Boss battles can serve a few different purposes in games. They can change up the pace and often the scenery; they can serve as convenient punctuation between a game’s acts; they can work as a skill-gate, ensuring players are ready for the challenges ahead; they can even offer a sort of breather by allowing players to focus on just one enemy.
The many bosses in the DOOM universe are no different – except they also tend to scare the pants off of players, and look cool as Hell doing it.
1. The Cyberdemon
The Cyberdemon has been a terrifying foe since its debut appearance in the first DOOM, where it served as the final boss of Episode 2: The Shores of Hell. But it’s in DOOM (2016) where this hulking monstrosity really gets its due.
From its very first moment, this battle is a thrill ride. The Slayer begins to open a giant door, only to be ambushed by the Cyberdemon, grabbed by the throat and hurled dozens of feet into a darkened room. When the lights come up, we get a lingering, loving look at this horrifying creature: four glowing eyes, a mouth overfull of razor-sharp teeth, a pair of battle worn horns – oh, and a rocket launcher where its arm should be.
What follows is a glorious dance of death, as Slayer and demon alike dash and dodge and circle each other, looking for a chance to land a devastating shot. The Cyberdemon charges, stomps, and fires three separate kinds of barrages, while the player watches their ammo reserves steadily dwindle and frantically tries to make each shot count. And just when you think it’s over...well, it isn’t. Your foe returns with even more deadly abilities, and things get even more frantic.
Once the battle is finally over, the Slayer puts the nail in the Cyberdemon’s coffin by cleaving its skull with one of its own horns. Gruesome? Of course. Satisfying? Oh hell yes.