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.
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!
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