Breaking Down Doom (Game Analysis)


[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]

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