(Note: This extremely brief article will focus on 2016’s interpretation of everybody’s Super Mad Space Marine)
Despite having a disturbingly troubled development stage, imagine my and everybody else’s surprise when DOOM 2016 blew the fanbase away with it’s rapid yet intuitive gameplay, ludicrous gibs (points if you get that reference) and an actually engaging story one could get invested in if they were so inclined to look past the merciless carnage. Bethesda and id Software hit a home run with the reboot and by March 2020, there may be a potential repeat bravura performance.
However, despite the relentless onslaught of all manner of carnage, one thing I took special notice of was how Doom Guy actually had a subtle sense of personality.
“Subtlety in a Doom game?!” I hear you exclaim breathlessly in utter disbelief.
*sagaciously nods* I know.
Hear me out.
In ordinary circles, the arsenal wielding fucknut who mows down any and all life they meet is something we rightly look down on and it is an unfortunate reality we deal with.
In the fictional wish-fulfillment and demented world of DOOM 2016 however, this is situational lucidity in a world of murderous lunacy.
For all and intents and purposes, Doom Guy is the craziest yet sanest character in the game entire. He is pathologically violent, saddled with less than zero remorse for his foes while visibly getting off of the fear he causes within them and does not tolerate thoughtlessness on the part of UAC. In saying that, the game thoughtfully injects moments of actual human emotion without our silent, enraged protagonist uttering a single word. At the commencement of the story, after having fought his way through the first of many waves of demonic foes and entering an elevator to reach the surface of Mars, Doom Guy is contacted by the ambiguous character of Samuel Hayden via a console in the cubicle who subsequently attempts to explain the foolhardy rationale of UAC’s mission to obtain a sustainable energy force from Hell. “For the betterment of all” are the paraphrased watchwords of Hayden’s explanation. “For the betterment of the 1%” is what he actually means.
This breathtakingly ridiculous notion would have worked on somebody who bought into UAC’s folly. But not Doom Guy.
During this one-sided verbal exchange, the perspective of Doom Guy shifts down to the bloodied corpse of a UAC worker which has clearly been torn to shreds by Hellspawn and while you see and hear absolutely nothing from our bruiser buddy, you can just *imagine* the look of anger, disdain and even a little bit of compassion for the fact so many innocent people died all in the pursuit of human greed masquerading as ‘civilization’ all from that small shift of movement. After taking stock of the savage sight and understanding what lies ahead, Doom Guy SMASHES the console, flexes his wrists, cracks his knuckles and cocks his shotgun, filled with rage, resolve and retributive righteousness.
Heaven save Hell for nobody else will.
Badass Moment Number I’ve Lost Count Already.
We are all familiar with the typical buzzkill “You Are Dealing With Forces You Do Not Comprehend!” character , the one who attempts to be the last-ditch attempt of the voice of reason. Yet, in a subversive twist, that is who Doom Guy really is at the core. He is the one who knows exactly the nature of what is going on and he’s disgusted yet unsurprised at the fact everybody else keenly ignored it. Throughout the narrative, any opportunity Doom Guy has to disrupt the corrupted status quo of Hell and UAC, he takes it with extreme prejudice, be it ripping and tearing through hapless denizens of the Dread Inferno to unhesitatingly destroying scores of UAC corporate property.
It just so happens however, Doom Guy is filled with unmitigated rage to counteract this consideration for common sense and decency. Although he was specifically created to be the ultimate boogeyman to the hoardes of Hell who aggressively does not give a single, solitary pinkywinkle of a FUCK about all things corporate and demonic (the argument can be made that they are one and the same…) , that doesn’t mean he lacks moral capacity. He just chooses not to apply it to Imps, Pinkys, Mancubi, Cacodemons and the like because FUCK ‘EM!
By the way, anybody think it’s funny how id Software’s very moniker can be linked to Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical theorem of the Id, with how it pertains to Doom Guy? Think about it; violence is a key point of the personality archetype of the Id, the spirit of the instinctively selfish, ‘Fuck You, Got Mine’ mindset often times displayed by the vindictive survivalist, something which is considered primal and stupid in our regular contemporary society, yet with Doom Guy, it is this very embodiment of ferocity which ensures his effectiveness.
The instinct known as Thanatos, of death, combined with Eros, the agent of lust, though in this case, this lust is built in blood rather than sexual desire usually associated with the theory. While Doom Guy does display the other two aspects of Freud’s tripartate theory with showcasing clear aspects of Ego (Reality, with him dealing with UAC’s mess) and Super Ego (Morality, in this case felt towards the loss of human life), it is the Id, his inherent and commanding use of the evil of unbridled anger to contend with evil which saves the day.
Granted, I am not one for Freud myself, but there are still aspects of his outdated concepts which I feel can be applied, if only in the name of broad philosophy.
I also want to sound more profound than I actually am, so shhhh!