First Impressions - DOOM (2016)
May 28, 2016

I have an interesting relationship with Doom. The first one came out in 1993. I was Four years old. My brother was ten. Instead of Doom, my first gaming experience came with Quake (1996, I was seven) and then Unreal (1998, I was nine). So while my brother was into Doom (Probably playing Doom 2 or Final Doom), I was playing other things.

Still, I do have experience with Doom 3 (2004) which was a solid shooter but most people forgot about it within the year. Yea. It was one of those.

It took a while for me to become interested in this new one. I keep up with Achievement Hunter, which did some beta videos, including a multiplayer tournament before the game was even released. I didn’t watch the whole thing, since it looked like a muddled mess of black, brown and red.

However, as my last paycheck rolled in, the usual 100$ I have to reserve for food is unnecessary which was an extra infusion of what I call “play money”, which went to Doom in its entirety. I doubt I’ll get 100 hours worth, so Doom evades my usual 1 dollar per hour of gaming quality metrics, as some AAA titles do, just so that I can be on the same page as everyone else.

I will admit, the first ten minutes of the game felt pretty damn great. I’m treated with heavy metal, punctuated by Doomguy’s shotgun. The game is a fast, no holds barred beatdown of demons between checkpoints. A lot of reviews claim “Doom is back” and I definitely feel it. It gives me a sort of sideways nostalgia as I’m reminded of my experience with Unreal. Except Unreal’s buttons are Doom’s keycards which is my primary source of annoyance as I run around levels trying to find one of the ten thousand corpses I can ‘activate’ to pick up keycard to unlock the other parts of the map. It’s a brief annoyance while I feel like an idiot and resist the temptation to immediately resort to Youtube walkthroughs. Once I get the keycards, the ball gets rolling properly and demon murder commences. It’s just more satisfying when I can manage it myself.

There’s more to the game than running and gunning, however. Ideally, you don’t make a beeline for every green lighted door, or every objective as soon as possible. By exploring the side areas you can get upgrades to your guns, armor, health, ammunition, and even “runes” which act as passives to further extend your abilities. I hesitate to call the upgrades “RPG elements” because it’s a pretty linear way to progress, and there’s no real way to “build”. You either find the items to upgrade, or you miss some. That’s all there is to it.

One feature that I do appreciate is the “glory kill” mechanic. Once you weaken enemies to a certain point, you run up to melee them which gives you a gruesome animation of Doomguy ripping the enemy apart, to which it replies with health drops. This forces you to remain in the thick of things, and helps retrain your brain from the last decade of cover-based shooting and defensive gameplay. Even as a player of cover-based shooter, this is something I can appreciate.

While I don’t mean to get political, this proves the feminist point that we’re not trying to take away men’s toys. It’s a common misconception that we feminists just want to equalize the entire entertainment industry by making everything pastel and peaceful. However, as far as I can tell there’s no sexism here; The main villain is an older woman but the game doesn’t seem to mind this fact. She has her own goals and ambitions and isn’t the typical “femme fatale”. The game is just a straightforward romp in a hellish landscape. It’s not making a statement - You’re here to kick Hell’s ass. So am I.

First impressions are great - The game just feels good.

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EmP EmP - May 28, 2016 (10:32 AM)
The world continues to gang up on me and beat me down for not buying this game already.

Fine. I give in. I'll go pick it up.
Zydrate Zydrate - May 28, 2016 (03:41 PM)
I'm curious. Is there any specific thing that made you think "Fuck it, buying"? Or was is just wearing you down? Cos if the latter, might not be a great reason to get a game if you won't enjoy it.
EmP EmP - May 28, 2016 (05:30 PM)
I think I'd set myself up to not really care about Doom. I was big into the first two but really hated the direction they took with the third so it felt like an easy thing to just ignore and walk away from. But it feels like the entire world is saying that I'm only going to be missing out, so I guess I'm caving.
Zydrate Zydrate - May 28, 2016 (07:34 PM)
This post was written up like an hour in. I've done ~6 hours now and my opinion hasn't changed much. It's really goddamn good and an overall very satisfying experience.
overdrive overdrive - June 01, 2016 (12:47 PM)
I do have to say that I wasn't expecting the first current-gen game to give me a legit itch to buy a current-gen system to be a new Doom game. Very surprising development. I mean, my backlog is way to large to really justify doing so, but I do feel the itch.
Zydrate Zydrate - June 02, 2016 (11:43 AM)
It really is a great experience, but don't go bankrupt for the sake of a game.

Being employed helped me a lot (Before quitting because I was in constant pain), as income taxes gave me around ~1200$, ALL of which was used for getting a brand spankin' new PC that will probably last me the next few years. Or several, since I got a full tower rather than that useless mini-tower. I just need to keep my processors and graphics cards up to date.
I also need a new job.

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