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Games don’t need exorcisms!
Anything religious in nature seems to be a subject no one wants to touch with a ten foot pole. I can’t really blame them seeing as how the minute it comes up, people cry foul at the drop of a hat. I’m not here to dump on anyone’s beliefs; all I want to talk about is how you rarely see any true demons from Hell in games anymore. It could be that, in the past, there was an over-saturation of games with true demons from Hell or it could be the sensitivity issue. Regardless of the reason, I miss them and would love to battle the denizens of Hell once more.
I think that’s why the Darksiders series really clicked with me. What I am about to say is strictly my own belief and should be taken as such. Religion has a good message but like everything mankind touches, it has become corrupt. I do not believe in an actual Heaven or Hell or that God created us, there’s just too much scientific evidence to support otherwise. Could there be a Heaven and a God? Absolutely, but until I meet the guy, I won’t subscribe to his newsletter. That aside, Religion has some amazing lore behind it! And it was this lore that inspired the Darksiders series; one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse battling against the hordes of Hell and legions of Angels? That’s some pretty cool stuff right there. They didn’t try to hide it either by making up their own characters. A lot of the games cast are taken straight out of the Bible itself.
I loved Dante’s Inferno; sure it was a clone game but it was a good clone! While not directly taken from the Bible, the source material for the game, The Divine Comedy, is deep seated in religious beliefs. Of course some creative licensing was taken to make the game work; I don’t believe Dante ever fought Death and stole his scythe in the original story, but you know what, it was a damn fine addition. The game borrowed just as much religious imagery as The Divine Comedy did which gave it the “I am really battling through Hell and killing demons” feel. Not only that, but the art direction for the game depicted the bowels of Hell with frightening detail; from the enemies to the environment, players never forgot where they were and just what they were facing.
To write a piece about demons in gaming and to not bring up Doom would be a crime. I can say with certainty that this game started my love for demon slaying; Id Software went all out with this game. The enemies borrowed classic demonic elements and even went so far to give them modern weapons and cybernetic upgrades. Doom was the ultimate nightmare come true and it was up to gamers to put the nightmare to rest. One of the best parts about Doom is the fact that even though today’s technology didn’t exist, the developers were able to create hellish creatures and places that, to this day, still have not been out done.
These are not the only games to feature demons but these are some of the only games that tear them straight out of Hell or even send a gamer down there. I’m not saying I don’t like games that have demons that aren’t straight from Hell; if that were the case I wouldn’t be playing the early Persona games. I’m merely stating that I miss the games like Doom and applaud Vigil Games for crafting such a fine game from such a sensitive yet fascinating background. In a society where we don’t dare do anything that might offend even just one person, it’s great to see that there are some willing to take the chance. I can’t tell you how many times I log on to the internet and see something that offends me. You can’t please everyone and really, you should stop trying.