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Szuran

My gripes with Doom II

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Posted (edited)
On 7/10/2019 at 12:56 PM, DoomSpud said:

It's a beautiful concept and I've always considered "Gotcha!" to be a reference to the unexpected appearance of them both, early in a mid-WAD map. A surprise, a cruel joke, an unexpected scare to make the player go "FUCK! Cyberdemon AND a Spider!?!". Yeah, ya got me... well played id. Screw you.

Actually, and I know YYMV, while it was scary, it seemed obvious as soon as you see that they are up on platforms and cannot move location, that this is "The Boss Monster DM Show!" (tm) and you are actually meant to trick them into infighting, get some popcorn and watch :p

Of course, you still have to battle the victor :)

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2 hours ago, MartinHowe said:

Actually, and I know YYMV, while it was scary, it seemed obvious as soon as you see that they are up on platforms and cannot move location, that this is "The Boss Monster DM Show!" (tm) and you are actually meant to trick them into infighting, get some popcorn and watch :p

Of course, you still have to battle the victor :)


Absolutely. And iD knew people wanted to see it... the community was in it's infancy, I imagine there were very few, if any original Doom PWADs at the time that had a Cyberdemon and a Mastermind in the same room/map together (I could be and would happily admit to being wrong???) and was probably something most players at that stage had only imagined was possible since they never appeared together in the original game. It really was one of those things that was inevitable... either iD would do it, or a random PWAD would've done it eventually.

What I find amusing about "Gotcha!" is no one seems to give a fuck about the map beyond the Cybie/Spider fight... it's like, that's all that map is to some people... just that one room lol

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On 7/10/2019 at 11:34 AM, Ichor said:

 

I found E3M8 easier, even on pistol start. I just stayed on the outer ledge and collected all of the items there. By the time I get halfway around, they're already starting to infight, though I might take a few shots. I continue on around behind the distracted spider mastermind until I reach the entrance, and then head to the center to get the plasma rifle. It's so big that I don't even have to move from behind the cover to hit it if it's close.

Clever. Maybe I should try that when I play E3 again.

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9 minutes ago, HavoX said:

Clever. Maybe I should try that when I play E3 again.

 

Just make sure you turn left once you get out there.

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On 7/9/2019 at 8:38 AM, Death Egg said:

I still think the wall of flesh that you need fo shoot to progress in The Spirit World is stupid.

When I first played through DOOM II way back when I was stuck on that part for at least 5-10 minutes before I just gave up and looked it up. The Spirit World is a great map, but that was such a stupid design choice. 

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Posted (edited)

The thing I really want to say is that Doom2 is a product of its time. If you measure it by modern standards, it is not always coherent and does not always flow like a good narrative should. But this is because we have had 25 years of gaming development and design and refinement. Of course Doom 2 is going to look primitive in many ways, and is going to get things wrong. Understand that there was very little 'wrong' in Doom2, because there was so little 'right' frame of reference for us to compare the 'wrong' to. ('Wrong' mostly came down to our own intuitive sense of 'rightness' or frustration, which can still both be absolutely valid. The previously mentioned shooty flesh switch on map 28 being one example of frustration, the satisfaction of the super shotty being one example of 'rightness'.)

 

I really agree with the sentiments of people like Doomkid and Rexx here. Taken in its place, it is a towering and masterful piece of gaming design. Sure, there are plenty of examples of things that could have been done better. But when these guys were making Doom 2, they weren't following any guidelines. They didn't have decades of previous games design to follow. They were writing the rulebook piece by piece on the fly, as they progressed. Astonishing! I mean, surely it should tell us something about what an amazing piece of design Doom2 is, when we consider that the vast majority of FPS shooters made since have fallen well short of the design and creativity standards set by that game. Even when they had Doom2 to use as base to learn from. The fact that 20 years on we are still being served up linear corridor shooters with set piece battles that are being held up as the pinnacle of games design should tell us how few have been able to match the design ethics of the original team of minds at iD software. Doom 2016 was one of the few games that dared to try and emulate the non linear verticality and open map exploration of much of Doom2. And even then, it generally defaulted to a reasonably linear progression within each level. Still a great game, and deserves all of its success.

 

Doom2 blew me out of the water when I played it. It really was bigger, badder and more epic than Doom 1. It's lack of parallels to 'the real world' just made it more hellish and confusing, more surreal and frightening to play through. When you can make sense of a situation, you are more likely to cast that situation as 'good' and Doom2, by its very chaotic progression and random sequence of events, made it seem more hellish and compelling, to me at least.

 

Just a few examples:

 

The first time I saw that huge room at the start of map 06. The one with the Spiderdemon overlooking the room on that raised platform. (As an aside, even having a Spiderdemon that early in the game was scary. A Spiderdemon on map 06??? Oh shit, we are really in for it now. The way it loomed over that dark cavernous room made me afraid to go near that room. Riding that huge lift down, under its watchful gaze, all the while trying to work out what I was supposed to do. Oh. A blue key. Miles away. Clear on the other side of this huge room. With no cover. And A Spider mastermind waiting to cut me to ribbons. Awesomeness.) But that room was so dark and huge that it literally took my breath away. I had never seen such a vast expanse in any game before. The sense of depth. The floor seemed miles downwards, far beneath you, the ceiling so high above, the blue key so far away. Yeah I know I am exaggerating, but it is difficult now to express just how new and vast Doom2 was, even compared to Doom 1.

 

As Doomkid mentioned, the first time I saw the Spiderdemon and the Cyberdemon lowering those raised platforms on map 20 just stunned me. It was like a clash of the titans. And the idea of getting those two absolute titans to infight? Brilliant. Well it was either that, or die. Or run around the room, trying to work out what to do as you got ripped to shreds. I think I made them infight by mistake one time. And even watching them infight was amazing. Probably the first time ever you got to see a Cyberdemon firing its rocket launcher at anything other than yours truly. Captivating stuff.

 

Map 07? The first time you ever saw mancs? I died many many times on that level. Really tough. And finally defeated all the mancs. Only to have the walls lower and another new enemy appear. Brutal and unrelenting. Tricks and traps? I just took that level as another piece of hell trying to mess with your head through sheer randomness. Chaotic evil, rather than 'organised' evil. Modern games, even hellish ones have nothing like it. Each map being so random I just took as a long and surreal journey, as ever new regions of hell were crushed under your boots, one at a time, slowly but surely.

 

Forgive the rampant fanboyism and the tl:dr thing. I can certainly see plenty of aspects of Doom2 that with hindsight could have been done much better, but given the lack of reference points we had, and the fact that it was so random and brutal and surreal, I feel that Doom2 did a fine job of conveying the mindf**k nightmare of Hell on Earth. Was it better than Doom1? Perhaps, perhaps not. Was it bigger and badder and tougher and even more of a challenge than Doom1? Definitely.

Edited by bLOCKbOYgAMES

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