How To: Shhhhh
I was wondering what to play this week as I’ve discovered that the last mission of Hitman is quite difficult. I’m still waiting for Mr Craig from Gaming Daily to get to this mission (He’s being playing through each level and stating how badly it went for him. It’s useful for hints on what not to do. The last one was here), so as I waited, I perused my collection and noticed Doom. The original, with the Thy Flesh Consumed extra episode. Who can resist good old-fashioned shooting of aliens on Mars? Not me, thats for sure. As I did all the wonderful jiggery pokery that you have to do to get it playing (I didn’t try it on Vista 64 bit, but I’m willing to bet that jDoom works), and remembered playing it about 7-8 years ago, when I was a coward.
See, when I was the coward, I found it damn difficult to play Doom without my nerves being shot to pieces. It was true of any game really. The original Alone in the Dark? Terrifying (And I didn’t get past the first room). Original Tomb Raider? Kept having to switch off the PlayStation because my nerves couldn’t take the suspense created by the dissonance. In case you were worried, I can now play Doom easily, without requiring the toilet every 3 seconds, but I discovered a way to play it when I last replayed it and still had that annoying trait of terror. Turn the sound off.
Take the sound off, and games aren’t scary anymore. It just becomes a stupid face jumping out of a cupboard. I played through all four episodes (While rocking out to the MIDI guitar of course) and was terrifyed once. With this in mind, I feel I could probably take this to every other game. The main advantage would be that you don’t get to hear crappy voice acting (Not looking at anyone in particular *cough*Oblivion*cough*). Turn subtitles on and let the voices in your head read them out for you. Turn subtitles on for L4D and you’ll get the warnings that you’d hear if the sound was on in text form. Much less terrifying, and you get the same vocal cues everyone else gets (Plus you don’t have to learn the new sounds in L4D2).
I’m not saying that games should be soundless. I just think that you don’t fully understand the good things it has until you turn it off. I’ve stated that Doom is a much less terrifying game, and as such I now have played it thouraghly and now can play it with the sound, and appreciate how powerful it actually is. Add some sound and games become full and happy creations. Take it off and you lose a whole dimension of entertainment. Take it off, play a while and then return it. You’ll feel much better for it.