Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Video Game Review: Doom

I picked up this game after I heard it won a game of the year award and almost immediately saw the appeal. I did not play the old one in the series so this was my first exposure to the doom universe. The key to this game is constant movement and as my aching thumbs will attest, movement is the only way to survive. The game starts off with horror as the Doom soldier wakes up, puts on his powerful praetor suit, and kills demons. A power station on Mars has been overrun with demonic entities that hope to overthrow this planet then possibly head to Earth. The status of civilization is never clear but the protagonist is isolated on the red planet with only bloodthirsty demons and his weapons for company, and also a robot.

The robot gives instructions as he is hoping to chase down an evil Dr. Olivia Pierce who has unleashed the demons and hopes to harness their power. The mining operation was using power from hell to generate energy, which led to the problems. This hellish power is never fully explored as a metaphor for environmentalism but I got the feeling after seeing all the dead bodies of the workers that it warns against the pursuit of energy and profit, hell after all is usually used to teach a moral. The heavy metal music helps set the atmosphere of demon destruction. 

My favorite weapon was the combat shotgun at first with its ability to blast demons away but then I grew fond of the assault rifle. Near the end of the campaign, I had to rely on the Gauss Cannon, chaingun, rocket launcher and BFG-9000. The demons grew steadily stronger but at a good pace that never left me too out of my depth. I progressed with my praetor suit and weapons quite well though I didn't achieve full capacity by the end. 

Another very cool and unique thing about Doom were the Glory Kills. I wasn't great at these on multiplayer but in the game when demons flashed orange or blue, it was awesome to run up to them and smash their skulls. This execution added to the extreme nature of the combat. There was nearly nonstop brutal violence as demons exploded upon contact with shotgun pellets or were sawed in half with the melee chainsaw weapon. I enjoyed discovering that the chainsaw could rip in half some of the large more annoying demons. 

The settings were captivating and I easily got myself lost in the various world, either Mars or the creepy Hell locales. The mixture of horror and action blended well. The various multiplayer locations settings were also very cool with a few in outer space that defied gravity as players jumped around shooting each other. The different multiplayer types like freeze tag and zone defense were a lot of fun and nothing too complicated that left me out and I actually did decent in the competition. 

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