Would Doomguy Work in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? I’m Not So Sure.
Despite fan support, I'm not sure Doom Slayer would be the best way to pay tribute to the franchise in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
I often refer to the Nintendo Switch as the console of dreams. It is a system that has made dreams come true and has proven that almost anything is possible. On the console of dreams, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the impossible game. Switch owners can have Cloud from Final Fantasy team up with Sonic the Hedgehog against Banjo & Kazooie and Mega Man, doing battle at the Mushroom Kingdom. Putting it that way, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in the conventional sense really shouldn’t exist. But yet, here we are.
A large part of the excitement around Super Smash Bros. over the years has been the possibility of fan-favorite characters making their way into the game. That especially has been the case with the Fighters Pass DLC for Ultimate, with the introduction of characters like Persona 5‘s Joker and Dragon Quest‘s Hero. Recently, we featured a story of how DOOM Eternal‘s director revealed that there has been friendly banter about putting Doomguy in Smash, but they haven’t been asked.
Requests for DOOM‘s representation in Smash Ultimate exploded ever since Joker was revealed, opening the floodgates of possibilities. But, even with the strange and nigh-impossible inclusions we already have in Smash Ultimate, I’ve always been curious if people seriously think Doomguy in Smash is something that could happen, or if it has just become a meme. Admittedly, it would still be awesome to have happen, meme or not. I have zero doubt that fans would love to see the Doom Slayer (DS going forward) make it in. I do have some reservations though as to whether or not having DS as a playable character would be the best way to pay homage to the series.
Do I come to this conclusion because he comes from a Mature-rated game? Of course not; we have Snake and Bayonetta already, both of whom have been recreated beautifully for the Smash masses. I highly doubt it would be because of difficulties in securing the rights to the Doom Slayer, since the developers have been pushing for the character, and the DOOM series has made its way to the Switch already. Is it the gratuitous gore that the series is known for? Partially, but I don’t think so; they were able to tone down some of these Mature-rated aspects just fine with Bayonetta.
When it comes to the topic of gore, I pose this question to you, dear reader. Without it, what about DS would make him interesting in Smash? The DOOM series relies on the visual spectacle of violence in the extreme and the big guns causing said violence as its big selling point. It does both of those things very well. But how would it fit in a Teen-rated fighter like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? Right away you have to throw out one of the central defining characteristics of the character and series. No matter how much you may want to, you won’t be crushing poor Lucas’ skull in and ripping the arms off of Captain Falcon.
Without the gore, what makes this character more than a nameless soldier you can find in other sci-fi shooters? The only option I can think of is to rely on the weapons he carries. So for the Doom Slayer, you’d have the pistol, super shotgun, assault rifle, pulse rifle, chainsaw, grenades, and maybe his new sword from the upcoming DOOM Eternal; with the BFG for his Final Smash, of course. All I can picture is a slower version of Solid Snake, mixed with a hint of Ganondorf, that is lacking the special sauce–that arm-ripping skull-smashing sauce–that defines the character. To me, a better fit for this long-ranged fighter archetype would be Master Chief, a well-known character with more depth and defining traits than just being able to rip off limbs (and who has also been rumored for Smash before).
None of this means I don’t think there should be a representation of the DOOM series (or DS) in Smash Ultimate; on the contrary, actually. It’s just as a full-fledged playable character that I don’t think that Doom Slayer is a good fit for Smash Bros. First off, I’d release a damn good DS Mii Gunner outfit; give people the updated-looking praetor suit from the 2016 reboot and the original outfit. Throw in a couple of tracks from DOOM‘s legendary soundtracks and a Mars hellscape level for good measure. If they really want to break the mold, add the BFG as a brand new item; a gun-type weapon that would basically shoot the bombs from Star Fox, but with the green glow and explosion the weapon is known for. Hell, even an assist trophy with DS popping up to shoot at players would be cool.
Who knows though: as I mentioned at the start, the Switch is the console of dreams. If there is any remote chance that the Doom Slayer could fight Mario, there’s no better platform to have it happen on than the Switch. Everyone should experience the hype moment of a character they love getting added to Super Smash Bros. (or even if it doesn’t end up happening). So many communities and fanbases already have, and the DOOM community should be counted among them. While he isn’t my first choice of a character that I’d like to see added–that honor is held by Geno from Super Mario RPG or Isaac from Golden Sun–I wouldn’t be upset if he does. For everyone wishing and hoping for DS to make it into Smash as a playable fighter, I hope your wish comes true.