Video Game Journalist Learns to Jump During Final Boss Battle

Written by: Yuri Bukhradze

Lee stated, “This game’s characters are so hard to follow. I don’t know who to pick — Singleplayer or Co-op?”
Photo by Jack Yang

While working on a review for first-person shooter Doom Eternal, journalist Jonathan Lee made a discovery that heavily influenced his workflow. During the final boss battle, he discovered the in-game ability to jump. Lee, a writer for the web-based video game publication Game-R and record-holder for the longest playthrough of Super Mario Bros. at 17 days and three hours, was “floored” at the revelation. “The discovery was a complete surprise to me, and I would say it made things tremendously easier,” said Lee.

Doom Eternal was originally released for major platforms in March of last year, and Lee began playing the game to inform his review starting on the day of the release. However, he encountered many obstacles, which he attributed to “challenging gameplay which required moving the character and the camera at the same time.” Taken aback by these complications, Lee resorted to accusing the game of extreme difficulty.

“I would consider myself a seasoned gamer, and in my very lengthy career of playing video games I never encountered such a ridiculous control scheme,” Lee said. “Using both hands? What is this, skiing?”

Lee also reviewed Portal 2 in 2013, which was released in 2011 and with the same controls as Doom Eternal: WASD keys for movement and mouse for camera. When questioned, the journalist claimed he completed the entire game by binding movement to the arrow keys, as he “found it impossible to associate some random letters on the keyboard with directions.” As for the mouse, the journalist wasn’t even aware it was to be used in the game — likewise, he couldn’t control the camera and assumed that the “fixed” camera angle was “just some forced perspective that had been lazily inserted into the game.”

“This is just like that time when I booted up Civilization and had no way to control the game,” complained Lee. “What is this obsession with mice in the industry? I want to play a game, not check my emails!”

While playing Doom Eternal, the journalist discovered the jumping mechanic by accident. During the battle with the Icon of Sin, the final boss, he used the left control key for shooting and accidentally pressed the spacebar, causing a jump. “This is not the first time this happened, but I always thought it was a glitch,” Lee explained. “After all, it didn’t make sense that a 500-pound space marine could just jump out of the blue. That simply wouldn’t be realistic, right? It wasn’t until I noticed exactly which key I was hitting that I realized there was more to it.”

It is unclear how Lee managed to reach the final boss battle without jumping prior to the final level, considering the game’s heavy reliance on platforming and maneuvering in most levels.

“If I found myself stuck on the level, I just asked my son Albert to beat it for me,” Lee said. “I wasn’t interested in watching how he managed to get through it because I knew that I was going to blame the glitch on the developer regardless. The reason I even asked my son was because I was on coffee break and I wanted to finish the review in time. It’s not like I’m bad at this or anything!”

Lee shared further about his experience as a video game journalist and his experience with games in general: “When I was a kid, I grew up playing video games on my grandmother’s Magnavox Odyssey, which had all I needed to control the game: a couple of knobs and rotating disks,” Lee explained. “Now, after 15 years of never playing video games, I saw that many web publications require writers, so I used my associate’s degree in typewriting and applied for a job. I think I am doing pretty well reviewing video games.”

Lee started his review of Doom Eternal in March 2020 and has now been working on it for over a year. Right now, Lee is trying to beat the final boss battle on the easiest difficulty with assists turned on. Begrudgingly, Lee has admitted he finds himself struggling to beat the game, especially since he is using the numpad to control the camera and reboots his entire PC when he dies, because “this is how you would do it on older consoles.”

“I think this game’s difficulty is definitely a message about the modern state of gaming journalism,” Lee concluded. “The developers are imposing artificial obstacles on us and making it harder and harder for us to review their games, which serves their agenda. But I believe that in the end I will be able to beat this game. After all, I did beat Dark Souls by not playing it, which in my book is an ultimate win.”

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