“Doom Warriors” is a fun action/exploration game developed by Running Pillow. It's dark and demonic in tone, and borrows inspiration from the classic PC shooter, “DOOM”. I had quite a good time playing it, and felt it captured the essence of “DOOM” quite well. While other games have a habit of copying a popular title to cash-in on their success, “Doom Warriors” avoids that stereotype and feels like a proper homage. There's a lot of things it does right, so let's look into the specifics.
The game plays out from a top down perspective. You look at a map of a dungeon, and click on icons to reveal more parts of the map. You're not controlling a character on screen, but you do have a health indicator to manage. Some of these icons are item drops to replenish health, gain ammunition, or better weapons. You also collect runes that can be used to upgrade weapons (more on that later). You'll also encounter colored keys for unlocking doors and accessing additional items. Your objective is to find the stairs to the next level, all while successfully collecting items and defeating enemies. Enemies appear as obstacles you must clear, and often block your path to the exit.
When you engage with enemies, several tiles appear on screen. You have to tap these as quickly as possible, otherwise the enemies will attack you. Often enemies appear in teams of three or more, so you'll find yourself quickly adjusting your grip to get the best tapping position. As you progress through the levels, stronger enemies come into the fold, changing your strategy. New enemies come at the right time, just as you become comfortable with your ability. It's a great way to keep combat refreshing and consistently tense and challenging.
Besides your trusty pistol, there are additional weapons to pick up and utilize. An early weapon is the assault rifle, which deals massive damage. You can switch your weapon as you fight enemies, so deciding which weapons to use at what time becomes a fun strategic twist. Fully exploring levels, killing all the enemies, and collecting all the items help you gain blood vials. Blood vials are the premium currency in the game (don't forget to use our code while it's available!) that allow you to unlock loot boxes as you uncover them. These loot boxes have new weapons and perks. Perks can also be found through exploration. There's a large list of them, and each different perk gives you a buff. Collecting them gives you bonuses like reduced damage, extra health, higher chances of weapon spawns, and more.
The game isn't visually intensive, but that doesn't mean it looks bad. When you're outside of combat, there aren't a lot of moving parts. Combat can be a bit stilted, but is explosive. The entirety of the game has a distinct tone to it. It's metallic and bloody, often mixing grays and reds to its advantage. This overall theme is appreciated, and shows that time was put into presentation. It also runs well, only ever seeing slowdown during heavy combat. The details are crisp, and the art style is well done. Audio is done well too, with some voice sampling to mix up the crunchy electronic score.
Overall, “Doom Warriors” has enough substance to keep me coming back for more. Its decisive tone and general homage to “DOOM” makes it visually engaging, while the perk system keeps it replayable. It's a mixture of exploration and quick input, which balance each other very well. I highly recommend you check out “Doom Warriors”, whether or not you're a fan of action games. The gameplay is simple enough to understand and addictive as possible. I had a blast playing it, and hopefully you will do. It earns an Editors Choice nod from me.
Reviewed by Matt