Parent Approved Hero2/10
Safe for Time and Money8/10
- Well known title (from 1993)
- Incredible graphics
- engaging gameplay
- You kill the demons
- focus on gore
- spiritually dark
- brutal killing is celebrated
- you're in hell. That's the good news...
What Parents Need to Know about DOOM
The game premise is simple: You are a space marine stranded on Mars a portal has been opened to hell and you are the only one who can stop it.
Players use a range of weapons (pistols, shotguns, rocket launchers, the ever-famous chainsaw) to kill a variety of demons and push the hordes of evil out of this reality. Of course, this can only be done through intense, and incredibly graphic, violence.
So, is DOOM worth the violence?
No. DOOM focuses on death and killing as a major part of the plot and gaming experience. They put a lot of time into:
- making a big deal about how things die
- how they look as they die
- and how you play a role in them dying.
This game is incredibly realistic and includes gun fights, explosions, and graphic executions and extremes in violence that go beyond simple killing. For example, you can:
- rip an opponent’s heart out and shove it in their mouth
- put a gun in an opponents mouth and pull the trigger
- use a chainsaw to cut their head in half.
The game designers put a lot of blood in this game. So much that it gets nearly comical. That’s probably not a heart we want for our young gamers. Parents should avoid this game for young gamers.
DOOM: Appropriate For 17+
Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC
Rated: Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language)
Gaming Discussions: Keep the lines of communication open with your gamer.
Discuss with your gamer:
- Why did the game designers choose demons instead of aliens / humans / robots?
- What do you enjoy most about this game? Is there another game that is similarly enjoyable and more positive in it’s delivery?
- DOOM is a game focused around fear and killing our fears in mass. We are reminded in by Paul that God has called us not to be filled with fear in this world: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline (a sound mind)” (2 Timothy 1:7). In light of this encouragement, how does this game help us become more of who God has designed us to be?
- What is one way we can self-check to ensure we’re healthy in our gaming?
Parent Approved Hero: 2
- Your hero fights for what he believes is good. His beliefs are not up for sale.
- There is no peace-making option: Violence is the only solution.
- Your character goes beyond the simple “call of duty” in killing his opponents: He seems to enjoy killing them in creative ways.
- There is an argument for the fact that he fights demons – yet his means of defeating them leaves questions for how much better he is than them. ex: The Taliban defeated the Russian Communists in the 1980s. I wouldn’t say they were an upgrade…
Appropriate Combat: 2
- DOOM involves a lot of goring killing with a lot of blood spatter.
- You will kill thousands of enemies throughout the game.
- You dismember enemies, execute them in vivid detail, and are continually in hellish landscapes filled with corpses of enemies and their victims.
- There is massive blood-spatter, especially compared to other first person shooters. This is a large part of how it earned a Mature rating.
- This game is also a horror / survival game, so fear is an important part of the game design. Monsters are designed to be hideous, to jump out at you, to make you feel suspense even when you’re not seeing them.
Constructive Language: 3
- swear words are in the storyline: “f**k”, “s**t”. These are part of the plot, so they can’t be skipped.
- online play will result in MUCH higher swearing from other players.
- taunts are a part of the multi-player game, but they are mostly humorous.
Spiritually Sound: 3
- All enemies are hell-spawn in some way.
- You beat back hell with a whole lotta shotgun shells and a can-do attitude.
- Jesus talks a lot about hell. He fails to mention humanoid skeletons equipped with rocket launchers.
- Reduces hell to a bogey man (quite literally).
- Everything is somehow demonic: From the flesh-eating monsters to the pentagrams and goat heads. There is a lot of negative spiritual flavor to go around. (Doesn’t score lower because it doesn’t make those things look good. They are clearly bad. You just aren’t much better than them.)
Family Safe: 2
- Nope. See all of the above (violence, swearing, death, gore, mindset that glorifies killing, demonic spirituality)
- There are plenty of other games that involve shooting that are better options.
Safe for Time and Money : 8
- DOOM has a reasonable play time (15 hours. 25 to beat all side quests, etc).
- It can be played in short sittings, so it doesn’t pose a specific risk for addictive gaming.
- There are DLC for DOOM, but they aren’t needed to compete in the basic parts of the game.
- These scores are probably irrelevant since the problem with the game isn’t the game play itself, but the content of the game.
Positive Message: 2
DOOM specifically focuses on how tough you are, and how good you are at killing stuff. This game was not intended to send a message or be a role model. Really the only lesson that can be learned is:
- Shoot early. Shoot Often.
Do not look to this game for your moral compass.
Alternative Games: (links provided. Click on the game title)
Splatoon (Wii U): A creative twist on shooters – it’s a team oriented, paint-blasting good time for all ages.
Uncharted 4 (Play Station 4): This is what Tomb Raider was supposed to be. You are a treasure hunter with a solid series that focuses on intense storyline, incredible graphics and doesn’t sacrifice action in the mean time.
Halo (xBox) The writer of this review is a fan of the original Halo series (specifically Combat Evolved). Halo: Combat Evolved (the first one) is still rated mature due to gore, however gore isn’t the point of the game. There is plenty of action and killing, and the hero is far from a perfect individual, but the plot is engaging beyond “Hey, look! Demon spawn!” and carries well through future games. I reviewed Halo 5 and have issues (especially with their micro-payment system and online community culture).