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Doom (PC) artwork

Doom (PC) review

"Before there was 3.0 Ghz hyper-threaded processors. Before people had 1GB of DDR Ram. Before there was 128MB DDR video cards. Before all that crap... there was Doom. "

Before there was 3.0 Ghz hyper-threaded processors. Before people had 1GB of DDR Ram. Before there was 128MB DDR video cards. Before all that crap... there was Doom.

But perhaps you were living under the wreckage of your downed plane in the middle of the African Desert, living off the meat and flesh of snakes and lizards? In that case, Doom was a follow-up to the 1991 game, Wolfenstein 3D. iD took most of the elements from W3D and refining them into a more playable game engine.

Though not the first game to support the new and glorified ''first person'' perspective in this always-improving gaming market, it was the first to turn it into an enjoyable experience. Why not exorcise this newfound perspective by putting the player inside the mind of a marine, stranded on a planet where a virus has killed all the surrounding human units, turning them into hideous monsters?

It puts you into the action indeed, and there is a lot of action to be apart of here. Who needs proper judgment in an almost certain death situation? Grab your pistol and prepare for hell. Littered about the environment of complex dungeons, dark halls, gloomy outdoors-- are guns. Lot's of guns. From the basics: pistols, shotguns, machine guns. To the hardcore guns that should be kept out of reach of children: plasma guns, rocket launchers, and the dreaded BFG9000, which can kill almost ever enemy on screen, but with a heavy ammunition price.

All the guns have certain advantages and disadvantages over the enemies found throughout the game, so you won't have to make the suicidal strategy of using a small 9MM pistol to deal with the thick armor of a huge cyberdemon. But that's not to say it's going to be a cakewalk across all 36 levels. Despite the fact that there's a wide assortment, and abundance, of items at your disposal; whether its ammo, or health-- Doom isn't going to be no walk in the park.

Most of the monsters actually carry firearms themselves, adding to the challenge. It does pose quite the annoyance at times, especially when something keeps shooting and shooting at you, and due to some of the missions having multiple stories in its level design, you just won't find where the shooting is coming from, forcing you to take cover into a hallway full of more blood-thirsty shotgun wielding demons.

But you do it so much in this game, you get used to it. You see, the problem that plagued iD's previous FPS (first person shooter), Wolfenstein 3D, was that moving around the hallways, going from room to room, was somewhat of a task due to sluggish controls and cumbersome button layout. Doom remedied pretty much all of the downfalls. Now, you move so fast from room to room, strafing and shooting is painless experience on the keyboard side of the game.

In fact, the game can go so fast sometimes, you'll end up getting carried away and get lost amongst the labyrinth of complexes. And when the time comes for you to start your adventure into some of the later levels, getting lost will not be an option. In fact, Doom even has levels that include you hunting down key cards that can open otherwise locked doors. It may not be the most complex key system, but it's a ho-hum side-quest that can be a nice break from the overall tedious task of killing everything and moving on to the next killing spree.

And that's when problems start to arise. Though some levels are quite simple, and aren't big at all, the later missions can take up to half an hour to complete-- and that's when you know where you're going. Things can get incredibly monotonous. As far as replay goes, the game only brings different difficulty levels; in the easiest setting, there are not very much monsters at all. The most the game can throw you consists of incredibly powerful monsters with huge amounts of health, and they re-appear for blood every minute, no matter the amount of led you feed them.

The graphics, compared to today's standards, aren't anything special at all. Or are they? Fellow FPS veterans still argue that nothing has come close to re-capturing the gritty and dark atmosphere that Doom presented. The monsters, from a distance, are frighteningly detailed-- right down to the blood-red eyes. Though up close, they are a huge pixilated mess of splashed colors. It's hard to imagine such beastly monsters that look so fluid from a distance, and then turn into such a mess when greeted face-to-face. And unlike the fluid movement that the hero possesses cruising from room to room, the monsters seem to move at a complete slide show in animation.

Not to say the same about the sound, the effects are quite impressive. Gunshots are all surprisingly loud and each gun has its own death tone. The monsters, in all of their demonic glory, sound exactly as they look (when you look at them from a distance, that is)-- un-earthly and hell-like. The MIDI type rock tunes that occupy the killing in each level goes along surprisingly well with each mission and its atmosphere.

Tens? Nines? Please. Doom may be fun for you and a few friends for twenty minutes, who can't deny the carnage and the fluid game play? It's hard to snap out of. But when the tedium of killing hoards of monsters non-stop starts to kick in, and wandering aimlessly about some of the huge levels, a simple ''Oh, but this game was what started it ALL! 10/10'' just will not do. -Shin (12/30/2002)

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Community review by shinnokxz (December 18, 2003)

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