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TheGamePhilosophe

Alpha Impressions Thread

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I'll get the ball rolling and give some of my initial impressions after a couple hours of play.

First, it has to be said, this is not a particularly fast game, despite all the claims from id reps and the gaming press. I have to think that there is no easy fix for this, because so much of the gameplay seems designed around it. The sample map, Heatwave, for example, is narrow and claustrophobic compared to the sprawling maps of say Quake 3, and I think that clearly reflects the slower speed of play.

Movement, not surprisingly, is not that powerful as a defensive/offensive weapon. Gameplay feels very grounded. There's no soaring into the air with a well-timed rocket jump, or building momentum through strafe jumping. The double jump is rather anemic and I was surprised by that, as I thought it was going to be id's solution to the absence of rocket jumping, which would be impractical on a gamepad. Everything is just a lot slower and stationary. Even the jump pads feel slow.

Getting beyond the issue of speed, the gameplay seems to revolve around getting the drop on opponents, exploiting the advantages of your weapons (mainly using them at their most effective distances), and controlling the power-ups. So it's not utterly unlike past arena shooters, just a lot slower and consolized.

The loadouts are a bit limiting. I already miss the variety and depth that comes from having a whole arsenal of weapons to select from, using them as the situation changes. DOOM is more basic, as you only cycle through two. But given that this is designed with console gamepads in mind, what else could they do?

I do like the weapons. They are pleasingly designed and the static cannon is a nice idea. Despite appearances, I found the plasma rifle actually satisfying to use. It makes a nice thunk sound when it connects with an opponent.

The Demon Runes are fun too. Facing the Revenant is actually terrifying and I'm curious to see how other demon's might come into play.

In a nutshell. If you want to know what DOOM multiplayer is, imagine Quake Live redesigned for gamepads and a more casual market, add some twists and a little modern sensibility, and you've got it. It's fairly easy to get going and kill opponents, and due to the apparent lack of "physics exploits," the skill gap between novice and expert is significantly reduced.

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Are you allowed to discuss the Doom Alpha? I thought there was some sort of terms of conditions behind it.

Regardless I like what you had to report. I don't cling onto old fashion Arena combat, far too much spastic speed strafing and jumping.

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