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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Doom is a violent and bloody sci-fi shooting game played from the first-person perspective. Using a variety of guns, a chainsaw, and even your fists, you spend the entire game killing an army of demonic creatures straight out of your nightmares. Creatures are not only blown apart, they're also torn apart by the hero. There's a steady stream of blood and gore, as well as lots of satanic imagery. Such curse words as "f--k" and "s--t" are uttered by different characters. Our hero is also oddly abusive and needlessly smacks droids who've just handed him a weapon upgrade.
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What's it about?
When DOOM begins, you find yourself strapped to an operating table, with some demonic creatures coming at you. Breaking free, you kill them and then go into the next room to grab your power armor before heading out. You're on Mars, in a facility that's overrun with creatures, and it's your job not only to clean them out but also to figure out what's causing this infestation in the first place -- oh, and survive. The Switch version of Doom includes the three DLC packs while also adding a new Slayer rating, a new practice mode for beginning players, a rune system that replaces the hack system in multiplayer, and new challenges during battle. It also gives you access to an arcade mode with every stage, so players can focus on their best times and scores on levels they may not have even completed in the story mode.
Is it any good?
By augmenting many of its old-school tenets with new mechanics, the latest installment in this sci-fi first-person shooter series is engaging but could be divisive for its changes to the genre format. And not only because it goes over the top with the gore, violence, and disturbing imagery (you're fighting demons from hell, after all). Eschewing many of the genre's current mechanics, Doom has you picking up health packs and armor pieces, as opposed to waiting for your health and shields to recharge. On the flip side, you can now augment your armor and add special abilities to your weapons. You can also now smack stunned or injured enemies as well, which causes them to drop health packs and ammo.
It also sets the story-driven campaign's firefights in large, multilevel areas, which gives your enemies a chance to attack from all angles at the same time. Even the game's multiplayer modes feel like something we would've played years ago, but with such new touches as the option to pick which guns you'll use ahead of time. Impressively, the Switch port of Doom plays extraordinarily well, even though the system is underpowered compared to the PS4 and Xbox One. Text and some visuals may be a bit harder to see on the small Switch screen if it's not docked with a television, and the Joy-Con controllers aren't as responsive as you would need them to be for a fast-paced shooter. It's definitely recommended that you play this game with the Pro Controller for effective control of your soldier. But, let's face it, the fact that Doom runs this solidly on Switch and can be taken on the go is an overwhelming plus over these minor issues. Now, because the game mixes the old and the new, Doom purists may decry the more modern additions, while new players may lament the old-school aspects. But if you don't mind that they've augmented this series' old-school tenets with new mechanics, you'll find the new Doom to be a fast and frantic shooter.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games. Does this game make you feel any different about violence since you're killing demons and monsters as opposed to humans? How do you feel when you're killing undead people in the game?
Talk about solving problems with violence. Should this be a solution that's left as a last resort? Is it OK to kill monsters to save your own life?
Talk about history. Doom has many elements taken from the original 1993 game, but how do you feel about these old-school mechanics? How have games evolved over the years? Are there any other old games you'd like to see new versions of?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bethesda Softworks
- Release date: November 10, 2017
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.