Friday, November 30, 2012

Just enough hell

After a solid week of Doom I am grown immune to blood smeared walls, inverted crosses, haunting laughter and demons that appear out of thin air. In retrospect the games never reach the same level of gut wrenching horror that the old Silent Hills and Amnesia did. It's hard to make the player feel vulnerable while carrying eight different weapons, that last of which is capable of killing any non-boss monster in one hit. What Doom does offer is near constant state of anticipation. At any moment, from any direction, a wall could open up and this could come walking out:

Hi there, how are ya?
Playing with a controller creates a new set of problems. At point blank range I do not want to use my rocket launcher. The plasma rifle is one click of the left bumper away, but if that is low on ammo the chain gun is two more. It is very easy to get stuck with the wrong weapon in hand, furiously back pedaling while searching for the correct one. Resurrection of Evil likes to hide monsters directly behind doors so I had to alter what I was holding every time I opened one. The double barreled shot gun is the safest choice; it will one shot all smaller enemies and stun larger ones long enough to run away. 

This was not the only victim of the console transition. There was no option to enable captions, something that one cares about but me. Checkpoints are poorly placed and there is no way to map a 'quick save' to a face button. Even the frame rate suffers a bit from one of the new enemies introduced in Resurrection of Evil. To be fair, he did the same thing to the PC version. I think it was one of his evil powers.

I remembered bits and pieces of Doom 3 and even less of Resurrection of Evil, but it was refreshing to start the Lost Levels because I was going in blind. They are unremarkable, following another marine who survived the initial attack from the first game. It does have the best depiction of hell of all three campaigns. Hell was pretty tame before; yes, there was screaming and lava and even a cyberdemon, but it was mostly caves and castles. Hell in the Lost Levels takes it a step further, with architecture that itself is unsettling that is then filled with more monsters at once than anything that led up to it. There was a moment where I was standing at the bottom of a hill while two pinky demons charged towards me followed on either side by imps that I longed for my cannonball gun.

Sam could have handled that, no problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment