Reviews: Doom

Classic Doom For The I-Pad: Old School Fun

Doom is one of those games that defines a genre (in this case FP Ss), so as a nerd I had to play it. Downloading it onto my device, I was soon knee deep in enemies which I had fun killing with all sorts of gear. Good gameplay, I must say.

However, there are a few problems. First is the weapon balance. Your fists are really just a Hope Spot; even the weakest enemy in the game doesn't go down in one punch. However, the Beserk power-up turns you fists into Superman's. The chainsaw makes the fist useless for obvious reasons. The chaingun uses the same ammo as the starter pistol and fires faster. The BFG is overrated; you will never have enough ammo to fire more than 15 shots, while the weaker but still powerful rocket launcher can be fired 100 times with maximum ammo. While you will use and need everything you can, a good chunk of your arsenal is useless if you have everything, which is a bit disappointing.

Second is the maps. Doomguy does more navigation than a sailor, and many moments will have you staring at the map trying to figure out a route or looking online to figure out the location of the blue key.

Combat is actually pretty easy; as long as you keep a safe distance, you'll breeze through it, but the game's difficulty comes from ammo management. Unlike in other games, where you may get hundreds of rounds per gun with free clips on every dead body, Doom only gives you more ammo sparingly.

The I-Pad controls are thankfully customizable; right now I'm using two "joysticks", one for movement and the other for looking around.

The Satanic imagery and gory violence is not relevant to quality, at least the way I see it, but it is such a big part of the game's controversy that I must speak. I can see why religious folks are offended, but at least it's all just atmospheric (you don't know what the imagery means or anything like that, and the game never teaches you, so it just prevents the game from looking bland) and all portrayed negatively. The gory violence is quite brutal, but the pixelated nature of the graphics makes it more tame than most of today's games. And when I look at it, I simply see Narm.

Overall, Doom is not the best of its genre, but despite being a bit of a trailblazer that doesn't have its kinks worked out, still manages to invoke nostalgia and fun as you battle hellish creatures with a shotgun.

Doom 3 is one of the best and scariest Sci-Fi Shooters of all time.

Doom 3 is not the original Doom. That fact is probably what made purists angry. However, for any horror fan, Doom 3 is a godsend. The game's story is pretty much the same as the original Doom, but thanks to the help of a professional writer, the guys at id managed to flesh out the story and answered some of the questions that lingered. For instance, how did the UAC get the teleporter technology? They reverse engineered Martian technology that breached Hell. How did the demons invade? A Mad Scientist strikes a Deal With The Devil and deliberately destabilizes the teleporters. Why are there chainsaws on Mars? Shipping mistake. The game's storyline is revealed mainly through PDA's (like Bio Shock, although Doom 3 came earlier), detailing everything that has happened or is happening (The unfortunate thing is that a lot players don't seem to care about the recordings except for locker combinations). The graphics and sound are very good. In fact, they were revolutionary for the time. Unfortunately, they're not so impressive nowadays (Doom 3 was released in 2004) The graphics and sound are still sufficient, even today, to help sell the game's main selling point: atmosphere. It's is very creepy. The PDA logs are creepy, the the flickering lights are creepy, the monsters are scary, etc. It gives a sense of dread and makes the player watch his/her every step and is constantly looking behind his/her back. Monsters can always attack the player at any time. It can get annoying for some people, but this troper thought it was awesome. It keeps the player on edge, and can make him/her hesitate picking up an item. Gameplay wise, it's very similar to the original Doom. However, it's much slower paced, which angers any Doom purists. It's still the same run and gun gameplay that involves the player picking up items and blowing up demons with an huge loadout of weapons (all the originals are back and new ones are thrown in). But, even with the similarities, it's not meant to be "Doom with better graphics". It's a new game with a new direction, and the gameplay fits very nicely with the atmosphere.

In short, Doom 3 ISN'T the original Doom. However, it's one of the greatest Sci-Fi shooters of all time, and certainly one of the scariest.

Doom 3 forgets what made the series so good

Doom was praised in its time for its atmoshpere. Its dark hallways, flickering lights, enemies that could sometimes seem to come from nowhere and surprise you, and odd "sci-fi meets supernatural horror" style.

But what it's really remembered for, is its fun gameplay.

Doom 3 totally forgets that. Instead it tries to aim for creating a dark, spooky atmosphere, with enemies that come from nowhere, and the "sci-fi meets supernatural horror" style, and superficially, attempts to be what Doom was, only enhanced. But in the process, it forgets what made Doom good.

Doom and especially Doom 2 had fun level design, and enemies that were a blast to fight. They had a good weapon balance, with pros and cons to every weapon. The action was fast and fun. Multiplayer was both cooperative and competitive. Finally, there was an absolutely massive community based around creating new levels, modifying graphics and sound, and trying to build onto Doom. The game had a lot of love.

iD Software seemed to forget all that when making Doom 3. In their interest of trying to scare players, they made the action slower, and came up with cheap gimmicks like having enemies appear out of every dark shadow in existence. My brother quickly wised up to that trick when he was playing, and would aim straight at every dark shadow just in case some monster magically came out of it, which they inevitably would.

Cooperative multiplayer was tossed out, though later added in a port. And as for a modding community? Forget it. You won't find the countless thousands of levels for this game that its predecessors had. Modders just don't care for it that much.

But another thing that gets me is some of the design decisions the company made without thinking. Players come across audio logs recorded by unlucky people, that have useful information (usually passcodes to open doors or lockers), often at the end of the message. Why can't you fast-forward through them? Has technology gotten worse in the future? There's a TV showing a news report at one point in the game, but all it is, is a reporter talking, with no footage of the news stories themselves actually shown. How lame! All the "future" tech is outdated!

Doom 3 fails both as a sequel, and it fails at what it tries to do differently.

Doom 64: A 12.0 on the 10.0 scale of badness

Doom is one of the most important games ever designed. It revolutionized the First Person Shooter genre, it forever altered the landscape of multiplayer gaming, and it's been ported to nearly every computer and console created since its birth. Doom 2 was an Even Better Sequel, using the same engine but adding in a new weapon and several new monsters. After that, however, the series stagnated. Final Doom was just two mods "id" charged you for. Quake came by and pushed Doom out of everyone's memories, and that seemed to be it.

Along came Doom 64, the only console-exclusive Doom ever made.

Appearing on the Nintendo 64 in 1997, Doom 64 was both outstanding and dated at the same time. Quake was already out (although to be frank, the N64 version of that game was a piece of crap), and Half-Life was just around the corner. This game still used the old Doom engine, and it showed. At the same time, however, the devs put the N64's processing power to good use. Texture filtering was utilized, freeing the game from serious pixilation. The flat lighting of the original was replaced with ambient, multi-colored, shifting light levels. Every single sprite was redrawn and enlarged. Sound effects were spiced up, although the music suffered; the rocking midi tracks were replaced with very low-key synthesized pieces, none of which are memorable. The level design is up there with Doom 2, making use of extra features (such as new textures and "room above room" technology). It was also a pain in the ass from Map 08 on.

Unfortunately, a lot of stuff was also missing. Most of the enemies introduced in Doom 2 (save for the Arachnids and Pain Elementals) were removed for memory reasons, as was the first game's Spider Mastermind. The only new weapon was a laser that barely worked unless you found three hidden items. The only new enemy was an invisible Imp. The final stage deserves special derision; it's a clusterfuck, with three caves constantly spawning enemies unless you found the previously-stated items, and a final boss that looks like a regular monster.

In the end, Doom 64 actually felt like a true sequel. It continued from Doom 2, it retained the same gameplay style, and was still pretty fun, all of which Doom 3 failed at. There's a .wad for Doom 2 that ports the entire game, so give it a shot.