Unemployment is boring. A man can only watch so many episodes of The Jeffersons on YouTube before he needs to find some other way to kill time until he finds another job. One way to kill time would be to find a higher calling, and begin practicing to be a Rabbi. Another way is to play video games and tie them into tried and true life lessons in a vain attempt at vindicating his conscience. Today I chose to do the latter. I’ve been playing a lot of DOOM, an old PC shooter where you play as a lone space marine stranded on a lunar colony, fighting for his life against all sorts of vile creatures. So in a nutshell, pretty much whats going to happen when we start colonizing Mars in a few years. While playing, I noticed a few strategies developing. Strategies that can be applied to the real world if you have an open mind and a creative thought process. I have neither, so I figured I should at least post them in case somebody reading this does.
Just like that loving, lunatic mother who has you forcibly removed from your own home by the police with nothing you could do about it because you were stupid enough to pay your half of the rent in cash and not get a written receipt, the world of DOOM is very unpredictable. One minute you could be at full health and armor, and the next minute you could be wounded, down to your last few bullets, and facing down a horde of Cacodemons. Save often, and save on multiple slots, in case you get yourself into a situation that you can’t fight your way out of. Nothing is more frustrating than having to play a whole level over again because you thought there was a secret down in that inviting, yet inescapable hole full of toxic waste barrels and Pink Demons.
The demons of Phobos are, for lack of a more politically correct term, functionally retarded. See that heavily armed Cyberdemon? If a lowly Imp were to hit him with a stray fireball by accident, he would have no problem completely forgetting that you are pumping a healthy amount of rockets into his backside while he exacts revenge on his new target. There will be times that you are up against a daunting number of ruthless foes, but never forget that something as simple as running right through the middle of a group will often turn the tables in your favor. There will be random shotgun blasts, angry and confused shouts, and at the end of it all… a lot of dead bodies.
Would you rather face down three fresh Barons of hell, or a single wounded one? There are plenty of times in a level where enemies can be seen on ledge or through a conveniently placed hole in the wall. Take the opportunity to kill them before you have to get up close and personal. Fuck zoom, you’ve got autoaim, and I’m not a gun nut or anything, but why wouldn’t a shotgun blast be able to kill someone from across the map with one hit? Don’t feel bad about it, either. Those conveniently placed rectangular holes are there for a reason. Imps and Zombies will be taking potshots at you, given the opportunity. How many times have you flipped a switch or grabbed a blue key, only to discover that the wall behind you has opened up and graced the room with the presence of a bunch of asshole monsters? And don’t even get me started on those invisible dudes who like to sneak themselves into the middle of a heated gunfight.
You could know the location of every hidden door and secret switch in the entire game, but you’re still flying solo. If you don’t hop into a Co-Op game, nobody is gonna be there to watch your back when that Spiderdemon suddenly remembers that he doesn’t have ADD and decides that he’s not comfortable with letting you stand a few feet away from him with a BFG. No problem, right? You’ll just jump into matchmaking and find a random partner. Think again, pal. The PC version of DOOM came out in 1993. For those of you at home who didn’t know that computers existed before windows, we’re talking about he pre-broadband days. That means you’d better be savy with IP adresses and latency pings if you plan on making any progress. The versions of DOOM that were released for the X-Box Live Arcade are obviously beyond this, but good luck finding someone who isn’t playing Call of Duty. Much like being repeatedly passed up for better opportunities in the work place, no matter how qualified or hard working you might be, you’re gonna need to be social and make some connections to find people to play DOOM with you.
You know the age old stereotype about guys being totally lost, refusing to ask for directions, while their wife nags them to pull over. It’s such a normal part of life that people just roll their eyes and chuckle at the normalcy of it all, probably having earth shattering make up sex later. The kind of makeup sex that your roommate can hear at 3am while he’s stoned and trying to watch reruns of Stargate on Hulu. Fuck that guy, he should get a job. Anyway, it’s a lot easier to tune your wife out when she isn’t spitting fireballs at you. The later levels in DOOM are a lot like mazes. Mazes filled with demons from Hell. Backtracking probably isn’t a big deal on the normal difficulties if you aren’t worried about finishing a level under par, but on the Nightmare difficulty this can be a real problem, considering enemies respawn every thirty seconds. You’ve got a minimap, so use it.
Well I’m sure that these tips are common sense to the average DOOM player, I hope that somebody that’s reading this can find use for them out there in reality. Who knows? Maybe when we colonize Mars this advice could save somebody’s life. Personally I won’t have to worry about this myself, because I’m too poor for space travel. Have fun with the Cacodemons, upper class!