Before I begin on my rant this week, I want you all to know that every Saturday or Monday we will be doing a new topic called “The Weekly Rant” and this one just happens to focus on one of the most anticipated games of 2016: DOOM.
DOOM, when you hear the name you already know the franchise is one of the founding fathers of the FPS genre. The game back in the 90’s was known for its grim music and Hell like settings that ranged from UAC bases clear to the very landscapes of Hell. This trend has been on going for more than 20 years and is one that hasn’t come to a halt. For fans the past ten years have been agonizing as leak after leak of DOOM 4 had gotten released, the game we know went into development Hell, and for all the fans knew – it was done for. John Carmack departed from the company and went on his own way to work on Oculust RIFT, which he had become renowned for by making VR possible with DOOM 3. Lets not forget the fact the man along with Adrien Carmack, Ivan Punchatz and his son Greg, and John Romero became iconic founders of Horror FPS as a singular genre. They made creatures and gameplay that would give anyone nightmares. The franchise itself inspired musicians, artists, gamers, and even modders in the early age of PC gaming.
What DOOM wasn’t known for was a campaign. The series had never been known for one as the surroundings told you a story more than anything else. All you needed to know then? You’re a marine. One of the last ones on the UAC base you were put on, and now you are fighting your way through tight corridors with big ass weapons, and a blood soaked suit of armor. What you also knew was the fact there were demons galore for you to simply walk up, punch to a visceral pile of bone and organs or simply hunt down the BFG 9000 or as my generation called it… The Big F**kin’ Gun. Why? Anything in its scope was just going to be a giant pile of ashes. Was there a quarrel with this? Nope. But when DOOM 3 wandered around? This did become a problem. Why? The series went from a push forward premise where you didn’t want to stop running from side to side and never stop moving forward. Why? Your guns were huge, your enemies were bigger, but they were no match for you with a little bit of patience.
Fast forward a good generation of consoles ahead? That changed tremendously as fans were getting their hands on DOOM, which embraced the Halo-like atmosphere of dark corridors, flick aiming, and backtracking from enemies in order to stay alive. Let alone was it inspired by its classic creatures and origins, it embraced a newer approach to a generation that had story elements, voice acting, and a want to push graphics to a whole new forefront. Interestingly enough? It did, but if you ask any fan out there the response will be the same: DOOM 3 is not a DOOM game in comparison to the past titles. Instead it was a step towards games like Fatal Frame, Silent Hill, with a touch of Halo. Reason I use Halo as an example? It was a bullet Hell title. DOOM 3? Followed the route as a Bullet Hell title and went in to incorporate many elements that can be compared to Halo. Now that’s not to say that DOOM 3 was inspired by Halo, we know it wasn’t, but there are many comparisons we can make to the Halo franchise in the overall approach of gameplay execution. But that’s not what we are discussing today.
As stated previously, DOOM has never been known for its campaigns, and honestly? It shouldn’t be. After taking in many hours of DOOM footage, gameplay mechanics, and even the closed Alpha, my lips have been tightly sealed on what I saw in the Alpha. After all, NDA’s, sorry folks. We love our partnership with Bethesda too much to break our NDA’s, so our lips are sealed. If you haven’t seen gameplay mechanics? Go ahead and head to the official Bethesda Zenimax YouTube and soak in all the videos you can. Just note you have to be 18+ to view the content. With that being said? I’ve been questioning for some time if DOOM would have a narrative as a story and even beating in my own skull for even thinking that. Why? I realized that it doesn’t need a story. Who the Hell cares if it has a story. Do we really want to be bogged down by finding datapads and documents again? I sure don’t want to be. I’d rather be ripping off the heads of Demon’s, Zombies, and making crap explode like a Michael Bay film. Just with more blood and targeted towards an adult audience. Not the crowd that wants more booms and lens flare. This time around? I’ll be the first in the entire room to stand up and scream if I get a narrative. Why? I’m all about Classic DOOM gameplay. The more blood, the better. The more demon’s for me to stomp the heads off, rip the eyes out of, and crap down their throats? The better. Why? That’s the DOOM I know and love. After all I’ve seen at events like E3 and QuakeCon? I really hope there isn’t a story. If there is one? I’d be fine if it was radio chatter versus DOOM 3’s backtracking and hiding to find the narrative. The crap got old and fast.
But the question I know many will ask me? What will we do if we don’t have a story or narrative to drive the gameplay so that our marine is trekking through this Hellish life of his trying to survive? Guess what kids? Daddy’s got a secret – your imagination works wonders here. I know as a kid I grew up writing stories in my head about what DOOMs narrative would be, why the marine was fighting what he was, and why Hell broke out the way it did. The simple explanation behind it all was? UAC did a craptacular job containing a extra-dimensional rift and let Hell into our universe and in turn the universe has literally gone to Hell. Now? Our character is tasked with eliminating the source of it. Some demon that is unleashing its armies or we are simply trying to find the device that caused the entire scenario. Regardless it didn’t matter to me all that much in the end. I had nightmares, I loved the game, and to this day I still play it with a grin on my face to the fact that the original team didn’t need a story to make a game that has had over 20 years worth of replay value for me. I still go back to this day, go to Steam, and turn DOOM on. Why? It’s just that game that is always there no matter how old it gets, it still challenges, and it’s a visceral blood bath. Something that we know from the new DOOM trailer that we will see happen in May thanks to the new brutal system that will allow players to kill a demon in all sorts of cruel and unusual ways. All of them legal in all 51 states as well.
While we know DOOM’s story hasn’t been the focus of the game after a Q&A with Marty Stratton stated that the story itself was second focus with combat coming first. This means DOOM seems to truly be going back to the roots of the series. The game will be heavily supported post launch as well, which shows that the team is dedicated to the fans. Hell even with the snap map editor we know the game will see plenty of downloaded maps, pieces of content, and even fan created
If you haven’t seen the release date, DOOM is set to release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on May 13th, 2016. Stay tuned for our review coming this May.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.