Doom is one of those video game franchises that always seemed more action than horror to me, plus it was a first person shooter, which I suck at, so I never checked it out the first time around. But when the BFG Edition of Doom 3 came out for the PS3, complete with the lost levels and the original Doom and Doom 2, I figured, what a bargain! Plus, it was said that everything that made the original Doom 3 so frustrating had been fixed. If that’s true, then I can’t imagine how miserable the original must have been.
In this day and age, Doom and Doom 2 suck if you didn’t play them the first time and feel no sense of nostalgia. They look like crap, play like crap, and have no atmosphere. So after a quick sample of each, I was off to play Doom 3. This was like eight months ago! And I just finally finished.
Doom 3 is a space ship horror game that eventually leads you to Hell…yet you’re in hell the entire time. Not because the game is terrifying. I was playing on shitty player mode, yet the reason I actually made it through the game was because you can save anywhere at anytime. Seriously. Anywhere. Heck. I saved, walked two steps, then saved again just because I could! Take that, fuckin’ Doom 3!
Visually, Doom 3 looks vivid and detailed, even for a game that’s like a decade old. Forget the story. This game is all about fighting monsters—and men. So here’s a list of the horrors I experienced playing it:
– You feel too short. For some reason, even when you’re standing, it feels like your character is too close to the ground.
– I love shooting monsters. It’s the amount of humans with guns that pissed me off. There are military men who can blast the fuck out of you while taking tons of damage, even running right up to you. Good luck trying to avoid their relentless fire. Don’t bother crouching. It doesn’t help at all…and you can’t tell when you’re no longer crouching. And forget beating them away with your guns when they get too close. You have to switch to your fists while they are shooting the hell out of you. And conveniently, all the bloodthirsty monsters don’t give a shit about the military guys. They just nod politely while passing each other and come for you.
– Monsters just pop up behind you, totally blindsiding you. They’re often hidden behind walls that slide out of the way to let them escape. They also get “beamed” into the room (Damn you, Scotty I know you’re on this ship somewhere!). And they become repetitive, although occasionally, a new monster is introduced.
– There are plenty of storage lockers to open for supplies, but you rarely have the right combination in the mish mosh of emails you get. And you can’t go back later, so you basically pass up everything…unless you’re a total cheater and get codes online. I got codes online.
– There are terminals and computers you have to interact with to progress in the game, but there are also about ten times as many terminals and computers in the environment that are bogus and you can’t interact with them at all. I’ve never given so many computers the finger in my life.
– As the game progresses, it becomes increasingly much harder, but your character never increases in his experience and the guns don’t get much better either. You end up in claustrophobic, too tight levels with tons of monsters, not enough health—and platform jumping! Does it say Mario on my space suit?
– Once a monster gets all up in your face, you are pummeled and get completely stuck. You can’t fight him off, you’re too close to shoot him, and you can’t move or run. You can die like no one’s business, though.
– When you finally get to the Hell level, it’s a nightmare. It feels like eternal damnation, you are assaulted by tons of monsters, and just when you think you can’t take anymore…you get to a fucking huge boss!
– Good luck trying to juggle your guns during boss battles. Going into your inventory to switch guns is no good, because the game keeps playing while you’re in there. Death by inventory. You can cycle through guns using the left and right trigger buttons while running in terror from monsters and bosses, because nothing makes a boss fight better than the distraction of your arms whipping out one weapon after another. Not that one. No. Not that one. Where is it? Oh damn! I just passed it! Should I try to go back to it or cycle through again?
– The caverns near the end of the game get even more claustrophobic, you’re bombarded by monsters, floors drop out from under you…and platforming should be banned from 1st person games. I almost called it quits on the game when I had to jump down a narrow shaft onto platforms that were moving in and out of walls—and was expected to land, orient myself, spin in the right direction to jump on the next platform, and leap and land on it before both the platform I was on and the one I was jumping to retracted back into the wall.
– You start the final boss with a handicap. There’s a cool cut scene, you watch closely to get yourself oriented for where you and he will be when you’re back in the game—and then go live again to find that nothing is as it seemed in the cut scene. Your fighting arena is shaped like a ring that you can so easily fall off while you’re ringing around the rosy in terror trying to get away from the boss. And just for the amusement of the game developers, you’re also being attacked by monsters from the game, who shoot at you, leap on you, smack you upside the head from behind, and succeed marvelously at knocking you or luring you right off the ring.
– There is a bright side to all this; the final boss looks like the final monster in the movie This is The End, minus the huge penis. And you know he has no penis because the cut scene at the beginning of the boss battle gives you an upshot right at his crotch! WTF?
THE LOST MISSION
As torturous as a game is, when you are finally able to complete it, you feel so accomplished and think it wasn’t all that hard in retrospect. So, like a cocky asshole, I moved on to Doom 3: The Lost Misson. I figured I’d blast right through the levels without a problem. This was about 3 months ago….
– This game actually starts off with a bang—in a great cut scene that outdoes anything the main game has to offer (although that penisless final boss was a winner). You watch your teammates being dragged away by monsters on the ship. And then you realize that means you have to go this alone….
– Again, the game is pretty repetitive. There are a few new monsters introduced and there are more zombies (yay!). The game is also much harder and the fighting quarters much tighter.
– To break up the monotony, the lost levels give you more to do than just shoot monsters and get from one location to the other. There are some unique objectives during the game. But that doesn’t always mean more fun. For instance, it actually took me one hour to board an elevator. That’s all I had to do. Board an elevator. AN HOUR.
– Enemies shoot relentlessly, and I’m not talking the military men. Monster enemies shoot at you as well. Plus, there are also huge MECH things. If you plan to get past them, you need to kill them. And if you plan to kill them, you just have to accept that you have to be shot mercilessly while lining up your sites to get a shot or two in.
– By the time you get to Hell (yep, Hell again), each section is loaded with monsters. I was saving after each monster I killed and I had just enough health to be able to grab another health just in time to get whacked by a monster and knocked down to almost zero health again. Monsters swarm you and you can’t move. Plus there are these little bouncing angel bitches that look like cute cherubic children but are the devil’s spawn.
RESURRECTION OF EVIL
If you think this is the never-ending Doom 3 blog, then good. You know how I felt playing the game. The Lost Mission wasn’t enough. Resurrection of Evil destroyed a few more months of my life. Again, there’s an amazing opening cut scene, then it throws you right into the action.
– One of the worst enemies of these games (along with all the rest of them) is the floating heads that go kamikaze on you. They greet you in Resurrection of Evil, and all you have is the fricking pistol! But pretty soon you get the Grabber, a gun that lets you just catch these fuckers and toss them.
– Catching heads with the Grabber is easy. What’s not so easy is the first boss. You have to use the Grabber to catch his shots and throw them back at him. It’s so bad I was thinking of saving every time I managed to actually catch a bullet and throw it back and successfully hit him.
– Unique to this side game is a special artifact you get that allows you to slow shit down to get through sliding walls, dangerous projectiles, and fast enemies.
– I have no idea what purpose it serves, but in some rooms you find an arcade game you can play. All you do is punch a turkey senseless (imagining he’s the game developer the whole time).
– Once again, the game gets tighter and tighter as you progress (how much fucking tighter can it get?)…and the monsters get bigger and come in endless number.
– Hell today, Hell tomorrow. Yes, you end up in Hell one last time. I thought I was going to be up for hours trying to fight the final boss. It’s a fricking flying monster and you’re on a platform that also has some lava holes in it. So every time I looked up to shoot at this damn monster and dodge his fireballs at the same time, I’d either fall off the platform or into the lava. It was infuriating. And every time I aimed at him with my precious heavy artillery, he’d swoop and dodge every bullet.
– Finally, on like the tenth try, I discovered something amazing after dodging all the boss’s fire and not shooting him at all for like a minute. He eventually lands on his mountain peak. He flings fire balls at you, but they’re easy to dodge as you take out your special artifact, put the whole game into slow motion and simply hit him with like 4 or 5 blasts from your most powerful weapon. Fuck, that was easy. Almost convinces me that I was a pro at the game it took me 8 months to complete.
BONUS! Doom the movie!
I put Doom on in the background when it hit cable almost a decade ago, but I wasn’t into it at the time since it had to do with heavily armed military-type guys taking on the enemies. If only they’d been stripped of the uniforms.
But now that I’ve played the game, I picked up the movie on Blu-ray for 5 bux! And it’s the extended cut with an extra 13-minutes of footage! I don’t know if what they added was all horror, but they should have taken out 13 minutes (maybe even 20) to make up for the time they added. The movie is nearly two hours long!
It also takes a while to get exciting. The Rock and his crew of hunky men head to a quarantined scientific research station in space. After what seems like endless horror setups that hardly pay off, as well as some weak attempts at characterization, including a faith-based cutter and a drug addict, we finally get into monster territory and make up for lost time.
The second half of Doom is thrilling horror action for sure. The movie has a lot more zombies than the video game, and plenty of monstrous creatures (and no damn enemies shooting back). There are some great action sequences and even a good dose of gore. And there’s even female nudity! Imagine that! A woman who got attacked by a creature while fully clothed later appears as a naked zombie. So here’s a little exploitation of the men of Doom.
My favorite part (aside from the men) is the homage to the video game, which probably managed to completely turn off those who haven’t played the game or don’t know anything about first person shooter games. An entire sequence near the end of the movie is shot in FPS style! It totally captures the look and feel of the game. I guess if you don’t know anything about FPS gaming, you can look at this segment as a sort of found footage style film, with even worse camera work!
There’s also a nod to the game at the beginning of the movie, when the men are notating where they’ve already been in the lab by marking doorways with big neon green Xs—the symbol of the original Xbox game system, on which the Doom video game got it’s console start. And there’s an awesome final “boss battle.” Better than the penisless one in the game, that’s for sure!