Rip & Tear! To the Depths of Bell!
March 17, 2020 7:12 AM   Subscribe

Doom and Animal Crossing are here to save the day. [Kotaku] Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons are dropping this week to help everyone take a break. It makes sense though, Isabelle and Doomguy are the best of friends. We can look forward to an evil demon who wields immense power and delights in the suffering of his denizens, as well as playing Doom Eternal.

• New Horizons is a much-needed escape from everything [Polygon]
“Animal Crossing: New Horizons begins the same way as the four previous games in the core series: A childlike human finds themself in the middle of the wilderness. Suddenly, a large raccoon appears from the shadows with a proposition. “Come live here!” he says. The child agrees. It seems nice, after all. But suddenly, the child is saddled with the debt of their first house, and must sell bugs and fish to settle up. New Horizons doesn’t deviate from the core gameplay of Animal Crossing much at all. It’s a low-pressure life sim where you’re free to fill the days however you like. If you’d prefer to plant trees and make a forested wonderland, you can do that. If you’d rather focus on gathering critters to donate to the local museum, developing an extensive arrangement of living exhibits, that’s also an option. Or maybe you just want to make your house as pretty as possible, filling it with matching furniture and wallpaper? There’s satisfaction in finding a new, rare fish you’ve never caught before, or saying hi to a neighbor, only to receive the perfect birdbath as a housewarming present. It’s about living in a world where the biggest concern is whether your apples are going to be ready for picking today or tomorrow. It’s about finding a new home. The shift in New Horizons is that this all takes place on a tropical island instead of in a nondescript wilderness. The setting doesn’t have a major impact on the story or gameplay, but tonally, it does add an air of chill to the whole thing.”
• A Chill, Charming Life Sim That Puts You in Cointrol [The Verge]
“Even by these standards, the latest entry in the series — New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch — starts out slowly. It has an entirely new premise: instead of being the sole human moving into a town full of animals, you start out on a deserted island and create a community from scratch. Initially, it can feel a little too empty, especially for series veterans who are more accustomed to bustling little villages. But the change is ultimately for the best. New Horizons still maintains the charm and style that have made Animal Crossing so beloved, but with a newfound sense of purpose: the satisfaction that comes from building something from nothing. It’s also the first Animal Crossing where I’ve felt truly in control. [...] . If you found past entries boring or directionless, it’s unlikely the latest will change your mind. But if you already enjoy this kind of experience, if the idea of playing 20 minutes daily seems like an escape rather than a chore, this is the most refined iteration of that concept to date. And it’s one that promises to continue to change and group with regular events and updates. It’s the video game equivalent of a relaxing getaway — and we could all use that kind of respite right now.”
• The Shores of Bell: An Accessible And Addictive Masterpiece [Nintendo Life]
“Much like every other Animal Crossing game, you arrive fresh-faced in a town that’s seen better days. Unlike every other Animal Crossing game, the town isn’t really there yet, and it’s basically all down to you to fund a tycoon racoon’s mad obsession with Bells, and maybe make your island into a town in the process. This time you’re also able to actually choose how your character looks, rather than being asked a series of seemingly arbitrary questions by a cat of no fixed abode in order to determine your genetic makeup. You’re also under no obligation to keep the face you’ve chosen, and every single choice you make when crafting your character – from your hair colour right down to rosy cheeks – is immediately rectifiable with any sort of mirror or vanity you can get your globular hands on. It seems basic by modern standards, but credit where credit’s due and all that. But just how un-towny is this island you’ve been dropped on? Well, in short, you and everyone else will be spending at least the first night in a tent, with no buildings, structures, pathways, or anything else to keep you company – besides hundred and hundreds of weeds, that is. This is nature’s home for sure, and unless you stop playing pretty much immediately, you’re going to want to make sure it knows you’re in charge. Plucking weeds, gathering fruit, selling them at Resident Services to Tom Nook’s unpaid nephews who seem to have an endless supply of funds at their disposal... it all needs doing, and none of the other islanders are going to do it. This mega-early stage of the game feels surprisingly different to Animal Crossing as a whole; you’re supremely limited on what changes you can make, and your only real goal is to lay the groundwork for what's to come. The only thing that’s established is the layout of the land itself, although that too will eventually be yours to mould. Despite it being so different from previous games, we found the whole thing incredibly engrossing and appealing.”
• Tom Nook’s Animal Crossing legacy: greedy businessman or benevolent provider? [Polygon]
“Tom Nook never takes part in the overtly mean stuff, though. He never outright insults the player or threatens them. Instead, he’s much more business-like. A new player is given an apron to wear, a list of jobs to complete, and a big loan to pay off. Once you pay off your first loan, he gives you another. The loans are interest free, and Nook does upgrade your house before you take out the loan, but it still made some fans salty. Nook is amiable about the entire process, but that almost makes it worse. As a kid, it came across like Tom Nook was forcing me into labor, and he didn’t need to be cruel about it, because he had all the power. Mr. Resetti was the real monster, sure, but maybe Nook was holding the leash. I wasn’t alone in this interpretation. The Animal Crossing wiki notes that “in the 2003 Annual Nintendo Power Awards, Tom Nook was nominated as one of the top villains in a Nintendo game, despite his not actually being a villain.” In 2008, a SomethingAwful user named Chewbot made a famous Let’s Play called The Terrible Secret of Animal Crossing, where Tom Nook’s in-game presence was interpreted as a controlling authority figure whose menace was cloaked by a thin veil of social niceties.”
• Slay your own way [IGN]
“I knew Doom Eternal had proven its point when I started taking down Marauders without breaking a sweat, really. These terrifying, devil-horned axe-wielders had been life-threatening challenges when they were first introduced midway through the game, but a while later I delighted in turning the tables on them thanks to some powerful and hard-earned upgrades. Doom Eternal not only retains the wild, high-speed, to-the-brink-of-death-and-back-again ebb and flow of combat that its 2016 predecessor excelled at, it tweaks the formula to introduce more strategy, replayability, and ultimately, satisfaction to this 15+ hour first-person shooter campaign. Some great games are clever exercises in thoughtful design while others are dumb fun, but Doom Eternal is the best of both. Yes, blasting and ripping demons literally in half with your bare hands is a gleefully, gloriously stupid power fantasy, and Doom Eternal teaches you how to do it better, faster, and in multiple ways as you go. It makes you a smart Slayer. Before long, you’ll be thrown into the meat grinder with dozens of Hell’s denizens at once, including resurrected Doom 2 favorites not seen in the 2016 reboot. Old folks like me remember the Pain Elemental, a semi-dangerous, Lost Soul-spewing cousin of the Cacodemon, and the demon-buffing, pyromaniacal Archvile, which, as in 1994, is one of the biggest threats you have to beat down. Scenes teeming with enemies that would make most other first-person shooters buckle under the pressure, either framerate-wise or gameplay-wise or both, are commonplace in Doom Eternal, and it takes them in stride.”
• Doom Eternal Lets You Dress Up Doom Guy As a Unicorn [Dual Shockers ][Personalize Your Slayer Trailer]
“What could possibly be more terrifying for the denizens of Hell than seeing Doom Guy dressed up as colorful unicorn? I mean, sure seeing him rip and tear his way through your demon friends and family is sure to cause some stress, but watching him murder everyone with a pink unicorn crowning his helmet? That’s next-level horror. Unfortunately for your enemies, Bethesda announced today that players can do exactly that in Doom Eternal as part of an upcoming Twitch promotion. The latest Doom Eternal trailer actually shows off several customization options for good ole Doom Guy. You can see skins ranging from classic Doom Guy to an on-fire variation and many, many more. However, the most notable one is obviously the winged unicorn skin. It’s just so outlandish and totally garish that I cannot wait to unlock it. Obviously it’s completely ridiculous, but that’s what makes it great. If the “DOOMicorn” isn’t quite your style though, fret not. As mentioned above, it looks like Bethesda is going full-out with customization options for Battlemode. The 2v1 multiplayer mode is trying to recreate the feel of single-player Doom with friends. Hopefully, with customization coming to Doom Guy, we’ll also get some options for the many demons you’ll play as in the mode. The possibilities certainly seem endless, especially if Bethesda and id Software are willing to have this much fun with it.”
• Dance with the Devil [Polygon]
“When you play Doom Eternal (and you should play Doom Eternal), you will see a space marine running and jumping across blood-soaked torture chambers, while shooting, burning, freezing, chainsawing, and generally mangling demons. You move from point A to point B, killing everything in between. Sometimes you need a keycard to open a locked door. Most of the time, you simply need to kill something a little more challenging than the thing you killed in the previous room. The story picks up where Doom (2016) left off: Demons have overtaken Earth. You are a literal one-man army, on the path to becoming either a god or a killer of gods. Your quest to kill three space witches will take you from the aforementioned demon-infested Earth to a demon-infested Mars and back, with some pit stops at your space base, the Fortress of Doom, a hybrid space station and medieval castle floating somewhere (best I can tell) near the moon. Doom Eternal is like Doom (2016) but with greater scope and clearer intent. Doom (2016) infamously fell into development hell, with its developer, id, spending years reimagining the project like a person in a desert chasing after hallucinations before finally locating actual water. Doom (2016) felt like a game that happened despite itself. Doom Eternal, on the other hand, feels purposeful, like every team member had strived for one goal: to turn the magic of death-metal album covers into a video game. Friends, they did it.”
• Doom Eternal shows off its heavy metal choir [PC Gamer][Doom Eternal Metal Choice]
“Last year, Doom Eternal composer Mick Gordon put out an open call for vocalists to join a heavy metal choir for an unspecified project. That unspecified project was, not surprisingly, Doom Eternal, and more than 20 vocalists teamed up to create a creepy chant that crops up throughout the soundtrack. A new video goes behind the scenes of the soundtrack's creation, showing us some heavy metal choir practice and interviews. It's a pretty big genre, and it looks like Gordon's put together an eclectic mix of musicians that reflects that. Wildspeaker vocalist Natalie Kahan points out that the choir has an equal gender split, and there's variety when it comes to their singing style, too. The choir even features some Mongolian throat singing, courtesy of Tengger Cavalry's Nature Ganganbaigal, who unfortunately passed away last year. The chant itself is "pieced together from a mysterious and ancient language that harkens back to the Slayer’s origins" and it's woven into the rest of the soundtrack.”
posted by Fizz (29 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Fizz I'm disappointed. PSO2 open beta (read: soft launch) drops tonight on Xbox One at 5pm PDT.

Nah. Just kidding. Great post. My wife and I intend to play a lot of AC together and my body is ready for Doom Eternal.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:18 AM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

But also, fuck this week and my wallet. There are TOO MANY GAMES!! Like I am still just getting into Nioh 2 and now Animal Crossing and Doom Eternal show up on the same god damn day!!?
posted by Fizz at 7:21 AM on March 17, 2020

Now you've got me hoping for a Doom Crossings game. Would it sort of be like an updated Dungeon Keeper? Torture chambers and mines and fishing for heroes Spacemarines? Trying to form meaningful relationships with Cacodemons?
posted by bonehead at 7:22 AM on March 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Now you've got me hoping for a Doom Crossings game. Would it sort of be like an updated Dungeon Keeper? Torture chambers and mines and fishing for heroes Spacemarines? Trying to form meaningful relationships with Cacodemons?

Well 2016 Doom is dirt cheap and features SnapMap to make levels so I'm not sure how in depth you want to go.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:30 AM on March 17, 2020

Doom 2016... I've tried three times to get into this game. I only enjoy shooters when they are crazy and over the top like Doom or Borderlands, as I detest "realistic" military murder simulators. But I just never clicked with Doom. The glory kills happen so, so often that they pull me out of the game for a second or two, over and over. Maybe I'll try again today.

I missed a nearly 20 year span of gaming (had other priorities) so I have no nostalgia feelings for the original Doom.
posted by SoberHighland at 7:31 AM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

The Doom/Animal Crossing stuff is so totally wholesome.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:54 AM on March 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

SoberHighland, maybe try turning up the difficulty? Then the glory kills become a necessary source of health and their application becomes far more tactical and considered, rather than a disruptive time-sink. Doom (2016) is basically a dynamic high speed murder puzzle game. The game didn't really click for me on the normal difficulty until I got several hours in and the difficulty started curving up. Or go the other way and put it on the lowest setting and just blast through to read all the fun codecs and see the excellent set-pieces.

I like Doom 2016 so much because it looks, sounds and feels like how I remember the original Doom. Not how it actually is, but it evokes the memory of the original perfectly.

And the Mick Gordon soundtrack has gotten me through many, many hours at the gym.

On the other side of this fantastic team up, I've never played an Animal Crossing game but I've watched hours of videos of others doing so on New Leaf. If there wasn't a global pandemic and Doom Eternal wasn't coming out, there's a high chance I'd end up finally impulse buying a Switch.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:13 AM on March 17, 2020

Sober, no reason to force yourself back if you weren't digging it. Doom 2016 is a great game, but just because something is great doesn't mean you have to like it or enjoy it. The glory kills thing is supposed to just be how you refill ammo and keep the flow going, but I'm with you, threw me off a bit. I am much more comfortable with the original DOOM where I only had to worry about 1 axis for aiming.

Animal Crossing can't get here fast enough! Things look to be going disastrously for me next few months, but hey, if/when I become homeless I'll always have my island getaway :)
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:17 AM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Well 2016 Doom is dirt cheap and features SnapMap to make levels so I'm not sure how in depth you want to go.

SnapMap only creates multiplayer levels, I think, and AFAIK doesn't allow custom tilesets.

That said, there are 18 billion WAD creation tutorials for classic Doom, which is also published as open source. If edgy teenagers in the bad old days of the mid-90s could mod it, so can you!
posted by tobascodagama at 8:22 AM on March 17, 2020

there's a high chance I'd end up finally impulse buying a Switch.

Be aware that as a result of recent events with the novel coronavirus, there has been a run on all video game consoles and they're in high demand and tough to find. Last week when I was picking up some emergency supplies in Wal-Mart, the Switch, Xbox, & PS4 were all gone. Normally there are at least 4 or 5 of each. Everyone is gaming these days. So much so that earlier this morning the Nintendo eShop crashed.
posted by Fizz at 8:29 AM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

The post is missing the most important release of the week: Doom 64, the real third Doom game, will finally be officially available for the first time since its original N64 incarnation. Freed from the awful trident controller it's one of the best shooters of the 90s, and the re-release will have an extra episode.

For those wanting something like a mash-up of Doom and Animal Crossing, I'd point you to Mr. Friendly, a mod played in the GZDoom engine that turns almost any Doom level into a non-violent social space. Talk to the monsters, do errands, go fishing, chill and explore at your leisure.
posted by skymt at 8:39 AM on March 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Talking of this being a busy month for games, I'm getting really excited by The Room VR coming on the 26th. It a spin-off of the "The Room" series of games that's been incredibly popular on mobiles, but with all of the creepy atmosphere and tactile puzzles translated into VR. Srsly excite, you guys.

Oh, and Half-Life:Alyx.

And Ori and the Will of the Wisps is out on the PC XBox game pass for peanuts.

I don't have time to play all these great games and still find some time to play Doom:Eternal.
posted by Eleven at 8:44 AM on March 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Some of my earliest memories & things I looked for on the Internet of the mid 90s was to download WADs for Doom & Doom II (one of my favourites if my ageing memory serves was a conversion of Doom into the Stargate movie universe). I think that might have been on newsgroups... Out of nostalgia's sake I purchased classic Doom for the Switch and played a few rounds. Surprisingly my son really responded to it and thought it awesome! I was also surprised at my muscle memories I still had for some of the levels.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:06 AM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Some of my earliest memories & things I looked for on the Internet of the mid 90s was to download WADs for Doom & Doom II (one of my favourites if my ageing memory serves was a conversion of Doom into the Stargate movie universe).

Our group's favorite was a Simpsons WAD that had Flanders scream out "I'M A MUR-DIDLEY-URER" from the episode Bart of Darkness every time someone killed someone else.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:21 AM on March 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

I was just discussing how the Cacodemon looks like a distant cousin of the coronavirus. Make that mod, people!
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:22 AM on March 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

I was just discussing how the Cacodemon looks like a distant cousin of the coronavirus. Make that mod, people!

Ha, reminds me of this meme: Cacodemon is tired of your shit!
posted by Fizz at 9:27 AM on March 17, 2020

especially when Doom 2016 came out, the idea of making a short, self-contained single-player shooter in which there are health and ammo powerups felt like some kind of retro throwback that would never happen again. that style of shooter was out of fashion, and more broadly everything had to be multiplayer and somehow be able to drive recurring revenue for years to come.

In a way it's similar to how people responded to Ford v. Ferrari, I think, for just being a normal sports movie that wasn't part of some larger strategic business plan.

hoping they keep the same spirit with this one!
posted by vogon_poet at 10:06 AM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I was just discussing how the Cacodemon looks like a distant cousin of the coronavirus. Make that mod, people!

The Doom subreddit, has, of course, noticed.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:13 AM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I am much more comfortable with the original DOOM where I only had to worry about 1 axis for aiming.

This is how I feel about almost all PC based FPS. Back in the mid-90s, on breaks from university, living with my aunt and uncle, we’d come back home with our PCs (seriously, lugging CRT monitors and twenty pound CPUs, top of the line! Pentium chips! 240MB hard drives! CD ROM drives! was a massive pain in the ass) and play Doom and Doom II over a LAN network, at one time managing four computers at once for endless death matches, getting my sister and any other poor unsuspecting fool to join in.

Then Quake happened, and suddenly there was an up and down axis to worry about, and you actually had to use the mouse to aim and stuff, and I just never made the transition.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:28 PM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

"Be aware that as a result of recent events with the novel coronavirus, there has been a run on all video game consoles and they're in high demand and tough to find."

Tell me about it. I spent an hour last night on Amazon trying to find a Switch. (In my case, I have that Prime credit card and was looking for one directly from Amazon that a) was in stock, and b) offered the 0% interest for 12-months if put it on the card. Couldn't find both. One or the other.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:02 PM on March 17, 2020

Also, Doom Eternal looks like everything I dreamt of in 1993. Want.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:03 PM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Animal Crossing is sooo beautiful.
posted by Fizz at 9:49 PM on March 19, 2020

Mick Gordon's been doing a livestream where he breaks down the different musical transitions and influences and Metal Choir bits and the like, and it's some amazing stuff. Very worth the watch.
posted by CrystalDave at 11:41 PM on March 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

I think the first I heard of the Doom/Animal Crossing love-fest was when someone sent me this reddit link from a Doom fan posting the the AC reddit. There are a few adorable bits of fan art linked from the comments.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:30 AM on March 20, 2020

I don't know if anyone is still reading the comments down here but this Isabelle mod for Doom II is the most adorable! thing! and I just had to run here and tell you all
posted by a car full of lions at 11:21 AM on March 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

My first impressions of Doom Eternal is that it's more of Doom (2016) to a little bit of its own detriment. It adds more complex systems that I think weigh it down and make fussing with weapons more difficult than it needs to be. The nice thing about Doom (2016) is that it felt very refined and streamlined. This feels like YES, BUT MORE. And I don't think we needed that. It's not a bad game at all, but it just feels like they added a bit too much to the pot.
posted by Fizz at 11:23 AM on March 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, not sure if this has been shared yet or not but this is worth ALL OF YOUR TIME AND FOCUS: DOOMANIMAL
posted by Fizz at 3:44 PM on March 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

Sorry to hear you're not enjoying it Fizz. I've had the exact opposite reaction after my first weekend with the game.

My "hardcore" gamer days are two decades behind me but for some reason, Doom Eternal on Ultra-Violence has grabbed me hard and I'm engaging with it in a way that I've not done with any game in a long time. I may hit a ceiling as apparently the difficulty continues to ramp up throughout but so far, the many, many times I've died it's been because I've not managed my resources correctly and not made the right decisions rather than because I wasn't quick enough in my reflexes (though I imagine I'd die less if I was faster). The game does force you to engage with all of its systems to even have a chance to succeed but it feels like an active puzzle game.

I'm also comforted in knowing that if I do hit that wall, I can just turn down the difficulty or even just turn on cheat codes to get the campaign and story completed.

I do miss the story and surprise that Doom 2016 brought but there's something about the loop of Doom Eternal that I currently absolutely love and the whole thing is still gloriously metal in all the ways I appreciate.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:22 AM on March 23, 2020

“Animal Crossing: New Horizons Review”—Electric Playground, 23 March 2020
posted by ob1quixote at 11:13 PM on March 23, 2020

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