We live in a strange time where it seems like gamers are torn between wanting new IPs and living in the past with all the rereleases of classic games. This is especially true when it comes to fans of RPGs. I fully admit that I am with the crowd of people that have been championing Final Fantasy 6 being completely remade for modern consoles. It must be difficult for developers too when they are standing at the drawing board planning their next title. Lately, we have seen developers embrace both nostalgias while coming up with new games. Thanks to the release of Doom and Destiny on the Nintendo Switch, players can replay HeartBit Interactive’s classic on the latest new generation of consoles.
Doom and Destiny was originally released on the Xbox 360 in 2011 before making its way to mobile in 2012. In 2015, Doom and Destiny was on Steam and Microsoft opened its indie-welcoming arms in 2018 when the game came to the Xbox One. With the recent development of Microsoft and Nintendo working together, it’s really no surprise that we now have Doom and Destiny on the Nintendo Switch. This is quite a track record for an indie title that is coming up on 8 years old.
“Doom and Destiny came out as a parody of four friends of ours,” the Heartbit Interactive website states. “Years ago, Francesco Ficarelli was playing RPG Maker and decided to create a little demo version for his fellow friends, but they had a strong request: they would have played the game only if they were the main characters themselves. Francesco granted their wish and portraited them as a team of four unlikely heroes.
“What goes around comes around, the group of friends enjoyed the game and convinced Francesco to complete his project. It was precisely one of the protagonists of Doom and Destiny to bring together Francesco Ficarelli and Matteo Nicolotti. The sparkle burst almost immediately between them and then they united their forces to create Doom and Destiny, as we know it today.” This hits pretty close to home; I remember my brother and I put in too many hours into RPG Maker.
It’s important for players to have a good idea of what they are getting into before diving into Doom and Destiny. As much as Doom and Destiny is a turn-based RPG, it is also as much of a reference-dropper as an episode of Family Guy. This can be seen pretty much everywhere in the game, from cameos of other popular gaming characters to lines of dialogue and even set pieces. The humour is entirely based on pop culture references. As long as this is something that gamers won’t mind, then they will be content with Doom and Destiny: though this may come as a surprise to some, the game holds up pretty well, even after 8 years.
The story itself is one that gamers will know of all too well. A group of 4 nerdy friends (Johnny, Francis, Mike, and Nigel) get together to play a game of D&D, but when they arrive at their Game Master’s house, they discover they are playing a new type of game. Upon entering the house, they are transported into a new world where they must take their game knowledge to the next level to survive. All they know is that they were summoned to be the heroes needed to save the kingdom from ‘the unnamed’. You have a well-rounded team that should be able to handle everything thrown at them. Johnny is the warrior class, Francis is the ninja class, Nigel is the magus class and lastly, Mike is the pirate cleric class … and yes you read that correctly. Together, your team embarks on a 20-hour story that contains references to some of the biggest games in history, and so much more.
After each battle, you will earn experience points and money, just like any typical RPG. The twist in Doom and Destiny is that each battle may contribute to secondary missions from battles. For example, you may have a secondary mission to kill magic users; once you kill enough of them, you will get bonus items. If you reach enough experience points that you level up, the screen will show all of your stats with the ability to add up to 3 points to any one of the attributes for every level gained. When in doubt as to how you want to build up your team, there is a very useful handbooks option you can open up, which breaks down everything in the game.
I was able to figure out why Doom and Destiny keep coming back around every few years. Sure there are constant references, almost too many, but underneath that is a game that is simply fun. If gamers are feeling that itch to play an old-school RPG, Heartbit Interactive has supplied gamers with a game to scratch that need. The 4 friends are lovable in a goofy college kid way and, after all, is said and done, you’ll probably be glad you picked up this gem.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*