By OldManLollipop 1 Comments
Ah Doom.... Doom.... fifteen years ago they were calling you "outdated." This is back when "state of the art" meant Half-Life, a game that, while still playing really well even now so don't get on me for that, is sort of showing its own age at this point. Doom invented the first-person genre. Well, not really, there were other first-person games from Doom's own developer before Doom came out. But it was so popular that for a while the term "Doom Clone" was used to describe any other first-person shooting game, and some developers would fall over themselves to explain why their own game was different and better than Doom.
Anyway, I still love Doom, more than almost any other first-person game. I can't put my finger on it. Yes, nostalgia has to be just a little tiny bit of what I like so much about the original Doom. But there are other things about it that I like too. Doom focuses almost entirely on action. There is no catering to "realism" or current events or anything like that. You collect a stupid key, kill a few thousand monsters and go look for the next stupid key. At the end you push a switch. Level over. No cutscenes, almost no dialogue, and no crap in-between. There are hardly even any high scores, although you do get a rundown of how much of the local monster population you've taken out, along with the items you collected, secrets you've discovered, and the time it took you to finish. Once you touch down, it's go time kids. Endless running and shooting until you run through everything and shoot everything.
What I meant to say when I started was that every year when it starts getting dark around 5 PM and stays that way for twelve hours, I inevitably feel compelled to drag Doom out from the recesses of the ancient Windows menus on my desktop. Every year around this time I attempt to play through every single Doom stage that I keep stored on my system. Now admittedly I usually end up getting bored around January and not completing my mission. I start with the officially released maps, the areas that were released as a part of The Ultimate Doom, Doom II, and Final Doom. Not in any particular order, just whichever ones I happen to want to play. This usually starts with TNT: Evilution, probably my favorite WAD of all. Playing through it usually takes zero effort, I'm all fresh after not playing any Doom for eight months and having my favorite levels all set out in front of me and ready to go. Then after I finish that, I drift back to the Ultimate Doom and just continue to play until I've hopefully finished Doom II. After all that it's usually back to FInal Doom, but unfortunately I tend to get bored and slack off halfway through The Plutonia Experiment. By then its February and Spring is right around the corner, or at least I'm telling myself that while I stare out the window.
These days, thanks to the Internet and the foresight of the game's original creators, there are all manner of player-created levels on the Internet. Hell, Final Doom itself was the creation of a few people who caught John Romero's eye. There's no chance of me ever finishing this many levels, but at the same time at least there's no chance of me running out of stuff to do if I should decide to play Doom. Plutonia 2 has manage to enter my regular rotation in the last few years. I've never finished it, I hate almost everything about the last stage, and sometimes it takes a whole evening to finish one bloody level, but I still love it. Maybe this is the year I complete it? I dunno folks.