Monday, August 29, 2005

Doom

Before Halo was the hottest alien blasting game to grace this planet, there was a little game called Doom. Created for PC’s, this authentic DOS gem, cooked up by id Software, who also did Wolfenstein 3-D, was one of the first 3-D shooter games to gain huge popularity.

{On a brief aside, Wolfenstein 3-D was one of the greatest games EVER! I spent hours on my first computer playing with my brother, and I will never foget the first time we completed all the levels, killing the viking giantess and running out to freedom from the evil Nazi castle. My brother and I celebrated, and then I screwed him over by entering only his intial, and my complete name in the high scores roster. I still feel guilty about that to this day. Berto ---I couldn’t have done it without you kid.)

Originally released in 1993, Doom has since launched an entire sub-culture based on the mythology surrounding the world it established. The storyline is simple enough --a space marine disobeys direct orders and is sent to work for the Union Aerospace Corporation, a scientific company that is experimenting with teleporting devices between Mars, and two fictitious moons, Phobos and Deimos. When something goes awry, demons start flooding the teleporting gates, and UAC folk either get killed or turned into Zombie. The space marine is then sent to Phobos with a team to figure out what is going on, and must make it out alive, dogding evil demon aliens at every turn.

Sound silly? Well you tell that to millions of fourteen year old boys who made this game a huge sensation, between downloading copies of shareware, popularizing network gaming and making “WADS”(player created expansions).

The Doom craze resulted in all sorts of game sequals, hacking manuals, fan fiction and more. Now, about a year after the release of Doom 3, Doom will be immortalized by Hollywood, in the glory of the silver screen, as a live-action feature length film.

After watching the trailer for Doom, I feel certain of only one thing. Doom doesn’t seem to be pretending to be anything its not. From the second the trailer begins with its psuedo-scientific babble, its obvious that no one, including the studio, is taking the movie that seriously.

I mean look at the voiceover done by the “in a world...” guy:

“At a distant research facility, the final ten percent of the human genome has just been discovered, and with it... all hell has broken loose.”

But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have the potential to be a gleefully action packed good time. This is definitely my guilty pleasure pick of the fall (the film opens on October 21st). Though it reeks of being a cheap sci-fi with a bunch of no-name actors, I am actually impressed with the cast that Universal managed to assemble for this one. I don’t care what anyone says, The Rock is awesome. Though The Rundown was nothing spectacular, I agreed with the critics who pegged The Rock as a fresh new action star. There’s just something incredibly likeable and personable about him. He’s the kind of guy who you could meet at a local watering hole and have good conversation with. I’m glad he’s in this movie. Then there’s Karl Urban, who is not only startlingly handsome, but has an impressive resume including the Lord of the Rings films and The Bourne Supremacy (so he did Chronicles of Riddick...les we not forget that Judi Dench was in that too!)

How can you not get excited when you hear The Rock say “If it breathes, kill it.” I mean I may be completely off base with this one, but I have a good feeling about Doom. It’ll be much needed popcorn relief in a season filled with Debbie Downer award show fodder.

Thank God for aliens and machine guns.

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