Story: 3/10 (but who cares?)
It is the 22nd century, resources are running low, and the world is almost exclusively powered from a Mars base owned by the Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC), a ruthless Mega Corp that has hit upon the idea of creating an interdimensional rift on the red planet and harvesting energy directly from the pits of Hell.
What could possibly go wrong?
Once the inevitable happens, you are the supersoldier tasked with ripping and tearing your way through the invading demonic hordes and sending them back from whence they came.
You hardly get to meet any (living) humans in DOOM, since you are plunged into the bloodbath straight away. The only demographic details you find about the UAC Mars base is that it suffered 61,337 casualties in the incident; seeing as there were almost no survivors, that would also be about equivalent to its pre-apocalypse population.
However, there was a bit more human interaction in Doom 3, the previous installment of the franchise. There, you got to wander around the Mars base for half an hour before the apocalypse got going. This gamer-ethnographer might have noted that apart from one Black, all of the security guys were either whites, or some kind of White-Latino métis, with perhaps a sprinkling of Asian mixed in. However, one third of the technicians and scientists were distinctly East Asian. That’s pretty much the ethnic mix you’d expect a 22nd century American corporation to send to provide security and technical support at their Mars base. Since UAC is explicitly stated to “engage in research outside of moral or legal obligations,” we might safely assume that onerous diversity requirements would not be a thing by then either.
Although on the other hand, I don’t recall it ever being explicitly stated that the UAC is an American corporation, or that the United States even still exists.
For all we know, maybe there was a translation mistake and UAC actually stands for United Aircraft Corporation and is run by Russian racists, who knows.
Anyhow, before we wander too far off the reservation… At the end of the day, DOOM is for the Chad gamer who wants to rip and tear right off the bat; it is the last stand of implicit gamer masculinity before the harpies of Gamerghazi. Any further social commentary would be as pointless as it would be autistic. So onto the mechanics and gameplay.
Amazing engine. Great graphics. No stutter.
Playing this right after the buggy wreck that was Fallout 4, the difference was like between night and day.
The controls are intuitive, and thanks to the design choice to do away with fall damage and make ammo drops dependent on kills, the combat “flows” in a way I have yet to see replicated in any other modern FPS, harkening back to the spirit of classic Doom but with the power of modern graphics.
The flipside of the action focus is that there is much less of a survival horror element than to Doom 3, with its psychological horror and much darker atmosphere – literally so, given that there is “no duct tape on Mars” for your flashlight. Although you will probably get more enjoyment from DOOM, you will remember your first encounter with a Pinky in Doom 3 for longer.
I also appreciated that the map interface was in true 3D, which you don’t encounter too frequently even today.
And there is no shortage of in-jokes and Easter eggs.
You get to punch turkeys again.
You get access to mini-maps from the original Dooms.
And of course you get your Big Fucking Gun.
In short, this is your classic Doom recipe with all the old spices and seasonings you miss and remember, presented on a much nicer platter.
As I promised last year, I am going to (belatedly) try to start reviewing more books, video games, etc. (I don’t care for cinema – I watch about two films and a Game of Thrones episode per year. Besides, you have Sailer for this anyway).
I expect to see a few surly complaints about the video games. They will almost all come from the boomer race. Considering these people watch TV for about eight hours a day I don’t see the need to take them seriously.
Next video game review will be about something much less banal than DOOM, probably either Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (this series is to cyberpunk in video games, as Neuromancer, Blade Runner, and Ghost in the Shell are to cyberpunk in their respective genres) or Fallout: New Vegas (whose factions almost perfectly encapsulate the “debate” between ZOG, NRx, and the Alt Right).