Doom (2016): Accessibility Review


Doom was and still is a name renowned for its contributions to the shooter genre. With the reboot having a soundtrack composed by the individual behind Killer Instinct Season 1 and 2, I was interested to see just how accessible the game would be given its fast pace and 3d environments.

I'll be covering both the campaign and the multiplayer aspects during this review, though I've had limited experience with the latter.


Multiplayer suffers from a grave accessibility flaw right off the bat: a lack of footsteps. The players, according to what sighted assistance I've had, glide around with great rapidity, meaning that sighted players, not unusually, will have an advantage. However, a lack of footsteps or any sound cues for player movement in multiplayer is a great loss and could be easily rectified by even adding in a loop for friendly players and a different one for enemies that varies in pitch and volume based on height and horizontal proximity.

If I decide to jump into further multiplayer matches or experiences, including SnapMap, I'll be sure to update this section with any related information.


Doom's campaign is, unequivocally, a single player experience. However, that's where Xbox's CoPilot feature comes in. This allows, for those who aren't aware, for the use of two controllers with the resulting output combining into one.

Footsteps are actually present in campaign, though they could certainly do with being louder in the mix. On the subject of said mix though, there are other issues present, including but not limited to the sheer wall of noise that occurs whenever you get anything close to a firefight going between yourself and the demonic entities infesting the opening levels.

If you are a player with local sighted assistance, it's recommended you have a walkthrough to hand as the UI and map aren't, according to my experiences, very coherent. Moreover, if you want to change guns, you have to hold down a button, then move an analogue stick to select your weapon. Even a menu style interface would be more accessible than this solution, though I can partially understsand the logic of being able to use the method that exists in the current game.

The soundtrack

Doom's soundtrack, regardless of the frustrations of the game's overall accessibility, is top notch. With dynamic elements reminiscent of Killer Instinct, moving from one enemy encounter to the next is a sonic experience like very few in gaming, even today.

The areas I've seen so far, from the noisy, weirdly lit corridors and open areas of the facility, to the hellscapes of later levels, are all well detailed from a sound standpoint, with boiling lava-like substances and doors that slam open and shut further serving to create an impression of areas that serve one purpose: industry. It's shame that, as previously mentioned, the mix during firefights doesn't really allow for a sense of what enemies you're facing and their proximity.


Though Doom is a great sounding game, it has many accessibility-related shortcomings and I cannot, unfortunately, recommend this game to anyone but the most hardcore mainstream gamer who has near constant local sighted assistance and a good walkthrough at their side as well.

If there is ever a Doom 2016 sequel, let's hope that the accessibility is much improved for mainstream gamers with no sight.

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