This is the reason why Doom changed the fate of videogame history.
Posted by Batguerra on Feb 20th, 2013
When we go back to the 90's we see the videogame industry growing up like never before, we see many magazines such as the famous Nintendo Power and were developed new consoles and add-ons as well as the Sega 32X and of course , games. But in 1993 a game for PC released by id Software would change this reality, it was the day that was launched the game which would change the path of videogame industry, I'm talking about Doom.
Forget about those FPS's you play, without Doom, believe me, they wouldn't exist. You see all these games such as Call of Duty, Battlefield and Medal of Honor? Well, they all came from Doom, they are just Doom "wannabes". In a time where new videogames were almost the same, Doom came breaking all limits and bringing a whole new genre to the videogames.
When we come back to 1993, what we see is something that I can't really explain because it was a "BOOM", nobody expected that Doom would make so big differences in what we call videogames. 3D detailed graphics, huge environments full of secrets to explore, monsters to fight with pistols, shotguns, chainguns or even your own bare hands. What we see is what I call "The Beggining".
Why Beggining? Well, there are two different periods, before Doom and after Doom. Before Doom the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Atari, Game Boy and 3DO. Doom brought what I call the "BOOM" of videogame industry, he brought the fith generation of consoles to us, and sure many companies started to make "Doom like" games, we can take for example Quake, it's awesome, even better graphics, awesome gameplay and good soundtrack.
Doom was created by John Carmack and John Romero in 1993 , with the engine programed by John Carmack, it represented significant improvements compared to other games of that time, the engine was the same used in Wolfenstein 3D and Quake (later on) as well as Heretic and Hexen (both using modified version of Doom 2 engine). And Doom as in graphical quality also had dark and obscure environments, bringing a new sense of horror in videogames.
Doom, in that time, was also know as a violent game, when you kill a zombie or a demon they bleed and even mutilate in parts, and that in the videogames was something totally new, and nobody ever thought in seeing something like it until it appeared. Doom was polemic and had dark themes, with pentagrams representing the love by Devil and also the episode where the player had to kill demons in hell, was judged by the catholic church as a game to make persons "kill and hail the demon".
The differences we can see between Doom and Wolfenstein 3D were : different heights (in Wolfenstein 3D all rooms were the same altitude); Non-perpendicular walls (all walls in Wolfenstein 3D run along a grid square); Texture mapping on all surfaces (in Wolfenstein 3D, ceiling and floor textures were not); Varied level of light (all areas in Wolfenstein 3D are fully lit with the same brightness). Although also contributing to the visual authenticity of the game. And probably and most importantly added to the atmosphere of the game, the use of darkness as a means to frighten and confuse the player was a novel element in the games.
The story of Doom refers to a spacial marine who was obligated to work for UAC (Union Aerospace Corporation) , because he shot in a superior officer who told him to kill inocent people, he is more know as "Doom Guy" because in the game a name never appears, so this agency was working on a confidential reasearch of teleportation in the Mars's moons, Phobos and Deimos, but something go wrong and portals with creatures appearently from hell come to Phobos. An squad from UAC is sent to Phobos , but they are all killed and only one survives: the player whom task is to survive.
The game is separated in 3 episodes (only one in the shareware version) with 9 levels each, "Knee-Deep In The Dead" where you are in a high tech base in Phobos and need to get out, where in the last mission you have to kill two Barons of Hell, after you kill them you go through a portal to Deimos. In this second episode, "The Shores of Hell", the player makes a travel through the facilities of the second Mars's moon, Deimos, whose maps show a huge architecture, in the last level after beating the Cyberdemon (for sure the scariest monster in Doom) you discover the truth behind everything, Deimos is under the own Hell, the player goes down there with a rope and starts the second and last episode, "Inferno", after destroying the final boss, Spider Mastermind (a kind of giant spider brain mounted on a steel frame with four mechatronic legs and armed with a machine-gun chaingun style), a secret door opens for the player who "proved too tough for Hell to contain", so then he goes back to Earth. There is an expansion called "Ultimate Doom" which adds an extra episode named "Thy Flesh Consumed", telling the player's adventure back to Earth.
The succes was so huge that there were a sequel called Doom 2 Hell on Earth, which story is that the humans captured the Mother Demon and she opens a portal bringing all demons to Earth, so the player has to stop this attack once for all. And it doesn't stop there, there are Master Levels for Doom 2, Master Levels for Doom II is an expansion for Doom 2 Hell on Earth made by the same engine from Final Doom of PS1 with 21 different levels to play. As a bonus of the CD, a collection of 1,830 WADs downloaded from internet called Maximum Doom.
If you think Doom is like every classic game that stay in closet for years and no one play it anymore, you're wrong. There are thousands of people playing Doom at this moment, also many mods were made for this game since it source code was released in 1999, and are still being made, for example Skulltag, an modification which permits you to play multiplayer with many players online, another one like Brutal Doom, an modification of the original Doom that adds more gore and blood to it, and earned the best mod award of 2012.
We are in a time where the videogame industry has grew up and gathered so many fans that if we could go back to the past, exactly in the 90's, we would find it strange to have so few games and people to play, but that because we LIVE in the Gold Age of the videogames, but eveything needs a basis, and if Doom hadn't appeared to be our basis, probably we could not have what we have today. It was "The Beggining" of the Gold Age of the videogames, a water separator if you wish. Doom is our holy treasure. Will always be.