The Doom Guy works because of how he understands the problem he faces, mostly because he’s been through this same issue throughout the ages. While others grapple with questions whose answers elude their grasp, the Doom Marine is unflappable and unwavering. He’s not going to take orders from ineffective leaders who second guess themselves. Nor is he going to be satisfied with a half-measure solution.
“What I like about Doom Guy/Slayer is that he knows that the only way to defeat his enemies is to destroy them entirely,” says Reddit user ShoMibu. “He doesn’t like it that since he has been gone, humankind has been making the same mistake over and over again by manipulating hell, either its resources or making deals. Thus the quote, ‘Rip and Tear till it is done.’ In other words keep doing what you have been doing ... to make sure no one gets manipulated.”
Manipulation, after all, is the root of demonic symbolism in Christianity. The Old Testament depicts demons as the architects of chaos, disorder and corruption. Demons are man’s evils. Thus, Doom’s demonic horde could represent anything you damn well please, from political corruption, corporate duplicity, blatant environmental neglect or the ravaging of culture.
“He is as Old Testament as it gets,” Reddit user Snakes_Bandana told The Washington Post.
Doom Eternal continues this grand tradition. Locked away in my apartment during a global quarantine, I screamed, whooped and hollered at my screen. Asked to shelter in place, I found liberation wearing the Doom Marine’s armor. He has few physical limits, and is taking immediate action to solve a problem that’s plaguing the entire world.
The Doom series has always been about one soldier (also known as Doom Guy or the Doom Marine) taking on armies of demons. It wasn’t until the seminal reboot of the franchise in 2016 that his mythos and characterization expanded in scope. If you paid attention to that game’s lore, you’d find out the Doom Slayer is an ancient knight blessed with godly energy to mete out justice against Hell’s demons.
The legend, the story and the lore matter little in the moment-to-moment gameplay of Doom. Doom Eternal gives you no pause to ponder the moralities of the plot or its characters, not when you’re faced with a demonic horde, cowering in fear of the Slayer’s righteous anger. Other characters will prattle on about justifying accessing Hell, or how lives needed to be sacrificed for the good of all. The Doom Guy cares not for background information, and certainly not for any justification.
Doom Eternal has a lot to say about demonic manipulation, backroom deals, and the evils that stem from self-preservation and a thirst for power. The Doom Marine has no name, because the only thing that matters to the player is embodying his resolve to end all of the above.
“Modern games seem to label their main characters as a small cog in a big machine that ‘just so happens’ to have the ability to have a greater effect on the outcome,” writes Reddit user StrangerealSensei. “You feel more invested playing as a character without a name because you can be that guy, so to speak. Controlling a named character somehow removes that connection, like you’re acting out a biography rather than penning your own story.”
Pulling on the boots of Doom Guy made me feel calm and resolute about living in a world where we’re all feeling a little powerless.
“The protagonist in Doom is everything I am not but want to be in another life,” said Reddit user nhcomputergeek. “I think that’s enough of a reason personally.”