Saturday, 26 November 2022

Doom Gorefest #1 - Calling the Demons

Yes, there has already been a review, done by me, on Doom. That doesn't mean that I am done with this franchise. This series of articles will be covering one game. There is a lot to talk about and I am passionate about the subject because I have been following it for its near 30 year run. The Doom community is still very much alive. Not only are the Doom mods and Doom maps still being created to this day, but Doom is still widely accessible in Classic Collections, Steam and modern console stores all over the place. Doom is still very relevant, and while the Saturn had one of the more unfavorable ports to its name, that doesn't mean Planet Virtua needs to keep the Doomer side secret! Doom has come to this site and let's keep the ball rolling!

One of the great things about this game is the feeling of taking on entire hordes of demons by yourself and having to prove your mettle to pull off this feat. It doesn't matter how many there are, the game can give you the tools to beat however many.

The trick is to know which gun should be used to defeat which demon. Sometimes this can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Using the starting pistol to take down zombie men and former sergeants is wise for conserving ammo and still killing them. Using the starting pistol on a cacodemon is a good way to waste your time and get you killed.

You can use the rocket launcher on a cacodemon but never use the rockets on a lost soul. One up close shot to them is a good way to take backfire. 

People don't give Doom enough credit, saying it's just a game where you shoot demons. While that is true, there's a depth in both exploring the levels and strategizing how much ammo and weaponry to take down however many number of enemies. Being able to dodge projectiles and knowing when to fall back are also very important.

The demons are also a great deal of variety and each one are very easy to recognize. Once you see an imp, you have a pretty good strategy of what you want to do. That is not a strategy that is easily used against an archvile, though. Their different hit points and abilities will have you improvising a tactic on the fly. This is where that adrenaline kicks in.

If you were to wonder where to start, you should wisely start from the beginning. Ultimate Doom begins with Knee Deep in the Dead, and it would behoove you to start with it and pay close attention. These are the levels where they brought their A game. The levels start simple and have a good progression when they grow harder. John Romero, Tom Hall and Sandy Peterson made these maps to varying degrees, thanks to some creative differences with Hall and his departure from ID soon after.

Knee Deep in the Dead shows off the greatest in Ultimate Doom's level design. Doom 2 are some of their other greatest levels. This time, it was Romero, Peterson and American McGee, who was new to the company. Doom 2 also brought about a myriad of new demons, along with its new weapon, the Super Shotgun.

The Super Shotgun is, bar none, my favorite weapon in the games, classic and current Doom included. It uses two shotgun shells and does more than twice the shotgun's damage. It is the shotgun every other shotgun wishes they could be. It kills everything with efficiency aside from the boss demons, the Spider Mastermind and the Cyberdemon.

The Hell Knight is a fun opponent, although it is just a recolor of the Baron of Hell. It's weaker and softer but it works on the level of filling out demon hordes with dangerous enemies. The Hell Knight is still better than some of their other Doom 2 additions. Who thought that taking one of Doom's most hated enemies, the Lost Souls, and giving them a spawn point was a good idea? 

The Pain Elemental is about as strong and floaty as a cacodemon but spits out ridiculous amounts of Lost Souls if they are not killed quickly.

Chaingunners about as well loved. Their high speeding shots make them a dangerous opponent. Killing them is easy, though, and they drop chainguns for your troubles.

The aforementioned archviles are both loved and hated by the community. If you are in their line of sight, they can use flames to blind you and use it as a slow charge attack that takes off ridiculous amounts of hp. They are also hard to kill with their high hp and can even resurrect all other monsters aside from boss monsters,  monsters with no corpses, or other archviles. If you want to make a demon horde really hard, include one or two of these.

Doom can never be understated in its greatness. The game has stood the test of time thanks to ID's hard work and dedication to greatness. John Carmack created an exemplary game engine and John Romero and the rest of the team formed it into a game that still has the gaming world captivated to this very day.

I love this series so much that, like the Virtua Sonic featurettes, I decided to talk about this franchise a little more indepth. Even if the Doom port for Saturn wasn't up to par, it still was an introduction into the world of Doom and there is always room for more. Let the Gorefest begin!

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