If you take a look at the latest gaming trends, especially in regards to multiplayer in shooters, you may notice that there’s just so many more variables that you have to keep track of when you’re in a match. For example, Halo’s multiplayer used to be fairly simplistic: you spawn, you find some guns or vehicles around the map, and then you walk around until you get killed. Now you have abilities like ground pounding, sprinting, boosting; the sheer number of new movement options alone is enough to make it clear that Halo 5 has a much higher barrier to performing well than something like Halo 2. Similarly, Call of Duty used to be just a bunch of guys running around the map with rifles and such, but now you have perks and killstreaks and all manners of double jumping.
Unfortunately, even though such mechanics do allow for some incredibly creative approaches to shooting your fellow humans in the face, it can lead to a sense of fatigue when every game is trying to emulate the same sense of drastically outmaneuvering your opponents via speed or abilities. After all, if you were watching ballets for weeks on end, chances are that you too would desire something more basic and brutish like football.
That’s where id Software’s upcoming Doom (expected to release on May 13) breaks the current mold, not by being another game where you have to do a dance of death every time you go into a multiplayer match, but rather by regressing to older, relatively simpler mechanics. For crying out loud, the only way you can regenerate health is by picking up health packs, and there’s at least two buttons that don’t even do anything; a stark change compared to other modern games where every button has some kind of useful function.
At first, this might seem like an off putting oddity, but this return to the basics is actually the freshest change to multiplayer in years. All you have to be good at is walking, pointing your gun at someone, and shooting, that’s it. There’s no need to memorize things like recoil patterns, reload speeds (because you can’t reload at all), the best perks, or anything of that sort. Would it help to remember where the armor and health spawns are on the map? Sure, but the maps are so small and the health respawns so quickly that it is almost impossible to not run into a health pack by just moving around the map.
The best part is that this leads to a more fair skill gap between all kinds of players. Whether you’re going 20-0 every match or pulling a 0.5 KD ratio, the fact remains that the major factor in performing well is whether or not you can aim and shoot. Granted, a skilled player might think of doing things like throwing grenades at their feet so that pursuing enemies are caught in the explosion, or they might be able to instinctively recognize the effective range of the double barrel shotgun, but the point still stands that Doom is almost entirely based on how well you can do one thing.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean that Doom is something that you must run out and buy right now. Maybe you like min-maxing your stats or becoming an expert at things that no casual player would even think of looking up, and that’s entirely fine. But if you’re looking for a game where the fun comes entirely from running up to someone and turning them into a bloody mess without having to worry about whether or not they have some gun that you can only get by playing the game for 10 hours a day, Doom might be worth looking into.More About This Game