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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' Bloodfall DLC

by Brian Dumlao on Dec. 19, 2016 @ 12:00 a.m. PST

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

Buy Doom

Bloodfall is the final piece of DLC for Doom, at least as far as the Season Pass goes. For fans of the game's single-player, the hope is that this will finally give the team an opportunity to expand on the Campaign beyond the free updates did. For the multiplayer fans, the DLC adds loads more content to the game beyond the usual maps. The question is whether this marks the perfect swan song for this season's content.

The hack modules are pretty basic this time around. Most of the ones introduced here simply up the max value gained from health and armor pick-ups. They aren't particularly flashy, but they'll give you a bit of an edge if you're good about reaching the pick-ups quickly. The Glory Sight hack is the only offensive one in the DLC, and it's really useful if you use glory kills often, since it increases the range where you can perform them. It makes sense to combine this with the Lateral Thrusters, which let you boost in any direction over long distances and also let you do a triple-jump at any time. The extra mobility won't match something like Titanfall or the more recent Call of Duty titles, but when combined with the title's fast pace, it can make a rush at an enemy or an escape rather instantaneous.

The new weapon is a grenade launcher, and if you're familiar with how it worked in the Quake series, then you'll be very comfortable with how this behaves. The explosive power doesn't match something like the rocket launcher, but it makes up for that with the ability to arc shots and hit them at angles. The firing rate is also slow enough that you can't spam the area with grenades, so shots need to be chosen carefully. It works fine, but the secondary shot that produces a smoke grenade is only worthwhile if you're using it in congested hallways. In practice, it doesn't seem like much of a deterrent, so don't be surprised if you never use it.

The Spectre is your new demon in the pack, and compared to the other demons, he's pretty tame. He has an invisibility power, but the shimmer means he isn't completely out of sight for those with keen eyes. His claw swipe attacks hit hard, and his stampeding gore is satisfying since it always ends with a glory kill. However, that move is also his weakness, since he needs some runway to make it very effective, and ample room is not featured in all of the maps.

As usual, you have three maps in this pack, and each one stands out due to a number of distinct traits. Empyrian is the least demonic and the least sci-fi themed of the maps, but there's a great sense of verticality that culminates into a boost jump at the top, which leads to some high-powered weaponry. Outbreak is a standard facility with decently sized rooms and hallways connecting them all together. The theme makes it stand out more, as several sectors go from pristine to being taken over by demonic decorations, like flesh-covered walls and waterfalls of blood. Finally, Boneyard feels like you're fighting on a living monster, as the environment is filled with bones and flesh. Despite that vibe, the map is for those who seek lots of mobility, as there are loads of jumps and boosters everywhere as well as a few warps to immediately take you to different sections.

The final addition is in the form of more customization options. The colors follow more pastel tones, ranging from matte to metallic varieties, while the patterns aren't really noteworthy. The new costume pieces are running with a cultist theme, and while it doesn't top the cyberdemon theme from the prior DLC pack, it still looks awesome. Most of the helmets will make you look like a Galactus reject, but the other pieces look like metallic versions of dress from centuries ago, with a few of sporting runes as accents. They look good enough that quite a number of online players are wearing them.

Despite the criticisms both the press (this writer included) and those in the online community have had about the multiplayer segment of Doom, it has been quite active thanks to some improvements made since the game's initial release. Everyone can play any DLC map provided one person in the room already owns it, and the playlists are reduced so things aren't so fragmented. Until recently, it was very easy to find a match going, and that's something that can't be said for most multiplayer titles. It is slowing down now due to some very big releases over the last few months, but even though it took a bit longer to find a game, the community is still there. Those who've been out of the loop for some time or those who haven't even gotten caught up in the multiplayer can still jump in and do well enough in their first outing. That alone speaks volumes.

Taken alone, the Bloodfall DLC is right up there with Hell Followed in terms of being solid offerings for the 2016 incarnation of Doom. The armor looks nice, the modules are very useful, the weapons and gear are powerful and fun to use, and the maps are all well designed. The Spectre isn't as tricky to fight against compared to the other demonic transformations, but his brute strength still comes through in a pinch. It marks a good end to the Season Pass, which has proven its worth for those who are still playing the game.

Score: 7.5/10

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