Publisher: (Originally)ID Software
Developer: (Originally)ID Software
Genre: First Person Shooter
Release Date: 12/10/1993
Released on: DOS, Windows, Amiga, 3DO, Atari Jaguar, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Game Boy Advance, Sega 32X, Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation, Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Alexander Lucard: I’m not a big first person shooter fan, but we couldn’t talk about some of the scariest games of all time without covering Doom. Doom was, after all, one of the first games to combine FPS gameplay with survival-horror elements. Even though I strongly prefer Realms of the Haunting, there is no denying that Doom is arguably the most successful first person shooter series of all time, having spawned a multi-million dollar film starring Keith Urban and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and having consistently pushed the boundaries for what was possible graphically on the PC.
Doom is the most modded, parodied and recognizable FPS in the world. I remember seeing a licensed Captain Crunch version of the game where you shot soggies In 1994. Doom won game of the Year. It was the game that Bill Gates and Microsoft used to push Windows ’95 as a viable alternative gaming platform to DOS. Heck, the genre we now call “first person shooters” was, until the end of 1996/beginning of 1997 originally called “Doom Clones.” From custom WAD files to the addictiveness of Deathmatch mode, there is no denying that Doom is one of the most influential games of all times and even those of us who are curmudgeonly to the first person shooter have to respect Doom‘s legacy.
Mark B: Doom was probably my very first FPS, largely because I didn’t end up getting a computer until a year after the fact (Pentium 166 MMX Bay-BEE!), so I didn’t really have access to the genre, outside of the Doom port for the 32X. That said, while I’ve since played Doom, Doom 2, Doom 3, and the various expansions from each of the games, three specific moments in the series (all of them, oddly, from the first game) stick in my mind:
1.) the very first time I got to the end of the first section of the game (PC gamers will know it as the end of “Knee Deep in the Dead”), only to enter the pentagram room and come face-to-face with two screaming Barons of Hell… at two o’clock in the morning with the lights out. Needless to say, they weren’t the only ones screaming.
2.) Getting to the final stage in Doom for the 32X, only to find yourself in a giant, green room full of Barons of Hell and Cacodemons, all of whom want you dead.
3.) The very first time I faced down the Cyberdemon, having not seen this monster in the 32X version of Doom, I was not prepared to see eight tons of cybernetic rocket-firing death stomping after me, and basically responded in the only way I could: by running away, firing rockets behind me, praying to God this thing didn’t end my shit.
I miss being young and stupid.
Guy Desmarais: This is the first computer game I have ever played. I heard tons of things on that game in magazines and newspaper, where it was described as a murder simulator and that it was turning kids into serial killers. It was pre-installed on the first computer that my father bought for me and my siblings. So I start playing through the game, and in a couple of days, I actually got pretty far. I even thought that it was kinda tame for a game that was supposed to be so scary. That was until I took a portal to meet the final boss. If you remember, you are suddenly transported in a dark, dark room where the only light is produced by the fireballs thrown by the boss. Your character sustains damages seemingly out of nowhere while you just spin around the room, shooting every ammos and shells in your inventory. At least, that’s how I did it. I was totally panicking, and seeing my Doom Guy’s face as the health indicator becoming weaker and weaker was simply too much for me. When the fight was over, I was sitting in my chair all sweaty, twitching with my heart beating as if I had run a couple dozen sprints, not really sure of what had just happened. Then I went back to playing “Sextris”, the other game that was preinstalled on my computer, which simply consisted of a Tetris clone showing 80’s porn pics when you made enough line. A topless Bo Derek picture was the final stage.
ML Kennedy I only ever had a free demo of Doom, so I would just turn on the Chainsaw or Godmode and kill things for an hour at a time. Then Columbine happened and all these (discount) news outlets were talking about how these murderers did the same thing. They were pointing it out as an example of how fucked up these kids were. All I could think was, “aw, fuck. I guess this means I got to keep the trench-coat in the closet for the next year.”
Adam Powell: Yeah, I actually bought Doom 2 the day it came out instead of going to homecoming at my high school. Later I built levels modeled after my school. I also listened to KMFDM, so apparently, I’m next in line for school shootings.
Matt Yaeger: The first one was the only Doom game I ever got into, but I liked the first Doom enough that I can probably play the entire first level of the game blindfolded. I may not be able to remember everything I learned in grade school about Geography, but where the BFG is? Yeah. Not something I’m proud of.