Want More Doom (2016) Single Player Content?

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Photo credit by Flickr.

Just like many people who finished the campaign, I wanted more of it. Even though the campaign was great and I felt like it wasn’t too short or anything. It actually took me around 13 to 16 hours to beat it  and I was exploring fairly heavily throughout the entire game, so I got a lot of out the campaign. However, it kind of still left me wanting to more and I think it’s because the game just didn’t feel action packed enough for me when I look back. It’s always an awkward feeling when you’re  playing a lengthy first-person shooter campaign and it leaves you wanting more. It also lead to people complaining about the developers not wanting to make anymore campaign content for their game. However, I always feel like the game itself already has an option for players to play more campaign content and it’s called SnapMap.

I always believed that’s why id Software and Escalation Studios included SnapMap, the game’s in game map editor. It was for people to create more content with the game’s sandbox if they’re scratching for more Doom content. Ever since the updates been happening, id Software actually managed to create some of their own campaign like missions for people to play if they’re hungering for more campaign content. Not only the developers been doing this, but also the fans too including myself.

I personally think SnapMap campaigns are nowhere near similar in terms of the experience of what you can get out of the main campaign, but with the tools that the developers provided, it can definitely still be entertaining despite not being exactly like the main game’s campaign. SnapMap campaigns are definitely no easy task to make too. I’ve invested so much time into Decipher and I can’t believe it took me around 3 months to finish nine maps in total. But I’m extremely proud of it and I definitely feel like it’s going to be my biggest accomplishment that I’ve done with SnapMap or probably doing something Doom related really. Here’s a trailer I made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWiT5U48jGs

I do wish to have more official campaign content from id Software, but I guess they just don’t have any desire for it and I always believe you have to respect your favorite developer’s decision even if you might not like the actions they’re making. If you want more campaign content, then SnapMap is your only choice. I also feel like players should give the SnapMap content that the developers have made. They’re definitely worth playing and I feel like people shouldn’t put down for what SnapMap was on launch day because it’s gotten much better with the new updates and content for players to create their own experiences.

Not only that, check out my Decipher campaign too. I’m also working on another campaign called Redemptor and another one I will eventually mention in this blog. I also got some more campaigns you can check out: Cyberhell, Reality Bending, Return of the Doomguy, Tech Base, and Biowar.  Don’t sleep on the campaigns that SnapMap allowed players to make. You’ll probably find them more enjoyable than the main game’s campaign itself if you try them.

Halo: Combat Evolved Pride

I haven’t really talked much about Halo in my blog posts. So, I decided why not make a topic mainly about that because I really do have an interesting history with Halo. First of all, I was always a PC gamer at heart and I just felt like first-person shooters were best on the PC platform before I played Halo. I remember checking out the Xbox demo at my local PC shop and I remember just checking various trailers of different games and then there was Halo: Combat Evolved. Halo: Combat Evolved interested me because it reminded me of Doom and the trailer just looked cool too. Eventually, I wanted to get an Xbox and buy Halo: Combat Evolved as my first game.

I absolutely adored the game when I first played through the campaign and it was so much fun and just one of those campaigns that grabs your attention and makes you want to replay it over and over again. I remember I didn’t buy any games for months and I would just play through the campaign many times of varied difficulty settings. I eventually had a friend who was a neighbor of mine and I remember trying out the cooperative mode to see how it would play and I remember both of us were having so much fun. My friend would eventually want get himself an Xbox and Halo: Combat Evolved. There were many days we would just play the cooperative mode for hours on end.

It took me a while to get into the multiplayer because I never had much friends that were into Halo as much as I was and I also got Halo when I moved away, so I pretty much lost a lot of my friends during that time. I eventually learned the PC version did include multiplayer support. I hated the multiplayer for the PC version because there were so many problems with networking issues and the connection was just so awful on my end in most of the games I’ve played. I did enjoy playing the multiplayer for what it was, but I didn’t enjoy the online experience.  I always loved the multiplayer of Halo for just being this interesting twist on the arena shooter format, but it really does have its own style that just makes it so fun to play.

Eventually Halo: The Master Chief Collection would come out and the fact it was going to support online multiplayer for the original Halo was huge news for me. Halo: The Master Chief Collection had a wide array of technical issues on launch, but I still had a lot of fun playing the online portion of the original Halo and it was also cool that the developers actually did patch the online experience to make it better and smoother than what it was on day 1.

Halo: Combat Evolved to this day is still my favorite Halo game whether it’s the campaign  or the multiplayer experience. I did enjoy the other titles too like Halo 2 had a wonderful multiplayer component and it arguably does do some things better than Halo: Combat Evolved did. I still believe Halo 2‘s campaign was one of the worst in the series, but multiplayer is definitely awesome and it was my first console online game I’ve played. Halo 3 was very fun too even though I feel like its positive attributes just could’t come close to what the original or the second game did very well. I thought Halo 3: ODST was a surprisingly great expansion pack to Halo 3 which the campaign is actually better than the main game. Halo: Reach was also another game I really enjoy because at that time it had a lot of content and it felt like the definitive Halo game where it combined the signatures of certain games like Firefight from ODST or how the campaign was inspired by the original game and tried to recreate some of those experiences.

Eventually, Bungie decided to move on from Halo and 343 Industries would take over. Their first game they made was Halo 4. I actually thought this game was pretty similar to what I felt in Halo 3. Then there’s the latest Halo game called Halo 5: Guardians. I personally think it’s a good game, but it’s mostly because of the multiplayer component. I really enjoy playing the standard 4v4 modes while Warzone can be a hit or miss experience for me because it’s heavily dependent on the accessories you need to unlock and you have to unlock them by playing a lot or you can pay real money for them. I don’t play Warzone too much or pay actual money to get an advantage in a video because I think that’s silly, so I hope you can understand why it can be a hit or miss experience for me since playing against players that have very good items and you and your team don’t, can make it a one sided experience.

I actually thought the campaign was mediocre to mixed from its core design standpoint and just how the story is written. Legendary difficulty was so artificially difficult by how stupid your AI teammates are and just how the campaign is a more team-based experience.  I just didn’t like how this game had an identity crisis or trying to be a team-based tactical shooter versus a run and gun based shooter. It’s easily one of the worst campaign experiences I’ve played from Halo and probably from a beloved first-person shooter series in general.

As you can see, I’m a fan of the series because I loved the original game so much and you can also tell the later Halo games just hasn’t come close to my love of the original although some of them do kind of do things better than what the original game did. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next Halo will be like although I’m very well aware it won’t come close to the original game. I also want to say that Halo got me into console gaming excessively and I don’t think I would’ve gotten into console gaming as much if Halo wasn’t around.

Here was a montage I really enjoyed watching when I was obsessed with this game:

 

Will Arena Shooters Ever Be Successful on Consoles?

I used to make quite a bit of Quake Arena Arcade montages for fun back in the days.

When it comes to popular console first-person shooters, I think of Halo, GoldeneyeCall of Duty, Battlefield, and more. However, when I think of popular console arena shooters,  i can’t think of any. Halo always did have its arena shooter influences, but I never feel like it’s in the same ball park as Quake or Unreal Tournament. It’s not as fast paced or over the top as those games.  However, there has been console ports of those games.

I remember playing Unreal Championship and I actually enjoyed playing this game back when I was a lot younger. Unfortunately, I had slow internet at that time, so I never got to play it online or even know if it had an active community of players playing like Halo 2 did. Eventually years would pass by and I learned there was a port of Quake 3 Arena coming to Xbox 360 called Quake Arena Arcade. I definitely enjoyed this port despite of some issues, but the online experience was great for a temporary amount of time and then people stopped playing it.

These games were popular on the PC platform back in the times when arena shooters were popular, but on the console side, it always struggled to find an audience that has the same interest. Some people may say because these games are better played with a mouse and keyboard and that is a good point. I personally find Quake 3 Arena on PC to have superior controls than the Xbox 360 version, but I do feel like it’s still possible to come up with good controls schemes or settings on the console side. The original Halo got me into console shooters when I was predominantly someone who enjoyed playing first-person shooters on the PC. I feel like that’s a good enough example of there is a chance for an arena shooter to be successful in the console market.

However, arena shooters have been on a decline of popularity for many years. I believe the popularity started to decline around 2005 to 2006 where first-person shooters were starting to get more realistic rather than chaotic and also the eSport scene started to die out for arena shooters too. I never really understood why all of sudden there was a decline in popularity of these games, but nothing lasts forever and everything evolves. Sometimes, a revival will eventually happen.

Eventually, Doom (2016) did bring back the arena shooter formula to the mainstream when it decided to be different than what you would normally see in today’s first-person shooters. However, it was met with criticism with a two weapons only system, load outs, and just seem to struggle to appease to the people who want a more authentic arena shooter experience rather than a casual version of it. I also want to say I’m proud that id Software managed to keep people playing the game’s multiplayer after many months of its release date and I do feel like it’s the best arena shooter I can possibly play despite of not being the best arena shooter experience I’ve experienced. I also want to say it’s probably because this game is more accessible than the traditional arena shooter format.

I do hope Quake Champions bring back the popularity of arena shooters because I do feel like they should still be around here in today’s first-person shooters. And who knows, maybe there might someone who’s going to take a risk and try to create an arena shooter on console to popularize them on that platform.

My Favorite FPS Era

Not really the games I would choose for my top 10, but hey, I always enjoy top 10 countdowns and I thought there was some decent choices here.

I kind of realized that I never mentioned much of my favorite fps era. I do believe if you been keeping track on my blog posts, you can tell what kind of first-person shooters I grew up on. I’m a ’90s kid, so without a doubt, my favorite FPS era are the ones from the ’90s. It’s not just first-person shooters in general back in that era, but mostly the PC-based first-person shooters because most of them still holds up very well to this day and age. I can’t really say much for the console side. Not only that, I was more of a PC gamer back at that time unlike today’s times, I generally do prefer to play on my Xbox One for the latest and greatest video games, but I still enjoy gaming on the PC for sure since that is where I came from. I’m just more of a hybrid of a console and PC gamer nowadays I guess.

The ’90s first-person shooters were just amazing. Many of them are well designed and not only that, it was the time where first-person shooters was born. Wolfenstein 3D is generally regarded to be the first first-person shooter ever created and it was released back in 1992. There were older games that can be debatable where Wolfenstein 3D‘s credibility might not be as credible as it should, but I think the popularity and success of Wolfenstein 3D does maintain its credibility. Since the ’90s was a time where first-person shooters were born, there were so much ideas that the developers could play around.

There were many games that just had its own personality and style. From Doom‘s demon slaughtering to Quake 3‘s frantic arena styled multiplayer to Marathon‘s story driven campaign. I also just loved how a lot of these games were fast paced and just those games that makes you feel good when you’re playing good. I do get that sense of feeling of playing modern shooters too, but it’s just not the same. It’s just that arcadey element that the ’90s shooters have which just makes it so satisfying to play. It’s just one of those moments that’s really hard to explain, but you’ll get it when you play it.

I also believe it’s the quality too. I think when people think about masterpieces or classic first-person shooters, they think of games like Half-Life, Quake, Doom, Duke Nukem, Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament, and many more. All of these games are from the ’90s! I will admit. There are some beloved ’90s first-person shooters where gamers and critics enjoy, but I never really got into. With that mentioned, there’s a lot of them I truly admire and I always mention them in my blog posts for a reason. I did make a blog post about my favorite first-person shooter sequel and I chose three games. Those three games were from the ’90s by the ways.

Another thing why I love the ’90s fps era was because my favorite video game developer, id Software, was at their peak during that time. They were releasing classics after classics, and I don’t think there will ever be a video game developer with that many quality games in their catalog. Those games weren’t just industry defining or they spawn legions of imitators, but most of them holds up very well. Sorry Wolfenstein 3D, I do feel like you do show your age compared to Doom or Quake.

Speaking of holding up the times, I did stated most of the first-person shooters I enjoy were predominantly the PC-based titles. Most of these games are still great to this day due to the level design, the fun factor, the core design where it’s more faster paced and over the top compared to modern shooters where they try to be focus more on a sense of realism. I also do like how there wasn’t so much hand holding which does kind of annoying me in today’s games since I do like playing games that respects your intelligence. I just find a lot of the console shooters at that time like Goldeneye 007 just doesn’t hold up where the controls ere just not that great. I just didn’t like playing first-person shooters with that thing and those games can have some very vague objectives where it can be frustrating to get lost and the frustration only grows when you have to beat a mission without dying.

And there you go. My favorite era of first-person shooters are from the ’90s. As much I have a lot of nostalgia for these kinds of games and I do miss those days because it was always interesting to see developers trying to figure out what they can do to push the first-person shooter boundary even further. I believe nowadays it’s more about trying to make your first-person shooter popular or try to attract an established first-person shooter audience which was also a thing back then. But I think there was also a lot of emphasis on trying to set standards or set a new procedure for upcoming first-person shooters.

I am proud I grew up playing these games, but I am also looking forward to the future of first-person shooters and I’m sure there will always be a game that’s going to interest me whether it’s a sequel of an old series or a brand new IP. It’s all about the design that matters and there’s always many different kinds of good game design you can tackle to make a great game. It doesn’t always have to follow the ’90s design philosophy.

Quake Champions – I’m Pretty Interested

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Photo credit by Flickr.

Ever since I’ve been busy with Doom (2016) and mapping for the game,  I  haven’t had the chance to check out much of Quake Champions and there’s been quite a bit of trailers going out. There’s also been closed betas happening and unfortunately, I can’t tell how people feel since the players are not allowed to talk about the beta outside in the public. Id software actually did do something similar with Doom‘s beta last year, and I’m really not too shocked to see them repeat this same method.

When Quake Champions came out,  I was kind of mixed with it. As a long time Quake fan, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the Overwatch influence to the game since I’m not a fan of that particular series. I just didn’t know how it would work with Quake, but after watching the gameplay videos I manage to find, it looks pretty fun! I believe this can be a lot better than I thought it would be since I like how the movement seems very fast. It seems similar to Quake 3‘s movement speed and I do like how every character or class can pick up all the weapons on the map which is one of the signature attributes of Quake in my eyes. It just wouldn’t feel right if Quake Champions only allowed exclusive weapons for specific classes and no weapon pick ups on the map. The abilities do seem interesting from what I’ve seen in trailers, but I’d rather play the game to see if it feels right in a Quake game. This four minute video is definitely making me want to play the game very badly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn2iwtmR_tY

There’s not too much information about the game so far since the developers are still taking it slow with the information. They’ve been releasing trailers of the different characters you can play and some information of some of the game modes too. However, I’m mostly interested in the full package of the game, the release date, and the system requirements. I plan on upgrading my computer for this game for sure. I definitely want that high frame rate when playing these kinds of games. I also wonder if this game will be as popular as the games that have an Overwatch style like Paladins or Lawbreakers since I’ve been noticing the views haven’t been as high I feel like it should be. I really do hope Quake makes a good comeback because Wolfenstein and Doom are also IPs that id Software owns and they’ve all been successful so far. It’s time for Quake to jump in the bandwagon as those games.

I guess I’ll be counting the days until I can have my hands on the game whenever the release date will be announced. I do feel like there will be a public beta happening eventually. I probably should immediately upgrade my GPU just to get prepared for it in advance.

 

Doom II: Hell on Earth = The Best FPS Sequel?

Video game trailers have come a long way!

There are many sequels to first-person shooters I’ve played where I’ve always enjoyed them. I don’t know if I ever played a bad sequel. I’ve played average sequels like Duke Nukem Forever which I mentioned my thoughts of the game and I personally thought it was a decent sequel to the masterpiece that is Duke Nukem 3D. However, there are some games I personally believe are so well done and much better than the original. I always think of Doom II: Hell on Earth, Marathon 2: Durandal, and Quake 2 when I think of those kinds of games. Yeah, it’s funny how these games the first sequel to the original game, but I absolutely adore all of them in their own ways.

These three games are similar to a point where they took what made the originals so great and just simply amplified them. But if I can only pick one sequel which I believe does the best it’s probably Doom 2. This game did so many amazing things compared to the original Doom. I thought the whole idea the sequel is a lot more action-packed was a brilliant way to differentiate from the original game. Doom to me has always been strong in the action department and there were just so many more monsters you would fight on the maps which just makes the sequel too much fun to play versus the original. It also featured more expansive and explorative levels which did make the game feel more richer in terms of experiencing it. One of the things that I always found to be memorable about Doom 2 level design was it had city-themed levels while the original didn’t.

I also loved the new enemies too. The Archvile remains to be one of my favorite Doom enemies as a whole. I always liked his design and his role where he’s like a medic where he could revive his fallen demons, but also be an absolute threat to you if you don’t take any cover. I always appreciated how the new enemies really different from the enemies in the original Doom where most of them kind of felt like upgraded versions of each other. In Doom 2, most of the new enemies just didn’t feel like that.

I will never forget the moment where I used the Super Shotgun for the first time. This was the only new weapon that the game included, but it was a very powerful weapon indeed and it just had that charm where you can fire it and kill an opponent and it never gets old. I also loved how a lot of the enemies that the sequel included were actually fairly vulnerable to the Super Shotgun which only enhanced the playing experience when you use that weapon. If you read my blogpost about my favorite shotguns from first-person shooters, I think you already got an idea of why I love using that weapon so much.

Doom 2 did get some criticism for being too similar to the original game where it felt more like an expansion pack. That is good criticism I will admit, but I feel like the game does have a fairly different overall vibe to the original game where it doesn’t make me feel that way completely. The original game to me always had that fast and smooth flow to the pacing while Doom 2 isn’t like that since there are much more enemies you would fight throughout the entire game. However, despite of the sequel did get more criticism than the original game, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s my favorite sequel to one of my favorite games I’ve played and it doesn’t change my opinion that I prefer the sequel over the first game.

Duke Nukem Forever Retrospective

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Photo credit by Flickr.

Since my last blog post was about Duke Nukem, I thought about why not look back at Duke Nukem Forever, Duke Nukem’s most controversial game. It was infamous in the gaming community for being in such a long development time period. It was supposed to be released back in 1998, but due to George Broussard, the director, kept delaying the  release date due to his perfectionism. Eventually the game was released in mid 2011 and it garnered mixed to negative reviews from critics and gamers alike. This would be the game that turn one of first-person shooters most beloved franchise into a constant punching bag from the gaming community.

I actually knew this game was not going to live up the hype of almost ten plus years of development due to the constant reworking of the game. However, I remembered expecting it to be at least fun and decent. I don’t remember if the reviews came out early for this game, but I definitely remembered being extremely shocked when the games was getting completely bombarded by many mainstream video game review sites. I couldn’t believe Duke Nukem was getting such low ratings. It’s Duke Nukem! Duke Nukem 3D was widely regarded to be one of the best first-person shooters ever made. How is it possible it’s getting ripped and torn apart so badly.

However, being a fan I am, I tried to avoid the review scores and opinions and I just wanted to play the game. It’s been too long I had to wait and it was so nice that I was able to play the sequel to Duke Nukem 3D after being excited about the game when I first saw the 2001 E3 trailer. I remember thinking the game wasn’t too bad after playing a couple of missions. Once I finished the campaign, I definitely didn’t feel like it deserved all those harsh ratings from gaming websites or even gamers that were jumping on the band wagon.

The campaign does do some good things. I loved how there was a lot of variety within the campaign. You got the shooting, the exploration for ego boosts (upgrades), driving sections, turret sections, platforming, and puzzles. It definitely kept the game interesting and I also thought the weapon balance was really well done. The standard weapons like the Shotgun generally had more ammo than the highly valued weapons like the Rocket Launcher where there was very limited shots. I think 3D Realms did a great job at making the weapons feel so balanced to a point there’s a reason why you want to use this particular weapon over the other one and I always feel like weapon balance is something that a lot of first-person shooters I play whether their single player or multiplayer focused always seem to kind of be all over the place.

I also loved a lot of the design of the familiar enemies. I still think the Octabrain looked so horrifyingly cool. I didn’t really have any problems with the other enemies too. The game was enjoyable for a lot of the time when I play the campaign.

However, I don’t think Duke Nukem Forever is a masterpiece in any way shape or form. It does have its faults. My biggest problem with this game is how linear a lot of the map design was which was disappointing because the level design was very elaborate and interesting in Duke Nukem 3D. It allowed players to play it in multiple ways and there was just more depth to the level design which means there was more depth to the gameplay experience overall. Duke Nukem Forever had some severe issues with the turret sections on Damn, I’m Good difficulty where I just feel like they needed more polish due to the difficulty just feels rather unfair at times.

I also thought the game’s strongest point was the shooting. The shootings feels great in Duke Nukem Forever. I always loved using the Shotgun or Rocket Launcher because they pack so much punch. However, I thought the game just didn’t have enough action or combat at times which did put me in an awkward mood because I always had that itch of wanting to shoot more enemies after finishing a combat section. The game also didn’t come close to what Duke Nukem 3D where I just feel like everything was just top notch from the overall design.

I did play the The Doctor Who Cloned Me DLC, and it was okay. It’s basically more Duke Nukem Forever content if you wanted more of it, but I would say its best to get it on a sale because I don’t think it’s something you would absolutely have to play or own it. I just find it hilarious that the Expander which I always thought was one of the weakest weapons in Duke Nukem 3D transformed into a fairly overpowering weapon in Duke Nukem Forever.

I never really was a fan of Duke Nukem‘s multiplayer component, but the multiplayer in Forever was just horrible. There was too many weapon balance issues where the explosive-based weapons were way too overpowering and it didn’t really required much skill to use which definitely is not a good sign for me. I just never bothered to play it that much after realizing its obvious faults and I would personally like to believe it never existed.

I should talk briefly about the old versus modern elements of this game because I remembered people felt like it wasn’t t old school enough or it’s too old school and not modern enough. I always thought Duke Nukem Forever packaged itself as a modern first-person shooter, but it’s really an old school late ’90s PC first-person shooters akin to games like Half-Life or Sin. It didn’t have the best influence of the two styled first-person shooters, but I guess there’s always room to learn about mistakes for the next game.

For example, many gamers complained the two weapons limit which they eventually patched it to an option where you have up to four weapons in the PC version exclusively for unknown reasons. I personally would’ve wanted all the weapons, but I always felt like just how the game is designed with the ammo crates where they give you full ammo to your weapons and just how the weapons work overall, it feels more in favor of the two weapons limit system. Having Duke to carry more weapons would reduce the difficulty of the game and it just kind of hurts the weapon balance as you don’t have to think about which weapons you want to carry for strategic purposes as much when only having two weapons.

When I first beaten Duke Nukem Forever, I thought the game was decent. It’s not the best first-person shooter I’ve played and not the best sequel, but it was fun enough for me to enjoy it and I think I’ll say I don’t regret paying $60 for it. I still come back to the campaign from time to time because it is rather fun to play it again. It wasn’t that bad really, it was just misunderstood.

I have to admit. The 2011 debut trailer was awesome back then and still is too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVuuyRGB_BA