Because they added Hell Modules. Geddit? Because... “Hell of a lot better.” “Hell modules.”
Oh, God, I’m horrible.
If you’re still playing Doom in the wake of Overwatch (or really, playing anything in the wake of Overwatch is a little bit of a stretch) then you’d know that recently, id added a whole slew of free content to SnapMap users. 12 GBs, to be exact. This is a particularly big deal for me as a Doom fan, as if you’ve read my review you’d know I love the game but found SnapMap to be very disappointing. While the update didn’t necessarily take back the mode to the drawing board, the new improvements are nothing short of great, and I can safely say that SnapMap is finally as good as it should have been at launch.
Most prominently is the inclusion of the new level modules. You know. The ones mentioned in the opening of the post. There’s not that many in comparison to the UAC levels, but they’re great fun and very open and spacious. Kind of the antithesis of hell, really, but whatever. They’re brimming with detail, and several users are already mixing and matching them with the UAC modules in creative (or in my case, weird) ways.
The other major feature to make it into the update was one that had absolutely no excuse not being there in the beginning: The ability to carry all your weapons. Technically, since SnapMap had 15 weapons where Doom’s singleplayer had less, they sort of did have an excuse, but it was an issue they fixed effortlessly: they merely added a second weapon wheel for the other guns. And it works great. By pressing the Grenade toss key, you get to switch between two different weapon wheels. I’m not entirely sure in what way they’re sorted, but presumably one features all the guns of the single player and one of the multiplayer. It goes a long way to making the mode overall more fun and really feel like an actual Doom game much like its single player component, rather than some cheap Halo knockoff it was criticized of being from the start. Regrettably, it’s not a default option, so the ability to allow all weapons to be carried might actually slip past some people’s notice. Still, at least it’s there and it works.
They also brought back this guy:
Mmm... Rip and tear.
In case you can’t tell from the blood and guts, yes, that’s a Chainsaw.
The most important new feature, bar none, is that now SnapMap has a much needed “server browser.” I always maintained that matchmaking is a non-functioning system that takes manual control away from the player and automatically causes their experience to falter, and the new ability to manually select active game lobbies is evident of that. Previously, Doom’s SnapMap was difficult to find a match in when there were 30,000 players (you’d always end up with someone hosting while being AFK and rematched to them each time, or never find a map you’re interested in playing). Now it only takes about a couple minutes with less than 2000 online (it would probably be faster; the problem is largely in part to no drop-in multiplayer).
Of course, the update isn’t perfect. SnapMap will never replace the versatility of mods or allow for more complex level designs no matter how many modules it adds. But at least SnapMap is finally as good as it should have been at launch, and hopefully gets better from here.