So yesterday, Bethesda put out a trailer for the brand new Doom game due out in May, and it is… well, you can check it out below. Fair warning, if you’re eating spaghetti, you may not want to be eating spaghetti while viewing this.
Oh yeah, that looks like a fun time. Fun combat, fun weapons, a chainsaw, can’t ask for anything more. But you know what the best part about all of this is, besides the fact that performing demon dentistry looks sweet? It’s that the game is just fine to revel in its own bloody gore-fest.
Remember when games were about just crazy fun? So many shooters these days take themselves too seriously, to the point where it could just feel jarringly out of place. The Gears of War games have beautiful, artistic trailers that try to sell them as these deep, emotional journeys while having you fight giant glowing fish and snapping heads off with your shotgun. Not to say that the story of Gears of War is bad, but let’s be real, what’s the bigger draw here: chainsaw vasectomies and beating people to death with their own arm, or planting a bomb in the middle of some cave?
The last shooters to probably just throw up their arms and go “let’s have some fun with this!” are Borderlands 2, Sunset Overdrive, and Bulletstorm, a trio of shooters that are fantastically awesome. They’re games that have some drama in them to be sure, but they don’t sell you with promises of reclaiming the country from Terrorist of the Week or finding your wife. They just go “hey, here’s a talking sniper rifle that judges your every shot, use it and laugh! And here’s a gun that shoots mines that wrap around people, go ahead, shoot it! Bounce around the city like a kangaroo who didn’t skip leg day and grind everywhere like it’s Jet Set Radio!”
Doom looks like it’ll be joining that mold of shooters. Everything that’s been shown so far has been one bloody, fast-paced, violent mess. If you’ve ever seen and enjoyed The Raid or Punisher: War Zone, this game definitely looks like it’ll be your cup of tea. It’s not just run and gun, it’s a marathon of punches, gunshots, and tearing out eyes in 1080p and complete surround sound. Bethesda’s already gone on record saying they wanted to capture a “rock and roll” vibe for the game, since it’s their inspiration for everything going on in there:
“We really wanted the world to look like that–to have a personality that would shine through in everything we did. So we have a lot of skulls; it’s kind of over-the-top. A little bit of Castle Grayskull in there; it’s very He-Man.”
There’s nothing wrong with a game having some heart and being serious. Games have the ability to be whatever the creators or fans want them to be, and if someone wants to make an emotional experience that connects with everyone, that’s great. But sometimes, some games can also be a few hours of mindless fun.
So go on, Doom; punch out that demon’s eye and feed it to him, use that dead scientist’s head to unlock a corpse, slice enemies into turkey with a chainsaw. You do you, and let no one judge you for it, friend.
But maybe change the box art.