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.

SnapMap Ideas I Might Try

I’m back into mapping for Doom (2016). I’ve recently remade Doom II‘s MAP27 (Monster Condo) and made an original hell themed map called Between Hell and Doom. Now, I’m just trying to figure out what I want to make in the future after taking a break from Decipher. I’m still not done with Decipher. I plan on doing something with that campaign of mine because it is by far the most accomplishing thing I’ve done for Doom with SnapMap. I really want a new SnapMap update to encourage me to map more and try out the new features like hopefully the Cyberdemon will be featured and or have new textures included. I would want new textures for both old and modern style, but the modern textures definitely need more.

Enough of me just typing a bunch of random SnapMap content. I should get into the main topic of this blog post. I definitely have plans of trying out more classic styled maps. I never made any full on classic themed maps. Now, I’ve made so many modern themed maps, I think it’s time for me to change up the pace and go back to 1994. I do know not all of the classic textures are included in SnapMap, so that kind of sucks and it might limit my imagination, but I think SnapMap needs more custom classic maps. I’ll definitely want to tackle that.

I could try to make a city similar to this with SnapMap.

Since Ghost in the Shell is coming out in theaters soon, I might make another cyberpunk-themed map, but it will be more of a campaign styled themed map rather than a survival styled map which I generally use the cyberpunk theme for. I don’t know if I feel like I can make it work for a campaign styled map, but it is something I think I could try to do since I always had a thing for cyberpunk when I was a lot younger. I’m proud I managed to make a cyberpunk themed city with my City Survival map and it was a lot of fun messing around the decals when I discovered how effective they were.

I really don’t know if there’s anything I want to do with SnapMap after that. I’ve been waiting for the next update and I’m sure this would give me  more ideas to play around and come up with more maps. I’m definitely passionate of this mode from Doom and I love making good maps for players to play, but also for myself. I might try to make another blog post about how SnapMap affected on how I play first-person shooters from a level designer standpoint rather than just a gamer or a fan of first-person shooter standpoint.

I definitely enjoyed level designing back in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, but that was a real-time strategy game. I never really got into level designing for first-person shooters as much ever since I touched SnapMap.

 

The Keys to Making a Top Tier Single Player First-Person Shooter

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/05/doom-2016-single-player-review-back-to-basics/

There are many games from the first-person shooter genre that define how a single player experience should be implemented. It ranges from Bioshock to Half-Life to Halo to Doom and so many more. There are games that might try to create its own identity from the crowd and some might have obvious influences from other first-person shooters. But no matter what kind of first-person shooter you enjoy, I’m sure these factors are generally the keys to making a top tier first-person shooter that’ll be up there with noticeable titles like those titles I just mentioned.

  1. Exploration – I always believe this is a must if you want players to take your campaign seriously. It is fun to shoot many bad guys over and over again, but sometimes, I feel like you need to have that sense of exploration to build more depth and complexity in the game. It’s great to have exploration to compliment the sense of health and armor management or the excitement of discovering new weapons.
  2. Engaging Firefights – Combat is probably the most important thing to me for any first-person shooter to overcome. Whether it’s single player or multiplayer, I always want to get that sense of satisfaction when I shoot a gun or kill a target. However, there’s always cool ways to create firefights. There were a lot of memorable combat engagements in Marathon 2: Durandal which is my favorite Marathon game. The very first few fights of “If I Had A Rocket Launcher, I’d Make Someone Pay” is a prime example. It’s definitely challenging and relentless with the swarm of aliens you have to kill and shoot. On higher difficulties, it requires a much more strategic factor in this fight, so you cannot just simply kill them by just shooting and running around mindlessly. These are the fights that makes me smile.
  3. Level Design – In the world of first-person shooters, level design is so important to r bring the complex nature of the fun factor of this genre. It can affect the exploration, the flow, the atmosphere, and the combat depending how the level designer is crafting the map. I always like maps that are more complex rather than the simple and directed types of levels. I like levels that aren’t so linear and require a decent amount of exploration.
  4.  The Feeling of a Hero – First-person shooters tend to put you in daunting tasks and generally when you accomplish them, you want to get that sense of feeling that you’re some kind of dominant walking force. Doom has always been extremely good at doing that by making players fighting excessive amount of monsters or just using overpowered weapons like the BFG-9000.  Before Halo became an expansive universe, I always thought you were the only spartan in the original game. There was that sense of uniqueness to you compared to everyone within the game. I always loved how the marines would cheer you up if you were playing efficiently well or playing it on higher difficulties, you would have to play your absolute hardest if you didn’t want to see your marines suffer by getting overwhelmed by the Covenant.
  5. Memorable Moments – This might be a retread of what I typed in my level design section. However, I can’t help it because a lot of my favorite first-person shooters always have a lot of memorable moments to make me appreciate them so greatly. The original Halo had the introduction to the Flood to the Warthog run on the last level. Doom II had a lot of memorable combat due to the level of intensity was much higher than the original game. Duke Nukem 3D had the awesome city level designs which I still believe Duke Nukem 3D has the best city level design out of all the first-person shooters I’ve played. There’s much more, but I don’t think I want to type them all or else this blog post will take forever to read!
  6. Influential – Pretty obvious one. If a game is so well done, there’s going to be future developers trying to take inspiration from it. Who wouldn’t want to create a game that can be the next Bioshock or Half-Life?

That is all I have to mention in this blog post. I still love the single player aspect of first-person shooters as someone who also plays a lot of multiplayer games and enjoy them as much as well. I just love the simplicity of single player games. You only need yourself to enjoy these games and not have to worry about playing on a bad connection, playing with bad teammates, and so many things I could mention that does annoy me when playing multiplayer games.

For the new kids, single player might be a thing of the past, but to me, it’s here to stay and it’s not going anywhere since sometimes you want to play against AI by yourself. You need to have some variety in your gaming experience.

Single Player- How To Really Enjoy It

http://kotaku.com/the-unusual-excellence-of-halos-best-level-1631041139

In today’s times, it seems like if you want to make your first-person shooter have some sort of replay value, multiplayer seems to be the key. Ever since I hear many gamers feel like they need to have some sort of multiplayer component to keep their interest high of replaying a game, it makes me realize how the times are so different in present day versus the ’90s. While I won’t debate that playing with other people have always been fun to play with, I don’t believe single player is a thing of the past nor does it feel inferior to multiplayer.

Single player in first-person shooters might feel not worth replaying other than playing it on a higher difficulty to see how much different the game plays with higher damage output, increased AI aggression, and so many more attributes that developers like to do to challenge people who are looking for that type of challenge. I don’t think you should just play it for that. I believe there is more to the playing experience even if you beaten a game on the hardest difficulty.

I grew up playing a lot of single player driven games when I was young. I actually didn’t know anything about online gaming as a child, but at the same time, I remember we were living in the days of 56k modem. Online gaming was still yet to reach its truest potential due to the limited options of faster internet speed. So if I wanted to enjoy my games I have, I just simply have to play them again. If I beat a particular game on a normal difficulty, I’ll simply go to hard and how do I manage to still have interest in these games even if I manage to beat it on the hardest difficulty?

I always like to get better at my games. Sure, you can beat the game on the higher skill levels and you might see no reason to come back to it, but I always like to see what I can improve upon from my first playthrough on a harder skill level. I always like to come up with strategies that’s guaranteed to help me not die as much for a more “professional” way of playing.

When you’re trying to find new strategies, it definitely adds a dynamic factor to the enjoyment of playing a game you’ve beaten it already. Sometimes, finding different strategies can totally change the experience and sometimes there are encounters that allow you play it in different ways. This is something I really adore in my single player when I play a first-person shooter I enjoy.

Since I grew up playing a lot of ’90s first-person shooters, I always enjoyed looking for secrets. I didn’t know anything about the internet at that time, so it was kind of fun to wander around the map and try to find hidden passages to reward myself for exploring the map instead of looking it up on the internet.

Another thing is, I just simply enjoy the game and I have the desire to come back and play it again. I loved the original Doom and Doom II as a child, and I still do after many years. I still come back to it.  It makes me realize how amazing the design of these games when I play it with more knowledge of how first-person shooter design are. These games are designed to be fun on a first playthrough and be fun on the fifth playthrough or tenth playthrough.

How are these games designed to  be like that? Well, stay tuned for the next blog post and I’ll explain it all in detail.

Time Will Tell…

I’ve realized I’ve been playing a lot of Doom 2016 ever since I picked it on launch day and I haven’t been able to try it out many other games or first-person shooters. I’ve been playing Doom 2016 religiously and sometimes I’ll play the classic games too here and there with Marathon 2: Durandal, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, Quake 2, and Master Chief Collection if I feel like I’m burning out on Doom. However, those games are games I’ve already owned for years. The last new game I played was Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. It was definitely fun and it wasn’t a first-person shooter because I felt like taking a breaking from shooting things and want to play as an Asian chick that can parkour to save her life.

With that said, there are a handful of first-person shooters I really want to play. Despite of me loving Doom 2016 so much, I’m still a first-person shooter junkie. I have to play other first-person shooters rather than Doom. Let me think of some games I have in mind that I hope I’ll play in the future whenever I feel like the time is right. These games all have been released by the ways, so they’re not upcoming games.

I did play a demo of this game called Hard Reset. It was pretty good. It reminded me of the old school ’90s first-person shooters I grew up with with its cyberpunk twist. I am actually a fan of cyberpunk and a lot of this sci-fi stuff. I’ve always loved these type of things when I was a lot young. It is fairly cheap, so that’s nice. However, the last time I played it. It kind of felt too familiar to the games I grew up with and I can always go back to those games and enjoy them. Quake is still awesome and still holds up really well, so do I really need Hard Reset in my life?

Speaking of Quake, I actually never played any of the original Quake expansions. However, Quake 1 is a pain to run on modern PCs because older software tend to not work well with newer hardware, so I don’t know how I’m gonna fix this issue, but I have watched videos of the expansions. I personally think they look awesome and I don’t know how I’m going to be able to play them, but hopefully, I’ll find a way to. The nostalgia is sometimes bothering me and it’s telling me I should go back and live my life like it’s 1996.

Quake 2 is my favorite Quake game. I’ve only owned the PC and Xbox 360 version. There is actually an original PlayStation  version which is unique compared to the PC and 360 version. Both the PC and 360 version are fairly identical towards each other, but the PS1 version is kind of its own version in a way, but still a port from the PC. As a huge Quake 2 fan, I might have to find a way to track a copy down if I want to experience how Quake 2 is played on the PS1.

If you read my Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare woe blog post, I have to put Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered in here. I truly miss that game and I can always play Modern Warfare 2 or 3, but my favorite one was original Modern Warfare. The design of that game, the weapons, the maps, everything just feels right at home for me when it comes to a military-based first-person shooter. I sometimes I feel like this game was designed for me. I really hope I can get it around $30 at least. I think that’s the perfect price, but I still haven’t found a good price yet on Amazon.

There’s an obscure first-person shooter called Chasm: The Rift. I’ve had my eyes on this game for quite some time and still haven’t got the time to play it, but I’ve seen a decent amount of videos of it on Youtube. It’s fairly similar to the original Quake, but I do feel like it does got enough twists and interesting ideas to make it worthy of playing even though it’s not really a game that most ’90s first-person shooter fanatics would instantly remember. Just like Quake, it’s most likely gonna be a problem for me to play it on my PC because it’s a very old game.

That is all for now. I have to stop playing Doom for a while. I love Doom, but I think I might need to have time to play a brand new game when I can to further increase my knowledge of first-person shooters.

Doom 2016’s Campaign Weaknesses

https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/doom-review/1900-6416432/

When Doom 2016 came out, it was widely praised for the campaign portion out of three game modes it came with (Campaign, Multiplayer, and SnapMap.). Just like many people, I was one of those people who believed the campaign was the strongest aspect of the game, but I didn’t really see many people criticizing it as much compared to Multiplayer and SnapMap.

I’ve played and beaten the campaign quite a bit ever since the game was released on May 13, 2016. I’m definitely a lot more experienced with it compared to me playing it around that time and I can safely say, there are some noticeable faults or things I realize the more I played the campaign. Here are my thoughts on the campaign’s weaknesses.

  1. Rune Trials – These things are cool. I like how they do progress your character to be stronger by unlocking unique attributes, but the more you play and play, you realized a lot of them aren’t really that useful and once you know the right ones to go, you’ll realized there’s really no reason to do all of them unless you want achievements, but I don’t believe forcing players to get an achievement should be labelled as “meaningful” replay value.
  2.  Not action packed enough – I feel like I’m in the minority here. I was one of the few players who felt the action wasn’t intense enough. Even if I play it on Nightmare difficulty; the game hardest difficulty. With newer technology being displayed on present day hardware, it’s hard to put in around 40-50 demons on your screen like the classic games managed to do, but there were a lot of moments where I just wished there was more enemies to kill or I just felt like I wasn’t satisfied enough with some of these combat engagements.
  3. Weapon Balance – The weapon balance is definitely faulty once you max out all the weapons to its fullest potential and you play around with them, you can tell there are certain weapons that perform better than other or certain weapon mods that you want to use over the other one. Also, I just find it funny that some of the challenges of the earlier weapons are such a grind to unlock, but they really don’t improve them that much compared to the later weapons where you can easily make them stronger without needing to stress yourself to finish these challenges. This can definitely hurt the replay value because you’ll realize there are certain weapons and weapon mods you want to use and avoid.
  4. Not many memorable/excellent levels – The original Doom and Doom II had A LOT of memorable levels whether it’s how well the combat engagements were or just certain set pieces that stands out from each other. While there were no bad levels in Doom 2016, I just can’t help it, but say there are not many levels that I consider excellent.
  5. Super Shotgun’s Strength – I personally think the Super Shotgun is disappointingly weak in campaign. It’s just inconsistent to use for close range when weak enemies like the Imp or Possessed Soldier have a chance to survive. The Super Shotgun is one of the most iconic Doom weapons and I just find it frustrating that it’s not as strong like its predecessors. I will say this though, once you upgrade it to its fullest potential, it’s not that bad, but it’s still not on the same level on Doom II‘s Super Shotgun.

That’s really all I have to say about my problems with Doom 2016‘s campaign. With that said, I still love it. I still see a reason to come back and play it again and I still believe it’s the strongest aspect from the game. However, I don’t always believe it was one of those games that did so many things right where you couldn’t see its weaknesses. Doom 2016‘s campaign is great, but it’s not on the same level as the original and its sequel. Those are masterpieces right there.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Woes

I loved Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. It’s probably one of the greatest first-person shooters I’ve played in modern times. It’s a modern game to me mainly because I grew up playing first-person shooters from the early ’90s, so even though it’s nearly 10 years old, it’s not old enough for me to call it an old school game. I’ve had so many fond memories of playing that game until I got my account hacked on Xbox Live.

I had no idea what just happened, but ever since I got my account hacked, I couldn’t play the game’s robust multiplayer mode. I never really enjoyed playing the game’s single player, but I absolutely loved its multiplayer. I personally think it’s one of the best I’ve played from the genre. However, being a victim of an anonymous hacker, I can no longer play the game anymore.

Basically, I cannot unlock my weapons, and I lost all my progression I’ve made after spending many hours on them. The game also forced me to use a pistol as far as my customization goes when I’m trying to pick my preferred weapons or perks. I haven’t touched the game for so long due to that problem.

I also do game on the PC and I could take advantage of buying the PC version. However, the PC version does allow players to play with more players on the map than the console versions. I refused to get the PC version mainly because it doesn’t feel like Call of Duty or play as smoothly having 12-18 players on a map.

There is actually a remake of Call of Duty 4 called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. The problem is its bundled with another Call of Duty game called Infinite Warfare. On one side, I want to buy it and relive those good memories with the new coat of paint, sound effects, and I do know the game has a better security system against hackers. On the other side, I don’t have any interest in Infinite Warfare. If you buy the bundled version of Infinite Warfare, it’s significantly more expensive than the stand alone edition; it’s $20 more than the standard $60 that you’ll pay for a high budget video game. There is also no stand alone version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.

I know both Activision (the publisher) and Infinity Ward (the developer) are doing this move for a business decision, but it’s just so frustrating that they still haven’t released a stand alone version of Call of Duty 4. I just sometimes wish I wasn’t a victim of that hacking incident because I absolutely miss playing my favorite Call of Duty. I’m still waiting for that price drop to be reasonable, but it seems like it hasn’t reached there yet.