Monday, August 27, 2018

Doom 3 BFG - Buildng Future Games

Of the two killer apps that came out at roughly the same time, Rainbow 6 Lockdown and Doom 3, I actually went with R6.  I was a little leery at first since, to play either I would have needed to upgrade my video card and I was on a R6 bender, having memorized Athena Sword at this point, so I hoped to continue the magic with Lockdown, but - Doom 3Doom!  Or, as I call it, "How I spent the 90's".

I went with Lockdown.  Geez did I feel stupid.  Gone were the planning stages and the deep fire team management, gone was the stealth and the open levels.  I guess I should have been grateful they left "Tango Down!" in as I was left with a liner arcade shooter.

Lesson thus learned I saved my pennies for Doom 3 and...well, the first try left me rather cold.  Graphically, it was a vast improvement over the then-recent Half-Life series and, even as jaded about GFX as I am, I still was impressed by the lighting and animation.  I just got turned off to the mobbing tactics and the still-awful cut-scenes.  I like a little action but Benny Hill Boss Fights (where you frantically run back and forth flailing away at a pack of baddies who have a wee tad bit too much health) never sit well with me.  It's a question of balance, really.  You can have a few tough-to-kill enemies or a lot of easy ones.  And simply pinning the player to the wall and smashing them down doesn't really count as the advanced AI Doom 3 promised.

I took a break from it and came back to it a couple of months later.  On that second view I got past the things I didn't like and found a game I did like.  I actually liked the audio logs.  For me it adds a degree of immersion as you find a safe spot to open up your PDA and then hearing the (badly acted) voice of the red puddle now in front of you.  I liked the environments which were a step-change from the environments of the Half-Life series, even if you tend to get turned around now and then.

With open-world becoming all the rage I'd like to see some devs turn the clock back and maybe rewind back to where we just had level-by-level shoot-em-ups.  Fewer puzzles, fewer commutes - just some guns, some baddies and no goddamn RP elements.  Maybe we can keep the iron sights if they must be had (in my most recent playthrough, I keep turning on the flashlight when I take aim so why not keep a little modernity?) and maybe - just maybe - a brief turret and/or vehicle section but that's it.

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