This is one of the longest serving rivalries in gaming and one that continues to this very day. Let’s keep in mind that before reading, there have been amazing new FPS IPs that came out and became some of the very best games in general, games like Half Life and Fear which started a legacy of their own however due to the amount of game releases, I took them out of this conversation as Doom and Halo continued to battle it out generation after generation and I am a huge fan of both. Let’s begin.
Halo and Doom, a rivalry that goes beyond generations. Many wont believe that these two juggernauts have been fighting to be the FPS king for so long. Each franchise have had their time in the spotlight. Doom created the popularity in the FPS genre from taking Wolfenstein’s design to another level, much the same as what Mario did with platformers while Halo redefined the genre in the early 2000s creating its own history and legacy.
The original Doom released on PC on 10/12/1993 and took the gaming industry by storm, even becoming as popular as Mario and setting a legacy for generations to come. Doom was an instant hit becoming one of the most talked about video games in history and holding the FPS crown on release.
Apple never received an official version of Doom and they needed their own Doom style game to help sell their Mac PCs. Enters Bungie. They created and published a game called Marathon exclusive to the Mac to offer Mac users a Doom style game. Marathon was a success, and became the Macs killer App, Gaming historians have referred to Marathon as the Macintosh's answer to the PC's Doom and even coin the phrases from Mac users ”DOOM What?”. Though it never took the crown off Doom as Doom was by one account equal to a religious phenomenon selling 2m to 3m physical units at launch compared to Marathon’s 150k units sold lift time. Doom was in another league when it came to popularity. With the upcoming Doom 2, it only cemented its place in the PC Halls of Fame.
Bungie released Marathon 2: Durandal on 24/11/1995 on both Mac and PC which was considered by some users as one of the best PC games, being considered by Magazine MacUser as the top 50 top CD-ROM games and selling around 200k units by 2002 while the first Marathon was considered 64th best ever PC game by Computer Gaming World. It was a quality series, However...
Doom 2: Hell on Earth released on 26/12/1995 on both Mac and PC and continued to become the most popular and successful PC game ever made, eclipsing the original Doom. Doom 2 not only outsold Marathon 1 and 2 combined, it destroyed both games in sales, selling 12.6m in the US in 1 year alone. At this point, Bungie competed only on the quality level however could not compete in the popularity level. Marathon just did not stand a chance, Doom was a beast of a series.
Doom over time slowly degenerated, as its formula was starting to get old with all the over used Doom clones and tech advancements, Doom started to become more history than a series. Final Doom and Doom 64 which come out in 31/3/1997 were unable to maintain the sales of the original Doom games and started to have bigger and more advanced shooters coming out like Golden Eye 64, Fear, Half Life and many more. Doom needed a break. Than his match up arrived.
Bungie went silent working on a project, something big and something that would eventually take out the top crown. Bungie created and released Halo Combat Evolve on 15/11/2001. At launch Halo become not only one of the best killer apps ever made, scoring a phenomenon 97 metacritic it also became a gaming icon. Long gone were the Doom clones and here came the Halo clones and Halo Killers. Bungie finally did it, they took the FPS crown by storm and Halo now became the game to beat for many generations and has earn't its right in the video game Hall of Fame.
ID Software entered the ring again, bringing forth Doom 3 in 3/8/2004. A reboot which was a solid game however also saw mixed reactions. It wasn’t the Doom game people remembered and shortly after faded as just another shooter in its generation. Now the tides have turned in favor of Bungie's Halo and released Halo 2 in 9/11/2004 which continued to dominate the FPS market and defending its crown from its previous champion. Halo become unstoppable and Bungie went on to releasing Halo 3 in 25/9/2007 which again shut the door on any close rivals and again with Halo Reach in 14/9/2010 which followed by Halo 4 in 6/11/2012, Bungie/343 were holding an incredible record and no shooter came close to taking away its popularity. Only Halo could hurt itself and started to become a little stale, with Halo 5 Guardians released on 27/10/2015, the games story started to take a hit, after all.. Halo has sat on top of the FPS thrown for almost 14 years, it was starting to decrease its popularity and gamers were becoming burnt out on the franchise. And now he was coming.. ID Software showcased a trailer at the 2015 E3 show.
Doom was back with Doom 2016 and not only attacked the Champion while he was down, but took the gaming industry by storm again, being nominated multiple times for GOTY in 2016 and becoming one of the highest reviewed FPS games in the 8th generation. Followed was the even more well received Doom Eternal on 20/3/2020 outpacing Doom 2016 in sales and critic reviews and also becoming nominated for many GOTYs. Becoming the once again fan favourite of the FPS genre and reigniting the formula which it did with the original Doom in 1993. Doom now holds the FPS crown and with the much anticipated expansions supposed to be due out soon with Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods, it seems Doom is back to its former glory days.
What has Halo got left? Well we will have to wait and see, can Halo Infinite dethrone Doom again? Or will Doom hold onto its crown for another generation? All we can say is these two IPs and their history between each other is one of the longest serving. Which Green Super Soldier has it in them to exceed our expectations? They are both heavily loved and either winner will only push the other to be better.
It’s quite ironic that both Green juggernaut characters are now owned by Microsoft giving future potential of fan fantasies of Doom Slayer and Master Chief working together rather than against each other considering their rivalry for the FPS crown to this very day. They are both champions.
Bring on Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods and Halo Infinite.
VIDEO GAME HALL OF FAME
Hope you all enjoyed the read.Last edited by Azzanation - on 19 October 2020