Review by Zylo the wolf
I had totally forgotten how awesome this game really was.
This a review of just the original Doom, without bothering any of the mods. I also have to admit that I've never tried this game with other players, but I'm sure that the game is just as good as the single player game.
What is the most popular games today (10th July 2009)? It's not RPGs, it's not platform games, not adventure games or fighting games. Heck it's not even sport games, it's First Person Shooters that are the most popular type of games today, especially on PC. While Wolfenstein 3D is usually considered to be the game that more or less created the genre, but it was Id Softwares next game that truly turned into FPS game into what they are today. Since you are reading this review, I'm sure that you know which game I'm talking about. Which other game could it be than Doom.
Maybe a bit thanks to the success of Wolfenstein 3D, but also a lot thanks for the famous shareware which included 9 different levels, Doom quickly became one of the biggest games in 1993, and 2 years after it's release it was estimated that 10 million had played the game, and it was also estimated in 1995 that more computers had Doom installed than Windows 95- Since it was such a huge success, Doom have been ported to a lot of different systems, including Super Nintendo, Sega 32X and many many other systems. If you liked games than Doom was a game that was impossible to not hear about.
The plot in Doom is not much that players care about, but there actually is a little more in it than just kill everything that moves. You play as a space marine who is if I understand the plot correct on one of the Mars's moons: Phobos. It's a quiet place with no action what so ever, so most of the army guys thinks it's pretty dull. However this all change when aliens attacks the moon and kill all the soldier there, except one. This space marine's mission is now to first of all try to get back to earth alive, and also to make the aliens sorry that they ever messed with him by killing as many as possible.
The game contains three different episodes which takes place on Phobos, Deimos and the last episode takes place in hell itself. Each episode got 8 levels + 1 one that I have no idea how you get access to (maybe it was because I've only beat this game on the easiest difficulty) which means that there are a total of 27 different levels in this game. Every episode got it's own story line but I recommend that you start with the first episode: Knee - Deep in the dead since this episode takes place right after that our hero have understand what he has to do. Every episode starts with a simple stage and the levels gets harder the further you get in that episode.
What means with a first person game is that you see the game from the main characters eyes instead of seeing the main character on the screen. This view is supposed to make you feel like you actually are the main character, while Doom was not the first game to have this, it was one of the first that really took advantage of this angle. Most of the area's in Doom got a real creepy feeling in them, and you can find corpses everywhere, later in the game in the game you will even see hanged people everywhere.
But do I really have to explain what the S stands for in first person shooters? The first weapon you got is a regular pistol, and it will do just fine for the first levels when you are just starting to learn how to play, but later you will find more powerful weapons like a shotgun, a chaingun, a rocket launcher and even a chainsaw that is the most useful weapon if you can get up close to the enemies. Every weapon needs ammo in order to work, and some weapons like the pistol and the chaingun use the same type of bullets.
There are no such thing as friendly persons in Doom, everything that you see move is your enemy and it's better to kill it before it kills you. Enemies can pop up anywhere, and when the attack you your health bar decreases. When it reaches zero you are dead, and then you will restart at the beginning on the stage, and you've lost all the weapons you had found in this episode. Thankfully you can find items that increases you health pretty much everywhere, along with other cool power ups.
You can also find ammo everywhere but they are usually in corners or dropped by the human enemies. If you somehow is out of ammo of one weapon or just like feel like another weapon would be better to use in the situation that you are in the you can at any time change which weapon you want to fire at the enemies. If you don't got any ammo at all left and haven't find the chainsaw yet then you could always try to take on the enemy with your bare hands, but I think you will do a lot better trying to avoid the enemies then and instead try to find some ammo.
In order to advance to the next stage you always have to find the exit or goal in each stage. In order to get to the goal you usually have to find keys that come in three different colors, and each color can open the doors with the same color. For example if you have found a blue key then you can open all the doors on this stage that got the color blue. However there are also many doors where you don't need any key to open.
In order to reach the goal you also have to figure out some puzzle, like first grab the yellow key than backtrack to the beginning of the stage where you see a yellow door and there you find a blue key, and when you opened the blue door you can press a switch which now makes it possible for you to get the red key and behind the red door you found the door. I really like this because it makes the game more than just "kill everything that moves" because you actually have to explore each stage.
Every time you beat a stage you get to see how many percent of the enemies you killed on that stage, and also how many percent of the items you got. The game also compare the time you beat the stage with something called PAR. I have no idea what happens if you beat that time, but it makes you want to play through the stage once again when you have learned where everything is.
At any time of the game you can save your game, which is a good feature since I said before if you die you have to restart with just the pistol, but you can load your previous game at any time. I totally abused this feature on the second boss because he was to hard for a FPS rookie like me. But it's still good that the game allows you to save at any time because then you can save to keep your weapons, but it's up to you if you want to abuse it.
I'm going to admit right away that I'm not a huge FPS fan, but Doom managed to capture me directly when I decided to give it a try 15 years after it was released. The game really feels smooth, the control is top notch even if you can't aim in the same way like in modern FPS, and the music is the best kickass music in a game I've heard in the game. It had some great feeling in it because it looks like everything is doomed, and you just have to survive here. Pick this game up!
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Doom (EU, 12/31/93)
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