Are we doomed to always play as Anrgy men?
Recently I’ve been playing some Angry Man games (a new genre I just invented), and I’ve been having a pretty great time. Now, I’m not the kind of person who likes to play games that are purely about violence and gore, and I’ve gone on record multiple times to say that I’m all about the story when it comes to the games I really enjoy. However, one very special game is making me rethink my old habits.
Now this isn’t the special game I’m referring to, but the one that set me on this path was God of War 3 on the PS4. I’d fancied something a little different after playing and completing Horizon Zero Dawn and I thought GoW3 would be a good shout, and in some ways it was; quick, simple and very, very violent. After the first few heads you pull off with your bare hands or the second or third eye ball you pluck from a socket, the shock wears off and you get to enjoy the dreadful attention to detail and the fun level design. You train yourself to use the most effective combos and search and scan every corner for power-ups and march ever onwards to the huge boss fights.
Where the game lets itself down, in my opinion of course, is Kratos himself. Maybe he’s better in the latest game in the series, but in GoW3 he’s a snarling, roaring avatar of vengeance.
There’s nothing to like about him, he’s just a really angry man, in the style of the time (see Prince of Persia: Warrior Within for another example of pointlessly angry man syndrome). Thankfully the game is pretty short, so he didn’t stop me from finishing it, but he was just too much of a dick to everyone to find any real redeeming features.
Talking about dicks, next up I was tempted with a shot on Uncharted 4. I bounced off it when it first came out and, to be honest, I couldn’t even bring myself to stick the disk in the machine. I just find it hard to like Nathan Drake. He acts like a Chris Pratt action hero, but he’s killed more people than have ever played for Kilmarnock FC, one of the oldest professional football clubs in the UK.
Yeah, he’s nicer than Kratos and definitely not as angry, but he’s too smug and his bantering while bullets fly grates on me. He’s a death machine on legs who also ruins places of historical interest. (I’ll probably try out Lost Legacy at some point though!)
It turns out what I was looking for was justified ultra-violence; an enemy that deserved a good snapped spine or a horn in the belly. That’s right, what I needed was Doom. Doom from 2016 to be exact. I picked it up on Switch with some Clubcard points and oh my God, it’s fabulous. The Doom Marine is a silent force of nature, a demon-slaying destructor. It’s fast, violent and very, very good. The levels encourage you to explore, it’s packed with challenges and hidden rewards and the weaponry is a big chef kissing their fingers. It’s as violent as GoW3, but without the baggage of Kratos and his constant gurning. The Doom Marine just gets his head down and gets to work, like a great and terrible Bruce Springsteen.
Violence isn’t always the answer, and often in games it’s a bit of a turn off, but Doom is easy to pick up, absolutely hilarious as times and I’m pretty sure blood has started leaking out of my Switch. I’m not an angry man, but my boyfriend the Doom Marine really is.