Spending Father’s Day In Hell

Happy Father’s Day to all the TAY dads out there and to the fathers of our denizens. I hope everyone has a great weekend planned and some sleep for those who braved all the plastic and sweat attending E3 last week.

What time I had last week was spent in Hell. I’ve been debating the idea of whether or not I’m just creating a cycle of hate by killing demons and likely sending them back to where they started, just more pissed off.

I’m loving Doom, everything about it is made for me. The visuals are wonderfully dark as are the incredibly well modeled and detailed enemies. I’d simply love a statue of every creature in the game to adorn my mancave.

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The level design is the clear winner here though. The corridors can be very claustrophobic while at other times the levels are wide open and high enough to induce vertigo. It is all densely packed and filled with nooks and crannies. At times, Doom feels more akin to a platform game than a first person shooter; something that has really been missing in a lot of FPS games.

I can’t remember in recent memory having such a fun time collecting secrets. The vertical space to Doom’s levels allows for some extremely clever treasure hunting. I have pumped stats into my character to reveal secrets on the map and even then I have trouble figuring out how to actually get to the prize.

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This does bring up a problem with the level design though. Despite the genius of it all, there is what I consider to be a big flaw keeping it from perfection. You are often unable to backtrack to all sections of the map. For a game with such wonderful secret gathering built in to the maps, this is a real pisser. I’ve found myself several times wandering through a door in search of how to access certain parts of the map, only to discover I can’t go back and that I’ve made a mistake in the direction I had taken to attack the secret. The only option is to either go on without, which I’m generally unwilling to do, or restart the whole level. Restarting is a boring option since you’ve already done the challenges and seen all the surprises. Really, I think having the ability to backtrack the whole level would have just added the perfection icing to this delicious cake.

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And the music...wow, the music! I am one of “those people” who generally turn off soundtracks. I find battle music the ruination of the tension in combat and battle music is often only removed by turning off the whole soundtrack. However, most of the time it is the ability to hunt by sound that is hampered by a soundtrack. I love games that allow me to use my ears to locate enemies as much as the visuals. Having music on top of all of that feels like going into a warzone while wearing earbuds; just not a smart idea.

However, Doom’s soundtrack is absolutely amazing. For one of the very few times I actually wanted to buy a soundtrack for a game, I find Bethesda didn’t bother to release it. It feels like it channels Quake’s soundtrack in the best possible ways. Likely a lot of this is due to me just enjoying the style of music but the gameplay doesn’t make the soundtrack a hindrance. The battles are full of screaming demons and loud gunfire...this isn’t about hunting, it is about surviving. Check out this video for some info on the music and the composer.

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My wife and I have made some more progress in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. We are still enjoying it and I’m happy I don’t remember much of it. I love getting older with my swiss-cheesed memory, everything old is new again. We are currently doing the jet ski bits and those are a little hellish on the Crushing difficulty.

Hopefully this weekend will see more Rock Band 4. My family is finally back into the groove of it; it always seems to come around strong for the summer. I almost had an aneurism last night when my son selected Erasure’s A Little Respect for me to sing. My wife said I was standing on my toes during the high notes. And of course Doom and Uncharted when I can this weekend. I think my wife will be on a mission to finish up Drake’s Fortune as soon as possible since the new season of Orange Is The New Black just dropped on Netflix.

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So, what are you playing this weekend?