CHENNAI: Doom is a game that epitomizes the ‘90s. But if I asked anyone who played any of the games in the series, they would hardly remember the actual story behind the gameplay. Doom is a game with the visuals and action dominating any plausible storyline. This week, I overcame the dissonance of playing overtly violent games and took a swipe at ‘Doom 3’(or rather, ‘Doom 3’ took a swipe at my sensitivity). The review is in anticipation of Doom Eternal which releases next year — picturing gory monsters and epic scenes of destruction.
Does ‘Doom 3’ achieve what it sets out to do? Yes, terrifyingly so. Doom is the foundation for action/horror videogames and holds up the standard with the extreme degree of darkness. Black Hole level. You can break the horror of the game with cute puppy videos in between fight sequences and still cringe in horror. Although Doom 3 is the oddball in the series, it released during a golden period of graphics, thus amping up the ambience through dark filters. Dark filters meant more effective jump scares.
The element of surprise is what defines Doom. Take the contemporary FPS games – Call of Duty for the sake of comparison. CoD is far ahead in terms of realism — the graphics quality, and ‘accuracy’ of the weapons used,but exceeds on the realism front by allowing for stealth. There is a lot of hiding behind objects and moving only in a certain direction to go ahead in the game. Sadly, the adrenaline junkies who play Doom 3 don’t want the cowardly shroud of stealth. Doom 3 envelops you with its feeling of hopelessness because you can’t plan your moves in the game. It makes you feel alone and lost — with maps and labyrinthine rooms designed to confuse even the seasoned gamer.
A retro romanticizer might say that Doom Eternal (which, incidentally, is set on Earth which is overrun by demons) will never reach the likes of the earlier versions – which are more petrifying through their poor and consequently more grisly graphics. I think I will take a vibe check of games like Doom and decide against playing it. It isn’t for everyday (except Halloween). I rate it 0 hours of sleep out of 8.