That headline wasn't an exaggeration; Bethesda's Pete Hines literally shrugged on-camera when Polygon asked about criticism of the game's violence.
It was an appropriate, and in some ways powerful, response. Every game isn't for every gamer. There's little to be gained by interacting with someone who may argue that 50 Shades of Gray has too much sex; this wasn't a surprise. You are being given what you signed up for.
You can watch the full interview here; the Doom section begins around 16 minutes in.
Hines went on to describe how to make the game "feel" like Doom. "I don't know, what's the chainsaw doing?" he asked. "Can you stick it in a demon and saw him in half? Can you grab them by the hand, rip them in two and see the spine sticking up? It turns out you can do that, and it makes it pretty cool and fun."
You probably had one of two reactions to that quote: Either you're pretty frickin' excited about seeing that shit, or you're a bit turned off by the level of violence they aimed for. Both reactions are perfectly fine, and the team behind Doom understands that they're going for a very specific audience that grew up with Doom and sees those challenging, violent aspects of the game as a selling point, not a flaw.
People complained about the violence on social media, and articles have since been written about whether the game goes too far. The criticism of violent media, it seems, is far from over.
"If you're not into violent, bloody games... Doom's probably not a game for you," Hines said. "I told my 11-year-old: you can watch the press conference, you can watch the opening stuff, but you can't watch any of the Doom stuff. And then you can tune back in and watch the other stuff because even the Fallout stuff, other than Todd [Howard]'s terrible potty mouth, is fine."
This is a game that's built from the ground up to give you an environment where it's not only OK to explore your own violent and sadistic tendencies, it's designed to allow you to do so on non-human enemies. "Look, it's a game that definitely embraces over the top violence and tries to do it in a way that's fun," Hines said. "You're doing it to demons. If you were doing it to human beings in a very realistic setting you'd have a very different take."
But critics hate violence!
I'm not going to speak for all critics or even anyone else at this particular site, but I love violence. I watch action films, I grew up on Clive Barker and violent games scratch a deep itch in me that is relieved in few other ways.
After a hard day I love putting on my headphones, blasting loud music and putting shotgun to face for an hour or two. It evens me out, and I'm not going to be judged for my choices in violent entertainment.
What many people argue against is the idea that all games need to be violent, or games that push for violence when it's not thematically appropriate.
Games like Doom that embrace violence as emotional release and design themselves around satisfying violence can be amazing and influential, but it becomes numbing when that's all you get during a press conference or a sizzle reel. We want rows of games that may or may not be violent, and companies that explore violence in different ways.
Don't confuse the yearning for many choices in entertainment for the idea that someone won't sometimes choose something that celebrates its own violence. We need to reject the idea that The Beatles don't belong in the same musical collection as Body Count.
Don't let anyone tell you that you should be against Doom for its violence. Don't let anyone say that you should enjoy it. This is a very specific game that many will be excited by, and others will find troubling. That's as it should be, and saying "this isn't the game for you," to someone criticizing your tone is a perfectly acceptable answer.
Don't want blood? Don't play Doom. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯