Overwatch vs Doom
May has been a good month when it comes to fun video game experiences. It may actually be the best month of 2016 thus far when you stop to look at it. While that is definitely an exciting thing to hear, it does mean that there are tough choices to be made. With so many great games releasing, it’s impossible for some fans to have them all.
Two of the big games released this month are action-packed first-person shooters, Overwatch and Doom. Both have powerful, futuristic weapons, as well as intense battles. They’re both well received, sitting on positive averages on Metacritic (Overwatch at 94 and Doom in the high eighties).
But critical reviews are just one element in a sea of factors. With both getting predominantly positive reviews, you may want to look at what else they bring to the table before making your decision. Let us help you with that.
The stories of Overwatch and Doom are very different. Overwatch has a sort of Terminator vibe with machines rising to take over the world. What follows is the formation of a force strong enough to crush the uprising and protect the world from danger. As with all things that grow in power too quickly, however, the organization starts to face trouble and crumbles. After some time, a new threat has arisen and the Overwatch is raised from the ashes, that’s where the game kicks off and your battles begin (more details on the story here).
Doom is quite literally on a whole other planet. Set on Mars, players have to push back the forces of hell before they spread throughout the galaxy. Instead of fighting against other heroes like yourself, you’re filling the faces of flaming demons and huge monsters with lead and rockets. There is a bigger focus on the occult and you being a lone soldier facing off against nightmares.
Delivery of the story is also pretty different. Doom has an actual campaign that takes players through mission while delivering its plot. You’ll work your way through mars, uncovering the secrets behind Hell’s portal. Overwatch, on the other hand, uses some really fun videos online and character descriptions on the official site.
Both put action at the forefront in their stories, though. So neither is a case of one slowing you down in the middle of the fun. There is a narrative there in each game for those who are into that, but it’s never at the expense of action.
Multiplayer is where Overwatch shines, mainly because that’s all it has to offer. Blizzard’s class-based FPS is all about working with teams to move on objectives and seize victory for your team. But there’s something special about how Overwatch gets it done. Much like Team Fortress 2, fun is the major focus of each match. Winning can be cool, but it’s hard not to enjoy yourself while using one of the 21 completely unique heroes in the game, and pulling off some insanely sick plays overshadows any loss.
There is also a huge metagame at play in Overwatch, calling for strategy and skill that goes far beyond just placement and getting to a power weapon first. What Overwatch lacks in a campaign it makes up for in some extraordinarily deep multiplayer action.
Doom also has multiplayer, and while it is very fun, it is much simpler than that of Blizzard’s latest FPS. For the sake of argument, the easiest game to compare Doom to is Halo when it comes to its PvP offerings. Fast paced action that includes team deathmatch and a few objective based modes make use of the mechanics learned in the campaign. Everyone is relatively the same, save for a few loadout options, providing a more controlled multiplayer experience. One thing Doom has that Overwatch does not is map creation. Players are able to create maps using an easy to use editor then share them with others for a bit more variety.
While neither game is exactly “realistic,” Doom is definitely the more maturely designed of the two. To be clear, by mature we mean more blood and gore. You’ll blast off the heads of demons, snap the necks of other players, and tear enemies limb from limb. It’s over-the-top gore at its finest. For some, gore isn’t exactly their cup of tea, and if that’s the case, you’ll want to give Doom a wide berth. It holds nothing back as blood spills across the floor and splashes onto your screen. In terms of multiplayer, everything looks relatively the same. This isn’t to say that Bethesda was lazy in designing the game, but it does have a very specific setting and plot that everything fits into. Lots of hellish design, fire, and darkness await any interested in the game. Oh, and space marines, because you can never have too many space marines.
Overwatch is a lot brighter and more “fun.” There’s a cartoonish vibrancy to the whole experience as each hero races about the screen causing unique effects with their weapons and abilities. Locales serve as caricatures of their real-world counterparts, providing designs that sometimes appear as if they were ripped straight out of a Wile E. Coyote episode. The style extends to each character as their costumes, sizes, weapons, and skills bring a sort of outlandish presence to the screen. Lack of gore makes the palate a lot cleaner too, and shifts the focus away from the violence and more towards the fun.
At point of entry both Overwatch and Doom cost $60, unless you’re playing on PC, which means you can get in on Blizzard’s latest for a cool $40. So for those looking to get into either, upfront cost isn’t much of a factor when it comes to swaying a purchase. Things change when you look beyond launch content, though.
Blizzard plans on introducing new maps, modes, and heroes to Overwatch for the foreseeable future as they work to support this new property. That means the decent amount of content available right now will expand. The best part? All future content will be free. The only thing that costs any more money are vanity packs which you can also unlock in game without spending a dime. That means what you pay to pick it up $60/$40 is all you need to buy your way into everything coming down the line.
Doom purchasers aren’t so lucky. There is a season pass that costs $40 and will bring three multiplayer focused packs. That brings the total cost to a whopping $100 for those who want every single piece of content. If you’re the type who looks forward to new things to do in your game, this can potentially be a pricey deal-breaker.
So Which do You Get?
As with all things, it all comes down to preference when looking at Overwatch and Doom. If a single-player campaign is an absolute necessity, then your choice is made for you. Only Doom has that option. But, if you’re looking for a deeper PvP experience, the large variety of playable heroes in Overwatch may be more to your liking.
Style can be a much bigger deal for those with children or who themselves are a bit squeamish. Each game stands out quite clearly among the crowd of shooters out there right now, so picking which one makes you feel more comfortable isn’t as difficult as say… choosing between Overwatch and Battleborn. Price may fit into that comfort as well, with one offering all costs up front for everything, and another locking expansions behind a paywall.
When all is said and done, the one that appeals to you most will be the victor, or you may just say ‘why not?’ and buy them both. They’re both plenty of fun, so I definitely wouldn’t advise against it.