Weirdly, 'Doom Eternal' Includes a Ton of Reading

I was born to rip and tear. On a strange alien world that’s home to a medieval gladiatorial arena designed by an advanced alien race of super hero vikings, I’m about to fight demons. Before I get to the arena, however, I’m treated to a short story about Doomguy—the hero of the Doom franchise. After soaring across galaxies and rending demons for several hours, I’m slowing down to read pages of lore ahead of the next boss fight. Most of it sounds like this.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/epg8de/doom-eternal-story-lore
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The best bits in Doom 2016 were when someone tried to exposit at Doomguy and he smashed something to make them stop. Instead of having to press something to read the lore that you pick up, you should have to press something to stop reading the lore that you pick up. You know, really embody that Doomguy spirit of “fuck off, I just want to rip and tear”.

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Doom Guy shouldn’t even know how to read. It’d be funnier if you picked up the exposition lore dumps and halfway through reading it the letters turn into guns and chainsaws, since that is the only language Doom Guy knows.

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Doom 2016 definitely wanted to have its cake and eat it too. Everyone loves the whole “He punches the monitor, he don’t give a fuck!” moments but the game also loves to exposition dump to you so many times across the story that the designers clearly want you to experience their story, complete with cliffhanger ending that i could barely give a damn about. I’m sure Eternal will play well, just like the first game, but i hope its less of a “teehee but not too much” experience, but i’m not getting my hopes up

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I liked the lore in 2016. :man_shrugging:

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It’s not bad lore at all! No worse than any other journal-based lore I’ve seen in a game. It’s just that the pacing is so tight otherwise (unlike loot-em-up games) that stopping to read it feels weird.

Gonna be honest: I think we all completely misread what DOOM 2016 was doing. It wasn’t arguing that games don’t need narrative (I mean the cutscenes were unskippable) but just building Doomguy’s character, that being an ultra-violent demon grinder who also really, really hates it when rich people fuck with Hell because of what happens due to that.

He tries to ignore Hayden at first because he’s speaking in corporate dealmaking nonsense at first, and punches out the elevator speaker after looking down at one of the people killed due to the demon shenanigans Hayden started, which he admits to and tries to justify in that dialog. He breaks the Argent energy generators because that’s the source of all the Hell invasion problems in the game.

There are mountains and mounts of text in that game, a lot of it very tongue in cheek in a 1980s anti-capitalist parody sort of way, with all the lore written either from the perspectives of the very stupid management of the UAC or the terrified demons trying to pretend they’re all tough and definitely not scared of the Doomslayer.

You don’t write that much for a game that has the point that narrative doesn’t matter.

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This. This is what I was going to write if you hadn’t. Doom guy doesn’t hate exposition, and isn’t a raging moron and all those takes on that are just wrong - he hates Hell, and people making ‘pragmatic’ deals with Hell / interactions that trade lives. He does take the time to backup the AI whose name I forget, rather than just destroying it entirely, and he’s obviously smart enough to use a bunch of complex tech quickly and easily.

And the game obviously wants you to read all the tongue in cheek writing, so…

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Lore that explains to me that the protagonist is the Doom Slayer and the legions of Hell are afraid of him, that he is the story that demons tell their demon kids at night, can’t not rule. He is here to expel the demons from our realm and he is only here for that. How can that be a bad narrative?

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Im a lesbian and nobody will ever make me care about the doom guy man. really didn’t like that part of 2016 and the praise for it, let me be a doom girl

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I think the Doom 2016 narrative itself is very funny (wasn’t aware that people read it as being anti-narrative, just anti-a very common type of-narrative), but I also thought even then that the lore was a bit too much. It’s perfectly skippable, sure, but still content that the devs obviously want you to engage with. I didn’t really see the point of it, I don’t remember it being needed to understand the narrative.

But I know plenty of people liked that aspect of it, which, fair enough.

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That’s seriously what has kept me from playing Neue Doom. I want to be Doom Girl, hecking dangit.

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Legitimate question: what form does that take? The Doom Slayer is as ensconced in armor as early Samus was. How would you, were you given narrative control, go about writing a Doom Girl?

Me myself, I almost wish the Slayer had been a-gendered–and I wish that the lore had had upper management constantly masculinizing the Slayer with the researchers down below repeatedly correcting that no, it’s not a “Doom Guy,” it’s a Doom Slayer. They’re a Doom Slayer.

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I just refuse to play any game with an obviously “guy” protagonist so I’m not claiming to know how I’d write the entire narrative of the game. I just want options. The entire world tells me this is “Doom Guy” and hence I get really uncomfortable thinking of playing it.

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my problem is that the doom slayer as they’ve presented him is still absolutely just the gamer dude power fantasy he was designed as / became over time, and none of the backstory i saw did anything to change that in my mind.
so if the dev team wants me to care about the doom slayer, which it seems like they do, they’re gonna have to let me at least choose to play as someone whos not a dude because i cannot muster any love for nerd dude power fantasys like this

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If what I’ve read of Eternal spoilers is correct, there is justification as to why it’s still a Doomguy.

Because it is the exact same Doomguy from the first game, and 2, and all the mods, and even 3, because all of this is now cannon and the character is literally an eternal, aveum being that has become an existence of multiple combined timeline versions of the same person. Think Akumetsu’s the clones all send their memories to the next batch at clones so they have the memories of hundreds of people and thus their expertise sort of thing.

Doomslayer isn’t supposed to be a full on player avatar but a character in his own right. I suspect they were toying with this in the 2016 game but that had an extremely messy development so they probably didn’t have time to fully develop on it.

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I actually liked the lore in DOOM (2016) and am excited for more. Matthew makes a good point about these games being heavily based on momentum, because that’s what makes them tick. They push you forward faster and faster.

For me, with that push also came some exhaustion. The lore bits were fun reads to help me catch my breath. Reading about how a certain demon was summoned makes me want to chop its head off even more!

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Woolie did an LP of Doom 2016 recently and spent an entire, hour long episode just reading off collected lore with Reggie and it was captivating, partly because of how into the lore they were.

Honestly I think we gave Doom the exact wrong read we gave Hotline Miami, though Doom wins out overall for having some actual good writing and not whatever Hotline Miami 2 was.

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In Quake 3 Arena it’s revealed that Doomguy’s military instructor was a woman named Crash with similar armor/etc. they should re-introduce her in whatever game they do next (especially if said game is a new Quake as rumored).

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Did they include the canonical lore that Doom Slayer is both Catholic and Celibate and therefore eligible to become Pope?

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