I’ve been playing a lot of Overwatch lately. I’m a sucker for class based shooters and Overwatch has that and then some. But the game I’m more surprised with is a game I picked up the same day as Overwatch because I forgot to pick it up on its release date. That game is Doom. And the reason I find myself surprised is I’m learning how to play a first person shooter for the first time in my life.
I never had the chance to play the original Doom games. I knew of them and always thought they were cool. The only one I had played before this year’s version was Doom 3 on the Xbox. Now while that was a departure for the series (as it focused on more of a survival horror aspect) it was still a memorable experience for me. The first thing I realized about the new Doom game is it was nothing like Doom 3. In fact, it was nothing like other first person shooters I’ve played. This was different.
First thing I noticed was how fast the gameplay is and how that forces you to always be aware your enemies’ actions. I couldn’t post up in a corner and unload my arsenal; I had to keep on the move if I were to survive. And if I was going to be on the move all the time, I had to survey and map out my surroundings quickly. Which routes to take, where the power-ups and health packs are located, I had to take note of everything and anything around me that could give me an advantage. I was developing my spatial awareness.
All of this contributed to my realization that I never really did this in the previous FPS’s I’ve played. I always felt like a backseat driver in those shooters. I would play the shooting interludes until the next action sequence or set piece. But Doom was different. In Doom, I was in the front seat, completely in control of my actions, for better or for worse. I was responsible for my survival; more so than any of the yearly fps’s that are released.
If you have the time, play some Doom. You might be surprised how different the experience is, but you might also learn some valuable skills. I’ve noticed my play in Overwatch improve because of how Doom developed my spatial awareness. Doom might be able to develop your skills too.