This Dumb Industry: The Mistakes DOOM Didn’t Make

By Shamus
on May 31, 2016
Filed under:
Column

So the fourth DOOM game is out, which some addled marketing critter has decided should be named “DOOM”, even though that name was already taken. Sigh.

Dear Marketing: We name things so other human beings know what the shit we’re talking about when we start making mouth-noises at each other.

I guess that idea is apparently too profound for the doofus who decided to make the game sound “cooler” by leaving off the number. So for the rest of history we’re doing to have to differentiate between the two games by calling them “DOOM 1993” and “DOOM 2016”. So by leaving off a number they have obliged everyone to add another, more awkward number. And they have retroactively done the same to the original DOOM.

So thanks for that, dipshit. Also I can’t wait to see your solution when it comes time to make the fifth DOOM game and you have to decide if you want to name it DOOM 2 or DOOM 5 or just DOOM again. Or maybe DO4M? Or maybe DOOM: Rise of the Doom Raider? Or perhaps DOOM: DOOM?

Yawn.

Yawn.

But whatever. It turns out that this complaint over the name – which, let’s be honest, is really petty – is about the only negative thing I have to say about it. Well, that and the box art, which just screams out, “This is another by-the-numbers shooter. There’s nothing here you haven’t seen before.” My point is, all my complaints are directed at the marketing department, because this game is solid fun and a worthy successor to the DOOM name.

There are a lot of mistakes they could have made, but didn’t:


1. The developers didn’t simply marry the DOOM aesthetic to standard shooter combat.

The old-school 1990’s approach to shooter mechanics was built around circle-strafing: You orbit the bad guy while turning to keep them in the middle of the screen. That’s great on the PC where you have a mouse. The problem is that – just like steering a car with a mouse feels awkward – circle-strafing doesn’t feel great when using a controller. Sure, you can learn to do it. Eventually. With practice. But that sort of discomfort and frustration aren’t really what you want in a high-speed power fantasy.

On the other hand, modern games are about jumping in and out of cover, finding a good position, preventing flanking maneuvers, flushing foes out of cover, and timing your shots. That feels pretty good with thumbsticks, but it’s completely inappropriate for DOOM.

Rather than choosing between these two masters, DOOM charted out a third way that works with either control scheme and fits with the high-speed, ultra-violent tone of the original. Gameplay is focused on running forward into a foe while dealing enough damage to stagger them, then performing a gruesome melee execution. These executions cause health pickups and bullets to pop out, and are your main source of healing. After you execute your foe, you backpedal to avoid getting swarmed and the process begins again.

If the original DOOM was about making circles and modern games are about popping up and down behind cover, then this new DOOM is all about making forward thrusting motions.

I realize this may be heresy to some, but I think the thrusting actually suits the tone of DOOM better than the original gameplay. In the original, you often had to run away and scramble to find medkits if your health got low. In this game, the solution to low health is to be more aggressive. You need to get in closer and take bigger risks.

2. The levels aren’t patronizingly linear.

While perhaps not as large and complex as the original, DOOM 2016 is still far and away more complex than any of its contemporaries. The levels offer multiple paths through and lots of hidden secrets and details. There are simple secrets like, “Oh, you thought to look under the staircase. Good for you. Here’s a cookie.” But there are also complex secrets that take observation and experimentation to sort out.

There’s occasionally backtracking, but it’s the good kind of backtracking. You’ll return to a previous area and find it changed, or find yourself facing different foes that force you to use the space differently.

3. Nobody tried to make Doom Guy into a character.

This is exactly what I want from a retro-throwback protagonist: Faceless, nameless, silent, and full of murderous intent.

This is exactly what I want from a retro-throwback protagonist: Faceless, nameless, silent, and full of murderous intent.

“Hey, this is a modern game. I was thinking the main character should be John Ripper, and he should be voiced by Nolan North. Maybe he’s got some stubble and he wants to kill the demons to protect his family and save the earth. Maybe he’s got a reputation as a bad boy who doesn’t play by the rules. He’s got some dark thing in his past where it turns out he made a bad call and someone died and now he’s angry and haunted.”

I’m sure someone said that during the design meeting, because that asshole seems to attend every design meeting, in every company. But the DOOM team threw him out the window and stuck with the 1993 design. He’s a faceless, voiceless, nameless avatar of demon-killing. He does get a tiny bit of characterization, but it comes in the form of people reacting to his behavior.

4. Nobody expects the player to take this seriously.

This is a story about an evil corporation who builds a portal to a dimension of hell so they can harness the hell energy, which results in a portal opening up that let demons into our universe. That’s ridiculous. The characters – there are only a few – all take this business very seriously, except for the player character. It’s a bit like this:

SCIENTIST: Okay, turn off the hell filter by pressing the...

(Doom Marine proceeds to bash the shit out of the control panel, which turns off the hell filter.)

SCIENTIST: Uh. That works too.

This makes me want to play viscera cleanup detail.

This makes me want to play viscera cleanup detail.

You get the sense that everyone thinks this bullshit is so important, but the Doom Marine doesn’t care because he just wants to kill demons. Which is exactly how the player feels. The story gives context, but it doesn’t require you to play along. There’s no moment of forced cutscene stupidity. No betrayal you can see coming a mile away. No pretentious lessons about the evils of greedy corporations. No cutscenes ever yank you out of first-person modeThis shot of the DOOM marine above is from the credit sequence, where it just shows our hero in various action poses.. People just show up long enough to explain why the next bunch of demons need their faces ripped off, and then they get out of your way and let you get to the face-ripping.

5. They didn’t put a child in charge of the color filter.

I was worried during the pre-release hype, since so much of the early footage seemed to show a world entirely of orange. But the game itself is about as colorful as the original.

First the Wolfenstein reboot was good, and now DOOM? How am I supposed to maintain my reputation as the guy who complains about everything when we keep getting stuff like this?

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Footnotes:

[1] This shot of the DOOM marine above is from the credit sequence, where it just shows our hero in various action poses.



A Hundred!20203We've got 143 comments. But one more probably won't hurt.

From the Archives:

  1. Yerushalmi says:

    Find other things to complain about, obviously.

  2. kdansky says:

    Apart from the name, the only thing I could complain about is the price-point. For a single-player shooter, $60 is a bit much. The multiplayer parts are not very good according to beta-experience, and on top of that there is Overwatch which appeals to the same crowd.

    But the price issue can be solved with patiently waiting for a sale. I still have way too many games waiting to be played. 2015 was one of the best years in gaming, and 2016 is looking quite swell too. if the current trends continue, I’m never again going to catch up. Soon I’ll be wishing for the days of grey/brown man-killing to return.

    • Psivamp says:

      G2A was selling it for about $40 at launch. I don’t feel bad about paying that price. It’s good. The upgrade system is tied to level exploration and guided systems experimentation (the challenges). I haven’t gone back to play on a harder level, but I did go back and get most of the challenges in order to level up all my guns and get all the runes before I beat the game.

      • Mersadeon says:

        I would, however, feel bad for paying G2A even a single cent. These grey market code sellers should not have the kind of legitimacy in the eyes of the customers that they have right now. They even get to sponsor their own e-sports teams.

        • Almoturg says:

          Do you know any estimates of how much of the price goes to the game developers on sites like G2A? I thought that at least the consumer facing keystores don’t make much profit because of all the competition and zero lock-in, but I have no idea where they get the keys from.

          • Mersadeon says:

            Basically? We don’t know. They get a lot of their keys from seriously bad practices, think “TV’s falling off the truck”-style. That’s how they are able to outbid any official outlet. We have now idea how much -if any- money eventually goes to the developer, and numerous developers have pleaded their fanbase to not use this site.

          • Michael says:

            Honestly, I’m going to second not buying keys from G2A. Those were the guys that were selling the keys that got revoked from the Sniper Elite series. As I recall, the story was, they were buying keys with stolen credit card data, then reselling the keys.

            G2A were also the guys who gutted ESO preorders. So you’d pay for the collectors edition, they’d gut out the actual CE code AND the preorder Code, list them separately for sale, and then give you the finger when your game came incomplete.

            Seriously, screw those guys.

        • Echo Tango says:

          Found this article when I was Googling around, trying to figure out who G2A was, and how they operated. After reading it, I can say that:
          – The market for purchasing games outside of first-hand sellers like Steam, GoG, etc, is a big, complicated thing.
          – Although second-hand sales for physical goods are something I totally understand and support, I’m not actually sure how I feel about the second-hand market for digital products. Is it good? Bad? Needed? More hassle than just waiting for Steam sales?
          – G2A seems pretty scammy, but another company in the same second-hand market, Kinguin, is actually pretty legit, and tries to vet the sources of games/keys sold through their website.

          Personally, I’m just going to stick with GoG and Steam for a while. They’ve got big enough catalogs, that I don’t need to mess with a new market/seller. :)

    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

      Triple A (re: not indie) games are basically going to come out at $60. Just like theater tickets are gonna be $8-15, even if the movie is not amazing. If you don’t wanna pay that, you just have to be more strategic in your purchasing. Complaining about the completely standardized pricing of retail games confuses the heck out of me. It’s like being flummoxed EVERY TIME gas isn’t $1.50/Gallon like it used to be when you were younger (or whatever it was).

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        It is a bit silly however for games to be more expensive now when you just download them than back in the day when you had to buy a physical copy.

        • Echo Tango says:

          It’s a consequence of good old monetary inflation, plus the larger teams/companies/budgets needed to make games nowadays. i.e. The small cost of shipping a game becoming even smaller because of digital/download, is outstripped by the other costs going up over time.

          • djw says:

            I didn’t own a computer in 1993, so I did not bother to buy Doom 1 shareware. A few years later I did own a computer, and I bought Doom 2. I cannot remember precisely what I paid, but in this thread a guy claims that he bought Doom 2 in 1996 for about $30. That sounds about right to me.

            You can compare prices across years with this deflator app. According to this app an item bought for $60 today is the equivalent of a $39.10 purchase in 1996.

            That’s a bit higher than the price I “remember” paying for Doom 2, but my recollection could be incorrect. I do know that I paid $40 for some games in the 90’s.

            The point is that a $60 prices is not really that far out of line with prices of games in the 90’s. Somebody with more marketing knowledge than me can correct this, but I *think* that the box and the disk are a fairly small part of the cost of the game. Most of the price was an attempt to recoup cost of production, then as it is now.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              And what about 60€ for the same game bought on the same platform at the same day?

              • djw says:

                My first reply got nuked somehow.

                It’s a worse deal for Europeans than Americans. But its really a bad deal for everybody. Just wait until the price comes down and buy it then.

                You are really only paying 60 (dollars or euros) for the privilege of owning it right now. It’ll be down to $20 if you wait long enough.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Even then,it will be 20€ for me.

                  And australians get an even bigger shaft all the time.All this because online trading is unregulated so much.

                  • djw says:

                    Well, this is veering into forbidden territory… but I’m not really sure that we want governments to tell us what video games should cost. Also, I vaguely recall that the costs in Australia are high to some extent BECAUSE of regulation (hopefully one of our resident Aussies will correct me if I am wrong about that).

                    I agree that the costs seem unfair, but they are probably selling the games at a price that people will buy them. If Europeans actually refused to buy at a higher price than American’s then companies would lower prices, or they would lose money.

                    • Fists says:

                      Retail copies we pay more due to some taxes/distribution/servers but, due to what I assume is incompetence, steam prices are sometimes obsurd for Australians. Steam doesn’t have an explicit Aus market place, we pay in $US, but we still get regional price for some titles, set by the publisher on listing, and sometimes they set it to $AU figure in $US.

                      Right now, a standard brick and mortar retailer lists Do4m for $79AU (~$60US), steam for $79US($108AU), same thing with FO4 when it launched. Most games we just get the standard US store price though.

                      Not a big issue since the cheaper alternatives are there, just silly.

                    • Loonyyy says:

                      Pretty sure it’s not because of regulation. Apart from trade ones which limit the ability to purchase from overseas sellers, which aren’t our regs, they’re mostly from US companies.

                      Things like region locking, etc, which a lot of online sellers are then forced to respect.

                      I recall reading a piece by an economist years back who concluded that the price is the way it is, because it’s the way it is. There’s no extra cost that makes it cost more, they just price it that way, and because they’re able to segregate the market, and do so effectively with copy protection, the market bears it.

                      We also pay more for books, you think textbooks are bad in the US, Australia is a nightmare like that. It’s much better to buy your texts from overseas here, there are even some stockers who will sell you ex-library books etc, which was a really cool find.

                  • Supah Ewok says:

                    Er, no. Australians pay ridiculous prices for physical copies too. Either the problem is with Australian law, or publishers just don’t like the shape of their continent.

                  • That’s probably about correct. Remember that the US $60 price is excluding any form of sales tax. If your local VAT is, sayl 20%, then $60 + 20% = €60 actually tends to work out quite close.

        • Loonyyy says:

          I don’t think that really matters. When you look at the cost of the product from the publishing end, producing and shipping costs far less than marketting and development. That’s what they’re trying to recoup.

          Usually, at least in Australia, I find the digital copies are cheaper, most of the retail outlets have a $5-$10 hike on them minimum, that’s on top of a $90-110 standard price for AAA games, often on Steam they’ll be sitting there for $80. Most of that’s just the variance of the physical outlets.

          And personally, I’ve grown out of caring about the packaging. Most games don’t have real manuals anymore, that was disappointing, but even the ones that do, I haven’t gone and read them in ages. I’ve got dozens of games in physical copies, and hundreds in digital, there’s not really any use to the physical copies, I don’t have time to get nostalgic and look at them.

          I think the problem is and always has been the way games tail off in price, they stay at the full AAA pricepoint for an exceedingly long time. I don’t mind them costing the same as a physical copy. But they probably don’t all need to cost that much, indefinitely.

  3. boz says:

    I believe this is an important part of his characterization and I am a bit cross you left it out Shamus.

  4. Erik says:

    Clearly the name should be: Doom: Doom Harder

  5. Deda says:

    Well, there are some small problems with the game, like how it overuses those ambushes where you are trapped until you kill all the enemies around (specially near the end), the boss fights all taking place in circular arenas and all happening near the end of the game feels weird, the design of many of the monsters makes them have that modern videogame zombie look… I don’t know how to explain it, but even the imps look like that and they really shouldn’t (I really don’t like that look for monsters in general), and let’s not forget about that cacodemon that shoot you before you could see it while you were platforming causing you to fall into the abyss (don’t tell me that didn’t happen to you).

    It’s still the best shooter I’ve played in years, but that might just be because it’s the first shooter I’ve played in years I don’t know.

    • Tizzy says:

      Yes. The original Doom used gating demons sparingly. My guess is that the current focus on arenas is a byproduct of technical limitations (avoid too many onscreen enemies, something Doom 3 had taken a very different approach to), but I still regret it nonetheless. These battles feel a bit like a chore, with no visual confirmation of progress made.

      Also, the original got a lot of mileage out of getting the player to bait enemies out in the open in manageable numbers, at least the way I played it. Not as practical when they gate in.

  6. Da Mage says:

    With the level layouts, secrets and enemies styles….I was frequently feeling the same feelings as if I was back playing DOOM/DOOM2.

    There are frantic battles, followed by short periods of recovering and secret searching….and I never felt bored while playing. The story behind it is actually interesting to read about, but it’s in a background and not jammed down your throat….the developer actually allows you to read the story at your pace, not afraid if you just want to skip it.

  7. PhoenixUltima says:

    There’s one part of the plot that really bugs me. When you’re destroying the argent energy filters early on, Samuel acts like what you’re doing is an irreversible decision that will end all argent energy production, forever. The thing is… didn’t the UAC make the damn things in the first place? Can’t they, you know, just make more? If the things are so important, wouldn’t they have made several to keep on hand, just in case something happened?

    This would have been so easy to gloss over. Just have Sam say something like “Those filters are made out of pure refined Raritanium! There aren’t any more known sources of it in the galaxy!” At least give us a hand-wave as to why they can’t just replace these things after you’re done having your tantrum. As it is, the story here is basically “Oh no, you destroyed some things we already know how to make, it’s all over!”

    Of course, it doesn’t effect my ability to kill lots of demons, so it’s not terribly important either way.

    • Mersadeon says:

      Yeah, I noticed that, too. I just figured the hell-tech is just incredibly resource intensive and that if they get blown up, no one would ever again want to spend that initial cost to try hell-energy again.

    • Da Mage says:

      From what I read in the infos, basically all of Earth is using this Hell Energy for power now, as the natural resources ran out. Cause Hell Energy from Mars is more cost effective than renewables I guess.

      Hence destroying those things will condemn Earth to a period without electricity. Which would be chaos in this futuristic setting.

      • Tizzy says:

        I do love the casual way they refer to hell, by the way. Not only are we back to the roots of the game, but there is something simply hilarious about having a scientist casually mentioning drawing energy from Hell itself.

        • Incunbulum says:

          I think it comes down to point-of-view. For these guys ‘Hell’ is *just* and alternate reality. For them ‘Hell’ is just a descriptor without any significant baggage – like ‘up’ or ‘down’ or ‘spin’ when talking about subatomic particles. They don’t mean the same thing in that context that they do in everyday talk – these guys needed a name to talk about specific attributes that have no macroscopic counterparts so they pulled some words out and slapped them on as labels so that everyone could communicate easier.

          ‘Hell’, to them, is not the Hell of Judeo-Christian tradition, its just an easily accesible alternate universe. These are not really ‘demons’, they’re aliens – all comprehensible, all understandable, all controllable. As far as the the UAC is concerned this isn’t a demonic invasion by the hordes of Hell, but an invasion by an excessively (but ultimately rational and *communicable*) aggressive alien lifeform.

  8. Kand says:

    There’s a typo in the “footnote” (or whatever it’s called), “creidt sequence” should be “credit sequence”

    • Retsam says:

      Also in “The designers didn’t simply marry to DOOM aesthetic to standard shooter combat”; that should be “marry the DOOM aesthetic”, I think.

  9. Ryan says:

    “How am I supposed to maintain my reputation as the guy who complains about everything when we keep getting stuff like this?”

    Don’t worry; I’m sure they’ll add a horrible, already-cracked DRM in the first update…

    • Lanthanide says:

      Funny you say that, because Doom is protected by Denuvo V2 anti-piracy software, and still hasn’t been cracked.

      Just Cause 3 apparently used it, and Far Cry: Primal, and they haven’t been cracked either.

      Shamus had some tweets about this a week or two ago, along the lines of: “hey publishers, now that you have defeated piracy, you can reduce the price of your games, just like you promised. right?”

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Technically,denuvo isnt a drm.Its preventing the tampering of the files rather than their distribution.If I understand it correctly,you can easily get a game protected just by denuvo,burn it on a disk and give it to anyone with no problem,you just cant modify it in any way during that transfer.

        Also,denuvo kind of was cracked as soon as it appeared.The problem is that to brute force the key required to bypass it takes weeks or even months for every game.So while the process exists,no one wants to bother with it for so long.

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          Oh I’m sure someone will bother, but at least it, for now, undermines the “every pirated copy is a loss of the superdeluxe edition with a lifesized protagonist figure made out of diamonds and a date with the chosen member of the dev team sale” argument.

  10. Thomas says:

    They’re being rewarded in sales too. It’s not selling as much as Uncharted 4 (that is the Doom sales across all platforms are less than the PS4 Uncharted sales), but apparently those numbers are very close, in the UK at least.

    They probably didn’t break the bank making it, and it’ll give them a nice return on the money. AAA gaming is becoming more diverse again!

    • Supah Ewok says:

      Doom 4’s been in development in one form or another for something like 10 years, and they had to hire on another studio just to get multiplayer off of the ground. What makes you think they “didn’t break the bank making it?”

      • Thomas says:

        Ah okay. They probably did break the bank making it then. At least they’re making some of it back!

        • Supah Ewok says:

          Yeah, if anything, they’ve shown that they’ve got the concept and basic gameplay down, so that a franchise will be viable (and profitable) going forward.

      • EmmEnnEff says:

        It’s very common to outsource non-core components (Especially multiplayer for shooters) to third-party studios. Unless you’re Valve or Blizzard, you’re probably contracting smaller shops for various parts of your game – be it multiplayer, console ports, etc…

  11. shpelley says:

    I think another really good thing they kept from the original Doom was the pacing. The basic flow of the game is boiled down to this:

    – Kill a couple of weak stragglers getting from major area to major area of the map
    – Start killing bigger enemies with more interesting placement as you get closer
    – Get into a giant arena-style area and kill a couple dozen guys in a frenzy of activity
    – Go hunting for secrets now that you’ve cleaned out the place, sometimes needing to backtrack a bit but usually not particularly far, killing a few stragglers perhaps.
    – Repeat

    Basically, hunting for secrets gives you “Quiet Time” in between heavy action sequences, but for those who just want MOAR KILLING they can plow through. Maybe you’ve got your adrenaline going and you clear the whole level and THEN go secret hunting.

    One of the only negatives I’ve seen is that, sometimes, the game doesn’t give you an obvious enough ‘tell’ that you are passing a Point of No Return. The only reason they stick out is because in MOST places they do this very well, so when it doesn’t, it feels more aggravating.

    Otherwise, this thing is just slick as well… Hell.

    • Lanthanide says:

      There were quite a few places in the later levels where there is a Point Of No Return that is not obvious at all (usually dropping down a really long vent).

      Once I had all the weapon upgrades I wanted though, I stopped caring about secrets.

  12. Topper Hable says:

    Correction: having just finished it, Wolfenstein: The New Order was hot garbage. It was just competent enough to remind me of much better FPS games.

    The story felt both single-mindedly moronic and nasty at the same time, missing all the beats it set out to hit (“The New Colossus, you guys! It’s a hope and thing ending!” how bout no fuck you) and hitting all the *really* wrong ones (“hey guys, I found Wolfenstein’s script! It’s the Protocols of the Elders of Zion”!”), and there was a lot of story to go around. Bunch of it unskippable too.

    But my real complaint was that it was a shitty shooter. It’s Borderlands syndrome again; if it takes 5 headhots from a sniper rifle to put someone down, count me out. Except in Wolfenstein, it took more than a dozen. That’s… that’s just sad.

    Also, I really resented having to play as Blazkowicz in a way I never really felt about even the most tryhard and edgy vidyagame protagonists. I’d rather play as the hate-child of Kratos and Skorpion.

    • Galad says:

      It’s taking a lot of effort for me not to scream fanboy obscenities at you, since I’ve written several times in posts like this one, about how much I liked the story and especially, the characters, of Wolfenstein: TNO. To each their own

    • Mersadeon says:

      While I in general disagree with you, I definitely think that the idea with the Da’at Yichud was really boneheaded. You can see where they were coming from (Nazis are actually hypocrites, using supertech developed by benevolent jews), but there’s pretty much no way to execute that without coming off as pretty Elders-of-Zion-y, especially with a story of this tone. They should have left that out. (I hope this doesn’t stray too closely to politics).

      • Topper Hable says:

        Who would you offend? The fucking nazis?
        (joke)

        That bit really did bother me though, and the death camp too. It’s like… Nazis are not very fun?
        Metro 2033 + Last Light did stuff with them too, but they were a side villain – hateful enough that you felt no compunctions about murdering them, but ultimately trivial. Quite unlike the Communists in the same games, who (spoilers) end up as the main villain in the second game. With Literal Hitler as their leader.

        Back to Wolfenstein… something about Blazkowicz’ shiny blue eyes and mournful facelooks rubbed me the wrong way, and his poetrific rambling made me grit my teeth and wish for a “make your avatar eat his shotgun” button. And at the same time, non-characters like Gordon Freeman or Master Chef never bothered me. Or even the nameless dickbag from Bulletstorm – he was obnoxious but at least unique among FPS protagonists. Artyom in the Metro games (who unfortunately only communicates in diaries) seemed like an alright character. Doom Guy in the latest game is excellent.

        Blazkowicz though… more like Blehkowicz. No no no.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        I may have experienced the story wrong,but I didnt see the “jews really were evil” undertones.Yes,they made this great technology,but they werent using it for weapons.To me,that sounds like blaming Tesla for inventing the electric chair.

        • Supah Ewok says:

          IIRC the argument wasn’t that the games portrayed the Jews as evil, but that they portrayed the Jews heading an international conspiracy to influence the world. Although the game portrays their efforts positively, a Jewish cabal controlling the world was an actual line of anti-Semetic thought back in the Nazi’s hey-day, so for the game to portray that line of thought as true is to prove the Nazis right on one of their points for Jewish extermination. Which isn’t cool.

          I didn’t play the game, I’m just parroting what I remember of the argument.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Id like to know where the game shows that.Because all I saw was a bunch of “old jews” creating uber tech and then stashing it in a vault.Thats it.

            • Mersadeon says:

              Mostly it’s the implication that a jewish secret group has super-technology – including, despite them just sticking it all into a vault, weapons of destruction that have zero purpose besides wrecking stuff and killing people.

              The Da’at Yichud isn’t portrayed as evil, but making it a jewish secret group that decides what technology the world is ready for and what not has unfortunate implications. No one’s saying they literally made Elders-of-Zion fanfiction, just that they really should have thought a bit more about the tone of their game and if this fits into it.

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So,now we have a good reboot to doom,the game that kick started the whole fps genre.The next notable game that revolutionized the genre by having you actually talk to npcs was half life.Therefore,

    HALF LIFE 3 CONFIRMED!

    • Phill says:

      Confirmed, but unfortunately it will have more in common with Duke Nukem Forever than with nuevoDoom.

      • Incunbulum says:

        Well, they were working on a pretty in-depth set of dialogue trees and AI ’emotion’ mechanics – but having seen the success of DOOM they’ve re-tooled and decided that a quake-style ‘no story’ arena-based shooter is the way to go.

        So, instead of being announced at E3 this year its been pushed back to 2019.

    • WarlockOfOz says:

      Half life three will be a VR exclusive to the oculus rift and available only to humble bundle monthly subscribers active on the 30th of February 2017.

      • Jsor says:

        In all seriousness, though, I suspect that Half Life 2: Ep 3 (or Half Life 3) is going to be their flagship tech demo to get people hyped about the Vulkan-based Source 2 engine, which likely includes VR tech. Just like HL2 was largely a tech demo for the Source engine.

    • NotSteve says:

      By this logic Half Life 3 will be a reboot of Half Life 1, meaning we have to wait two more games to find out what happens next.

      I could see it happening. Valve is notoriously allergic to the number 3, so a reboot would get around that.

  14. bad_cluster says:

    This new DOOM feels almost perfect to me, if I ignore extremely disappointing multiplayer, especially when compared to single player campaign. I just pretend multiplayer mode does not exist.
    It feels like the only thing missing from the game, is that sense of dread that Doom 1 and 2 had. The chills and goose bumps I used to get when I heard arachnotorns approach and didn’t know yet where they are coming from, hearing an arch-vile join in the fight or those terrifying howls that barons of hell make on aggro. Hell, even constantly grunting pinkies could be stressful when you couldn’t tell if there were in the next room or just “invisible”. Even revenant’s slow homing missiles sounded menacing as they fly by, made me try to dodge them in my chair as if they were going to fly out of the screen at me. But, this could be simply because I’m no longer a 12 year old boy.

  15. Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

    I’ll probably skip. A game about slaughtering demons in hell with no story just aint me.

    I’d probably go for it if they took the Doom from the comics (at least the ones Linkara has reviewed where the guy acts like he’s on a combination of crack and PCP) where he’s just a screaming professional wrestler the whole time.

    Maybe he calls his girlfriend and she talks exactly like him and they talk about plans for a dinner party in their screaming voices and their method of preparing for a dinner party is appropriately ultraviolent.

    DOOMGUY: I TOLD YOU! THEY WANT LION STEAKS!!

    DOOMGF: WELL I WANT BEARCHOPS AND I ALREADY STRANGLED A BEAR!!

    DOOMGUY: THATS WHY I LOVE YOU DOOMGF!!

    DOOMGF: WHO’S MY BLOODRAZORBEAST!!

    DOOMGUY: ME!!

    • Mersadeon says:

      Are those the comics in which Doomguy is a somewhat mormon and they go back to a post-apocalyptic earth? Or were those the novels?

      Man, Doom really doesn’t have any luck with peripheral media…

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      He kind of is that guy,only mute.He cares nothing for the serious guys around him,just about ripping and tearing.And spilling demon guts.Especially from big demons who have big guts.

      • Wide And Nerdy ™ says:

        Sounds like it. But it would still be fun to have him go all professional wrestler on it every now and then. I’m loving the bits I’ve heard about his characterization.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          He says quite enough with movement alone.I think any voice for him wouldve been too much.Plus,this makes him the original doom marine,the mute one.

          Still,you can fill in the thought bubbles yourself.As was always ordained.

      • Mark says:

        There actually is a “RIP AND TEAR!” reference in the very first bit of text you see onscreen. They basically took the Doom comic and used it as their design document.

        I am okay with this.

    • Incunbulum says:

      Its not that there’s no story – there is and its told pretty well through environmental storytelling and the occasional (one-way) expo dump over the radio.

      But there’s a meta-story there too – that the *player* usually doesn’t give a shit and here neither does the *player character*.

      The PC knows he’s the reason he’s there, knows what he wants to do, knows the voice on the radio has only as much power and control as the writer allows, and knows the writer has written the story to accomodate this.

      Doom(2016)Guy knows he’s in a videogame – or at least that he’s the figment of someone else’s imagination.

    • That actually leads fairly well into my thoughts on the name, since if it had been Doom 4, people might mistake it for Doom’s IV, one of those shitty Image comics from Liefeld and Co, also covered by Linkara.

    • Lanthanide says:

      Actually the story is what kept me playing. I was getting kinda bored towards the end, but wanted to see what happened in the story.

    • Cuthalion says:

      Muscleman and Starla? (Anyone? Anyone? No? Ok.)

  16. Neil D says:

    “How am I supposed to maintain my reputation as the guy who complains about everything when we keep getting stuff like this?”

    Did they explain where his food comes from?

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    You really should write a piece about marketing for this game,because dear lord was it bad.Not just the stupid name and lame covers,but also the multiplayer beta which was extremely bad,and refusal of review copies after being called out on that atrocious thing.Someone definitely shouldve been fired for all of that.

    How do you screw that up?If they just played that metal as hell opening theyd have perfect marketing right there.Heck,heres a “novel” idea:Play some gameplay footage with voice over from that comic.Boom!That took me all of 5 seconds to think of.For both of those ideas.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      I have this nagging suspicion that someone was just looking at all the multiplayer games around and just blindly assumed that this is the selling feature.

  18. Incunbulum says:

    Look, be thankful that is wasn’t ‘D04M’ or ‘DOOM$’ or ‘DOOOOM’ because if the could have shoehorned a 4 in there in place of a letter they would have.

    But it does seem pretentious and arrogant – as if this game will have so much impact on gaming that it will push its older sibling into the shadows.

    Its a decent game but a) its not innovative and groundbreaking (as Doom1993 was), and it doesn’t stand above its FPS peers in look or animation. Its main claim to being ‘good’ is that it resurrects the older fast-paced playstyle (so its a case of everything out of style comes back eventually) that had gone out of style in favor of chest-high-walls and then the ‘realism’ kick of CoD style games.

    So I guess its success will spawn a wave of ‘Quake-clone’-Doom-clones.

    • Incunbulum says:

      Plus, OMG, the damn thing is soooooo fething consolified.

      Unskippable splash screens – check (and not just the first time you run it, which is annoying enough).

      Doesn’t even start to load the game until the splash screens are done – check

      Loading percentage before main menu – check

      Press any key to continue – check

      *$%#@#@#@# SAVE CHECKPOINTS – check – seriously, wtf are these still a thing in any except a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, percentage of games where a checkpoint might be an integral part of the gameplay rather than a horrible annoyance – I’m thinking racing games and . . . that’s all I got.

      And it seems you can’t host your own matches – its Rando Calrissian or nothing (though you can party up you can’t have a private game unless your party is large enough to fill all the game slots). If I’m mistaken please correct me (forcefully and vigorously!) and let me know how – thanks.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Unskippable splash screens – check (and not just the first time you run it, which is annoying enough).

        Doesn’t even start to load the game until the splash screens are done – check

        Loading percentage before main menu – check

        Ive seen this in some strategy games that were pc exclusive,so its not a sign of consolification,rather a sloppy design.

        *$%#@#@#@# SAVE CHECKPOINTS – check – seriously, wtf are these still a thing in any except a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, percentage of games where a checkpoint might be an integral part of the gameplay rather than a horrible annoyance – I’m thinking racing games and . . . that’s all I got.

        You forgot….dare I say it?….dark souls

        And it seems you can’t host your own matches – its Rando Calrissian or nothing (though you can party up you can’t have a private game unless your party is large enough to fill all the game slots).

        Again,just sloppy design,not consolification.But the whole multiplayer of this game is kind of sloppy.

        • Incunbulum says:

          I’m not saying that these things are done *for* consoles, when I say ‘consolified’ I mean that these are things that are commonly found in console games and only on PC games that have a heavy console-design focus.

          FO4, for example, has the ‘press any key to continue’ to get to the main menu – that is striclty a holdover from the old console days where they had to do that . . . for some reason. PC-focused design doesn’t do that since it does nothing for us.

          It is, in my opinion, not a mark of *poor* design, only of a design team that is used to building console games and so add this stuff in because . . . that’s the way its always been done.

          All of it, *except* the checkpoint save* is nitpicking on my part though – I have my preferred design paradigm – but there’s simply no excuse for checkpoint-only. None whatsoever. Unlike Dark Souls (a console game!) you can’t even try to justify it with ‘tension’, ‘atmosphere’, or even just plain ‘makes player death meaningful’.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Mid-battle saving is much harder to program.
            Even games with quicksaves often don’t let you do so in combat.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Depends on the ai.If it has some permanent triggers(if A,then continue B forever),then it can break with a mid combat save,and it becomes harder to program around.If not,its just as easy as saving anything else.

              The real problem comes from allowing the users to save milliseconds before death,leading to them being pissed off and bitching at you.Of course,this is easily solved by having this option:”number of quicksaves to keep(default 5)”.

              • Incunbulum says:

                But *consoles* don’t do that (very much).

                I was reading a review for Arkham Knight and the reviewer was gushing that AK had *three* quickslot saves instead of the normal one.

                All this save stuff developed back when consoles *couldn’t* save because they had no onboard storage. Now its a cultural thing – this is just they way we’ve always done it – even though it makes no freaking sense to do it that way anymore.

                Adding checkpoints is fine – but its not a replacement for a proper save system (even one that disables saving in combat). Its bad enough not being able to name saves (gamepad limitations there).

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  I agree with you on that one.Character limitation for names is also silly.As is binding all the actions to a single button,even though modern controllers have as much functionality as a regular keyboard.

            • Incunbulum says:

              Not letting me do that in combat is fine – though its a rare *PC* game that can’t handle that its a bad idea to do so from a practical perspective.

              The problem is not being able to save after a difficult fight unless there’s a checkpoint immediately after – you’re at the mercy of what the developers want here.

              As an example – yesterday I replayed the same little fight 5 times before I quit the game. I didn’t die *in that fight* , but would get overwhelmed slightly later while trying to clear out the foundry – and then the only checkpoint I had tripped was just before that fight.

              It was an annoying one where the first of the bull demons shows up. For all the ‘speed’ this game is supposed to have you dodge like cold shit and you’re trying to avoid him while being peppered with Imps and there’s one of those fething shield guys also.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      DOOM$ and DOOOOOOOOM would actually be kind of clever.If I were in the marketing,Id rerelease all 4 games with the launch of this,renamed as DOOM!, DOOM!!, DOOM!!! and the current one would be DOOM!!!!

  19. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Also,I want to discus the demons in multiplayer and why they are such a crappy idea,both here and in that starwars game.

    Unlike with previous games,you arent a glass cannon,nor a brick peashooter.You get both damage and health as a demon,which is bad.And as a single thing powerup,it means that once you collect it,no one else can(without killing you).And that seriously ruins the fun.

    A much better approach would be to turn everyone into a demon for the duration,and those that get killed in that form get spawned back as regular guys,with a chance to repick up the demon thing.

    • Incunbulum says:

      I think the idea is that its supposed to force the other team to break from capping points (in that mode) or otherwise running around like headless chickens and *cooperate* to take it down while if your team is behind you can use it to quickly close that gap.

      But in practice, there’s at least one (and probably more) that are simply death sentences if you get in LOS. I had one that had some sort of ‘sprint across the room and kill you’ button that took me down everytime I so much as peeked around the corner.

  20. Tizzy says:

    What about the asshole who was in the meeting room when the intro was designed ?

    We’ll have this balls-to-the-wall intro in media res, where the player’s first action is to shoot a demon. It’ll be old school awesome.

    Oh yeah, and we’ll have a pointless grab the armor scene with an ominous meaningless flashback, and then someone comes in on the com immediately to inform the player of what’s going on, and to explain there is a demonic invasion…

    I’m at a loss why this intro has been so well received. It’s good, it gives a good idea of what the game is going for, but… Why the Hell couldn’t they commit to it? Go for 5 or 10 minutes of shooting without any interruption. Wait until after the credits, if you really must have them. I promise: no one will get confused, the exposition won’t spoil, and you won’t be sending mixed messages.

    • Incunbulum says:

      There’s a couple of ways they could have done it that wouldn’t be so formulaic.

      The way you mention.

      And there’s the Aliens:TC for Doom way – the whole first mission you don’t encounter a single enemy. But you don’t *know* that going in. All you see is the aftermath of previous events and are waiting the whole time for the action to start. Its pretty intense – the first time you play it.

      But, on repeats, it could get to be like BGS’ Skyrim/FO3/4 intros – not interesting enough on their own but too long to be easy to repeat.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Except the Doom Marine’s reaction to the exposition is to angrily shove the screen away, which is funny, (not to mention they have a status message for “Demonic Invasion in Progress” for some reason), then punching the screen in the lift to shut the guy up again, as he really doesn’t care.
      There’s there’s the short title sequence. A little clever thing.

  21. Andy_Panthro says:

    Prince of Persia > PoP2 > PoP: Sands of Time > PoP: Warrior Within > PoP: Two Thrones > Prince of Persia (2008)

    Alone in the Dark > AitD 2 > AitD 3 > AitD: A New Nightmare > Alone in the Dark (2008)

    Doom > Doom 2: Hell on Earth > Doom 3 > Doom (2016)

    Reverting back to the original name didn’t go very well for the first two series (no comment on the respective quality of the reboots, I only played the earliest ones of each series), will Doom be able to buck that trend?

  22. Arvind says:

    Yes, but what does the Doom Guy eat?

  23. Kelerak says:

    DmC: Doom may Cry

  24. Mark says:

    I call it “New Doom, or ‘Noom'”

  25. Ilseroth says:

    Another mistake they *could* have made but didn’t was the sound design. Simple fact is, Metal as a soundtrack choice is *rare* nowadays. And if they do put in metal it is usually more reserved. Doom comes in with meaty heavy metal with some electronic stuff thrown in and it works great to ramp the tension.

    As for mistakes they *did* make?

    Unskippable cutscenes: Yeah I know there aren’t many, yeah I know they aren’t long, but this game bears replaying, all the secrets, weapon upgrades, so on so forth all say “hey come play the game again” (not to mention the gameplay) but I am frequently held up by a cutscene in a fair number of the levels.

    Checkpoint Save system: Again this rarely affected me strongly, I think I had to redo a fight or two in the whole game; and I understand *why* they did it (much easier and less exploitable then a save all the time system) but considering all the secrets I would have liked to be able to save before trying to jump off ledges or other dangerous situations (as a lot of the secrets require.)

    The Competitive Multiplayer: Simple fact is, its generic. Honestly it isn’t “bad” but it also launched only a few short weeks from Overwatch. So I played through doom, got all the secrets, had a bunch of fun and just as I was thinking of trying to get into the multiplayer, oh would you look at that, a much better competitive shooter. To be fair, that’s *all* Overwatch is, and honestly it plays more TF2 then Halo, which is the closest direct competitor to the style of multiplayer Doom presents.

    Also… why no deathmatch, just normal standard DM. I know that you can do it in Snap-Map but that is a much less populated and most of the people are trying to just do Co-op, which brings me to…

    No Campaign Co-Op: While I recognize the game already was in development for pretty much ever, and it already has a competitive multiplayer and snap map component; the campaign is the breadwinner of the package, and being able to Co-Op the game would have been fun.

    Snap-Map lacks a server browser: While the competitive multiplayer lacking a server browser is kind of irrelevant, especailly since it wants to do matchmaking and all the to make sure you are against the right opponents; not being able to look around for maps that look interesting that already have people playing them is awkward.

    But yeah, those are pedantic little nitpicks that don’t change how much fun the campaign is. Once I have my fill on Overwatch, I’ll prolly go back and play through it on a harder difficulty, maybe take a whack that the Ultra Nightmare challenge.

  26. Zaxares says:

    I’m glad people are enjoying the new Doom, but it just didn’t hit the spot for me. I LIKED the medkits and health stations of the previous games; it included a bit more resource management and the enjoyment of “leaving some stuff for later”. The new Doom seems to emphasize non-stop combat which I find tedious (if you try to play more defensively and cautiously, the game punishes you for it via slower ammo and health replenishments). I preferred being able to creep around levels, finding good spots to lure enemies into and being able to read up on the everyday lives of people on the base from Doom 3.

    But as I said, to each their own. Maybe the next Doom will be more to my liking.

  27. Volvagia says:

    The closest comparison to Doom 2016, then, would probably be The Darkness 2. A super aggressive “always go forward” shooter by modern standards with enemies acting as both health and ammo.

  28. Amstrad says:

    Made a comic for you Shamus. DO4M

  29. Ahiya says:

    On the topic of new things to complain about – the blog keeps putting up your old purchasing-a-graphics-card post in the related posts list. Since we just got NVIDIA’s new card and AMD’s is coming up soon, an update to that should provide fodder for complaints from now until next summer. :)

  30. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Yahtzee has the solution for the name:

    Deum

  31. Jokerman says:

    I just can’t get over the fact that my two favorite FPS in the 2010’s are Doom and Wolfeinstein.

    • Volvagia says:

      If I were to guess what my top 10 First Person Shooters at the end of the decade would be right now? Doom 2016, Wolfenstein: The New Order and (unless we’re going by Watch Mojo “one entry per franchise” rules) Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, The Darkness 2, Metro 2033, BioShock 2 (it’s not as insulting as BioShock Infinite or Far Cry 3, two games that are narratively inept even by shooter standards, and playing as a Big Daddy is too cool to overcome), Borderlands 2 (yeah, it’s on the cusp of “FPS or WRPG”, but I’d lean on it as an FPS more than, say, Fallout 4) and maybe Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst (as an FPP&K minor offshoot) with two-four more to be seen in the last three years of the decade.

  32. Jim says:

    I still wish we’d gotten a Marathon reboot/remake instead. It was the better game in the 90s, and it could have been the better game now. Or, given that Bungie have been royally screwed by Activision (as shown by Destiny).

    I would also love to see a quality remake of Pathways into Darkness

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