Thought I'd start making use of this blog feature and try to do something each week, since I only write creepypastas when I actually have an idea. And I guess I’ll stick with the title A Look Back, since writing about something you’ve done is still technically in the past – just not very far. We’ll see how this goes.
Okay, opening exposition done. You’re here for Doom talk. If you’ve had the displeasure of knowing me recently, I’ve been ranting and raving once again about this game. I only got around to playing it this past year finally, and I beat it over the course of a weekend. So, how was Doom 2016? It was one of the best games I’ve ever played.
If you somehow don’t know what Doom is, here’s the premise: badass space marine wakes up from his stone coffin that was found in Hell when humans started investigating said dimension and found an unlimited energy source, but now there’s a demon outbreak on Mars and you have to go kill all the demons and close the portal to Hell. If you prefer a meme format: Local Man Literally Too Angry To Die.
From a historical standpoint, the Doom franchise is very crucial to the evolution of video games. It was one of the very first FPS (first person shooters) to come out, and despite its controversy surrounding events like Columbine, helped pave the way for the ever popular genre today (which, in this humble writer’s opinion, has been on a decline due to oversaturation and average quality). (Which might be saved by games like this.)
Now let’s get into the actual game. Visually, the game hits it on the head. The depiction of Hell really sets this torturous, dark, twisted tone every time you enter it, and the similar hues of Mars make it feel like you’ve never left the realm of damnation. The designs are either realistic, in terms of how a space base would probably look, or truly grueling and horrid, giving off a breathtaking and satisfying glimpse at the way Hell should look. The detail of the game is pretty good. We’re not hitting DMC 5 levels of realism, but it’s still a clean looking game.
The plot of Doom is very simplistic, and I think this was a very good idea on id’s behalf. The beginning of the game just reeks of “I don’t give a shit,” with the Doom Slayer/Doom Guy/whatever you call him actively shutting the exposition man up by smashing consoles and screens every time he tries to talk. Of course, if the lore and story is something you care about, then there are plenty of little secrets and collectibles throughout the campaign that give you more info on the world of Doom. It’s a great balance that works out for all kinds of players; if you don’t give a shit about the story and just wanna kill demons, they only force you into the bare minimum of story moments needed to have the game make sense, and if you want more story, then you will be rewarded for exploring and discovering all those little pieces.
And for characters, they’re alright. I like them all quite well, they’re fun. The little things they do with Doom Guy are particularly nice, such as during the intro, when Hayden proclaims this was all for “the betterment of humanity”, and Doom Guy just looks at a corpse in the elevator with him. Ahh. So nice. Or perhaps the camera work during these scenes showing exactly what Doom Guy is thinking/feeling without him saying another word: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6zUYxaflVE
Let’s get to the gameplay already. It’s fucking fantastic, there’s no other way to put it. You get to carry around ten different weapons, most guns don’t need to be reloaded so you can just keep on shooting (another excellent choice; there’s simply no time in the way this game behaves to reload, so removing that mechanic really aids in the brutal onslaught angle), the aiming and movement is smooth and fast, it’s just so fun. I do recall one mission that I was genuinely scared however, and it wasn’t from demons. There’s a mission where you have to do a LOT of parkour over very big heights, and while I’m only bugged by heights on the rare occasion, this was driving me crazy. I can’t even imagine doing that level in VR.
The health regeneration system of Doom is quite intriguing; you don’t regenerate health after being out of combat for so long, like most shooters, but instead by weakening an enemy until they flash colours and then performing a melee Glory Kill on them, which drops health after doing a cool animated kill (a Chainsaw is used respectively for ammo). This one detail not only makes the way you play Doom different, it also works from a character perspective; would Doom Guy run away, then sit in a corner and wait for his health to come back before fighting? Hell no – he’d just be in there, smashing more skulls together.
The difficulty of Doom is also surprisingly perfect. It escalates at a very fair pace, and in the later parts of the game, you’ll start getting into fights that you’ll think you’re going to lose to at first, but then you make it out at the last second by the skin of your teeth. I recall one particular instance that really shows how well id understands their audience: I was waiting for an elevator to arrive, and of course it spawns enemies. But this fight was insane – everywhere I went when I tried to take cover for just a second or go fight a different creature, there was always some else there, or five demons chasing me down, and at the end, it spawned about four of each of the hardest enemies in the game, save the actual #1 hardest enemy type. Then, after I’ve pummelled the last demon into pulp, the song ends, and the elevator arrives.
Then I go to enter it. The song restarts, the room goes back into lockdown, and it spawns two of those #1 hardest enemies. The game completely caught me off guard by breaking its cycle, and I applaud it for doing so. While I’m here, Doom has quite a fun arrangement of enemies to fight, and some really cool boss fights in the last act of the game. Only enemy I didn’t like fighting was the Revenant. Too annoying.
But luckily, there’s a good selection of weapons to choose from when fighting the hordes. My personal go-to was the Super Shotgun, that thing is so fun and satisfying to shoot, and it gets even better when it’s completely maxed out (I beat the second boss using only it and the Gauss Gun a few times).
I can’t finish this article without mentioning the soundtrack, because it’s so heavy metal, it’ll make Helel ben Shahaar nut him into oblivion. (Love ya, bruther.) The songs match up so well with everything you’re doing, and keeping your adrenaline racing as you satisfy your bloodlust. I used the word satisfy a lot in this article, but it’s just that enjoyable.
So, that’s what I thought of Doom 2016. It’s a fantastic game and absolutely worth whatever price you pay for it, even if it’s still sitting at $60 CAD. Fun fact: id is not I-D, it is the part of your brain that correlates to instinct. How suiting for a game about a raging super soldier who rips demons apart with his bare hands. I can’t wait to get back into the seat later this year, when Doom: Eternal is released. (Not sponsored, I just really love this game).