Sadly, I May Have Outgrown the Likes of Doom

Fast, bloody, fun. That should be enough to satisfy, right?

Fast, bloody, fun. That should be enough to satisfy, right?

I’d been anxiously anticipating the release of the new Doom for years. I still remember being excited about Duke Nukem Forever and while I was profoundly disappointed in that particular travesty, I was hardly the only one. It just wasn’t any good, and it was all the more tragic because we’d waited 13 goddamn years for it. I was convinced id Software wouldn’t screw up Doom, though, so I was pumped.

And during the first hour, I was happy. It was indeed a throwback to the way shooters used to be: Fast and furious, totally over-the-top, and completely mindless. The normal campaign difficulty was a little tougher than some might expect, too, but certainly on par with what we had in the early days of gaming (if not easier). It was shaping up to be a bloody good time.

But then something happened.

As the hours wore on, the fun factor dropped for me. I was becoming less and less engaged. Each new level felt like more of a chore. Even upgrading my suit and weapons – and finding new awesome weapons – was wearing thin. And for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out the source of my indifference. Multiplayer didn’t really change my immersion or perspective, either. Something was amiss.

The next day, I woke up and came to a sudden realization: I think I’ve actually outgrown the likes of Doom. Over the years, two things have changed dramatically and the first, as everyone knows, is the industry itself. The original Doom concept fit snugly into the ’90s, didn’t it? These days, though, we’ve become accustomed to – and even spoiled by – meatier productions. This gap became all the more evident because before starting Doom, I’d finished the mind-bogglingly fantastic Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

It’s folly to directly compare the two games, of course; I merely use Uncharted 4 to illustrate the advancements made by gaming in the past two decades. Despite the fact that our storytelling still has a long way to go, at least it’s eons better than it was way back when. Hell, everything is vastly superior, from the choreography and cinematography to the writing and acting. And I’ve come to appreciate this and in fact, expect it.

Drake’s latest adventure is my favorite game of the generation and my second favorite, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, further illustrates my point. I mean, just look at these games and compare them to the simple, straightforward, even downright stupid style and premise of something like Doom. Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m all for a little brainless fun every now and then. But I’m finding that I just don’t want a lot of it. Such fun has a definite shelf life for me now and I’m not afraid to admit it. At some point, the running and shooting – which is really all Doom is, because the story is blah and the environments and gameplay are fittingly repetitive – just gets…tiresome.

The other element is probably my age and outlook on life. I read constantly now, I prefer being outside as opposed to being inside, I exercise six times a week. I can’t watch the superhero movies anymore because they hurt my head. I don’t mean physically (though some of them are so manic and ceaseless, they can give me a headache); I mean mentally. They’re just so vapid and pandering and dumb. And hey, I used to go to all of them. Owned a ton of them on DVD. Maybe they’ve actually gotten stupider over time, I don’t know.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt isn't brilliant but it's what games have become, and what I expect now.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt isn’t brilliant but it’s what games have become, and what I expect now.

The bottom line is, all of this means games like Doom really do feel “old” to me. As in, the old me would’ve loved it but the new me feels decidedly underwhelmed. It’s a combination of the industry’s progress and my own. And I’m sorry, but I just can’t help it, which is why I may be done with Doom and why I’ll have to dive into the Blood and Wine expansion for The Witcher 3. It’s not Shakespeare but, well…it’s closer to my outlook and mindset, I suppose.

Time does strange things to us all. Eventually, we grow up. Right?

5 thoughts on “Sadly, I May Have Outgrown the Likes of Doom”

I know exactly what you mean. As we get older, our preferences change and it’s for a number of reasons. I used to be able to love games like Doom but I just can’t play them anymore. Some of my friends think I’m just being elitist and hating on older games, but that’s not true.

As you say, things have changed.

Eh, I was never that much into brainless games even back then. But it was more because I just didn’t like the shooter genre and most all shooters were the same then.

Doom is fun but I sort of get what you’re saying. We ARE spoiled by the new stuff and when we get a total throwback, it can be a bit of a shock. It’s still fun for me to reminisce and blow shit up though. 😛

Everyone outgrows something in their favorite hobby. There was a time when I just adored puzzle games; they were all I wanted to play. Now, I can’t remember the last time I played one.

I couldn’t get into Doom, either though. I think it has something to do with the total repetition and chore feeling I got when playing. It just didn’t click with me and I don’t think it’s because I don’t like those types of games anymore.

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