Unto the Evil:
Multiplayer was the part of 2016’s Doom that most critics agreed was the weakest element. Does the first DLC pack, Unto the Evil, fix any of the flaws?
Unto the Evil is certainly not poor value. You get 3 new maps, 1 new weapon (the UAC EMV pistol), which is pretty punchy but quite dull in comparison to many of the standard weapons in the arsenal, and 1 new equipment piece (the Kinetic mine). This is basically a proximity mine, and works nicely, fast becoming a favourite of mine.
Rounding out the gameplay enhancements, players will find plenty of new hack modules, and a new demon, the Harvester. Fairly weak, but quick, he has a long range lightning attack, along with a seriously powerful secondary, that can pulverise multiple opponents grouped closely together. He’s pretty weak compared to the base demons, but I think that’s well balanced given the devastating secondary attack. On top of this, there’s new customisation options, with a ‘robotic’ armour set, new colours and patterns to pick from, and a ton of new taunts.
However, the lack of more meaningful content (why don’t the weapons transfer over to the campaign, for example?) does make the DLC interesting to only a small proportion of the player base.
Unto the Evil is pretty much the way to play Doom online right now – certainly in terms of server population it’s the easiest way to find a match. Matchmaking remains simple and quick. None of the weapons or the Harvester demon unbalance things (good), but the new achievements do ensure you probably see more of the new kit than you would ideally (bad).
Doom still looks amazing, and sounds even better with the right 5.1 kit. But what’s a little disappointing is the art style of the new maps. Cataclysm, which feels like the largest, is a mish-mash of different styles, like the unholy spawn of a futuristic space base and elements of the Hell levels from the campaign. Ritual misses a trick – the background is a nice, frozen wasteland, but the actual play area is a pretty generic space base – there’s nice verticality, but having reduced visibility or traction due to the snow in the outdoor areas would have made it far more exciting.
Unto the Evil is solid, unspectacular multiplayer DLC of the kind that is nowadays mostly becoming free again. At least the option to host parties on the new maps as long as one of you owns them is a step forwards, but increasingly, paying £12 for 3 maps, 2 weapons and some customisation options feels a little steep, especially when there aren’t more substantive changes to the multiplayer.
Fingers crossed for more SnapMap or Campaign content in the next packs.