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Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action
Publisher: Bethesda
Developer: id Software
Release Date: May 13, 2016

About Brian Dumlao

After spending several years doing QA for games, I took the next logical step: critiquing them. Even though the Xbox One is my preferred weapon of choice, I'll play and review just about any game from any genre on any system.


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Xbox One Review - 'Doom' Hell Followed DLC

by Brian Dumlao on Nov. 1, 2016 @ 2:00 a.m. PDT

DOOM returns as a brutally fun and challenging modern-day shooter experience.

Buy Doom

Hell Followed is the second batch of DLC for the 2016 release of Doom, one of the year's early hits. Much like the first batch released a few months ago, this is strictly for multiplayer fans, so there's nothing for solo players to sink their teeth into. Just like that first batch of DLC, Hell Followed offers a number of new things in various areas, making it a pretty well-rounded offering if you have the chance to experience it all.

The demon you get to possess this time around is the iconic Cacodemon. The monstrous one-eyed sphere still retains the traits it is famous for, namely its slow movement despite elevated status and the deadly plasma balls it fires off at a measured pace. It has a decent lifespan, and players will naturally flock to it because of its history within the series. However, it is the melee attack that will make it a favorite among players as it is essentially a one-hit kill with pretty good range. It is balanced by being slow, so you can't snap your tongue rapidly to spam the area for a guaranteed kill, but it is an awesome attack, and it's pretty gnarly to see yourself munch on enemies.

In honor of the Cacodemon's arrival, you now have various cyberdemon armor to choose from. The designs are much better than what the game originally came with since the various horns, spikes, and decaying flesh and bone make you stand out compared to the other armor designs. During gameplay, we saw a number of players sporting exposed ribcages and skulls with scanners over them, so the community has already taken a liking to them. Like before, the designs are fine but pretty tough to tell apart when placed on weapons, and while the colors look OK, they're not too different from the prior colors.

Unlike the Unto the Evil DLC pack, the weapons and perks in Hell Followed are all useful. Two of the hack modules are about replenishing meters, as you either get regenerative armor for a limited time if you stay out of combat or get health for every kill you make. The other hack module, Savagery, simply lets you speed up your glory kill animation, which mostly proves useful if you want to take out multiple people close to one another but you're going solo. For equipment, you have the Threat Pulse, which is more of a sanctioned wall hack in that you can see the positions of enemies covered by other objects. Considering it has a very small range and limited activation time, it doesn't come off as an overpowered tool.

The game's big new weapon is the Reaper, multiplayer's first demonic weapon. It looks absolutely wicked thanks to the skull encased in ember that is placed at the top of the weapon, and the clawed fingers seem to move independently when the gun isn't being used. Its normal fire is like that of an assault rifle, as you shoot six bullets at a time with decent damage but no recoil, leading to more precise shots. The alt fire is a charged shot, which as expected, is more powerful at full charge, but it means that you tend to move a bit slower while you're holding down the trigger. The fact that you have to recharge the shot if you clamber up floors means that it's only useful if you plan on staying horizontal for a while. Still, the weapon plays well enough that you'll likely keep it in rotation for some time.

Finally, you have the maps, and all of them are a blast to play. Molten feels much like the map Infernal mixed with Heatwave, as you get the industrial sections mixed with heavy lava flow from all sides. The heavy orange use fits in well with the game's theme, but it doesn't do much else to stand out. Argent Breach, on the other hand, feels like something of a throwback with its gloomy colors and gothic imagery. There are some great open bridges with shortcuts (if you're good at leaping) and a few areas that make for great mini-arenas with pillars to provide some natural cover.

Of the three maps, it is Orbital that will get the most play. It is a more vertical map than everything else in rotation, and while it is still pretty spacious horizontally, the equally spacious vertical area makes it feel different. What makes it distinct, however, is the different levels of gravity at play. Interior areas feel normal, but go outside, and you can take majestic long leaps. There's no other way to describe it than it just feels good, and the muffling of the sound the closer you get to the outside really adds to that space combat vibe. The only drawback is that this is the only multiplayer stage where the frame rate is halved, so the normally fast and smooth gameplay can feel sluggish in this map.

The only issue you'll have with this pack is the same one experienced with the previous DLC pack. There are few people who are actively searching for games in the specific DLC playlist. The freshness of this pack is certainly more appealing than what came before, but considering how multiplayer isn't the game's strongest suit, you can expect this playlist to be pretty empty most of the time.

The Hell Followed DLC pack is certainly a worthy addition for those still playing multiplayer in Doom. The maps are tons of fun to play in, especially Orbital because of the gravity changes. The Reaper to the Threat Pulse and the three different hack modules feel much more useful than what was offered before, and the new armor looks absolutely excellent. This is certainly the best pack thus far and worth picking up.

Score: 7.5/10

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