TIME on “The Age of Doom.”

The folks over at TIME Magazine have an article up titled The Age of Doom on the man and the company behind today’s release of Doom 3 and how they took gaming into the age of 3D.

It was the janitor who showed John Carmack that the world had changed. In 1993 Carmack was working on a new kind of video game for a tiny company called id Software. He had written games before, but nobody except computer geeks had cared much about them. “I remember showing some people games that I liked on the Apple II,” Carmack remembers, “and just having them sit there, completely not comprehending what could be enjoyable about moving these little guys around. People just did not get it.” But this game was different. “We noticed that the janitor coming in to empty the trash had just been sitting there staring at the game — for a long time,” he says. “The game had this power: it could affect normal people.”

Although conventional wisdom has it that games like id’s appeal to just a narrow, nerdy hard-core subculture, they’re actually wildly popular. Even before Doom 3 hits stores, 6 of the top 10 computer games in June were hard core. And two other games of that ilk, Halo 2 and Half-Life 2, are expected to post big numbers later this year. Universal Pictures has a Doom movie set to film in Prague this winter, with producer John Wells — of such respectable fare as ER and The West Wing — attached. (The Rock reportedly has his sights set on the starring role.) The hard core has become the mainstream. This isn’t a subculture, it’s a culture.

I was never a big DOOM or Quake fan—I did play them casually when they came out—as they were light on story and heavy on twitch game play. It took the story heavy and very cinematic Half-Life before the First Person Shooter bug really sunk its teeth into me. To this day my favorite FPS games tend to be ones with a good story behind them: Half-Life, Medal of Honor and its expansions, Call of Duty, Thief 1, 2, and 3, No One Lives Forever 1 and 2, and System Shock which was an interesting FPS/RPG mix that worked better than I expected it to. Return to Castle Wolfenstein was the first id shooter that had enough story to make it a must buy for me, though I rarely play it multiplayer as it just doesn’t feel quite right in that regard. Now DOOM 3 looks to be the second title I’ll eventually purchase from id (I have copies of Quake 1, 2, and 3 and DOOM 1 and 2 that were given to me by friends when they grew tired of them) as it looks to have a good storyline to back up its awesome visuals.

Anyway, the article was interesting reading and the game is on the shelves today. Hopefully you DOOM fans will avoid the fate of one of the characters over at User Friendly if you pick up a copy.

9 thoughts on “TIME on “The Age of Doom.”

  1. I fell in love with Deus Ex, the first time I played it.  Stealth, shooting, strategy, atmospheric settings, and a decent story to boot. 

    If I ever have any money, ever again, I just might run out and get myself Invisible War.

  2. I have it actually sitting at my desk here at work.  The guy from GameStop called me at around 10am and let me know my copy got in.  I left work (it’s roughly a 1 minute drive there for me) and went to grab it and stood in a line that went out the door for people that *reserved* their copy.  20 minutes later, I walked back to my car and went home and felt bad for the poor guys who didn’t reserve and preying to catch an unreserved copy of it.

    Judging from the specs on the box I can just about play it at best the medium settings (I run an AMD 2700, 512 DDR RAM, SB Audigy, Radeon 9700 Pro, XP Pro) I guess, but it doesn’t bother me that much.

    I already told my boss I’m leaving early today (he completely understands why being an id fan himself) and I’m hopefully going to enjoy this game very very much for the next few months.

  3. Hmmm. We went by Best Buy today at lunch at there were plenty of copies and no waiting. I think I saw maybe three people pick up a box while I was in the store. grin Had I had the money I could have gotten one without problem. Hell, could’ve gotten twenty or so.

  4. Will be playing Doom3 tonight! Prolly time to take some vacation days!

    Deus Ex was absolutely fantastic but the second one had so many bugs in it I was turned off after about an hour’s worth of playing.

    System Shock 2 was excellent too – got the heebie-jeebies everytime one of those shrieking giant spiders came running.  shock

  5. All right, I’ve been playing Doom 3 for a couple of hours now and my nerves are shot! Had to take a break and see what the Bastard’s were up too while I let the adrenaline subside a bit.

    I give this game 5 Bastards!

    Major heebie-jeebie factor, most complex environment I’ve seen, and a much more involved story than previous Dooms.

    You’ll want to grab some memory and a top of the line video card when you pick up the game but even at 640×480 with medium graphics selected the game is gorgeous.

    Go get it!

    PS. You might want to grab some valium while your at it!

    PPS. I also saw it on a.b.cdimages   cool grin

  6. I completed Doom 3 already, excellent game, and one I suggest you either put on your wish-list or nab ASAP Les. The environments alone make that game a keeper. And let us not mention the various nasties who pop up smile

  7. Oh, it’s already on my wish list…

    …and I have a birthday coming up this month so with any luck.  cheese

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