I said, in my review of Doom, that the multiplayer was an addictive take on a familiar formula. And though it was totally playable, it wasn’t Doom’s best feature. And a number of other reviewers agreed. However, since I published that review, I’ve been playing Doom’s multiplayer more than I’ve ever played a multiplayer mode before. And I’ve grown to suspect that the aforementioned problems stemmed from the design of the vanilla maps – which left a lot to be desired. The pacing and combat of the multiplayer modes featured the same sort of frantic carnage that we saw in the campaign. However, of the original maps, only one or two were decent – and all were far from good.
Unto the Evil attempts to remedy this problem by supplying players with three new maps, two new weapons, a new playable demon and more hack-modules, dances and emotes than one would ever need – let alone want. However, the only consequential feature of the DLC is the maps. Even the worst of the new maps is an immense improvement on those supplied by the base game. And in this regard Unto the Evil is a must buy. I’ll admit that I quickly grew bored with Doom’s vanilla maps, but the release of the Unto the Evil DLC brought about my total immersion into a realm of online murder.
The best of the maps, Cataclysm, ties together a number of unique locations. It’s an expansive constellation of technical installations, hellscapes and sprawling cave systems. Unto itself, the map has an interesting tale to tell. But more than that, it provides Doom’s multiplayer with a much-needed injection of fun. Another map, Ritual, throws players into an ice-wasteland. The map’s intuitive design gives more-versatile players the opportunity to take advantage of Doomguy’s mobility. Even the worst map, Offering, is head-and-shoulders above the original maps. It can definitely host a fun match, however, it’s not quite as adventurous as its siblings.
The Harvester, the new playable demon, spices up gameplay as well. Like all demons, it’s essentially just an express ticket to a kill streak. But it’s nice to have something new that functions well because the rest of the Unto the Evil package isn’t too special. The kinetic mine, when dropped, can track unwary enemies that rush past it. It does provide some admittedly, bad mannered fun – you can stick it behind pick-ups, or throw it high up or into crevices to trap unwitting enemies. The premise is interesting. But once you’re familiar with the maps, the kinetic mine is better replaced by other equipment. The same can be said for the UAC EMV pistol. Except that this weapon doesn’t possess any initial sense of intrigue or fun. It’s underpowered and hard to aim. After the trial run, I never used this gun again.
All in all, it should be said that Unto the Evil is great. It’s nothing that we haven’t seen before in Doom, but at the same time, it’s a massive improvement. It adds variety to an already exhilarating game mode and refreshes one of this year’s top games – and possibly one of the best shooters of all time.