Starfield vs DOOM seems like an extremely left-field matchup that shouldn't make much sense. However, both these games are modern Bethesda IPs, with the ID Software team helping with Starfield's development.
Both games take place in space and feature the player fighting through hordes of hostiles with various weapons. So, how do these two titles stack up against each other?
DOOM doesn't have way too much in the way of its story at first glance. However, if you pay attention to the various logs, audio files, and entries, a surprising amount of story and lore is tucked away. Some fans also love the simplistic storytelling that DOOM provides, where it's not too reliant on dialogue, exposition, and characters.
It's easy to get behind this kind of storytelling and just focus on the gameplay. DOOM opts for a show, don't tell approach with its story. There's a sense of epicness to everything you do in the story as the mostly silent Doom Slayer.
Meanwhile, Starfield is an open-world RPG that tries to immerse you in its world with its story, characters, and questlines. You create your character and embark on a journey where you interact with all sorts of factions. You'll make important choices along the way and get sucked into various side quests.
Much of it involves character dialogue and Bethesda's classic storytelling formula. There's much more effort put into storytelling in Starfield, and there's a focus on qualtity rather than hype story moments.
- Related - Starfield vs Baldur's Gate 3
Gameplay and Combat
The gameplay between the two titles is also quite different if we consider Starfield's inclusion of space travel and the various roleplay and crafting systems at play. However, when we talk about combat, things change.
In an interview with IGN, Todd Howard clarified how involved ID Software was in the development of Starfield. Most of the involvement was based on graphics, feeling, and motion blur, although Starfield's combat isn't exclusively first-person, unlike DOOM.
You have access to an array of weapons that you can craft and upgrade, and you'll fight many enemies in open spaces. However, Starfield's combat is relatively easy. It might be too easy and simplistic compared to a game like DOOM.
The modern DOOM games demand every ounce of your attention if you plan on surviving through hordes of incredibly aggressive enemies that put Starfield's enemy AI to shame. You're required to remain constantly on the move and cut down enemies left and right in what's a balancing act between challenging combat and a power fantasy.
Meanwhile, Starfield's more challenging and higher-level encounters feel like pelting tanky enemies that have high HP pools with low-damage bullets. The pace really slows down, and it breaks the flow of what would otherwise be well-executed FPS combat. This is a shame because guns handle pretty well in Starfield.
- Related - Starfield vs Cyberpunk 2077
Another gripe with Starfield is the lack of enemy diversity. Despite being a game set in space, most enemies you face will be human. You'll mostly be pitted against Crimson Fleet Pirates, Ecliptic Mercenaries, and Spacers. The only truly unique enemies you'll find are the Terrormorphs and Starborn. For other creatures, you need to go out of your way to find them.
Furthermore, enemies feel pretty generic, and their movesets and threat levels are extremely limited. They also suffer from some fairly simplistic AI that doesn't pose much of a threat to any experienced gamer.
Meanwhile, DOOM has a smaller roster of enemies, all unique in design and approach. Each enemy performs a different function and has a different threat ranking.
You'll have to target and prioritize enemies in arenas and perform the optimal countermeasures with the right guns for each situation. It becomes a ballad of death and puzzle-solving that relies on your situational awareness and reaction time to excel. You can tone this down at lower difficulties, but most players love DOOM for its challenging and brutal combat.
One hope we have for Starfield is that it might be possible for modders to implement combat mechanics and features similar to DOOM or at least improve upon the base game.
Weapons and Upgrades
Starfield has a wide range of weapons available for you to use. This excellent variety lets you pick out weapon types that suit your playstyle. Furthermore, a dedicated crafting system will allow you to customize your weapons.
There's a lot of choice and variety here. However, one flaw with Starfield's weapons is that despite the variety, they don't do enough to differentiate themselves uniquely. Many weapons feel like reskins or are too underpowered to be useful. For example, the Equinox, Orion, and Unrestrained Vengeance are three different tiers of what is essentially just a laser rifle.
On the other hand, DOOM has a limited number of weapons, but each has a unique purpose. Especially when talking about DOOM Eternal, it cannot be understated that you need to use every weapon mod in your arsenal to come out on top. This gives each weapon a unique personality and use case that helps each one feel unique and useful in its own way.
Regarding upgrades, Starfield has a very dedicated skill system that allows you to mix and match several builds together. DOOM focuses on giving you new weapons and pitting you against new enemies. The upgrades you get will mostly be mods for your existing weapons.
While Starfield and DOOM are very different games, it's a good point of comparison as it shows us the potential of Starfield in the future. If we're talking solely about combat and execution, DOOM is miles ahead of Starfield.
However, as more mods and DLC release, and Starfield receives more polish, it could take a couple of pages out of the DOOM playbook and make its combat stand out in a unique way that gives it some much-needed personality.
- READ MORE - The History of Starfield
For more articles like this, take a look at our Features page.