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Warning: This post contains spoilers

When DOOM released last year, it had a lot of interesting ideas and concepts in it. The multiplayer was not to everyone’s liking, but the single player was viewed as one of the best games ever made. It  featured great gameplay, amazing action and a good amount of energy. But what wasn’t acknowledged by many ( although some did), was the way the game handled the narrative. Namely, in a game that was a throwback to old school shooters ( and a successful throwback at that), DOOM had a surprisingly strong narrative that elevated it above being a mindless shooter. Many shooters have a strong narrative but DOOM succeeded in an area that few others do: Show, don’t tell.

The game contained large amounts of lore that you could find that detailed the backstory of the Doom Slayer and the demons. This is reminiscent of other games like Metroid Prime, but with one major difference. That is, Metroid Prime is exploration and adventure focused, while DOOM is action focused. Thus id Software essentially blurred genres while still keeping the game focused on action. Its been pointed out by people like Jim Sterling, that the Doom Slayer’s mannerisms make him a unique character in that even without saying anything and only really showing a pair of hands. It was just the way he moved, the way the camera was angled at certain times, that conveyed emotion and told a story without needing words. You could feel his anger in his reaction to what happened. He came off less as psycho who could only solve things by shooting, and rather as someone who honestly felt everything had to be stopped because he had seen the true extent of the damage that could be caused by tampering with Hell’s power.

But it goes even further. As user, Sir Bill noted here on the SpaceBattles forum, DOOM actually has a large degree of moral ambiguity. Using the Argent energy means tampering with Hell, but Dr. Hayden has a point. The humans have been using it for decades and have devoted fields of science to it. There is no alternative available. The Doom Slayer has seen what horrors Hell can do, with the destruction of his home world being a clear example. Hayden is fighting to keep humanity alive the only way he can, and the Doom Slayer is opposing him because he has seen the damage and destruction this can bring. Both sides have a point and both are right. No words are needed about the matter because the game tells you this without words. It is a masterful case of showing instead of just telling, with the closest acknowledgment in the dialogue being part of Hayden’s reasoning at the end for banishing the Doom Slayer.

DOOM 2016 was assumed to be just an action game, albeit an awesome one, but now we can see that this game has subverted the expectations of what narrative in an FPS should be. Given all id Software and Bethesda accomplished here, I cannot wait to see what they do next. I doubt narrative driven FPS games are going to be the norm in the future, but this is an awesome way to do it, as DOOM, despite the gore and violence and high energy, is subtle in an area where most developers struggle to be subtle. That is skilled writing and I must commend the team on that.

 

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Bethesda had their E3 conference and it was certainly a unique one

It opened with the employee’s kids talking about their parents job making games. This was a cute video.

 

 

We had a an introduction to Bethesdaland and the mostly prerecorded footage.  This was the theme of the event and it really created a good mood.

 

Bethesda started about games proper with their Virtual Reality projects with Doom VFR announced and Fallout 4 VR announced

 

Next, they discussed Elder Scrolls online. The game has 10 million players, and they talked about the Morrowind expansion. They showed a video montage of players with the game before showing upcoming content with “Horns of the Reach”  and “Clockwork City”.

 

They then went on to discuss how modding has been big for their games. There have been 300 million mod downloads and now they are shaking up mods with the announcement of Creation Club.  A new way to get mods which won’t interfere with achievements and are higher quality. This is coming summer 2017, but may involve paid mods

 

Speaking of Elder Scrolls, the next subject was Elder Scrolls Legends. Content like the Dark Brotherhood story and more was discussed with the main focus being the reveal of the Skyrim expansion. Titled “Heroes of Skyrim” it releases 6/29/17.

 

And on the subject of Skyrim, we finally got a true look at the Switch version. It looks like a well-made version and has something surprising. Amiibo support. This includes all the Zelda amiibo ever released and the Smash Bros amiibo. There are also motion controls but no word on HD rumble.

From there, we moved to a new Dishonored II expansion being shown. In this, Daud is back with Billie Lurk in Dishonored Death of the Outsider.

Next Bethesda announced the Quake world championships and revealed BJ Blazkowicz for Quake champions.

 

Last up were two new reveals, with The Evil within 2 announced for  Friday, October 13 release.

 

and Wolfenstein 2 the new colossus was officially announced.

 

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One party that has really been talking up their relationship with Nintendo when it comes to Switch is surprisingly Bethesda. Obviously this relationship will depend on how well Skyrim sells on the Switch but I can see that game appealing to Switch owners and people who just want to buy it again. The thing is, when it comes to Bethesda, there is another game that can bring to the system. More specifically they can bring Doom 64 to the eShop as a retro game.

Doom 64 was  a game that was overlooked by many at the time of its release,. This was due to it being dismissed as another port of Doom, when in reality,  it was a brand new game with its own plot, layout, enemies and weapons and so on. It may not be as iconic an FPS for the system, especially compared to Goldeneye and Perfect Dark, but it definitely is a quality game.

This game had great music, of its own and had darker visuals which gave the game a creepy tone.  The controls were spot on for the N64 to an extent that is almost shocking.. More importantly,  this is the true Doom 3, with the official Doom 3 being the first reboot of the series. Doom 64 actually carried on the plot from the first two games, so it is very surprising that it hasn’t ever seen a re-release.

However, I have to say that should Bethesda do a  re-release and also bring it to PC as well, where it will quickly gain  modding scene, I would like them to make mods available for a potential Switch  port as well. It would help sales and also ensure the series would develop a true following on Nintendo systems. Additionally , given how creative some Doom mods are, this would help open Nintendo’s eyes to what fangames can do for sales.

This would be a great way to cement a relationship between Bethesda and Nintendo and would help develop a new fanbase for their games on Nintendo systems. I just feel this is a good idea for all involved.

 

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of ROG or its staff.

 

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I previously reviewed DOOM when it came out last year. You can read that review here. Today I want to look at some of the ways DOOM has changed and improved.

I had said that the biggest strength of the game was the single player mode and while I still believe that is true, I do feel a lot of work has gone into the multiplayer to make it work a lot better. It still isn’t perfect, but the DLC and the patches have gone a long way to take a game whose online was mediocre at best, and greatly improve it. It feels smoother, more fluid and the a.i. bots just work well. They saw what wasn’t working, took fan feedback and went to work on making it better. I can actually enjoy it a lot more now and would recommend trying it out.

The various additional modes and changes added to the game for single player also stand out. It is simple stuff like Arcade Mode that just gives the game a ton of replayability and increases the fun. Bethesda and id Software realized what the fans were really there for and gave it to them in great detail. They also added options to make the game feel even more like classic Doom while still keeping everything modern. It was classy, and it was well done.

Speaking of giving the fans what they want, SnapMap has had the biggest improvements. While it always had good content, there was no doubt that it was mainly there to help multiplayer.  id Software did a great job revamping it and allowing fans to use it in a manner much more like classic Doom mods. There is so much more variety now and the replay value is now bottomless. This was the best thing that could have been done, and I give major props to Bethesda and id Software for taking the time to overhaul SnapMap and allowing it to reach its true potential. Stuff like that makes gaming fun,

Overall, the changes made to DOOM since its release have been for the better. The game was amazing then and is even more amazing now. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should do so!

 

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I have always loved pinball. Ever since I was a child, I have loved pinball machines and pinball videogames. Maybe it was playing NES pinball, or Alien Crush, I just found a love of both the machines and the video games. As such, I was a big fan of Zen Studios work. I hadn’t played some of their new boards in years, but one set that stood out above all others was their Bethesda pack.

Imagine taking Fallout 4, DOOM and Skyrim and turning them into pinball games, and at the same time retaining almost everything about the games. These are not just Bethesda themed pinball boards, they are the games fully adapted into pinball games, complete with game mechanics and identity.

Skyrim Pinball is nothing short of amazing. It retells the story of Skyrim through pinball and stays true to the game. It has the iconic music, it has leveling up and boss battles, and you have to watch your health and stamina at all times. You will go through dungeons, you will pick up loot and sort through and inventory and even craft items. I was absolutely blown away by the amount of detail put into the game. Yes its a stripped down version, but the essence is all still there. I had to be pulled away from the game just to be reminded that I had other obligations, that is how into it I got. The Skyrim board alone makes this worth getting. But it isn’t the only board.

DOOM Pinball was like getting hit with sensory overload in the best way possible. Great music, great visuals, good enemies and fights, I would never have thought it possible but it works. This follows the basic storyline of the new game and incorporates several elements from it, all done in the best way possible to keep the feeling despite the different format. I will even go so far as to say, that this particular board felt like more of a sequel to Alien Crush Pinball than the actual sequel for the Wii did .

Fallout Pinball is where things fell a bit short. I admit this may be because I am not extremely familiar with the Fallout games as much as others, but it felt like adapting many elements just got in the way. With Skyrim and Doom inventory and battles felt fluid and easy even if it took a while to get used to. With fallout, it felt way too clunky at times, but I can still appreciate the work done on this. The visuals are amazing and the music was good, but to me this just felt like the weak entry.

Overall, I would definitely give this a look at. My issues with the Fallout board likely have to do with my unfamiliarity with Bethesda’s entries, and fans might will like it. The other two boards however, were nothing but awesome. DOOM and Skyrim individually would make the purchase worth it, as they are some of the best pinball boards ever made. Fun, exhilarating and with an amazing amount of detail, these will suck you in fast.

I fully recommend checking this out.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 27 Sep, 2016 At 09:05 PM | Categorized As News, News, Otaku Music, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarMick Gordon, who composed the music for DOOM 2016 posted this video of the tune Rip and Tear. The video indicated it is part of an official soundtrack, but when that is coming, has not yet been revealed.

See the video Mick posted here

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 5 Aug, 2016 At 03:31 AM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarDOOM

 

Bethesda sent out this email today

 

DOOM’s first premium DLC pack, Unto the Evil, is available today for download worldwide on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for $14.99 / £11.99 / €14.99 / A$23.95! To celebrate the launch, we’ve released a new gameplay trailer that can be viewed here:

Unto the Evil is the first of three premium DLC Packs bringing all-new multiplayer content to the award-winning first-person shooter, DOOM. With three new maps to dominate, one new playable demon to unleash, a new weapon to master, a new equipment item, and a host of new armor sets, taunts, and Hack Modules, Unto the Evil offers players even more ways to expand and customize their fast-paced multiplayer experience.

In our review of DOOM, we praised the single player campaign and snapmap but we were critical of the multiplayer. Maybe this can win us over.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 29 Jul, 2016 At 09:42 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarBethesda and ID software have released a new trailer showing off the updates for DOOM

This week on July 29, we look forward to releasing Free Update 2, which includes two new multiplayer game modes. Exodus is a one-flag capture-the-flag mode with an added twist of constantly moving bases and flags. Sector is an objective-based capture-and-hold mode where players compete to take control of zones and then hold them to score points. Both modes can be played on any existing or future maps.

This update also adds some tremendous tools and fun new capabilities for SnapMap fans, including: customizable weapon wheel functionality – so players can carry and select multiple weapons, just like the campaign; jump pads with logic to set distance, speed and direction; 30 brand-new Hell-themed modules; an expanded weapon list; a new playable demon – the Mancubus – as well as a laundry list of improvements to the Community HUB, editor and logic capabilities. Check back here early next week for a detailed list of additions and changes. These new modes and all of the SnapMap content and updates are free to all players.

Next week, we are thrilled to be launching our first premium multiplayer DLC, Unto the Evil. This package includes three new multiplayer maps, a brand-new playable demon called The Harvester, a new weapon (the EMG Mark V pistol), the new Kinetic Mine equipment, a bad-ass robotic armor set with new customization options, new hack modules, taunts and more. Everything in Unto the Evil is usable in all existing maps and modes.

You can check out the trailer below. Personally, this sounds great to me, especially the snapmap updates.

 

 

Also check out our review of DOOM Here

By Jonathan Balofsky On 15 Jul, 2016 At 05:39 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Doom is an iconic game. There is no disputing that. Doom, its expansions and Doom II ( and its expansions) influenced all of gaming for decades now.  So much of modern gaming draws on Doom, even games which seemingly are the anti Doom. Then we have games like Doom 3, which while not bad, are quite controversial. Its remake, Doom 3 BFG Edition was better but still didn’t have that classic Doom feel. So when the new DOOM was announced, I was hesitant. It had gone through a lengthy period of Development Hell and some of the things I had been hearing made me nervous. Then the game was shown off at E3 2015 and I was blown away. Aside from it seeming a little too slow, it looked like classic Doom in HD, albeit with elements of the mod Brutal Doom and other improvements. Snapmap stood out to me from the reveal as it was a form of bridging PC game modding with the console version. And while multiplayer seemed like it would be underwhelming, I was still excited about what I saw. A lot of people were skeptical about DOOM for a number of reasons, such as an underwhelming Beta and no review versions before launch. Many were bracing for the worst, but it was not to be.

DOOM is absolutely amazing. It’s campaign is exactly what many have wanted in a first person shooter. A modern FPS that truly hearkens back to the original days. The campaign is gory and violent and over the top and done in a way that feels right. The glory kill mechanic is great and gives an extra oomph to the experience.  While many FPS games get bogged down with story, DOOM keeps it simple and allows you to learn more at your own pace. And the story that is there is excellent. The protagonist is a great character with a great backstory ( no spoilers here) that makes me want a DLC prequel campaign to help set up the events of the game. The way the environments interacted all felt well done and the secrets were a nice touch.

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I am not really that great at console FPS games, but playing on the PS4 had me feeling right at home. Nothing felt awkward or out of place and I appreciate that in a game. I did not have any trouble getting used to the controls and was able to enjoy the game as it should be enjoyed. I understand that some have played the game and complained about controls while playing, but it was fine for me. The weapons are all excellent, with the different control scheme for the chainsaw being a great choice. I think Bethesda and ID Software did a great job with that.

Now for the downside: The multiplayer component. This was pitched as being Quake style arena deathmatch gameplay, but it falls short of the promise. Maybe  it is because it is still early on in the game’s life, but it feels sterile and tame. It is far too reminiscent of modern FPS multiplayer games for my liking and I cannot bring myself to enjoy it. It is not bad, but there are other games that are far better choices for multiplayer. The game is still worth getting for the campaign though, and in fact the campaign alone would be enough, but there is one more reason the game is great.

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Snapmap: This is a great feature. I have seen some amazing maps and levels from players that have wowed me. From levels that are based off Metroid to multiplayer levels based off Evolve. I’ve played levels as a Baron of Hell, levels that replicate the original Doom, and levels that are just brief experiences where you mow everything down with the BFG.  Almost all are great. The issue here is that snapmap seems to have been designed with multiplayer in mind, not single player, with weapons being handled the way they are in multiplayer. That said, Bethesda and ID Software have announced at this past E3 that Snapmap will be updated for more single player level options which is great.

All in all, aside from the multiplayer, this is an amazing game. The single player campaign alone is enough to warrant a purchase, but snapmap makes it even more worth it. This is an experience all need to play!

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 9 Mar, 2016 At 11:55 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarBethesda Softworks has released a new trailer for the DOOM Multiplayer. They included the following description

 

DOOM’s multiplayer is not for the faint of heart. It’s bloody. It’s brutal. And it’s VERY FAST. Prepare yourself with a glimpse into DOOM’s multiplayer mayhem in the latest trailer.

Players eligible for the DOOM Beta through their purchase of Wolfenstein: The New Order, your chance to play DOOM Multiplayer is coming! We will be running the Closed Beta between March 31 and April 3. To check eligibility requirements, please visit www.doom.com/beta. Participants will be able to try out Team Deathmatch and the recently revealed Warpath mode on two maps: Heatwave and Infernal.

DOOM releases on Xbox One on Friday, May 13. Learn more about DOOM’s multiplayer, single-player, and its community tool, SnapMap, at the game’s official website, DOOM.com, and through featured content on Bethesda.net. You can also follow DOOM through these social channels.

 

You can view the trailer below

 

 

What do you think of this trailer? Are you as excited for DOOM as we are? Let us know in the comments and on facebook and twitter.