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Touchdown

The tone of DOOM [BEWARE: walls of text]

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Posted (edited)

I'm going to quote myself from the Doom Movie thread on my interpretation of Doomguy.

 

Quote

Original Doomguy really did seem rather stoic and serious, then compare him against the Doom Slayer (Who may or may not be the same man), and he suddenly becomes a nearly emotionless pragmatic killing machine (compare Renegade!Shepard from Mass Effect, sort of) to Slayer's rage fueled brutal walking apocalypse (like Kratos from God of War (pre-2018)).

By that interpretation, Doomguy is suddenly much cooler to me despite Slayer being an order of magnitude above him.

 

I agree that Doom (1993) was (and is) a serious game with a serious (albeit skeletal) plot and cast (of nobody). Yes, it had some ridiculous moments, all games, movies, TV shows, literature, etc has those. But the transformation of stoic!Doomguy into rage-personified!Doom Slayer did seem absurd, and the cartoonishly evil UAC, while amusing at first, really dragged the setting down for me.

 

I interpret UAC as being a corporation working for the good of Mankind, not one screwing around with Hell gates and human sacrifices because why not. In fact, I seem to remember that in the original plot, the portal to Hell was opened by complete mistake in tandem with the standard teleport experiments. UAC tries to contain the disaster and fails, and so likely sends a message to Earth saying, "Hey, bad shit went down up here on Mars. Either don't come here or flatten the place from orbit."

(This interpretation isn't exactly correct. Linguica kindly refreshed us on the Classic!Doom backstory, which jossed this.)

 

Then Doom (2016) rolls 'round, using the memetic Doom Comic as pretty much its go-to source, and suddenly we've got an evil UAC opening portals to Hell for kicks (no not really, it's technically for Argent Energy), human sacrifices, an insane executive official (Corrupt Executive Official? CEO, lulz), and the friggin' apocalypse on Mars because somebody failed to act on his partner's shattered mental state.

 

Now we've got the Revenant Program, a religion of evil, and a pair of officials each with some degree of a god complex all in the same place controlling Earth's fate. What a great situation for us to be in.

 

The situation is treated as appropriately bad, but the absurdity of the UAC around Mars seems to attempt to lighten it all as no big deal or a good thing. Reminds me of Unitology from Dead Space, and look how that one turned out.

 

Finally, we get to the Doom Slayer, some sort of everlasting vengeance god, a powerful demigod, a regular dude mad as hell at Hell, whatever he is or isn't, there's one thing we know about him: the demons are terrified of him because he cuts a massive swath through their forces. That's justified, I think, but I would figure that it would only drive them to fight harder when he arrives on the field, or to attempt to gather even more power to eventually overpower him. He's incredibly brutal when he fights (ala Doom Comic and Brutal Doom) unlike the 1993!Doomguy, who had a more pragmatic (it seemed) approach, though obviously that depended on the player. Far more often than not, we see Slayer act on sheer rage and it defines him, which is fine. Kratos from God of War is awesome and his anger defines him, or did. However, he does act on some degree of compassion when saving the backup of VEGA, it looks like, and he seems hesitant to disable the Argent Tower because it provides Earth's power.

 

All that said, his backstory sounds a bit like either the Doom Comic or a poorly written fanfiction (yes, I said it. Crucify me), where it's filled only with his rampage through Hell for reasons we never learn. Contrast 1993!Doomguy's backstory in which we learned he had a moral compass and he would act on it, so he didn't have only one trait and that was it.

 

Now, the marketing: it seems to pander more to casual players and attempt to draw a wide crowd with absurd comedy and new (old-school) gameplay mechanics than to those who've played the game loyally for years. It seems somewhat like a punch to the face because they seem to eschew us in favor of those who are surrounded by "realistic" shooters and attempted to convince them to join the Doom Community, but they fell into the same traps these "realistic" shooters do: story-driven gameplay dictated by what the devs worked so hard to develop so you'd follow this exact path.

 

Gameplay: it's fun, I think, but it's too repetitive. Run from arena to arena and fight monsters and that's it. No room for anything but run-and-gun, which would be fine if room was made for other approaches.

 

Bosses: the boss fights were the best parts, I thought, because they were something new and different every time. The cyberdemon? He shoots at you directly, he strikes the ground, he traps you and swings his Hell blade at you, it's awesome. The Hell Guards? Two different playstyles, one DPS and one tank, both in one at first, then each separately afterward. The spider mastermind? An array of attacks requiring your full attention to avoid. It was different.

 

Plot: I couldn't possibly care any less about the plot. Doom is not plot driven, or at least, it isn't supposed to be. It's like Mario: fun first, plot later.

 

Overall Tone: Doom (2016) is just ridiculous, and not parody ridiculous, just regular ridiculous. It doesn't work for an otherwise rather serious series. Wolfenstein: The New Order held true to Wolfenstein's tone (though, Wolfenstein tended to be edgier than a razor blade factory, so it isn't hard to do), so why couldn't Doom (2016)?

 

Wow, that was a long post. I hope you got something out of it.

Edited by Aquila Chrysaetos

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Posted (edited)

Well, I for one don't have much else to say on this topic since I share almost the same views so I'd do nothing more than just repeat what you already said but in a different way.

 

I do think that Doom 2016 took badassery to a completely different and cartoony level (one that I wish wouldn't have happened). What was the reason for this, I do not know. The scrapped Doom 4 did seem to take itself rather serious with all its focus on a cinematic and realistic experience, but somewhere down the road they decided to do a 180 and completely change the tone into something similar to "Hey, an invasion is on the way but that's ok because you're a god and the mere sight of you makes the demons tremble, no need to become agitated, they don't and never have stood a chance against you". This does take a lot from his badassery, why? Well simple, there's nothing even remotely "cool" or "badass" in utterly destroying an enemy you're well aware is weaker than you. In the original games you were a simple human with an impressive arsenal, which also included some completely devastating weapons + otherwordly power ups.

 

The change in tone is especially noticeable in Hell. It lacks most of the atmosphere and style of the original, a dimension I see as little more than "a collection of grotesque, swampy caves". Not bad, but there's also nothing that really stands out. "We don't want you to be afraid." said Hugo. Sure, but still, it's Hell after all, did it really need to be stripped off of all sinisterness and surrealness? No, it didn't.

 

On 5/8/2018 at 11:18 PM, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

Plot: I couldn't possibly care any less about the plot. Doom is not plot driven, or at least, it isn't supposed to be. It's like Mario: fun first, plot later.

 

Not on my watch.

 

I'm a sucker for good stories in SP games and I probably wouldn't play them if there was absolutely 0 plot behind them and just pure gameplay. I want to immerse myself in a world with a story behind it. If I wanted something without any kind story I'd just play a MP game instead, but of course this is mostly a matter of preference. I really liked the story and narrative in Doom 2016 and I think they did a solid job in this department. If only the game took itself more serious though.

 

On 5/8/2018 at 11:18 PM, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

Now, the marketing: it seems to pander more to casual players and attempt to draw a wide crowd with absurd comedy and new (old-school) gameplay mechanics than to those who've played the game loyally for years. It seems somewhat like a punch to the face because they seem to eschew us in favor of those who are surrounded by "realistic" shooters and attempted to convince them to join the Doom Community, but they fell into the same traps these "realistic" shooters do: story-driven gameplay dictated by what the devs worked so hard to develop so you'd follow this exact path.

 

Now this is something I mostly agree with, save for the "casuals" part, reminds me of those "elitist" farts who should be erased from existence.

 

I think the main problem is that they tried to please 2 categories and ended up with both dissatisfied, but in different ways. They tried to attract a younger generation of players (which, I might add, doesn't even know or understand the concept of the original well enough, let alone played it or have any interest in doing so) but also satisfy the longtime fans of the series. I for one am mostly satisfied with how it turned out, but they toned down some of the darker aspects way too much, they played it far too safe. The Wolfestein reboot took itself more serious, why couldn't Doom 2016 do it as well?

 

In the end, I managed to write a wall of text and didn't get much out from it :v , apart from sharing some things that displeased me in Doom 2016. I guess the inspiration wasn't with me this time around, but the general idea is: Overall, I consider Doom 2016 a great Doom game with all the changes they did, but it most certainly has its fair share of (sometimes major) flaws.

Edited by Agent6

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In 1993, there was no such thing as "serious" videogames, at least in the modern sense.  The overall vibe was more like an '80s Schwarzenegger or Stallone action film; played reasonably straight on the surface, but clearly gleefully violent for the sake of being violent.

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Doom 2016 positioning him as an OTT badass I don't think is incompatible with the 1993 version.  The way I always saw it, in 1993 (his first exposure to demons) he is a survivor just trying to stay alive.

 

But his story arc follows that of say Ash from the Evil Dead trilogy: he may start as just doing what he has to to survive, but over time that fears gives way to pure badassary, and he emerges eons later as one man killing machine. 

 

I personally really enjoyed the way Doom 2016 showed how he had in effect evolved from the survivor in 1993 through to the ass-kicker he is after so many campaigns against the demons.

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I think at the end of the day most in the hardcore Doom community need to accept that the new titles are going to be mostly based off the general audience's pop cultural osmosis perception of it on the basis that they're 50+ million dollar products aimed at the biggest audience possible to recoup costs. And at the end of the day what has Doom been seen as through the years, especially nowadays with Youtube clickbait and opinion pieces in every website? One dude killing thousands of demons to Pantera rip-off music and hyper violent machismo. It's like how people talk about 90s shooters being non-stop frantic action when a lot of the forgotten shovelware and mediocre titles relied on cheap hitscan combat and peeking from around corners even during the 2.5D era and the late 90s.

 

Sure, they could've taken a bolder approach, but id was already on hot water with Bethesda/Zenimax since RAGE's middling reception and, unlike Wolfenstein which never had much of an identity through all the games and was never as popular, Doom already did and had quite the pedigree even among people who never played it.

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@Doomkid 100% agree, you put it better than I could!

 

I do think OP's description of the original Doom (that it was a tense battle for survival) is correct. The original game is more serious than it is silly. But that doesn't mean Doom 2016 is somehow wrong, simply that the character has evolved into something different.

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I don't get why everyone thinks Doom Slayer is some apathetic killing machine. The only characters he interacts with are demons (with whom he's been involved in a lifelong war), Olivia Pierce (who is obviously evil), and Samuel Hayden (who immediately introduces himself as the head of the UAC, giving the Doomguy all the reason not to trust him). The only other character he has any sort of interaction with is VEGA, and Doom Slayer backs up his memory despite being under no obligation to and the fact that VEGA's about to blow.

 

Just about the only signs of apathy he shows are in the way he interacts with his surroundings. He smashes Dr. Hayden's argent filters, naturally painting him as some sort of barbarian, but, again, if this is the original Doomguy, he has all the reason in the world to completely detest and distrust UAC technology. Especially technology that involves using Hell energy. Which is also where his home is at this point, so one has to wonder if DS also disapproves of Hayden taking his energy as well. The way he handles human body parts is intentionally apathetic and played-for-laughs, but one has to concede that Doom Slayer would probably be used to much, much worse from his time residing in Hell.

 

Aside from that, however, most of his interactions are very reminiscent of the original Doomguy. He's militaristic and quick-thinking, able to figure out how to work various UAC interfaces, and still has a natural affinity for weapons. Most of all, though, is that the Doom Slayer cares, above all else, about the greater good; the Doomguy cared about the greater good as well, as evidenced by his beating the everlasting shit out of his higher officer for ordering him to fire on civilians (Ultimate Doom manual). The Doom Slayer understands the evil of Hell's influence on a level that the rest of humanity (Dr. Samuel Hayden included) doesn't, and, as evidenced by his pronounced glance at the corpse in the elevator, he witnesses the human sacrifices made in the name of "science" with disgust in his eyes (though it might be the only thing keeping humanity alive).

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@The Mysterious Moustachio opened up a whole new interpretation for me to consider. If Doom Slayer is the same as original!Doomguy and Argent D'Nur is actually his home, this opens up the interpretation that in a different timeline, Hell invaded a technologically super-advanced Earth/Gaea/Terra/other equivalent and instead of being defeated like in canon!Doom II, they won and began launching attacks into other timelines as well, including Doom (2016)!Mars, and so his rage-fueled one-man apocalypse makes even more sense because he's seen Earth (or whatever) fall once and he doesn't want it to happen again.

 

I don't personally agree with this interpretation, I still see Classic!Doom and Doom (2016) as existing in separate continuities, but it opens a wide range of interpretations, regardless.

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On 5/8/2018 at 5:50 PM, Bauul said:

Doom 2016 positioning him as an OTT badass I don't think is incompatible with the 1993 version.  The way I always saw it, in 1993 (his first exposure to demons) he is a survivor just trying to stay alive.

 

But his story arc follows that of say Ash from the Evil Dead trilogy: he may start as just doing what he has to to survive, but over time that fears gives way to pure badassary, and he emerges eons later as one man killing machine. 

 

I personally really enjoyed the way Doom 2016 showed how he had in effect evolved from the survivor in 1993 through to the ass-kicker he is after so many campaigns against the demons.

My reply was lost during the update, but it was too long winded anyway. So, I'll keep it short and sweet.

 

First of all, Bauul, you said *exactly* what I was thinking. I think Doom was always on the badass, silly side, but in 1993, when it was quite a bit more risque to have tons of cartoony gore. I do think id took a page from the Brutal Doom handbook, and, why not? Brutal Doom was quite newsworthy when Doom4 was being built. Why? Because it's liked by a lot of people, and for good reason: It's quite highly polished. Some may not like BD, but the fact that it's been hugely popular cannot be denied. So, why not give people what they want? Or, at least, try to.

 

@TouchdownI do get what you're saying. Id took a lot of flack in the '90s. I think they took their games as far as they thought they could get away with, but I also think they would have gone further, maybe.

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I just take Doom as a good game. For me, that keeps it simple. There is no offense meant or intended to anyone posting on this thread.

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10 hours ago, Soundblock said:

You could say Doom 2016 is too much this:

 

hud2.png.c4e5f91dd85a44ec1a8d1bfb4ecfa481.png

 

And not enough this:

 

hud1.png.2fe6d29a329fd26a38dc8e014493d7d7.png

 

 

This literally sums up most of my problems with the game.

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Posted (edited)

The stoic guy in his mid 30s has been done to death. I mean, you could definitely have a convincing Doomguy fitting that archetype but the pissed off Achillean killing machine feels more fresh the context of FPS games.

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On 5/8/2018 at 1:18 PM, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

I interpret UAC as being a corporation working for the good of Mankind, not one screwing around with Hell gates and human sacrifices because why not. In fact, I seem to remember that in the original plot, the portal to Hell was opened by complete mistake in tandem with the standard teleport experiments. UAC tries to contain the disaster and fails, and so likely sends a message to Earth saying, "Hey, bad shit went down up here on Mars. Either don't come here or flatten the place from orbit."

 

Since no one seems to remember what the *actual* backstory of Doom was, according to the manual text, here's a snippet:

 

     For the last four years the military, UAC's biggest
supplier, has used the remote facilities on Phobos and
Deimos to conduct various secret projects, including
research on inter-dimensional space travel. So far they
have been able to open gateways between Phobos and Deimos,
throwing a few gadgets into one and watching them come out
the other. Recently however, the Gateways have grown
dangerously unstable. Military "volunteers" entering them
have either disappeared or been stricken with a strange
form of insanity--babbling vulgarities, bludgeoning
anything that breathes, and finally suffering an untimely
death of full-body explosion. Matching heads with torsos to
send home to the folks became a full-time job. Latest
military reports state that the research is suffering a
small set-back, but everything is under control.

According to the original story, it was the *military* who was using UAC technology for their own teleport experiments, with a seeming disregard for the lives of the "volunteers".

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Posted (edited)

Whups. Feel stupid now, but it's nice to get a refresh course on the Doom manual. It really has been too long.

 

Edit: So this post isn't useless, disregard what I said in reference to UAC.

In Classic!Doom it was the military which (indirectly, or perhaps directly) caused the Hell invasion, but in Doom (2016) it was ultimately Olivia Pierce, primarily because of her unstable mental condition and subsequent corruption by Hell.

 

So, in Classic!Doom, was it shortsightedness or malicious intent? Or just stupidity? In Doom (2016) there was a clear (mostly) motive behind Olivia Pierce's actions, but why was the military using UAC for teleport experiments? And why the disregard? Classic!Doomiverse was probably only marginally better than Doom (2016)!verse.

Edited by Aquila Chrysaetos

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On 5/10/2018 at 7:26 AM, Doomkid said:

he's sort of starting to enjoy all this bloodshed in a sick sorta way

Doesn't the end text of Final Doom actually say something like "when you die, they'll have to put a rocket launcher in your casket?" He may not have come to enjoy it, but he'd come to accept it. And if you spend enough time doing a particular thing, you will get good at it. One would assume that principle would extend to killing demons and zombies.

 

On 5/8/2018 at 5:50 PM, Bauul said:

But his story arc follows that of say Ash from the Evil Dead trilogy: he may start as just doing what he has to to survive, but over time that fears gives way to pure badassary, and he emerges eons later as one man killing machine.

True. Although when not wielding his chainsaw and sawed-off shotgun and fighting Deadites, Ash was kind of bumbling. But give him those weapons and he morphs from "Yeah, I said the words. Mostly." into, "Yo, she bitch! Let's dance."

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On 5/8/2018 at 8:40 PM, Ex Oblivione said:

And don't forget the ridiculously toned ass of the Cyberdemon.

There is a, shall we say, interesting obsession with the Cyberdemon's ass amongst various members of this forum.

 

Also, if you look at the Cyberdemon, I'm not sure there's an ounce of fat on its body. In that light, a toned ass is the most reasonable attribute of the Cyberdemon.

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1 hour ago, Pegleg said:

There is a, shall we say, interesting obsession with the Cyberdemon's ass amongst various members of this forum.

 

Also, if you look at the Cyberdemon, I'm not sure there's an ounce of fat on its body. In that light, a toned ass is the most reasonable attribute of the Cyberdemon.

 

Yes there is unanimous fixation on that Cyberbooty. Also it's interesting to note the gaping orifices of the Imp, Cacodemon and Pain Elemental. You could fit a soulsphere into them!

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, but-

ENDPIC.png

 

I was once on the side of "doom is serious" but the community converted me long before The Doom Slayer was a thing.

 

Edit: I should add that I think of Doom's tone as more of a nebulous thing that is caught between serious and silly.

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What I don't understand is being upset by Doom4's stance. Then again, I do enjoy me some ripping and tearing :) I think it's kinda funny what they did with Doom4.

But, if being serious about Doom is your fun, nothing wrong with that - go for it.

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Posted (edited)

I think this is about spot-on. The old Doom games are certainly tongue-in-cheek to an extent (just look at any of the promotional material, the instruction manuals, etc.; the names of the different difficulty levels; even the infamous "Daisy ending" and really all of the in-game story text; it's having fun with itself), but they don't exclude the possibility of a more horror-based or somber atmosphere, which is also part of the fun. More importantly, which you captured here, the tone constantly feels skewered toward "survival" against overwhelming odds, and this dovetails with the gameplay, where you really do feel the odds are stacked against you, in terms of both navigation and enemies, rather than being about the power fantasy.

 

That said, the power fantasy and the survival aspect can both draw from similar senses of whimsy--you're always a one-man army against a cadre of rather silly monsters (though the aesthetics of the earlier games allow them to be scary as well; at least as scary as any collection of fantasy monsters)--but the older games and new one are definitely different spins.

 

I would describe the original run of games as being subtly silly, while the new one wears that element on its sleeve.

Edited by Cipher

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, one thing to consider is that this game came out after a slew of cult classics like They Live, Evil Dead 1, 2, and Army of Darkness, Robocop, and... Man this list could be quite large. The thing these all have in common is how serious you could take the story one moment, and then be able to step back and recognize how deliberately ridiculous they are the next moment.

 

Fans have always been able to completely ignore the other aspect based on their preferences. One person might see Evil Dead as a horror, while another would see it as a comedy.

 

I think Doomguy diving into hell to avenge the death of daisy is only part of the ridiculousness of doom. Based only on the ending texts, the monsters could be hell spawn, aliens, or mutants. Personally, I think it's all three, because why the hell not (shameless pun).

 

You can actually see this coming back in 80s & 90s retro shows and movies such as Futureman And Thor Ragnarok which are comedy mixed with serious action.

 

Doom’s brilliant fusion of the two-tone aesthetic is just a relic of the times that the game came from. A relic that I cherish and wish Doom could make a return to someday.

Edited by NiuHaka

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All Doom games have humor even in them, even Doom 3! Don't forget that some of the toilets in the game contain massive coils of turds, the zombie acting like an obese mental patient bashing his head against the glass and saying mmmmm boy and passing gas. Or the PDA that contains valuable sacrificial pointers. I think all Doom games from old to new have some dark humor in them. And let's not forget the commercials we've gotten over the years.

 

 

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Cool topic. I haven't played the recent Doom game but IMO when talking about the tone of Doom, I feel that music has a lot to do with it. 

 

Playing the original game with sound mods using the PSX sound effects and ambient music by Aubrey Hodges can transform the entire feeling of the game. This is especially true with Doom 64 and how atmospheric that game was. 

 

 

Ambient music like this can do amazing wonders to make the player feel alone, isolated out in space at the mouth of hell with no help. Sometimes I play Doom with Hodges' sound effects and music to give it a different feeling from the original metal/hard rock style MIDI tunes. 

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Posted (edited)

I agree with OP. I think that the music for E1M8 is the musical equivalent to what is being described (fighting out of desperation and with the pit-in-your-stomach lonely despair of being the last survivor against all odds)

 

Edit: beaten by seconds regarding lonely music as another factor 😄

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The new Dooms are: Doom 3/Quake in aesthetic, Doom comic book in tone, and Brutal Doom/little bit of Call of Duty Modern Warfare/modern fps in gameplay. I just wanted to say that lol i will read yout trhead later but i come from your comment in Doom Eternal that was totally on point.

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