QuakeCon 2015 (opens in new tab) is hosting hands-on multiplayer sessions with Doom, and GR+'s David Houghton was one of the very first to get his frag on. His excitement is hyping up the rest of my inbox while I write this, so I'll let him take it from here, with just one note: if you have any interest in playing as a superpowered skele-demon with a rocket launcher, make sure you read to the end.
1. It strips competitive FPS back to the basics. No cover, no complex interactions, no run toggle, just sprinting, double-jumping, shooting and deliciously brutal melee kills. Every player gets one special item (so far I've seen a frag grenade and a personal teleported), but that's as complex as it gets.
2. Holy hell, is it fast. There's no run button because you don't need one. Push forward, and you're off, and you're not going to slow down until you die. Charging in, pedaling back, strafing, it's all as quick as lighting, and immensely gratifying with it. This is a game of aggressive, second-to-second strategy, not camping and cowering.
3. Multiplayer uses load-outs, each comprising two guns (completely free choice at the moment; I went with the Super Shotgun and the Plasma Rifle), and a special item, but you can change your set-up every time you respawn.
4. It's tight, tactical, brutal 6v6 combat. For all the harrowing feedback on the guns (that shotgun will be ringing in my ears for days), Doomguys do not go down easily. This leads to a whole load of brilliant cat-and-mouse action, cool, exhilarating, emergent set-pieces exploding off on a second-to-second basis.
5. The maps are deceptively intricate, with a load of vertical scope. Every corner seems to have a raft of vantage points and in-routes if you get creative with your jumping, climbing, and sneaky use of architecture. Enemy player pinning your team down on a gantry? No problem. Just pull away to the side, double-jump up to a steam pipe, and leap over that gap to the side of him, shotgun at the ready.
6. It's all about health and armour pick-ups. No regen. Because this is Doom.
7. The Revenant power-up is sickeningly powerful. Every so often, a pentagram will drop onto the map, with an on-screen indicator leading all players to it. Once the resulting scuffle is over, one player will turn into Doom's flying, skeletal rocket-merchant, and wreak absolute havoc. At this point the entire focus shifts, the Revenant effectively becoming a hero unit, capable of dropping immense damage incredibly quickly. It takes a real coordinated effort to take it down, and if the rest of the enemy team is smart, they'll be using that distraction to their advantage.
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