is unlimited. You can’t run out of it no matter how often you use it. But equipment needs time to recharge and that’s what prevents you from spamming it like crazy. Again, with Preator suit upgrades, you can pump it up to 2 pieces of equipment and faster recharging which makes it an incredibly useful asset.

Snap, I’ve almost forgotten one crucial change. Killing enemies using Glory kills (basically a quick time event) replenishes you health. Which at least on Nightmare is hard to come by and goes down very fast, so you have to balance your gameplay as well. You can either be super careful and gun down everything from a distance or engage close combat Glory kills to risk getting killed or replenish your health. It’s an interesting concept that gives you choice and makes everything a lot more dynamic. Shoudl I look for health pack or should I do that risky Glory kill and get health that way. Decisions, decisions…😀

One would think all these upgrades just mess it all up, but to my surprise, they don’t. Somehow id Software managed to combine old school mass shooter with modern elements that give game some depth and interesting stuff to fiddle with. Sure opinions will clash on this one, but they made such an excellent blend of fiddly things and shooting it makes a really badass experience.

Monsters

A lot of them returned from originals, some from Doom 3, but they are a lot more dynamic now and they want to poke you out. Including your guts. Original Doom was rarely up close and personal, this one is very often. Not by your choice, but because most monsters just want to hunt you down and slaughter you. And most have some sort of high distance jumping skills or ranged attacks as well as things like invisibility or teleportation. This also includes boss fights which are pretty badass. Very hard on Nightmare, but really cool. And you need to use some brain to defeat them. Just filling them with lead is not enough:)

The Story

Story? It’s a Doom game lol. You wake up on Mars and you frag some monsters. Yeah, story is nothing to write home about, but this is Doom. It’s pure fragging pornography. That’s like expecting deep story and character development in a porn movie lol. But in the end, all the data you collect via Data Vaults and stuff you can read in your logs section of the “inventory”, it explains background story of monsters, weapons, different map sections and people. It’s quite nice.

Extras

Sorry, I’m not going to review multiplayer as I don’t think I’ll even try it, but I did try SnapMap feature. Basically a map editor for people who can’t be bothered with over the top complex level editors. Here, you have tons of predefined world elements, objects, monsters, sounds and triggers and you, just like the name suggests (SnapMap) just snap them together. It’s really easy and they even provide live tutorials. Controls are a bit clumsy, but I’ll certainly spend some more time experimenting with it, maybe even creating a campaign or a multiplayer map. By modifying existing elements and creating complex script chains, you can create more than just a generic map. You can create complex maps where you have to do things in order to unlock doors and progress. Really interesting and certainly a big extra value with the base game.

Verdict

I could go on and on about it. Damn, just look at the “Gameplay” segment of the review which exploded from 2 paragraphs into 9 haha. This game is certainly one of those that will be written in history just like original Doom games. I honestly can’t complain about anything specific. It looks amazing, runs amazing has tons of cool and badass weapons, challenging monsters, beautiful environments and best of all, it’s super fun from start to end. And that’s the whole point of games. They need to be fun. And new Doom most certainly is!

It is a properly good game and id Software really outdone themselves. If you’re a Doom fan or just someone who likes to poke things with virtual guns, you have to play it. It’s really good and I can easily say one of the best games this year, hands down.

Doom bugs and glitches

While the title looks scary, it really isn’t that bad. Considering the game is brand new and hasn’t received any updates, it’s very polished. All I’ve spotted so far are basically tiny glitches… PC version btw.

Bugged intro video

Yeah, the sound for intro video is bugged. Half way through the id logo animation, sound just disappears and intro video finishes up in silence. If you click with mouse or press keys, it sometimes stops even sooner. I don’t know if it’s only on my system or not, I’m using Windows 10 64bit and Sound Blaster Z with drivers from August 2015, the latest ones for Win10…

Weapon upgrade bots glitch

This one only happens with those weapon upgrades bots that run away as you approach them. There was one in one level, can’t remember the name of the map exactly, it was a bit before the Lazarus Elevator where you have to find a yellow key to activate the elevator, you approach through a corridor and there is the weapons upgrade bot hovering above some crates and then flies away to some platform above a pool of acid or something and a lowered bridge that divides both sides. One side has a hive that you have to take down and other side a door that goes out to a platform with some space ship in the middle. Anyway, if you run towards the bot and catch it up and activating it while it’s escaping, it’ll carry you with the bot up to the platform. It was so weird as it certainly looked like a glitch because screen menu was flashing and I could see level through it as I was flying across the level until the bot stopped and then it allowed me to view the upgrade menu. This was the first time I managed to catch the upgrade bot and glitch it out…

Summoner attack gets stuck in endless rapid speed firing mode

This one happened quite few times and I don’t think it’s intended. It often happens you run for cover behind a corner and Summoner starts firing its red projectile with super speed past the corner indefinitely. It’s not the red marker first and then actual fire with tiny pause in between, it’s just rapid fire fire fire fire one after another so it’s basically impossible to get past without getting fried. Could be because of Nightmare difficulty, but considering this never happens in normal combat situations when it has you in sight, I don’t think this is suppose to be happening. It just looks off.

Game closes without an error (UPDATE: 2016.05.17)

I don’t know what’s going on, but this was the second time game has done this. It just closes without errors or warnings, even Event Viewer has no entry for the incident. Almost as if the game closes per user command, that’s why there is no errors or logs. But I’m not doing it, I’m quite certain of that.

Other than this, I haven’t really spotted any other problems. Incredibly polished game considering how complex it really is with all the collectables, upgrades and settings. If Bethesda and id check out these bugs, it would become pretty much flawless.

Anyone else spotted any other glitches in single player?

Doom, the initial impressions

I’m not going to write a full review just yet so I thought, why not drop a brief post about initial impressions with the new game. Full review will most likely follow when I finish it…

It’s funny how I find people on forums who complain how new Doom is nothing like the original Doom from the 90’s, where in reality, it’s in fact the closest thing. Doom 3 was a bit of an odd one. It had really dark and gritty graphics with scary atmosphere and individual monsters attacking you. I can’t remember a time you were really surrounded by monsters like you quite often was in original Doom. It was always scary moments and 1-3 monsters in Doom 3.

But in new Doom, it feels like someone took the original and remade it into “HD” with new graphics adding it actual 3rd dimension and also new aspect to the gameplay by adding upgrades and the way how ammo and health is delivered to you. Original allowed you to gun down monsters from distance. In fact that was a preferred way of dealing damage. From far away because health was precious. Here, you have to balance out ranged and close combat in order to inflict damage, but also gather dropped health. And trust me, if you play on Nightmare like I do, you’ll gonna be doing that a lot. 2 blows from Imp and you’ll be dead. Armor feels like it’s not even there. It’s very unforgiving, but for some really weird reason, I absolutely love it regardless. It’s how it should be. Hellishly unforgiving.

Weapon, suit and additional upgrades give new dimension to gameplay. It allows you to adjust your gameplay more with different weapons mods. I know some will whine about it how it doesn’t belong into Doom game, but reality is, upgrades aren’t like those in System Shock or Dead Space. They are far less complex and more straight forward. They remind me more of Alien Rage – Unlimited than Dead Space. And they even did the same trick as devs of Alien Rage, they give you ability to upgrade the basic pistol, making it more relevant through entire game, opposed to other games where you stop using basic pistol the moment you pick up something stronger.

The game just feels really good as a whole. Even spawning of monsters, in Doom 3 they almost always spawned behind your back to scare you, here, most are already roaming the maps, just few spawn in, usually when you destroy their pods. I like this more than lazy spawn ins for everything.

We’ve seen many franchise reboots in the recent years and Doom is by far the closest thing to how franchise reboots should be done. I really can’t think of a single serious issue or complaint about this game. Looks great, sounds great, levels are interesting, combat is really engaging and demands you to move a lot while also forces you to explore maps to gather upgrades and hidden stuff so you can mow down monsters easier, nicely rounding up the whole experience.

I have yet to try multiplayer and the map editor, which is supposedly an easier version where you snap elements together like Lego, but I have yet to try it and see what kind of maps you can create. I hope you can make single player maps and not just multiplayer maps. I want to create outrageously hellish mini campaign, but can’t be bothered with ridiculously complicated map editors that usually come with the games.😀

All in all, it’s a really good game and I think this will be one of better if not best games this year. Highly recommended!

Microsoft, stop fucking switching languages!

I’m so fucking pissed right now. I live in Slovenia, but I want my operating system to be entirely in English. Ok then, so I get my Windows 10 installed, set interface language to English and keyboard to Slovene in order to support our special characters not found in English alphabet (and have keyboard layout set right). All fine except fucking stupid OS with mind of its own insists on switching keyboard layout from SL to ENG for no fucking reason. I have it set to ENG/SL, but when I start CS:GO game, it decides to use ENG/US for no fucking logical reason. Stop doing this motherfucking shit Microsoft. I always notice it when I have to type something in the chat (meaning I’m in the game and can’t go out and switch) and it makes my “Y” and “Z” keys reversed as well as replacing “‘” with “-“. It’s fucking infuriating bullshit that makes no sense. Stop changing shit! Stupid garbage broken OS. Never had this problem till Windows 10 and even this looks like it happened now and not few months back.

Get your shit together Microsoft and stop breaking shit that worked fine for years.

Opera is becoming cool again with version 37

Granted, it is still far away from perfect, but if you are willing to make few compromises and do some of the things we already had before around corners, it’s shaping into a really fine browser…

Latest and greatest additions to Opera version 37 are 2 rather special features not found in any other browser by default.

Block Ads

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Are you tired of fiddling with silly AdBlock addons and extensions and you just want something that works, even if it doesn’t work on every single webpage to every last ad? And the benefit of being integrated is that it sorts out the garbage while rendering the page, meaning it’s the most efficient ad blocker available. It’s a very lite version with minimal settings, but it just works and I love it. You can exclude individual pages, but not individual elements. It’s also not possible to block elements yourself. But I’m fine with that as it works so well out o the box.

Video Pop Out

This one is a very innovative feature not seen in any other browser. It’s something I’ve been doing for ages with Media Player Classic (MPC HC), fired up a movie, set it to be always on top and moved it into bottom right corner. So I could browse the net while watching some movie or TV series. But you couldn’t do the same with, for example Youtube. You could move it to new tab, detach it and move and resize it, but you couldn’t set it “On top”. Now you can!

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When playing Youtube video, just click new arrow icon on the video and it’ll pop out of the webpage. Tab with the video needs to be open during playback, but doesn’t have to be in the front. If you look at the image above, I’m playing Youtube video in a “always on top” mode while doing something else in browser. It’s a tiny but really cool and useful feature. Pretty cool, right?

It is so cool that I’ve switched to Opera for a test trial. Been using opera when it was version 12.x but moved away after they wrecked it with Chrome core. But it looks like we’ve come to a point where it matured enough to be usable this moment and I can wait for few other things…

Killing Floor 2 Tweaker v1.5 released!

KF2

Minor adjustments and additions.

1.5 (2016-04-26)

  • Adjusted high quality shadows setting
  • Added High Quality Lighting setting
  • Changed gore explanations a bit

Visit Killing Floor 2 Tweaker micro page for download:

Killing Floor 2 Tweaker