Adding DLC to one of the most robust, comprehensive games released this year might seem like nothing more than a cash grab, but is Doom’s first expansion – “Unto the Evil” – offering enough to keep hardened marines hell-bound?
“Unto the Evil” comes with a sorely underwhelming prospectus: three new maps, one new gun, one new piece of equipment and taunts – because ad hominem attacks via headsets are so 2000-late… And free… As worrying a trend as this is, players looking for more ways to be as humble as possible on the podium are out of luck, since “Unto the Evil” is fit to burst with new dances and poses, each designed to be as hilarious as the last. The taunts seemingly make up the majority of the new content in this DLC, with should immediately set off any alarm bells your common sense has set up in the wake of the Destiny debacle.
DOOM Unto The Evil DLC: Xbox One [Reviewed], PC, PlayStation 4
Developer: id Software
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: 5 August 2016
Price: £11.99 [Disclosure: Game Copy Provided by Publisher]
Furthermore, the veritable style boutique that is Doom’s character customisation has received further additions with “Unto the Evil”, as the DLC includes a whole new armour set known as robotic armour. With multiple pieces available for each appendage, you may be overwhelmed by the choices on offer, especially since the arsenal of armour options available in Doom’s already extensive wardrobe allow you to feel genuinely unique beside your fellow marines’. “Unto the Evil” is packed with superficial, cosmetic options – from even more colours in the form of obnoxious pearlescent variants, to even more patterns for your armour and guns.
Turning each and every menacing, demon-dispatching death tool into a ‘Barbie’s first licenced firearm’ fashion accessory, these sickly-sweet colours will be sure to stand out against the death and destruction in only the most fabulous way possible! These pearlescent colours can be splashed onto your avatar as well, ensuring he’s peacocking harder than a pick-up artist with an Olympic Games opening show erupting from his arse. The wealth of superficiality is borderline offensive considering the asking price and the amount of qualitative items you get for it. For around the same price, the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 DLC is superior value for money, with more maps and a dedicated zombies experience with every map pack. So you don’t get a poxy dance move, and maybe you don’t get a fancy new shade of purple for your gun, but who cares? No one is playing Doom and wishing it was Nintendo Presents: New Demon-slayer Style Boutique. These cosmetic options, already in abundance with the base Doom experience, pad out this underwhelming DLC. If I wanted to pay for emotes, I’d have bought Destiny, and if I straight up wanted to get ripped off, I’d have bought Overwatch.
About 75% of Doom’s maps are virtually indistinguishable from one another, so seeing the new map “Offering” was somewhat disheartening. More lava, more red, more red lava, more lava that is red: this map did little to pacify my theoretical buyer’s remorse. While the aesthetic resemblance to the initial Hell section of the Doom campaign was much appreciated, “Offering” was about as much fun to play as any of the standard maps, and as visually disparate as a metalhead at a Rammstein gig. “Ritual” is the black sheep of the map roster, presenting players with crisp whites and snow-speckled surfaces – a welcome change of visual pace from the heat-haze infested maps of Doom.
Again, this map is no tremendous change to the multiplayer, with varied vantage points, flashpoints and a healthy awareness of the vertical dimension present in Doom’s combat, but the sheer level of not-lavaness was enough to make me purr like a demonic pussy cat while I explored “Ritual”. “Cataclysm” is the third map in the DLC, and integrates teleportation into the experience, with warp points scattered throughout the map. While playing objective-based modes such as CTF, I found these portals to be indispensable elements of the map, changing the way these capture modes were played. “Cataclysm” is absolutely worth some money, but certainly does not justify the “Unto the Evil” asking price. A fun map with aesthetic and strategic value, “Cataclysm” might just be the best part of this initial DLC.
As if writing about such a minuscule DLC wasn’t hard enough, now I have to tell you about the single gun in the expansion, as well as the one new item you get to play with. In keeping with the old adage ‘shoot first, ask questions later’, let’s start with the gun, shall we? The new handgun – the EMG mark V – is ill-suited to combat the apparent Rocket launcher meta-game that has planted its feet firmly under the table that is Doom’s multiplayer. A semi-automatic pistol, the EMG is the definition of a follow-up firearm: this gun will get you nowhere – and expediently so – should you choose to use it as your primary means of greeting other players. Instead, the weapon seems better suited to a complementary role, with its charge shot dealing sizable damage, allowing you to follow up with you primary weapon. I personally enjoyed hitting a target with the charged shot, then rapidly attacking with the Burst Rifle.
This approach was a measured one, and my marksmanship and almost game-defying patience was rewarded with kills. Using the EMG alongside faster-firing weapons seems almost pointless, though, since most guns in the game can outpace the poor lil’ pistol, and those that cannot outpace it make up for their sluggishness with sheer brutality. Definitely, a marksman’s pistol – this assessment further justified by the fact that the secondary fire slows the player down and forces them to aim with the weapon – a keen trigger finger and precision will leave you feeling like quite the quick-draw-kid!
The new item – the “Kinetic Mine” – is an odd addition to Doom, insofar that it is a reactionary weapon. Perfect for surprising unsuspecting marines, the kinetic mine will lay in wait until an enemy enters its proximity. Then, like something from a David Attenborough oceanic documentary, it will spring to life, glide towards its target and explode, potentially killing with one hit. With an ample blast radius and a lethal propensity for massive damage at immediate range, placement of the mine is key since it can be easily evaded by nimble players and its deployment is stifled by a painfully small throwing arc. An option to disarm the mine and pick it back up would have been nice, since once it is cast onto the ground it’s rather useless until aforementioned marine comes along. The ability to manually re-acquire the device would have given it an added tactical dimension and, quite frankly, justified its £12 price tag – if a Doom Marine wants something killed in this game, he ain’t gonna wait for a mine to kill it for him, especially if that mine has an excruciatingly delayed fuse. Certainly, a valuable defensive weapon – and most potent in objective-based game modes – the kinetic mine suggests a more measured and slowed down approach to the twitch-reaction gameplay that Doom is loved for.
Adding to the sorely lacklustre offering that is “Unto the Evil”, the poster gal for the new DLC – the ‘Harvester’ demon – is a joy to command. Quintessentially the Lightning Gun in demonic form, the Harvester casts streams of demonic energy toward it’s foes, sapping them of their health. Once the demon’s cup runneth over and it has absorbed enough energy, it can unleash a special attack that sees it summon orbs of argent energy that are thrown in an arc in front of the player: imagine a Warlock’s Nova Bomb attack from Destiny… just with less space wizard and more demonic aberration.
Ultimately, we all know Doom is a brilliant game (and if you don’t, I recommend you check out the fantastic review of Doom on this site) and well worth the price of admission. The problem with this first DLC is that the base game is so jam-packed with content, a single gun, explosive and three maps just seem to get lost in the cascade of content that came with the game. If there were some campaign DLC, then this would be a review of a different colour, and Doom has plenty of that already within the customisation, but sadly id and Bethesda have missed the mark with their first downloadable offering. The absence of campaign DLC is a crime in and of itself, with the main draw of DOOM clearly being its stellar single-player mode. This oversight regarding the fundamental strength of the Doom package may lead many to wonder what on earth id was thinking in offering up such a meagre expansion in the first place. Completely neglecting the single finest element of the game, the lack of campaign development, mixed with the insulting level of pointless, superficial padding, makes “Unto the Evil” virtually un-recommendable as DLC.
DOOM Unto The Evil DLC
- Plenty of cosmetic additions
- "Cataclysm" compliments the objective game modes nicely
- New weapons add different play-style to proceedings
- Not worth the £12 asking price
- Too many superficial additions, not enough quality content
- NO CAMPAIGN ADDITIONS!?
- Only three maps, with one of them really standing out
- New weapons struggle to stand out from the already superb arsenal on offer