The end of 2016 is in sight, and it’s time to look back at all the games we’ve played, digging up the biggest surprises and absolute best experiences. Starting today, we’re running down our 10 favorite games of 2016. That begins with Bethesda Softworks and id Software’s DOOM. Rather than trying to assign some arbitrary reasoning why DOOM is better or worse than some other game, we’re going to run through the list in alphabetical order, offering up a new pick each day.
Let’s go to Hell.
A Legacy Untarnished
DOOM should’ve been a footnote; another dead franchise that should’ve stayed dead. It should’ve been forgettable. Instead, DOOM is showing us and all the comparatively younger shooter games how it’s really done. Bethesda and id Software have taken all the hallmarks of the series and brought them into the present day, leaving the rose-colored glasses behind in the process.
The result is a finely crafted single player shooter that offers some of the most fluid and replayable gameplay in years. From moment to moment, playing DOOM is satisfying regardless of what might be happening with the sparse story, with achievements and trophies, or with the game’s multiplayer mode. Playing it feels good, and mastering it feels even better. It’s brutal, fast, and it’s not afraid to crank the difficulty up and really challenge experienced players.
On top of that, though, it’s also self-aware. It builds intelligently on ideas of the past DOOM games, suggesting that the character you play is part of some kind of on-going cycle of Hell-raising marines. Meanwhile, the hellish imagery and heavy metal soundtrack are just serious enough to keep you in the game while still remembering that, ultimately, the concept of a space marine going into literal Hell to take on demons is a silly one. Instead of laughing at it, though, we’re all in on the joke together.
While the multiplayer didn’t start out quite as memorable as the single player, Bethesda has continued to support it well, adding a bevy of new modes and content to both the multiplayer and SnapMap map building mode through multiple gigantic patches.
Somehow, against all odds, we got the DOOM game we wanted, and it’s some of the most fun I had playing games all year long.