Doom vs Marathon (Gaming)

by nico, Sunday, June 14, 2020, 22:05 (28 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Interesting analysis. Responding to a couple of things:

Dare I say, I think I might prefer Doom to Marathon when it comes to things other than the story.

Doom is faster, much harder, and to me, it felt like the level design was more clever.

I agree Doom’s probably harder, but I wouldn’t know. I beat it in intermediate, and was like “neat.” I replayed Marathon levels over and over, with some being quite a challenge.

Doom and Doom 2 constantly surprised me with levels that felt like they were bending the rules and providing a ton of variety within the engine. More so than the first Marathon I think.

Are you comparing Doom and Doom 2 to the original Marathon only? Is that like comparing Star Wars and the Empire Strikes back to the first Star Trek? Marathon: Durandal brought a few new elements to the table…


Doom's enemies are much more vicious that Marathon's. Marathon's basic enemies lack ranged attacks, so you can just keep backing up and evade any green pfhor fighters.

Yes, if you’re talking about rank and file green Pfhors, you’re absolutely right. Were you playing on Kindergarten? Did you not meet Purple Pfhors, Hunters, Spht, Troopers? (I’m sticking with “basic” enemies here.)


Doom LOVES to ambush you with monsters. Pick up a key, and doors open and monsters come out. Hit a switch, and monsters are quickly lowered in. That kind of thing. When backtracking through the level after getting a key or moving on, frequently new monsters are let loose so you face different ones while making your way back. Marathon almost never does any of these things.

The sound of Pfhor teleporting in is something deeply ingrained in my psyche. There were plenty of ambushes in Marathon.

Doom demands you use a wider variety of weapons for various situations, where in Marathon the assault rifle is useful the majority of the game (it's functionally like a combo chaingun and rocket launcher from doom).

The AR was great once you got it, but you wanted to use a Fusion rifle vs. Spht, SPNKr against bunched up Troopers, pistols (dual wielded!) vs. far away targets, shotguns (dual wielded!) vs. a masses of enemies (same with the TOZT flame thrower), and things like the SMG “Flechette” that worked in vacuum. (Oh hey, Marathon had vacuum levels)


Doom has some features Marathon does not. Defeating certain enemies can do things like lower platforms on their death. Marathon has some features Doom does not, such as having to power on a switch before you can use it.

After seeing what Doom was finally, I think comparisons to Marathon are misguided. They play so drastically differently.

We can agree that they’re difficult to compare. It sounds like you’re saying “Marathon is only better because of its story element,” and I’ll respectfully disagree.

Doom to me feels like a child’s video game, it’s fun, but aiming a “shotgun” at a bare wall to try and kill a critter that’s sitting on a window twenty feet above seems silly.

Aside from vertical looking (“vidding,”) Marathon had a number of firsts in FPS, many of which pioneered the FPS multiplayer experience for years to come.

I can’t agree that Marathon is only better than Doom from a story perspective.

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