Waiting on a Prayer for Doom Eternal

Imagine you’re at a restaurant, and you’re about to eat your favorite meal. The savory dish is sending off aromatic scents that make your stomach rumble. You pick up your fork, about to plunge it into your food…

…but then it is snatched away before you can take even a single bite!

That disappointment you’re imagining, that’s basically me when I found out that Doom Eternal was going to be pushed off for three whole months.

We were so close, you guys. So close. Doom Eternal was set to release on November 22. I had pre-ordered it and already cleared an entire day of work with my boss so that I could spend it playing my most anticipated game of the year.

And now I have to wait till March!

Side note: Yes, I’m aware this is very much a first-world problem.

I don’t buy games often. I usually prefer to spend my time replaying games that I already have in my library. On average, I purchase about two games a year. Since it’s so rare when I buy a game, I take the selection and purchasing process very seriously. I like to know ahead of time that I’m going to enjoy the game I spend my money on.

Doom Eternal was going to be one of those games for me this year. I’d played the demo at E3, so I’d had concrete evidence that the game could potentially be the best thing my console ever ran.

And now I have to wait.

Three months doesn’t seem like much, and in retrospect, I am totally making a mountain out of a molehill. But it has seriously derailed my Thanksgiving plans. Now, I don’t have a valid excuse to laze away the beginning of my holidays.

In addition to that, I now feel worried about the status of the game. I originally had so much faith in the developers, but this news that they’ve pushed off the release has me anxious about why they need those three extra months. What bugs do they meed to fix? What glitches are permeating the game? Are they trying to add last-minute features? These thoughts are all crowding around in my head and I can’t get rid of them.

More optimistic fans take this delay as a good sign. They say that the developers are making sure that when the game releases, it is a polished, finished product. But what amount of polishing, the pessimist in me replies, could they accomplish in three months?

Instead of letting my worries consume me, I’m trying to fill my gaming hours with intensive sessions. I’m trying to burn away all the Doom Eternal longings I have within me.

I’m also buying unnecessary toys related to the franchise at my merest whim as a sort of consolation.

Hey, we all have ways to cope.

RIP AND TEAR: An Ode to Doom

Doom 2016 alternate cover
via: stuff.tv

I get strange looks when I’m driving down the road and I have the Doom (2016) soundtrack belting from my speakers. Granted, I’m being a bit of a dick by playing the music so loud, but you can’t NOT listen to this stuff on a low volume. That’s like saying you should never sing along to “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

(Here is a link to some Doom sounds while you read this.)

I also get strange looks from other people when I tell them that I adore Doom. What, is it weird to like a fast-paced, first-person shooter where you roam the citadels of Hell slaughtering Demons with Super Shotguns and your bare hands, bathing yourself in the fresh blood of your enemies as you Glory Kill them to extinction?

Some people can be so judgy.

My first introduction to Doom was actually from a book. I was 13-years old, and I was browsing through the library of my middle school.

My middle school had one of the best collection of books I’ve ever seen. I feel like the librarian just stuffed the shelves with thick books, most of which were fantasy or science fiction. I don’t think she read them. People forget how adult-themed fantasy books can be. So while my librarian might have just looked at the cover and thought, “Oh, what a pretty dragon,” I was reading its pages, wide-eyed, and learning about period sex. (I am not even joking.)

I’m totally getting off topic.

Anyway, one of the books I picked up was a nonfiction book (which is freaking rare for me). It was called Masters of Doom, and it was all about the young men who were responsible for making the original Doom game. Those guys (John Romero and John Carmack) were video game rock stars!

Prior to reading that book I had never heard of Doom, but afterward, I spent a lot of my downtime finding out everything I could about it.

For those of you who don’t know, Doom was one of the first first-person-shooter games ever made. It was released in 1993, and it was fast for its time. Speed in a first-person shooter these days is now ubiquitous as fuck. But back then, it was practically unheard of.

The “story” of Doom was not the main focus of the game. Your character was just “Doomguy,” and he roamed the game shooting the faces off of the various demons he came across.

Doom had its sequels (some better than others), but it received a reboot in 2016 that truly struck you in the nostalgia feels while simultaneously revealing itself as a fantastic game in its own right.

If you’re a fan of the FPS genre and you haven’t played Doom (2016), you ARE MISSING OUT.

The reboot is phenomenal. Your character seems to be set to sprint everywhere he goes. All sprinting. All the time. He never has to reload his weapons. That would take too long, and Doom is all about speed. (And ripping and tearing.) Upgrade systems for your weapons were added to the gameplay, as were Rune Trial challenges. A story also graced Doom, a story that was surprisingly good.

These changes might sound like they would alter the original Doom experience, and they do, in a way. But the 2016 game captured the spirit of the original Doom. 

Side note: I am talking about the single-player campaign of Doom (2016). The multiplayer left much to be desired.

BUT THE CAMPAIGN IS WORTH IT.

I’m going to be 100% honest with you. I was shit when I first played the game. But that didn’t stop it from being fun. Cacodemons, Pinkies, and Imps might have ganged up and destroyed my Doomguy, but every encounter with them was an engaging challenge.

And the second time I played it, there was noticeable improvement.

Now, the game is a gratuitously gory game. I won’t deny that. And there’s a Glory Kill system that gives you health if you beat the Demons with your bare hands, basically forcing you to witness the copious amounts of blood. I understand why there might be trepidation in playing a game like this.

But the exhilaration I feel as I massacre Demon after Demon in arena after arena does not stem from the blood spatter that follows in my wake. (That would be disturbing.) It honestly is the speed and the skill you have to wield while playing that thrills me to my core. If there were a game about frantically picking flowers in a meadow that required as much speed and strategy as Doom does, I would be all over that too.

Though I think everyone can admit that slaying the Hordes of Hell sounds way more bad-ass than picking flowers.

End Credits Doom 2016 scene
via: wired.com

I cannot recommend Doom highly enough. It is NOT a below average game. It is above above average.

Side note: The campaign. Only the campaign. Remember that.

Doom is set to get a sequel sometime next year. It’s called Doom: Eternal, and it looks godly.

You can bet your buttonholes that I am going to play that game.

And it’ll hopefully get a glowing review from me right here.

Whoops, shouldn’t count my Demons before they’re slaughtered.

Still…fingers crossed!