You might not know it, but the 2021 Classic DOOM II Marine Skin is as badass as you would expect it to be. Apparently, aside from its impeccable visuals and storyline, it can be invaluable training material if you want to level up your skills in the military. At least, the Marine Corps thinks so.
It Started With Marine Doom
Marine Doom is a single-level patch was designed for use by the US Marines. In 1996, it was made available for the public to download and explore. Sergeant Daniel G. Synder pushed the access to be available for the public to get feedback on how to improve the game.
The game starts with four Marines who need to accomplish a specific mission where they would end up destroying an enemy bunker. Then, the soldiers must exercise various skill sets to finish the game, including communication, navigation, resource planning, and attack/defense.
But before Sergeant Synder released the version to the public, Gen. Charles C. Krulak, Commandant of the US Marine Corps, issued a directive to use wargames to improve “Military Thinking and Decision Making.” He led the charge to start a specific USMC department called Marine Combat Development Command, whose role focuses on developing, exploiting, and approving computer-based wargames to train USMC troops “for decision-making skills, particularly when live training time and opportunities were limited.”
In Marine Doom, there were a couple of simulation experts who chimed in including Lt. Scott Barnett who designed the fireteam simulation, which focused on mutual fire team support, protection of automatic rifleman, proper sequencing of an attack, ammunition discipline, and succession of command.
So, the Marine version of Doom required players (troops) to work in a group of four as they begin with their own tactical objective. In addition, a couple of firearms are featured in the game, like the BFG9000.
The map was also designed to support a four-player cooperative mode. There’s an option to play this as a single player, but the difficulty is probably five times higher than the team play. In the DeHackEd patch, trainees are allowed to do a cooperative mode that can include up to 20 people, which also means the soldiers are susceptible to hitscan attacks.
“The pistol is replaced by a rifle with a magazine capacity of 30 bullets (60 with a backpack), the shotgun with a powerful machine gun, and the rocket launcher with grenades (the grenade projectile looks like health potions and is affected by gravity). Sergeants are replaced by enemy riflemen which drop bullet magazines and have 40 hit points; but the other enemies are visually unmodified. The chaingunners have been given a strong health boost, boasting 450 hit points.”
More Military Games Made for Training
Marine Doom is not the only game the Department of Defense approved for military training use. They also have the “Full Spectrum Warrior, ” a real-time tactics game developed by Pandemic Studios. This is available on PlayStation, Xbox, and Microsoft Windows.
In “Full Spectrum Warrior,” players are encouraged to do the coop mode because the missions are usually done in a squad-based mode where there will be one player who issues commands to two fireteams, Alpha and Bravo. The Team Leader has a GPS receiver, which is used to locate mission objectives and enemy locations. The squad also has access to a radio for communicating with the headquarters.
The Rifleman is equipped with an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon used to lay suppressing fire. There will also be a Grenadier who has M4s and M203 grenade launcher attachment. The last team member would have an M4 Carbine.
The gameplay circles around training on firing and agility, with one team member, focused on the attack while others go on reconnaissance. There are various aspects of the Army version that differ from the commercial version. The Army version is more abstract and has scenarios more plausible in real-life scenarios. For example, taking cover doesn’t mean you’re immune to fire attacks. If you are attacked by the enemy, and you’re behind a car or a corner of a building, you could get injured as easily as in real life. In the commercial version, this type of scenario is “safer” for players.
Another example is when you’re doing the Army version, it is hard to determine which is the enemy and which are civilians. However, in the commercial version, for as long as it moves, you can pretty much assume that it’s hostile.
There are various ways game is integrated with military training, and these technologies allow the US military to train from a psychological stance first, then the actual physical training.
How about you? Have you experienced this in training? Are you playing these games? Share in the comments below!