Doom – Whether you love it or hate it, this is a piece computer game history!
The trivia concerning Doom’s development is interesting, as this game originally started as project to make a game that would use the Aliens license. Instead, (creators) Id Software chose to make something original to allow for creative freedom. The game draws inspiration from multiple influences – The name alone, was taken from a quote featured in The Colour of Money made by character portrayed by Tom Cruise in response being asked what was inside his cue case. While abandoning a licensed tie-in for Aliens, that didn’t stop the boys at Id from using the movie as another inspiration. On top of that you have both the Evil Dead movies and Id’s Dungeons & Dragons sessions among the game’s major inspirational influences. Whilst you had a team full of creative minds behind Id Software at the time, the driving force came from both John Carmack and John Romero.
Doom itself is a highly controversial game on it’s subject matter alone, especially when you’re talking about Satanic imagery around religious folk. But talking into account that this franchise was one of the first to market violence in computer games prior to the introduction of game classification is another factor as to why Doom is so controversial. Controversy aside, Doom was the game-changer that perfected the first-person shooter and introduced the world to network multiplayer along with coining the gaming term “Deathmatch”.
Doom is a first-person action horror in a science-fiction setting that puts you into shoes of a Space Marine stationed on the Martian moon, Phobos. The whole point of Doom, is to clean up the mess of stupidly powerful corporate conglomerate (not to mention stupidly immoral and just plain stupid in general) after their experiments into inter-dimensional transportation quite literally unleashes Hell itself! So, you’re probably thinking the Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC – said stupidly powerful corporate conglomerate) sounds a lot like Umbrella Corporation… Here’s the thing, Doom was sporting a story (even though the first two weren’t exactly story-driven games) with a powerful and immoral mega corporation before Resident Evil / Biohazard (Japanese Title) ever did – But I digress.
Doom and Doom II: Hell on Earth focused purely on gameplay over narrative expositions setting the tone for the franchise. These games made use of clever level design that allowed the designers to hide secret areas and levels that could easily prove tricky to find. At the same time, the core action used lighting, traps and the idle sounds of your enemies ranging from (possessed) “Former Humans” to a wide assortment of demonic foes in order to create a terror-filled atmosphere. It was that terror that came from being ambushed while clutching onto a loaded shotgun by a blood-lusting demon in a dark corridor – Only for the terror to turn into rage in split second, providing you with a rather disturbing but potentially intoxicating adrenaline rush as result of pulling the trigger spattering said foe over any dimly lit decor. This terror exists even in a Deathmatches, as your opponents can come flying out of nowhere suddenly engaging them in a “Quickdraw” gunfight with rocket launchers! Whilst it’s possible to take up cover and pick off foes, you will quickly learn that Doom whether Solo/Co-op or competitive is a matter of “The Quick and The Dead”.
Doom 3, while not an actual sequel (but a reboot) it serves as the Doom “Trilogy’s” narrative exposition. The game is very much a rich story-driven experience in comparison to it’s predecessors, but still manages embrace the terror-factor that made the original games so awesome. However, the multiplayer component plays like an afterthought as it feels very bare bones with only four player deathmatch and no option to fight among demon hordes. Overall, Doom 3 is a rich single player game that provides actual narrative behind the games.
The standout feature behind the franchise is both it’s richly diverse user generated content and mod support along the community behind it all. From map-packs, texture packs, total conversions to mods like Brutal Doom that take the original game to the next level.
So with the new reboot coming out on May 13th, I will be honest about having mixed feelings about the game – So on that note, I am curious enough to give the game the benefit of the doubt. Initially having watched some E3 presentation footage of the single player experience, I found that the game resembled too much of Quake Live than Doom. Hearing that the original design for the Doom reboot was too much like Call of Duty and wasn’t “Doomy Enough”?
Not Doomy enough is basically saying the game isn’t terrifying and that’s what I currently think of the new game so far.
With that said, I will pick up a copy at my leisure and give it a go. If it plays like the homage to Brutal Doom as quoted by those to receive it more positively, then I may end up keeping Doom… Just don’t expect me to be playing the PC version, as I clearly will be playing Project Brutality instead.