Christmas on Mars

All right. It’s time to go public with this: Yes, I’m a curmudgeon. Yes, I’m getting old. Yes, the world, generally speaking, is totally getting on my nerves. And above all, there’s one thing I can’t listen to anymore: That Stirb Langsam or Die Hard for that matter is a Christmas movie. I really can’t hear that anymore. I know the movie is set at Christmas and for all I care that makes it a Christmas movie. But don’t tell me every Christmas that you watch “Die Hard”. And don’t mention it with a big grin every time we talk about Christmas movies, as if it’s still something special and wasn’t established by pop-culture-reference-scum countless years ago.

Doom 3 on the other hand, is a Christmas video game. Why? Because I install it every year at Christmas. I’m writing this text on 12/01/2021 and I actually just installed it in the background. These are the behind-the-scenes looks you’d normally only expect from a Patreon campaign. But with me there is something like this completely for free. Because Christmas is coming soon and this text is therefore a Christmas text and if you all don’t read this text every year at Christmas from now on, I’ll get REALLY grumpy.

Doom 3 is set in the middle of November. So if you go by the gingerbread quantities in supermarkets at this time, it’s kind of Christmas already. There are no fir trees on Mars, but the Martian surface looks like a giant Christmas cookie that’s been stomped on a little too often.

To be honest, I don’t know why I pull out Doom 3 every Christmas and play it. I don’t even remember when I started playing it. Somehow it was established that way by myself and I don’t feel like questioning that tradition.

Instead, I question the people who criticize Doom 3 for not being able to hold a flashlight and a shotgun at the same time. People make fun of the Doom Marine’s incompetence as if they’ve never heard the word “game mechanics” before. I like the system. I like the chaos it puts in front of you in the dark. Raise the flashlight, analyze the situation, memorize enemy positions, lower the flashlight and open fire. From now on, operating the weapons helps you get your bearings. Shots, explosions and energy charges become the new sources of light, which, although they only flare up briefly, are perfectly sufficient for a real marine.

When it came out that in the remake of the game released a few years ago you could actively use both the weapons and the flashlight at the same time, I was disappointed. The game had been robbed of an important part of its atmosphere. I played Doom 3 for some time in this version as well, but it did not do it any good. It was as if John McClane had been given a pair of shoes.

I’ll stick with the old Doom 3. I will play it for a few hours this year as well. To be honest, I rarely play through it. What I love most about it is the beginning. When chaos descends on the Mars station like baking-mad supermarket customers on the ground-almonds-corner at Christmas time. Somehow I get into the Christmas spirit because of that.

Let’s summarize: Doom 3 is actually not a Christmas game. It is MY Christmas game. And that’s why I won’t tell you about it every year.

In Doom 3, demons land on Mars and think it is unfair that mankind thinks Mars belongs to them. A conflict breaks out, which doesn’t come across very Christmassy, even with force of arms.

This post is also available in: German