Doom 3 (D3) is about to launch. I've watched anticipation for the game grow on Gamers With Jobs and I've seen it eagerly talked about on other websites. Of course as is wont with the Internet, most 'talking' ends up nothing more than a series of shrieks and grunts - especially if someone claims to have got the game before launch.
Right now, across the United States, gamers who got D3 early are having their honesty contested as they try to convince other games-forum posters that, yes, the pictures of the game's box next to their computer are indeed real.
On average it will take 10 pages of embittered and jealous flame war for other people to believe them. That belief carries a heavy, heavy price.
It will eventually come to light that 89.3% of the gamers got D3 by bribing shop assistants, 16.2% were allowed to buy it "if they stopped crying and got off their damn knees" and 1.6% had to let store managers touch their peepees.
Anger, jealousy, hush money and stroking. And for what? Aren't we all getting a bit too excited? It's *dramatic pause, pipe organ crescendo* only a game, people.
Before I start ripping on overweight guys in Transformers t-shirts, I need to make it clear that I Understand (sic) how important the Doom franchise is for the games industry and that readers understand how important the first game was for me.
Doom was the first thing I did at university back in 1994. I didn't go to lectures for two weeks at the start of my degree, such was the hold it had on me. It was worth it though. That game made me feel cooler than I'd ever done before. I even remember naming my save games as 'The Killer'; John Woo and I took a trip to hell and a minigun came too.
That's just part of what warranted the hype around Doom. It also embiggend the FPS genre; it's style tearing the gaming industry a new, show tune singing, arsehole. That game took me and my underpants to places I'd never been before and to which I've rarely been to since.
That was then, though. I first played doom ten years ago. Ten. Years. (That's 20 Canadian.) Unless this new version's guaranteed to scare the crap out of us each night and tickle our monkeys in the morning, I think we should be more circumspect in our admiration of it.
Don't get me wrong, I like to get excited about games. I've found it difficult to wait for new releases and I've obsessively checked stores to see if stock had come in. I have. Past tense. I've moved on since then. I haven't grown up. I've wised up. I'm no longer able to understand apoplectic desire for a game without first seeing proof that lust for it is warranted.
Can what you're reading be true? Is 1Dgaf – The Master System of Disaster – really betraying the 5uPr3/\/\3 h4rdc0r3? Is he questioning their logic? Their ability to separate the thrill of the past and the potential of the future? You bet he is.
You see, the more we go on about a game before it's released the more dangerous a game we play (if you'll excuse the pun). Why, I think even id have a limit to how much they want their product hyped; if people become manic about a title pre-release, inevitably, their grossly self-inflated expectations won't be met (d00mk1ll476: "bUt t3h g4ym3 h4s 73h j4gg13s in korRiD0r 3, 13v31 12 8y t3h 1ight5w1tcH t3xTu3r!").
You know what I'm going to do with D3? I'm going to reserve judgement until it's released. That's eleven days for me. Yes it'll be tough, but I'm going make sure all the game's cards are on the table and are dealt by gamers who don't work for magazines, aren't 13 year olds tainted by press releases, bedraggled Doom fan boys or people that deify graphics.
This game's going to have to earn my admiration.