DooM: One of the Best Remade Retro-Shooters
When DooM was initially released by id to the gaming public in 1993, it practically became an overnight gaming sensation. The game was not only scary and awesome to play but was considered as well as a technical advancement in game design, coding and execution. DooM was a one-of-a-kind game that took the gaming masses by storm and continued through with it's multiple iterations which followed through the years.
DooM however had a certain unique feature which wasn't shared by majority of popular and successful FPS games of contemporary times. This was the lack of a robust and solid story line which games like Resident Evil, CounterStrike Condition Zero, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Half-Life and many others had in common. No body could even determine the exact identity of the game's protagonist “DooMGuy” as there seems to be several versions of him which have appeared through the years. This lack of continuity in the game's time line has become both a huge asset and liability depending on how one will view it. Asset as the game can continually re-make itself somewhat starting from scratch without feedback issues regarding an inconsistent story line and a liability exactly for the same reason of not having a consistent story line. Regardless the growth and advancement of the game’s technical aspect, it's tactical game play remains intact and by far has propelled the game through the years based on it's own merits.
Following the franchise, one will see that from 1993 up to 2021 the game has had a total number of three solid re-makes. These are re-makes that although DooM remains as DooM in name, game play and environs, the story changes and takes place in a different setting and DooMGuy keeps getting ret-conned again and again. If you're the type of fan gamer who follows the exploits of a game hero the likes of John 117 (aka Master Chief) this continual re-make and ret-conning of DooM may not be to your taste, but for gamers playing DooM for the sake of having fun with the jump-scares and game play, it really won't be such a big thing.
Each of the three ret-cons of the game has had their own special impact on the players and game fans at the time as each feature added advancements to the game's look and feel and game play based of course on the features and capabilities of the newer versions of PC's and consoles it was designed to run on. The three of these are DooM 3, DooM VFR and DooM 4 (aka DooM 2016). While many claim that DooM 4 is a continuation from the original DooM, DooM 2, as well as DooM 64, a lot of things have once again been re-made like DooMGuy is now the DooMSlayer and his identity ret-conned again. Nevertheless, let's take a quick look at each of these re-makes and see why put together, they make DooM one of the best re-made games in gaming history.
DooM 3 was released in 2004. It marked the first deviation from the franchise's continuing story line set about by DooM 1 and the multiple iterations of DooM 2. The game was a collaboration between id and Activision. Using the id Tech 4 Game Engine, it's focus was more on a classic single player campaign mode although the game has a multi-player option as well. The campaign is quite long and can take from around 8-15 hours to complete. Several of the original weapons still appear in the game like the ChainGun and the Rocket Launcher. Additional weapons like an Auto Rifle and the Soul Cube makes it's debut. Many of the enemy monsters are just updated versions of the old ones like the Imps, the Lost Souls and the Pinkys among others. A new addition would be the spider like monsters with faces that quietly crawl on the ceiling and walls ready to drop or pounce on you. Game play however has changed a little bit. Aside from the usual picking up and collecting ammo and med-packs and shooting the crap out of the demonic denizens, the game focuses more on the exploration of the base and completing the new story line rather than the survival mayhem of the original game.
Another change introduced is the story-based interactivity of the game. To solve the horrific mystery ravaging the Mars base and move on through the game, DooMGuy has to interact and talk with the various NPC's that populate the game, something that barely happens on the original series. Compared to the DooM games of the 1990's, DooM 3 was a huge advancement in graphic detail and quality as well as the ambient and FX sounds it generated. The intense game play compared however pales in comparison to the much later re-makes of the game. The story line is quite different though starting at a point where the preceding games never occurred and although similar in gist and objective had lots of twists in it's reality making it more of an alternate event from the original one. Despite the comparisons to the other versions of the game, DooM 3 was quite an exiting and immersive game to play and could hold it's own very well in the horror-adventure FPS genre.
DooM 4 popularly known as DooM 2016 was the second re-make of the game. Although using the id Tech 6 game engine, the game is a lot more closer to the original mirroring its fast paced violent game play as well as a super updated version of the old environment and the monstrosities that populate it. As a current day game release, certain modern features to the game play have been added like the option of continually updating for armor, health and ammo limits using an easy to use upgrade system. Fighting in DooM 4 is quite reminiscent of the combat on the original game as the old weapons are back and available for use, like the shotgun, chainsaw, plasma gun, BFG and others. Secondary weapons fire give the game alternative tactical options that the player can put to good use.
Playing DooM 2016 is like playing an advanced rendering of DooM 1 where there is not a minute to rest and exploration (unlike in DooM 3) takes a back seat to blood and gore. One irritating feature of the game though is the use of check-points causing one to go through bloody hell all over again if one gets killed before reaching the next point. The game however is ultra challenging and has a very strong immersive quality brought about by certain qualities like really cool advanced graphics, SFX and awesome music. The demons actually blow-up on your face! Again, players shouldn't expect too much from another ret-conned story line which will likely change (as a given) whenever a DooM re-make appears. The single player campaign is quite long and can reach up to 12 hours or more and the looks and performance of the monsters are really impressive to behold. Doom 4 has a challenging multi-player option with a number of game modes for players to engage in. The game also comes with a level editor for those who want to go into modding and level design using the game engine. As a re-make, DooM 4 stands and delivers (as close to the original) and it does it well.
Finally we have DooM VFR, the DooM game released for VR. Coming out in 2017, VFR believe it or not, stands for Virtual Fucking Reality. As far as VR gaming goes and the current limitations that plague it, DooM VFR is one game that could really hold it's own in terms of morbid violent game play, 3D Virtual graphics and effects, creepy SFX and hard core soundtrack not to mention the adrenalin pumping jump-scares brought up several levels by being virtually inside the game and confronting the DooM demons as if they where right in front of you or behind you. Of course VR is VR and will have the unique ‘being in the game’ experience as compared to current contemporary PC or console gaming. The drawback though is the limited movement usually common in VR gaming as too much motion could lead to vertigo and other motion sickness issues. Taking this all into consideration, the game is still DooM up close and personal with the usual weapons, environs, demonic monsters, sounds and game play. The story line is another re-make as you play a dead DooMGuy with your essence or memory saved to a computer matrix and loaded into a DooM simulator being run as a test/experiment by UAC scientist. Just like in your previous life, you go through the motions of what you do best which is getting rid of every demon or monstrosity in the UAC base. As a VR title, VFR is as DooM as you can get.
By looking at each of the re-makes, one can see how id and lately Bethesda have worked to deliver DooM at it's highest possible game play setting. From mega-violent blood and gore FPS to Horror-Mystery-Shooter Genre (the likes of Resident Evil) to mega-violent blood and gore FPS in VR, one can see how the game style affects how the game is viewed depending on the preference of the gamer. Regardless, each re-make delivers a solid gaming experience worthy of any DooM fan whether story or game play based. Placing DooM Eternal aside as it is a continuation of DooM 4, DooM 3 is the re-make with the most ‘Solid’ story line of all the games and is story based as to probably why many DooM blood and gore fans didn't take that much liking to it. To this, the development of DooM Eternal can be seen as an attempt to balance between the full action blood and gore and the story based style of gaming. Bethesda as a gaming company is historically a very good developer of story based RPG and adventure games so a collaboration with id on the DooM franchise may potentially lead to the gaming public seeing more DooM games to come out with better and more solid story lines. That would continually ensure a DooM re-make to be one of the best in the industry.