Thursday, December 12, 2013

Editorial: Doom's 20th Anniversary

Doom turned 20 this week. TWENTY!!! (Oh GOD I'M GETTING SO OLD)

I actually liked Doom 2 a bit better than the original Doom, but the original Doom was the first time, father and son sat down, and said, "Wow, there might be something more to this gaming thing."

Side note: This is also the last first person shooter my dad could play. Once things went to 3D, it was game over.

Doom was the first game that I can remember sitting in my windowless basement office, on a gorgeous Saturday, and just playing for 8 hours straight with my buddy Spencer.

I started typing this on Tuesday and have had to just leave and come back and try to figure out where I wanted to focus the post. This game just means so much to my childhood.

  1. Wolfenstein 3D was impressive and great in it's own right, but Doom hit the culture so hard, it was the first computer game I remember talking about on the playground. Mario, Sonic, and if you were a hardcore gamer, Doom, were subjects of, "Oh I found this secret in level 1-3" or had that one kid claiming to have an uncle that worked at ID. That's how you knew the game was good, everyone's uncle somehow worked at ID after they left their gig at Nintendo.
  2. This was the first time I remember hearing someone refer to "hardcore gamers." 
  3. Any FPS that came after this had to set their weapon number toggles the same way as Doom. If the number 3 did not give me a shotgun or their equivalent of a shotgun, I just didn't understand. 4 was always going to be a machine gun. And 5 through the end was always the rocket launches, plasma guns, and explosives. 
  4. Doom was the first time I realized that I loved horror games. I didn't know that's why I liked Doom so much until I played Resident Evil a few years later, but nowadays a game in the horror genre gets my money about 90% of the time.  
  5. Doom is also the first time I started thinking about level design. To this day, when I boot up Doom, I can remember things about each map. "Oh, this one has that huge outdoor space." Or "Damn, this is the one with the dark area where the Imps will keep jumping out." 
  6. And damn the enemy design. So creative. Most of those enemies were inspired by Dungeons and Dragons, but it was Doom that made most of those architects standard in any Sci-Fi/Horror game. 
  7. Doom was the first time I bought a game on multiple platforms and didn't feel dirty about it. I had it on floppy, CD, and Playstation as a kid. And now I own it on CD, Steam, and Android. 
20 years later, Doom is still a mainstay in my collection. I generally play through the first three Resident Evils, Super Mario World, and Doom every year. 

IGN probably did the coolest thing for the Doom anniversary, Ryan McCaffery played Episode 1 with John "Make You His Bitch" Romero. The 90 minute video is worth every minute.

Also, if you love Doom, you should read "Masters of Doom" which tells the history of ID Games up until the early 2000s. This book makes you realize how much genius got together to create Doom.

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