I remember when Doom came out in late 1993, because I’d already gotten hooked into the first person genre with Castle Wolfenstein 3D the previous year. But no one was expecting what came next – during 1994 suddenly the game was everywhere being played by anyone with a powerful enough computer. This week the landmark game turns 20 years old.
Here is a great summary:
In the game, the player has to hunt through mazes for keys and solve puzzles while battling raging hordes of monsters, demons and zombies.
Looking back, it might not immediately seem that groundbreaking: Doom was not the first video game to use a first-person ‘behind the gun’ viewpoint, after all, and certainly not the first to use 3D-like graphics, maze hunts or most of its other key mechanics.
But nothing before Doom managed to put those elements together in a way that was so fast, so convincing – and so scary. For it wasn’t the action alone, but rather the suspense and genuine fear the game inspired, that changed the industry and won legions of fans.
Doom has stood as an incredible achievement, being ported to pretty much every console and handheld video gaming system, handheld devices such as the Pocket PC, mobile phones, smartphones and tablets running every imaginable operating system. Yet because of the solid design of the levels and gameplay it remains enjoyable today, and remains playable due to the diligent work of fans who have released update modifications to keep the game running on new computers, processors and operating systems.
Of course, in 1999 Doom found infamy as a nation mourning for Columbine sought the answer ‘why?’ and found violent video games as a possible reason. To this day there is debate over the potential impact of violent video games on teens and the possible correlation of violent media with violent actions.
Here is a video of a ‘speed run’, completing the entire game in under 20 minutes! 20 minutes for 20 years!