This is an odd little topic I have been wondering about for a bit. There have been a few games in the Doom franchise to attempt horror interpretations, such as the PSX Doom, Doom 64, or Doom 3. I cannot help but find myself extremely interested in these adaptations, primarily due to the strong sense of atmosphere they hold, with great use of lighting, and redesigns of the classics. These have stirred many thoughts up, but now I am wondering what others may this of this:

 

1. Do Doom and Horror mesh well?

 

2. What are some examples/instances of good horror? (Any Doom games,maybe other Old FPS games, or even other games)

 

3. How would you do horror in Doom?

 

 

(EDIT: While I list PSX as a Doom horror adaption, I mainly do this as it places emphasis on the atmosphere and tension more so than the originals did.)

Edited by Sir Squidly
PSX Clarification
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PSX Doom never really seemed like horror to me, it was more like they just turned the atmosphere up to 11, whereas Doom 3 fits the label a bit better IMO. Although for the sake of the third question if PSX Doom does indeed count as horror in Doom, then my take on horror in Doom would be like that (who'd have guessed!)

 

The first question is a bit difficult to answer, my first inclination is to say yes...PSX Doom was more Doom and less horror, Doom 3 was more horror and less Doom. I love PSX Doom, and Doom 3 was quite good too, but I feel like they're on different sides of the middle ground that allows me to answer definitively.

 

Of course, it's entirely possible (and quite likely, knowing me) that my definition of horror is quite off :)

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On 1/13/2018 at 10:22 PM, Sir Squidly said:

I cannot help but find myself extremely interested in these adaptations, primarily due to the strong sense of atmosphere they hold

Same, I've been fascinated by Doom64 ever since I played it and for the exact same reason. There's a strong atmosphere in this game but the gameplay is never sacrificed in its favor. But, to give my own answers to the questions:

 

1. From my point of view, yes, in fact all games feature horror elements (symbols, the enemies themselves who are demons, sacrifices, grotesque scenes and levels, torture, and so on), but it only ever started being the focus more in Doom64 and later, much more radically in Doom 3. While PSX Doom kinda signaled the change in tone that was about to follow, it was on top of all a port or the said game, and the original was not designed as a horror game or to focus too much on this aspect, so it can't be considered as such. The new sounds and soundtrack might give an uneasy feeling, but not the levels and the action itself.

 

2. I originally said I didn't find anything particularly scary but, actually, now that I think more about it, In the Void, Altair of Pain, Burnt Offerings, Blood Keep, and honestly even The Spiral levels from Doom64 are all pretty menacing, but that's about it, and there's Doom 3 which is disturbing as a whole. Another game designed to be horror and does live up to the name, especially if I let myself get sucked into its world, is Amnesia The Dark Descent. But horror games (and movies for that matter) rarely manage to scare me these days, if at all.

 

3. Well, the way D64 did. Doom just doesn't work as a horror oriented game most of the time, so instead it's better to just to rely on details which add something meaningful to the experience and make good use of the effects, the architecture of the levels themselves, the enemies, the music (which is, on many occasions, just noise and various effects in D64), and sounds to inspire tension and fear, but on top of anything it needs to still be a fun game to play.

Edited by Agent6
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Personally I feel like even the original games had their moments when it came to horror, more so Doom I than II: Halls of the Damned is the best example that comes to mind. Of course that was never the main focus, but it's still interesting to look at from that perspective.

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I'm currently playing Doom64 for the first time and I gotta say the music in this this game is pretty disturbing at times, there's some very strange noises and effects thrown in there. as for Doom 64 and Doom PSX  The key to these 'Horror' type Doom's is in my opinion directly down to the music

It does give the games a huge sense of it being a horror. But does it make it Horror? mmmmmmm I'm not sure on that. Imagine playing Doom 64 with the classic MIDI style music instead, I reckon it would take a ton of that horror atmosphere away.

Doom 3 on the other hand is a completely different beast. The look and feel was clearly designed with a more of a horror approach in mind from the get go.

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honestly I think most horror movies and games rely primarily on the sound - in music, it's an overbearing set of dim/minor-major chords or ambient scraping or a dissonant brass blare or what have you; in sound it's whatever plays on our fight or fright instincts, which can be fairly accurately predicted

i still remember the sound effect of that cenobyte looming out of the darkness and drooling maggots

 

without a soundtrack most splatter classics would strictly be comedy films

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In a lot of horror movies, the victims of whatever antagonist is trying to kill them is usually pretty helpless. They run, they get tired, they're not carrying any weapons, the car won't start, the flashlight runs out of batteries, etc. etc. 

 

The visual elements of Doom are horror related because our enemies are demonic and/or possessed. There's a lot of evil symbols, gore, torture, and disturbing flesh and skin stuff that would normally make one nauseaus if they saw it in real life. These all lend to the horror aspect of the game.

 

Doom takes these scary frightening things and badassifies it by giving you kickass weapons, a near infinite supply of ammunition, and the enemies you kill blow up in the bloody shreds. This wouldn't be a very good plot for a movie, because you wouldn't be able to connect very well with the character if they are rarely in any danger. All these horrible enemies are just these little minion henchmen that the doomguy gets to blast away. 

 

Doom is everything a horror movie fan would want, particularly those who were tired of shitty effects and bad acting. "No don't go that way!!" "He's getting back up, shoot him again!" "Don't forget the bullets!" These stupid movie protagonist mistakes happen in horror movies all the time, But now you get to be in the shoes of someone who is faced with a terrifying task of going into hell and fighting your way back out. But you're also equipped with the right tools and the know-how to get the job done. 

 

So IMO, it doesn't really work as a horror game. It's got the visual components of stuff you'd see in a horror movie, but after all these wads we've played, everyone is too familiar with Doom and have seen the limits of the Doomguy's killing power, so I don't think you can do much to emphasize that Doom is a horror game without giving the player monsters that are impossibly unfair or by making the Doom guy more vulnerable, which isn't really anything people would want in a Doom game.

Edited by 40oz
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PSX Doom still scares me at times, I haven't played the original port, I've only tried the PSX TC mod but I gotta say the scratching and crying noises really make the game creepy especially when playing it alone with Headphones, that Soundtrack.

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Stupid thought dead ahead:
 

Spoiler

 

The Doom franchise to me is always had a horror elements.

 

Just look, we're talking about the Hell, demons, gore, violence, satanic rituals, pentagrams on the teleport pads, faces of the demons on marble walls, etc.

 

That's pretty creepy.

 

Vanilla Doom and Doom 2016 did an interesting step to "kill" that horror feeling - it makes the main hero to run faster than rockets and hold a lot of heavy weapons at the same time (at 2016 also double jump and fatalities). I'm serious.

 

The making something scary not so scary - just make it an absurd thing. I'll remind the Harry Potter franchise with the "Riddikulus" spell

 

And at the same time we are mostly running in the lighted rooms. Just "disable" somehow running elements and add more darkness and you will get the horror sense. Because people doesn't trust anything what is supposed to hide in the darkness. Some people are so nervous at such situations that they are just get horryfied.

 

So yes, PSX Doom is scarier version of the Vanilla Doom due to dark lighting, scary music and noises and the reduced tempo of the gameplay. I mean, you can run fast as launched rockets, but in most cases you don't run so fast, because there is a chance to die faster because you don't see monsters or they are too strong for you.

 

Doom 64 didn't use "nonsense" situations at all. I mean, you can hold even more weapons than before, but you can't run like a Sonic on maps and you didn't find funny anything on the levels. I didn't mean to advertise somehow "Doom 64 for Doom II", but I'll advice you to play it when it will be released as full version. It's not scary mod like the original Doom 64. It's just "funny" demon killing vanilla Doom mod.

 

Doom 3 is scarier than previous Doom games, but it uses the same methods - less dark, less tempo. You're not running in light areas - you are WALKING in the dark halls with the flashlight. I'll bet that D3 will be not so scary if we play it as Vanilla Doom3.wad with normal lighting.

 

To be honest, I don't think that "PSX Doom/Doom 64/Doom3" is a horror games. Like Yahtzee from Zero Punctuation said - it's a SHOOTER videogame with horror elements.

 

Like F.E.A.R. The first F.E.A.R. game is scary but only due to of screamers and loud scary sounds sometimes. At other moments it's just a cool FPS. Same thing to "The Suffering". Or Resident Evil games. Especially RE 5-6-Revelations. The story plot situations are really scary. I mean, in those games there are a lot of dangerous zombies or possessed peoples who wants to kill you. But you're not so afraid because the main heroes are Rambos who can kill every enemy with 1-2 kicks or shoots.

 

And this "offtop" moment brings me to the next thought - the strength of the main hero.

 

In every Doom game you can die really fast. In PSX/64/3 this is really annoying fact, because you are not sure that nobody can be behind you to kill you even faster than you're trying to escape other enemies. And in Doom 64 and Doom 3 there are not so many medikits and stimpacks so you're also take care of your health points. That's also make you nervous.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, DeXiaZ said:

Stupid thought dead ahead:
 

  Hide contents

 

 

In every Doom game you can die really fast. In PSX/64/3 this is really annoying fact, because you are not sure that nobody can be behind you to kill you even faster than you're trying to escape other enemies. And in Doom 64 and Doom 3 there are not so many medikits and stimpacks so you're also take care of your health points. That's also make you nervous.

 

 

This IS what makes most horror games so 'Edge of your seat'. The fear of death and having to possibly go back and do over 10-15 mins of work.

This was the fundamental thing that made Alien Isolation terrifying coupled with an atmosphere of pure dread. It had an old school save system.

When you can just save at every corner that fear is gone because it doesn't matter what is lurking around that corner as you can just re-load and try again and again. 

So yes , this system forces you to be careful and look after your health.

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34 minutes ago, PizzaGuy said:

This IS what makes most horror games so 'Edge of your seat'. The fear of death and having to possibly go back and do over 10-15 mins of work.

This was the fundamental thing that made Alien Isolation terrifying coupled with an atmosphere of pure dread. It had an old school save system.

When you can just save at every corner that fear is gone because it doesn't matter what is lurking around that corner as you can just re-load and try again and again. 

So yes , this system forces you to be careful and look after your health.

Ah yes, I totally forgot that moment, that PSX Doom and Doom 64 don't have quicksave/quickload system. You can only load between levels. And this is really...terrifying.

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When released in '93, Doom was seen as a game with an horror atmosphere too. Even the music in parts, Dark Halls, Suspense or Sign of Evil are in fact not so metal as the soundtrack is often seen. PSX Doom and Doom64 added much to this, using improved tech.

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When it comes to labelling a game as Horror I tend to ask myself what defines horror?

 

Gore, jump scares, dark atmosphere? Is Terror the same?

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1. I think so. The creepy atmosphere and sometimes haunting music really lets out a spooky vibe. Imagine you're playing doom in the middle of the night with the only light in the room being from your computer screen. The Gothic, hellish design of the levels and the monsters surrounding you, I think, is very horrific.

2. I think a lot of the hell levels are pretty spooky. The mancubus's design always kinda creeped me out too. Speaking of older FPS's, I think Blood does horror very well.

3. I don't really know how i'd do it, but I wouldn't do it like Doom 3 that just has spooky whispering and monsters sneaking up on your ass every turned corner.

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3 hours ago, Chezza said:

When it comes to labelling a game as Horror I tend to ask myself what defines horror?

 

Gore, jump scares, dark atmosphere? Is Terror the same?

Quote

The 3 types of terror: The Gross-out: the sight of a severed head tumbling down a flight of stairs, it's when the lights go out and something green and slimy splatters against your arm. The Horror: the unnatural, spiders the size of bears, the dead waking up and walking around, it's when the lights go out and something with claws grabs you by the arm. And the last and worse one: Terror, when you come home and notice everything you own had been taken away and replaced by an exact substitute. It's when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you turn around, there's nothing there...

 

But in my opinion - horror is the genre that make player feel uncomfortable and worried too much about his surviving against something strong and dangerous.

 

Jump scares, gore, dark atmosphere does nothing without good level design and enemy placement. The element of suprise makes a sense. When you know exactly where is the enemy - you're not so scared. But when you don't know anything - you're getting nervous because absence of knowing can kill you.

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Doom was based around Satanism and demons, which in itself is entirely creepy, possibly terrifying, so Doom is Horror.

 

21 hours ago, DeXiaZ said:

Jump scares, gore, dark atmosphere does nothing without good level design and enemy placement. The element of suprise makes a sense. When you know exactly where is the enemy - you're not so scared. But when you don't know anything - you're getting nervous because absence of knowing can kill you.

This is a good example of "true" Doom Horror.

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53 minutes ago, Soundblock said:

Blood, Blood II

if Duke Nukem 3D and Deus Ex were the horror games.

 

BTW, there is a horror mod for the DN3D - "Haunted Nukem". An epic mix of Blood I, Resident Evil, Doom 64 and Duke Nukem 3D itself.[/offtop]

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