Doom was the reason why you bought a PC in the early 90’s, why you were late for work, why you were falling asleep in class and neglecting that significant other. It wasn’t the first FPS but it’s the game that started the genre, paving the way for games like Call of Duty, Halo and Bioshock.
Considered by many to the greatest game of all time, it made PC gaming a serious threat to the console dominance, we all spent a couple bucks on the shareware floppy, then when the full version came out, we bought the game. The story didn’t really matter, something about being a Marine and a gateway to Hell opening up on Mars, who cares, you got to go around and kill zombies and demons with chainsaws, shotguns and of course, the BFG 9000. The pseudo-3D graphics set a new standard, lighting effects were impressive and while pixelated, the enemies were easy to identify and the backgrounds had a realistic quality. The music was in stereo and maintained a gloomy vibe that fit despair you wallowed through.The bosses are big and gruesome and you never seem to get tired of running around finding keycards and shooting the same bad guys over and over again but man, my palms still get sweaty when that Cacodemon pops up around a corner. The secrets woven throughout the game also increased the replay value, after all these years, I still remember what wall I need to hit spacebar at.
Wildly popular for it’s gameplay and graphics, it was also infamous among politicians and parents for it’s violence and satanic imagery. Pentagrams, altars with skulls and Hell itself were targeted in campaigns to end violent video games, those attacks only fueled the fires, making it widely successful.
Wad’s popped up around the time Doom II came out and it helped increase replay value, you could go back and play Doom fighting the Simpsons, aliens and Barney. Maybe the Barney .wad was Doom II, it’s possible.
One of the greatest games of all time? Sure, the greatest? I don’t know about that, it’s a game I played heavily in my teenage years and it had a huge impact on gaming in general, but I honestly think it was the amount of violence in Doom that made future developers and game companies feel comfortable pushing the envelope. Not just for the increasing wave of homegrown developers with personal computers but for the historically neutered consoles. It increased the maturity level of games in an age of Mario and Sonic and turned us into a generation of bloodthirsty psychos, knee deep in the dead on the shores of Hell. Inferno.