Each month the Cinelinx staff will write a handful of articles covering a specified video game-related topic. These articles will be notified by the Gamerlinx banner. Gamerlinx, like our Movielinx counterpart, is an exploration and discussion of our personal connections with the world of gaming. This month our Gamer’s Club is putting the spotlight on Horror Games, so for Gamerlinx we wanted take a look at the best and worst games to play this Halloween season!
The franchise as a whole could be respected for starting horror aspects in the industry. Turning the pages back to the original Doom (you know the game ported to anything with a screen?) we had jump scares, cool environments, and even some monsters. Doom 3 changes things up a bit, but wasn’t the first in the industry to do a lot of it. Yet, it did it so well that it’s hard to forget it.
Doom 3 was supposed to be so scary that they put a warning in the box itself. I remember the little slip that fell out as soon as you opened the box, it read along the lines of don’t play the game if you have a weak heart….because it will scare you! This alone was enough to make me second guess installing the game on my sweet new hardware I set up just to play it. Then to go with that slip was all the talk about the game breaking ground, advancing technology, and the sweet new engine that made things even more creepy.
Why did it work? Simple, it was Doom with advanced technology. In a way that pushed me backwards, but in terms of being scary? Nothing beat it. They were playing with lighting which at the time was a developing technology. What that meant is you had rooms that were extremely dark and LOTS of flashes and environmental looks. There were lots of areas that you needed a flashlight to see and that was a major problem. Remember? You couldn’t hold a flashlight and weapon at the same time for the longest time! So you had to decide, do I want to walk down this dark hallway with a weapon? Or do I prefer to see the monster about to obliterate me?
Then comes the monster and you pull the trigger, click click…. out of ammo! It happened to me a lot in the early version of Doom 3, but not so much in the remastered edition. I would walk into rooms seriously scared simply because I had no friggin ammo to kill anyone. I remember turning corners, quick saving, and then slowly turning around to make sure I was all clear. The early game had a lot of technical drawbacks that gave it the survival horror feel, but these issues were addressed later, and with hacks.
While Doom 3 didn’t have some of the key villains from previous titles, the way it introduced bad guys was awesome. Doom is never really cutting away from gameplay to tell you a story, yet it introduced villains by integrating a short cut scene mixed with actual gameplay that demonstrated the monsters abilities. In one area you see a guy freaking out in a room, going nuts, then he dies and a skull lit on fire flies at you. Or how about the pig looking dog demon that smashed down a door to get to you?
Doom 3 also did something I think the original team would have loved to do. They were capable of technical scares. Demons crawling out from vents and lockers, monsters flying through walls, and dynamic shooting to go with enemy attacks. The world came to life, and we were not talking simply physics, but you were on Mars and you felt like you were on Mars. Every step was something worth looking at and exploring, and yet you were too scared to do it most of the time. Doom leads into a lot of things that Quake does right with environment, which is why it’s so neat. Walking into rooms filled with dead soldiers never gets old!
I don’t know if anyone actually follows the story of Doom. The series was never intended to have a story so anything revolving around that is secondary. Yet I read the books, I really did, and I love figuring out little things about Doom. When you know the background aspects then Doom is a really fun scary game.
While the original Doom and Doom II are my favorite games ever, you simply cannot pass up Doom 3 for breathing life back into a dying genre. The lighting, the monsters, the new engine, at the time this was the coolest game ever. Due to the game being a technical leap it has become somewhat dated, even the re-release showcased that, but during the time it was the best. I personally cannot wait to see what the reboot has to offer!