Beating Doom in 2024

January 7, 2024


I've decided to write an article about every game that I beat in 2024. Since beginning work on own commercial game last year (which I will also be writing more about), something strange happened to me. I began to feel like I was wasting time playing hours and hours of the same online games for years on end. I play Call of Duty because my friends do, not because I want to. I play Valorant because I want to get better and rank up, though I don't always find it fun. Spending hours and hours on these games take time away from my other projects, like the aforementioned game. So I made two personal New Years resolutions:

  1. Release my first commercial game this year (this is progressing quite well)
  2. Beat more games.

I wanted that second resolution to meet a couple smaller goals. Things like "clear my backlog" and "get more value out of the Xbox gamepass catalog" would be a lot easier if I was regularly downloading and attempting to beat more games. I also had a couple games on Nintendo Switch that I had never really gotten deep into, despite purchasing them.

So I set out to download some games. I opened up Gamepass (which I think is an awesome service btw), and perused the catalog. One game in particular jumped out at me. I'm sure you can guess by the title what it was.

Fun fact: for being a self proclaimed video game addict, and having gamed all my life, I have never played Doom. To write that feels like I'm confessing a cardinal sin (apt for the game in question), but it makes sense. Doom's first episode came out a year before I was born. By the time I was game age, the shooters on the market that were age appropriate were slim. I couldn't play Unreal Tournament, so I played Nerf Arena Blast (which was actually really good in it's own right) on LAN with my dad and my best friend Austin. In exchange, I went to Austin's house and played Star Wars Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast. As a nerf toting Star Wars nerd, I was happy to miss the Dooms, Quakes, and Unreal tournaments. I didn't mind.

However, Doom is the godfather of all FPS (and arguably all 3D games, if you don't give the honor to Wolfenstein on PC or Super Mario 64 on consoles). I knew I was missing a part of gaming culture, so I hit download, and waited the 14 seconds it takes to download on 2GB ethernet connection. The guys who got it off Compuserve would have cried at that.

I spent the next week filling spare time with 2 games: Doom, and Jedi Outcast (it was one of the switch games I had purchased but not played on that system). Jedi Outcast on switch is clunky and it's taking me some time, but Doom can be beat in a few hours. Admittedly, I didn't make par time on nearly any of the missions. Give me a break, I was learning the levels and puzzles. However, Doom was the first game I've beaten as part of my new resolution. So what did I think playing a game that was older that me, three decades after it released?

Amazing. It felt amazing. Gaming has come a long way, don't get me wrong, but games aren't made like this anymore. Not in the shooter genre. Everything AAA is battle passes and commercialized, and every indie is lost in the shouting match that is marketing your indie efforts online (I'm not looking forward to this myself). Doom is puzzles and blowing apart demons with a shotgun. Point blank, it's a damn good time.

I can see how this game would have rocked the world when it was released too. I've gone back and played my fair share of retro games. Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past is one of my favorite games ever made, but from an all out, in your face entertainment standpoint, it was nothing like Doom. Nothing at that time was. Furthermore, the design choices made in things like level design, puzzle complexity, combat scenarios, player feedback loop, and more are just stunning. Doom is a game that all game designers and developers, especially new ones like myself, should study. It's a veritable heap of good design choices, stacked on top of each other to form a timeless masterpiece.

There's not much else to say. Everything in Doom was executed flawlessly, and it's still a perfect 10 to this day.

I will continue with the Doom series this year and play through all the entries available on PC from gamepass, but I don't want to just blow through them all. I want to enjoy each one, and feel the gaming industry's advancement through time with each title. I'll continue playing through Jedi Outcast on Switch and working on my game, but I need a total shift to avoid getting burnt out on shooters (even if they are the masterpiece that birthed the genre). Next up on the list is Forza Horizon 5.