Doom isn’t just a ferociously good FPS. It’s an intricate, deeply intelligent showcase of the genre’s very nature. Examining, exploring, and constantly escalating and reworking what the first-person shooter is on its most fundamental level, it delivers the most organic, affecting, potent and pure expression of it in years. At every moment, Doom feels alive, its fast, flowing, utterly freeform combat an ever-changing, omnidirectional frenzy made out of nuanced, intimate interactions.
Fighting in Doom is an ecosystem, every thoughtfully crafted demon, weapon, decision, and movement changing and reshaping the action profoundly. You’ll never be less than screamingly, air-punchingly exhilarated in the moment, but when the dust and entrails settle, you’ll be struck by how smart and insightfully considered it all is, how immaculately paced and fearlessly evolved, hour by hour. The campaign alone is a vital experience in both senses of the word, but beyond that there’s the spectacular and strategically layered multiplayer as well. And then there’s Doom’s glorious parting shot, SnapMap, a set of user-generated content tools that are as close to drag-and-drop game design as a suite of their power and versatility is likely to get. Even after you’ve rinsed out its immensely replayable, secret-packed campaign, Doom will have plenty to give you for a long, long time to come.