Seriously, Doom is like an addiction for me. I write articles here on Cinelinx almost monthly about how people have coded it to run on almost anything that has a screen. That ATM machine? Yeah it can play Doom. Your fridge? That too can play Doom. Why it hasn’t hit my dishwasher and alarm clock is beyond me, but it needs to happen!
Just like a crazy person, I fall for anything I can get my hands on too! I have Doom on everything I have that has it available. PS3, PS1, PSP, I even had Doom for my Gameboy Advance and it was an absolute pain to find! If I had more money I would even have Doom action figures and merchandise all over my house. Yes, I even read and enjoyed the novels released for the games. They are not amazing novels, but they were fun reads. One thing I don’t have that I really wish I did is the limited release of the Doom comic book. I heard it wasn’t good at all, and I know it was released online, but I want a physical copy! The only game that I am in love with more is Metal Gear Solid.
Why does it stick with me though? Graphics, gameplay, and everything about these games are “out dated” by todays standards. Yet that might be exactly why I love Doom so much. It wasn’t over complicated. You look in a direction and shoot. Lighting was cool, colors were clean, and the game is pure outright fun. There is a slight challenge around every corner and the first two games can be fast or slow depending on how you play them. Yes everything feels generic by todays standards, but there is something about them that keeps me playing. I still get a thrill from launching a rocket at a monster and seeing their exploded guts float along the ground in 2D.
The reason being that Doom was a technical marvel of its time. Shortly before Doom was Wolfenstein, with it came very stiff movement and some rather bland style to it. Don’t get me wrong I love that game too, but it was nothing compared to Doom. Switch to monsters, build creepy environments, and put in some extremely awesome music and you get Doom! While it wasn’t entirely needed, Doom even has a small story to go with it that made things even better. You know, going to hell and opening portals, damning the world, etc? It was so short and blunt that you simply just want to know more.
Gameplay wise, Doom fixed a lot of the issues Wolfenstein had. Gameplay was super smooth, making combat a hell of a lot of fun. Gliding side to side, shooting, and going through corridors was sleek and fun. The corridor experience made the game even more creepy, and often times left you begging for the monsters to leave you alone. We had enemies in front of us and above us, something that a lot of modern games forgot about for some reason. (Why did most shooters go to shooting at the ground and not mid air?) Enemies were scary not because of frightening experiences, but because they were massive and would totally dominate you when you least expect it.
I’ve had “modern gamers” come in while I’m playing and tease me about how bad the visuals are, but come on the game is over 20 years old! The truth is Doom represents the beginning for me. I had other games like Sonic, but that’s a story for something else. Doom was the first game that had me running a brand new PC, switching floppy disks, and sitting for hours on end destined to beat just one more level. Then “expansions” came about and more custom made levels, the fun never ended. To this day Doom is not only ported to every gadget there is, but it is also still being modded and added to.
Not only was it the beginning for me, but it was a beginning for the industry. With the power of the new “FPS” style games Doom and Wolfenstein brought about, a lot of clones started to come about too. Even Insomniac Games (One of my all time favorite developers) has their own Doom inspired game. Between shooters like this and 2D fighting games, there wasn’t much else. Yet the FPS genre seems to be the victor as it still dominates the market. You can’t help but wonder, where would games like Call of Duty or Portal be without the innovation of early shooters?
Heck, ID Software even started an idea of murdering other players online. Well… kind of. The idea was simple, 4 players, all connected via LAN, would go at it in a deathmatch. If anything truly showcases how old Doom is, it would be here. Yet the trend continues to this day, and now gaming wouldn’t be anything without online components. I also would have probably paid a little more attention in some classes if I wasn’t “Alt-tabbing” Doom on my thumb stick with a bunch of other players in the class!
So as I grew to be a gamer, I also became a journalist. With that comes the will to respect all aspects of the industry. Being Doom pretty much started it all for both ends, I found a greater respect for it and simply get a bigger thrill whenever I turn it on. Every time I boot up Doom I marvel at the ideas that came of it, and how amazing the game was a few decades ago. Things still surprise me and send me through amazement when I replay the games. It’s neat seeing just how far games have come.
While I may not be old enough to remember just how much Doom impacted the world as a whole, I know for a fact it impacted me personally. It inspired me to make games, which lead me to making movies, and brought me here today to be a writer. It’s amazing that a game like Doom can have so much behind it for one person, but it did. ID Software also seems to be ever changed by the franchise too! I mean look at them, Carmack is inventing what will possibly be the next greatest advancement in gaming with VR.
Now don’t mind me as I patiently await the return with the upcoming reboot ID is making!