Thursday, November 15, 2007

Doom and the 360

Doom is a game about shooting demons in the face with a shotgun. When it first came out in the early 90s, that premise was every bit as fun as it sounds.

Last month, straight off the back of finishing Half-Life: Episode 2, I downloaded Doom through XBox Live Arcade to find out exactly how the classic action had aged. It turns out shooting demons in the face with a shotgun never gets old.

Right in the face. With a shotgun. It's like the demon AI has been scripted to present you with maximum shotgun-to-face coverage at every stage of the game. You can't even look up or down; your view is locked with neck-brace-intensity at demon face level for the entire head-pulping experience.

Oh, man, if only they made 'em like this today.

With a shotgun.

You'll be looking for keycards. Looking for keycards is always gaming gold. What do the keycards unlock? Demons. And/or shotguns. Pure gold.

This is what is called in the industry "laser-like focus on core gameplay". I think John Romero tripped over it in a stairwell somewhere and accidentally installed it in his latest software project; thus Doom was born. Later, to the sound of much laughter, he attempted to make us his bitch.

The 360's Live Arcade adaptation is a fairly faithful port, although it features "upscaled music" (which translates to "incentive to use your own MP3s instead"). Pulling the right trigger to fire feels a whole lot more natural than stabbing a key on the keyboard. And it has Achievements, which are like sweet, sweet gaming candy. Can you believe it? You get to shoot demons in the face with a shotgun and earn achievements for it. This is why we said no to communism, people. Under communism the State would have shot the demons for us and then shared the achievement points with our unskilled younger siblings.

So in short, every game that has been made since Doom is a waste of time and you should return to playing this classic shooter immediately.

Man. Right in the face.

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