DOOM is renowned around the world for being the game to popularise the first person shooter genre, and because of it, we have been blessed with many a fantastic series – Call Of Duty (although it’s been strung out a bit now), Battlefield, Halo, Counter Strike, Half-Life… and the list could go on for about a day, showing how this game has changed our world as gamers.
When DOOM was released in 1993, it really introduced players to a world of 3D graphics and online multiplayer gameplay. It was released during a time where many games were more family friendly – Super Mario World and Mega Man X would have been two of the bigger games at that time – so with DOOM showcasing a heavy amount of violence, video games went down a completely new path. What followed after the surge of DOOM’s popularity was a veritable set of games trying to copy what had made id Software so much money.
Games like Duke Nukem and Quake quickly followed DOOM’s rise, stretching the boundaries even further and seeing how much they could get away with. While Quake was developed by the same guys who made DOOM, Duke Nukem was made by rival company GT Interactive, and when playing Duke Nukem 3D, there are many easter eggs pointing fun at both Quake and Doom. In Duke Nukem Forever (which ironically should be the last game they ever release in the series), the titular character mocks the Master Chief from Halo, showing that no matter how much time passes, he’s still the same old Duke.
However, despite being one of the first FPS games, DOOM hasn’t followed the trend that other games such as Call Of Duty and Battlefield have created. The genre is now oversaturated, with both aforementioned series usually releasing a game every year or two. For casual gamers, it’s great, as some would only be interested in these games, however for lots of others, it just creates an aura surrounding the entire genre that can be summed up pretty simply – meh. The last new DOOM release before the latest one (and not including the DOOM RPG titles), was all the way back in 2004. While that was remastered in 2012, it was the same content from the 2004 title.
However, does that put more pressure on the DOOM franchise? With no new games released in over ten years, does that mean they’ve spent that time unceasingly polishing their latest title?
The original set a mood that at the time was unattainable while playing many other games. Story time – I have a friend, who whilst playing DOOM II: Hell On Earth actually fell off his chair after seeing an Arch Vile turn up behind him. I can proudly say I have never fallen off my chair while playing a game, and that’s because I know about the terror an Arch Vile can breathe into you.
However, the latest DOOM title delivered on every count. It has a compelling story, the sense that you are indeed in Hell itself, a multitude of monsters to decimate, and a fun, exciting multiplayer platform. Let’s just focus on the last fact for a second. The multiplayer platform for DOOM was not only a great inclusion, but a necessary one. After id had left DOOM 3 with no multiplayer available, fans were furious. The game still received very positive reviews, but after the game that had been synonymous with multiplayer gameplay had abandoned that factor in DOOM 3, it was a necessary addition to this year’s title for sure.
However, I think we can all agree that the biggest legacy the DOOM franchise has left for us is the movie. “You better watch you mouth, you flippy flappy piece of boom boom.” – actual quote, you’re welcome.