Erik Plays Doom 64
Erik is playing the classic restyled classic shooter from 1997. Laya and Kelly join on Discord. Chat welcomes Peaches, Streamlabs, and Strongercoff33.
Praise for the Claymation-derived denizens of Hell, a.k.a. clay pigeons from Hell. Erik seeks the blue key and develops a preference for the Super-Shotgun. We drift, as we often do, to visual aesthetics, because that’s Erik’s jar of jam. Kelly and Laya debate Jurassic Park versus Return of the King. Dinosaurs versus ghost ships. We agree that Doom 64 holds up better than either movie.
One of the Discordians asks if Doom has a story. Erik gives us the premise while somehow remembering where he is in the level, and of course shooting. Hell has invaded Earth, or Mars, or Earth, and you have to obliterate all the demons. It’s not what you’d call novelistic. Call me Ishmael. When I see something, I shoot it.
Though as play moves along, some of us notice there’s actually less shooting in this game than we remember, and considerably more architectural puzzle-solving. We learn to ask, “what did that switch back there do?” Shooters are always as much about the architecture and the space as target-acquisition. As any paintballer will tell you.
Erik has been playing Black Mesa, the remake of the original Half-Life (1991). He notes the strange inevitability of Triple-A game designers finding their way to story. Meanwhile, as we watch virtual carnage and think about the real thing, Erik comes up with a crackerjack story of his own:
What if there was once this one good thing that happened, for which all the bad stuff in the world is our reward?
Leaving aside the theology, this seems an interesting premise for a fiction. Kelly says the good thing was being able to walk the same planet as David Bowie, before he passed.
The more we watch Erik play the more Doom reminds us of pretty much every other shooter or adventure title we’ve played: Resident Evil, Dark Souls, Orii, even Portal and Oddworld. Every game is every other game. “All you have to do is click on their heads.”
Erik clears all three first levels and so is not eternally Doomed.