Monday, August 8, 2022

DOOM 1993 (PS4)

 After reading Masters of Doom, I thought it´d be nice to re-try those games. After all, last time I played them was… 1994? 95? Can´t remember. Their original distribution system was shareware, and that didn´t get to Spain easy. It probably took some months or even years for a copy to get to me. Plus, I´m not sure if I ever paid for them. Maybe I just got the free first episode. Or a pirated copy. I somehow remember paying for a pirated copy of Ultimate Doom, but it was so long ago…

Anyway, I guess it was time to pay back for sure, and relive those times. That´s something most will never get to experience, because when Doom was out it made you feel things. Feel BIG. Graphically speaking it was a leap forward in time so hard you thought you were playing a game five years into the future. The gap was just so huge

You need to remember, the early nineties were dominated by graphic adventures, cartoony style mostly, and the vast majority aiming for kid´s taste. Then Doom came along, with its satanic environments, horrifying sound effects and gory violence. It was a whole new experience, something that caught you by surprise

Apparently it created a lot of controversy in the USA. I didn´t get to see that, but there were congress hearings and everything. I also remember journalists talking about the insane amount of hours American workers have wasted playing Doom while pretending to work. It was a phenomenon, one that I believe set a before/after moment in Videogames: Before Doom, games had limited sales and were kind of niche entertainment. They couldn´t dream to rival movies or even TV. But Doom proved games could be the talk of the town, and make a lot of money on the way

After finishing the game, I was nicely surprised to see it still holds great. The game is just fun: Weapons are satisfying to use, enemy patterns are simple enough to develop strategies, and the different group combinations keep you invested. I also got as many trophies as I could get, and found some additional content (i.e. secret maps) I hadn´t seen before

All in all, still a game you would recommend to others. If Return to castle Wolfenstein (also from the twisted minds of Romero & Carmack) was the grandfather of modern First person shooters, Doom is imho undoubtedly the father. Its offspring continues to thrive to this day, and also pioneered online gaming, speedrunning, modding and the creation of fanbases. I would consider it a must for anyone who wants to be a developer, there are interesting level design lessons everywhere, and more importantly there is a simplicity forced by the tech of the time, that with the time become somehow a virtue

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