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Breaking Down Doom (Game Analysis)

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[Intro Music] >> The PreQurrent Gamer: 1993 was a really big year in the gaming industry Home consoles had really taken off by that time

However, there was another piece of hardware that was becoming more and more popular at the time and it was the PC In 1993, one of the most influential games was released onto the PC to the astonishment of just about everyone; gamer and non-gamer alike Welcome to this precurrent game analysis where we’ll break down the pros and cons of this classic fps [Music] Before Doom was released, there was a ton of hype Wolfenstein 3d was a huge hit, and fans were eager for more of the same, but ID Software wanted to exceed expectations and take everything Wolfenstein 3d did well and blow it out of the water

Or in this case, out of a lake of fire and brimstone There secret weapon to do this was Doom; a game that shot FPS into the mainstream [Demons attacking] [Shooting] Games were very different things in 1993 compared to today Most of the hit titles were light on the plot and focused on the gameplay Not that gameplay is less important today, but games today are very much about storytelling

This is evident because of all the money put into production of high-quality voice acting and cinematic cut scenes However, in 1993 that wasn’t the case The biggest hits, like Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog, didn’t have more than a few minutes at most of dialogue and cinematics in the game They definitely didn’t have voice acting This was the era of Doom

Less plot details and more gameplay Somehow Doom managed to keep the focus on the gameplay, yet still create one of the most iconic plots in video game history Mankind’s unintentional breakthrough into the realm of Hell A place of fire, rivers of blood, demons, pain, and suffering All of which is going to be blasted back into the infernal depths by the true grit of the one and only Doom Guy

This epic tale about the fight against evil is told with a short summary in the game's pamphlet and in game text screens at the end of each episode It’s not much, but it's enough and it led to a whole plethora of stories similar to it It’s essentially a story of science going amok and humanity having to deal with the consequences It wasn’t the first story to feature this premise, but it had an impact on future FPS themes For example, games like Half-Life pulled from Doom and used a similar plot theme and storytelling style to create another legendary universe

Where the game lacks in blatant storytelling, there is a lot of detail within each level Little environmental details give hints about what’s going on in the game For instance, the periodic marine corpses are a little hint that a battle went on in this area perhaps moments before the player arrived and they have to press forward to discover more The plot execution in Doom is definitely from a different era of gaming, but it is amazingly iconic The lack of details is fine because there is still enough to give the player purpose

[Fireballs exploding] Though the plot execution was standard for its era, the gameplay wasn’t It was well above par Most games at the time had slower paced 3rd person gameplay like Zelda or were side scrollers ranging from Sonic the Hedgehog fast to Castlevania slow First Person games existed, but were few and far in between Then Doom came out

A fast-paced smooth experience with various levels of skill ranging from easy I am too young to die difficulty to insanely unfair nightmare difficulty Bugs, glitches, and quirks are rare and difficult to trigger This means the experience stays super consistent for every player The surprising thing, is that the bugs, glitches, and quirks in the game are often more fun than frustrating Take SR50 & SR40 quirks

If you don’t know, SR stands for strafe running and the number 50 or 40 is referring to the speed at which the player is moving When a player figures out how to do this There are so many fun little quirks to exploit in the game because Doom wasn’t developed with SR50 & SR40 in mind Players just figured it out over time, and it adds a whole new depth to the gameplay Other silly things can be done like trapping demons on walls

[Music] [Demon growls] [Shooting] And glitching out the game to run through what is called the void [Music] All of which bring more fun to the game rather than frustration, which is the opposite of what usually occurs in games due to bugs and errors The icing on the cake is how simple the gameplay is Gamers are still playing this game today, releasing videos about it, and more Part of this is because of how easy and fluid the control scheme is and how rewarding it is to master, even when compared to games that come out today

The last thing I'll applaud the gameplay for is the pleasingly balanced weapon system Players find themselves often cycling between an array of different weapons that feel equally useful and satisfying albeit with different power levels This is a remarkably outstanding feature as many FPS games contain a bunch of obsolete and un-useful weapons, because one or two options are clearly the superior choice In the case of Doom, the plasma gun and BFG 9000 are clearly the most OP weapons, but this is balanced out because the weapons share ammo So, running around trigger happy with these weapons can cause the player to run out of ammo when they need them most

This keeps balance because the other weapons are viable options in many scenarios The chaingun is great for suppressing large groups [Shooting] The rocket launcher for big enemies and dense crowds at a distance The shotgun is your bread and butter [Shooting] Even the fist becomes useful with berserker packs and the chainsaw is a bit of fun

Except for the pistol, everyone weapon feels useful and satisfying which creates a balanced combat system that is amazing It’s not all perfect though There are a few maps that have some really annoying issues Like the broken wall in Hell Beneath were enemies are able to shoot at the player, but the player isn’t able to fight back [Music in slow motion] [Shooting in slow motion] However, errors like this are the exception

Generally, gameplay is a blast [Fireballs exploding] To supplement excellent gameplay are the well-crafted maps It’s amazing how unique each of the maps are in a game that has over 36 levels if you play the Ultimate Doom and include the newly released Sigil Sure, there are similarities between maps, as that occurs in every game, but each map has something unique Something that makes me go, ah I remember this level, every time I replay the game which is quite often

The thing about level design that is most outstanding to me is how narrow each of the maps are, but they feel so perfectly sized Part of this is attributed to excellent enemy layouts that fit nicely into the level design and contain a wide variety of demons The other part is the scale of each level Often games fall into a trap where maps can be so large that the player easily gets lost or they are too small so they feel restrictive Doom seemed to find a nice middle ground

A lot of the maps have multiple pathways and can be traversed in less than 30 seconds A whole speed running community formed focused on finding the fastest path and getting runs down to just a few seconds Some of the fastest records on nightmare range from about a minute and half on long maps to less than 7 seconds on short ones The level design of the game keeps each map from getting too overwhelming for new players but provides a lot of engagement for veterans that seek to accomplish challenges Like mentioned previously, maps also tell an amazing story by how they are detailed out

How maps slowly progress from a space station look toward fiery hell is intriguing to watch as you proceed through the game The level design has its cons as all the maps are slugathons, albeit different slugathons than the previous map, but still a slugathon Which can get a bit repetitive and frustrating in some instances because of its rinse and repeat nature Enemy AI is super predictable, and you can bet that the same thing will happen in just about every room Walk-in, get ganked by a horde of demons, wipe them out, and then do it all over again for 30 plus maps

This is definitely a game style that is not for everyone, but for those who do enjoy this type of gameplay, it can’t really get much better than Doom because the level design is the perfect supplement to the game's insane mechanics A weakness for a lot of games is the replay factor because they don’t contain anything but the main campaign and a difficulty scheme Multiple difficulties isn’t enough for me to say a game has good replay factor There needs to be something else Doom is a great example of what something else could be

Each map has secrets Secrets that are in no way tied to the plot of the game or required, but they are a lot of fun to figure out The player doesn’t need to get them so it doesn’t feel like a required filler side quest, but it is super rewarding when you do Getting a weapon that you otherwise wouldn’t have [Shooting] A significant health boost

[Music] [Demons attacking] Or sometimes power ups like invincibility make the secrets worth the time to figure out Searching for secrets isn’t too overwhelming because there are a few tools to help The auto map can be used to find areas of the map that haven’t been searched yet The HUD can be setup to show the number of secrets in the level Lastly, there are often hints in the level such as blinking lights or discolored walls that give off hints to where the secrets are located

In addition to secrets, par times make for a great challenge and a fun way to replay the level This will take learning movement skills such as SR50 and applying routes to beat maps quickly Getting max kills can be another challenge to go for and increase replay-ability Finally, each episode has a secret map that can only be unlocked by going through a secret exit hidden within one of the episodes levels, which is another engaging thing for the player to discover All in all, there is a whole ton of content in Doom to get players to replay the game

[Shooting] Doom is not a perfect game Sure, the plot is sparse Like every game there are some bugs Yeah, for some the gameplay can get a bit heavy on the rinse and repeat side Nightmare is completely unfair and frustrating, obviously, albeit rewarding once figured out

Yet even with its weaknesses, Doom is a remarkable shooter Notwithstanding how sparse the plot is, for me, it was iconic and memorable Gameplay is smooth, simple for new players, and has a high skill floor for players that want to learn how to exploit all the game's quirks The level design is very diverse and has the right scale To top all of that, is a whole ton of replay-ability factor

After analyzing Doom in these 4 categories and considering its strengths and weaknesses, in my opinion the original Doom deserves a 4 out of 4 stars That means Doom is an excellent game! Its simple yet smooth experience really resonates with me and even after years of playing games, Doom is still my go to FPS After replaying Doom for who knows how many number of times it’s [Tongue tied commentary] [Laughing] It’s still one hell of a good time! Pun intended That's it for this video If you enjoyed it, please subscribe and hit the like button Thanks for watching and see you in the next video [Shooting] Peel your eyes away from that gameplay box and hit the subscribe button in the center of the screen

There’s an arrow that makes it easy to find Also, click on one of the other videos to see more content [Shooting] [Demons attacking]

Source: Youtube

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