Five gameplay elements Doom invented that nobody stole

When it comes to first-person-shooters, there can be no studio more influential than id Software. Wolfenstein 3D practically invented the genre, Doom perfected it and Quake dragged us kicking and screaming into true three-dimensional combat.

Of these three games, Doom is arguably the most iconic. A tour de force in its day and a classic in its twilight, the original Doom series gave many great things to the FPS genre. However, despite its bountiful offerings, not everything that Doom delivered was taken up by subsequent pretenders to the throne.

Doom was undeniably inspirational and laid the groundwork for many modern FPS games, but we believe it should have exerted an even greater influence than it did, for it innovated in ways that have since been criminally forgotten. We've looked at a number of balls that Doom started rolling and few others picked up, despite being truly brilliant.


Anybody who has played Doom for more than a few minutes can tell you about the Machiavellian joy that is monster-on-monster infighting. Through subtle manipulation and delicate machination (basically running around and hoping for the best), Doom's army of slavering demons can be turned against itself, as monsters fight against monsters and leave the player safe to mop up whatever remains.

Above: A Revenant and Baron of Hell duke it out, ignoring the dude with the shotgun

Doom's creatures are highly susceptible to friendly fire, and will respond in kind to any projectiles that whack them in the back. What ensues is delightful schadenfreude, as the monsters forget what they were doing and kill each other. It's a simple idea, but one that never gets old. Seeing a Spider Mastermind and a Cyber Demon going toe-to-toe is a rare spectacle that few other games have even tried to emulate. The aging Turok series gave it a shot and BioShock let you pit splicers and Big Daddies against each other, but by and large FPS enemies rarely engage in lethal games of tit for tat.

Truly terrifying enemies

Games these days are simply full of generic bad guys. When was the last time you came across an enemy that made you crap your pants in fright? We're not talking about bosses, either. We're talking about recurring enemies that could appear at any time and totally ruin your day. You'll likely not be able to name many games that can perform such a feat. Doom does it all the time.

Above: One of gaming’s roughest customers – the Archvile

Whether it's the Baron of Hell with its spine-chilling scream or the rocket-launching, skeletal, quick-footed Revenant, Doom is full of regular baddies that make you want to turn and run the other way. Need we even mention the Archvile, a monster that still manages to be among the scariest and more formidable creatures in videogame history? Soaks damage like a sponge, summons fire that engulfs the player wherever he is, and is able to resurrect any dead monster it comes across. The Archvile makes Pyramid Head look like Mr. Rogers.

Badass music

Music in general is hard enough to come by in FPS games these days, let alone a soundtrack as undeniably amazing as Doom's. Today's developers rely on atmospheric noise or stony silence, whereas Doom rocked it with heavy metal tunes inspired by the likes of Pantera, Metallica and AC/DC. When you're firing rockets into the faces of zombies, you want to do it while a MIDI version of "Big Gun" plays in the background. There's no other way to do it.

Above: E1M1, the perfect music for monster slaying

The use of a rocking FPS soundtrack has been so forgotten that not even Doom itself continues the tradition. Doom 3 abandoned its roots when it went for dreary atmosphere over shameless machismo. We want more guitars in our first-person-shooters. More guitars than ever before!


  • austincharlesbond - April 1, 2011 8:32 a.m.

    I'm pretty sure Halo had awesome music & infighting. And whenever I saw a Big Daddy in BioShock I was like "aww... sh*t". But yeah, no games have blended all the elements together like Doom. Nice list :) PS Why do no modern FPS games feature fast-paced, twenty-minute levels like Goldeneye & Perfect Dark?
  • Lucretiel - October 28, 2010 3:51 a.m.

    Minecraft has infighting- get a skeleton to shoot another enemy and they'll duke it out... Killing Floor has some of the most terrifying non-boss enemies I've ever experienced I'll give you the other 3, but they aren't really things I look for
  • BurntToShreds - September 24, 2010 2:12 a.m.

    Painkiller had some kickass music.
  • SenatorPepper - September 23, 2010 4:17 a.m.

  • redxjak - May 19, 2010 2:33 p.m.

    can anyone tell me where to download doom for free? or quake
  • highhardroad - May 17, 2010 5:05 p.m.

    I actually found an iPhone game that has some pretty interesting infighting. Something I haven't found in other IAnything games. I bought it after reading about it in their website's forums. It's website is
  • andwan0 - May 14, 2010 5:29 p.m.

    Sorry, ingame fighting was done in Blood.-
  • theschwartzb - May 9, 2010 5:42 a.m.

    Definitely infighting and several terrifying monsters in Fallout 3. I quite frequently come upon fights between one faction and feral ghouls, such as super mutants v feral ghouls or raiders v feral ghouls. Also feral ghoul reavers, deathclaws, and super mutant behemoths are all very fast hit incredibly hard and are recurring (the super mutant behemoths to a lesser extent, although they do show up several times in the game, just not as much as the reavers and the death claws.) In fact, there is a town called 'Old Olney' that is full of nothing but deathclaws.
  • MyGameName - May 8, 2010 2:16 a.m.

    @Vitoruss1 Halo note is incorrect as those were all separate factions. All enemies in Doom never showed any notice of each other unless hit by a stray bullet. GTA note is incorrect. They're not talking about CHEAT CODES. They are referring to the final game as is, without console commands, special button inputs, or other commands that force the game to behave in a certain way.
  • Metroidhunter32 - May 8, 2010 1:35 a.m.

    I'm only so so on shooters in general, the all action ones get dull really fast to me. That said I worship doom, and constantly try to find a PC version of it that will run since mine has litterally decayed until it lost data. All hail your DOOM...
  • LIKEUCARE - May 7, 2010 9:40 p.m.

    Holy crap... and I forgot one hell of a scary FPS monster... In STALKER: Shadows of Chernobyl... the mutant with the telekinesis attack made me jump for sure! The Bloodsuckers too first time I met 'em... I can't comment to STALKER Clearskies and Pripyat since I haven't played 'em yet... I would imagine they'd have new scary monsters as well! Oh and a friend of mine told me that in Metro 2033, theres many scary mutants in that too, although, he's easily scared of anything so not so sure about that fact... Heck, it took him about 2 years to play DOOM 3... once he got through, he could finally play scary games hah...
  • LIKEUCARE - May 7, 2010 9:32 p.m.

    I gotta agree with todays videogames, the soundtrack lacks rock/metal/techno tunes. It's all ambient and atmosphere, while nothing's wrong with that, but I would truly crave for a pure return of an old school FPS game. Kinda like the good old DOOM/Quake style! As for scary monsters, I could think of many... For instance, in DOOM 1, think the Baron was the scariest for me... his scream and howls made me run like hell backwards lol! In Quake 1 "Huge White Guy" were scary as hell first I met 'em! Quake 2... wasn't much scary, but it was all about pure action with a rock-solid soundtrack. Quake 3... very good action, soundtrack was good, but slightly below Q2. As for Q4, I think many agrees that its a forgettable game, sadly. FPS scary monsters... well, in FEAR, those assassins made me jump first time... oh and those nightmares specters too. Condemned enemies were something too, jumping at you at any moments. The grisly bear in Condemned 2... man that was scary! The T-Rex from the latest Turok game... whew he chumped on me many times till I finally beat him! Serious Sam First Encounter's bosses were a fearsome sights! Return to Castle Wolfenstein... MANY SCARY MONSTERS! The 2-arm walking "mechanoid" was scary... as were the zombies, shooting you souls at you. The Rumbler from System Shock 2 was scary as hell! In Half Life 1, those cloaked female assassins... Think in Unreal 2 The Awakening had some scary monsters too... Clive Barker's Undying... many scary monsters there as well. Thief 1 zombies, ghosts and apparitions were scary stuff! AVP 1999 marine missions were scary stuff... first time you saw the aliens for the first time scared the shit out of me. Even when you first meet a predator, he was scary too... kept aiming at you from a long distance with his PlasmaCaster and could kill you in one shot. The Alien Queen on the last mission was freaking scary! You could only kill her Ripley style, hence, everything you'd do to her only slowed/stunned her temporally. Ah, good moments! AVP2 cartoonish look spoiled the fear factor IMO, even if the game itself was a tad greater than AVP1. As for AVP 2010, even if I disliked it a lot in all imaginable ways compared to previous AVP games, it has its moments... the Praetorian boss fight in nightmare mode was fearsome! As for more scary monsters, guess they'd be in Third Person Shooters style... from the games like Dead Space, Resident Evil series, Silent Hills series, The Suffering series, The Chronicles of Riddick "sewer lurking mutants"... Last point... many disliked DOOM 3, but I still think it was a pretty good single player game overall. Surely, it missed a few elements here and there, skipped the rock/metal music... but it does have its moments for sure! Oh and, anyone here feels the same that the DOOM 1 Baron was scarier than DOOM 3 Hellknight?
  • yonderTheGreat - May 7, 2010 7:40 p.m.

    Exploits aren't bugs. And telefragging was part of the game. As infighting isn't as rare as you guys seem to claim. Lots of RPG's have it, like the wonderful-but-very-buggy Gothic games.
  • MaynardJ - May 7, 2010 11:26 a.m.

    Archvile, the Cyberdemon, Revenants, the Cacodemons and the Spider Mastermind are still some of the most terrifying parts of my teenage gaming years. Jesus Christ, those guys were scary. Last time I played Doom must have been about 2 years ago. I turned off the music and played Metallica and Bad Religion CDs as a score. How many other FPS games make that possible, with all those cutscenes these days? Another FPS I'd like to see "copied" a lot more: No One Lives Forever, especially part 2. Probably the last FPS I played, so I'm not really up to date on the genre. But if any of you people can tell me about another FPS that is as much fun as NOLF2 I'll buy it.
  • TheEvilSideofEveryone - May 7, 2010 5:34 a.m.

    MW2 had infighting on one LvL so it just took some one a long time to rip that off.
  • Spybreak8 - May 7, 2010 4:39 a.m.

    Archvile burned you which made you fly into the air. That was the main thing that freaked me out. I was just playing Borderlands and it's fun to get the bandits to fight skags!
  • keithburgun - May 7, 2010 4:05 a.m.

    I just wanted to let you know that my new iPhone game has in-fighting. And it's because I love DooM so much.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - May 6, 2010 11:30 p.m.

    Assassin's Creed has certain exploits that will change the way you play... Try searching The HyperBlend exploit on YouTube?
  • TURbo - May 6, 2010 11:08 p.m.

    Doom was the first game to use the Doom engine. Heretic was afterwards.
  • JimSterling - May 6, 2010 11 p.m.

    Metal Gear Solid isn't an FPS, while the infighting is fully scripted and designed. "Monster infighting" is a particular type of infighting that's scripted to trigger due to friendly fire. Not a lot of games copied that. As far as scary enemies go, it's mostly opinion, but again, this is about FPS games, not Zelda and the like. Nevertheless, it's more opinion than anything else, and I've seen a lot of people get angry over it, which strikes me as silly.

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