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SummarySimply put, one of the most important FPS games of all time.
The GoodI will say right of the bat that this game, along with Super Mario All Stars on the SNES, made me become a gamer. I have been playing this game since I was five or something and even to this day I still play it regularly.
Obviously, the first thing that made DOOM such a great game for me, is its gameplay. Of course, on paper it does not say much. You go from point A to point B, killing everything in sight and collecting keys. Rinse and repeat for as long as the game goes. But it is that particular simplicity that contributes to its great gameplay. It is pure, non-nonsense, high octane action all way through. A variety of weapons, enemies and levels will keep you entertained till the very end.
With pistols, shotguns, rocket launchers, chainsaws and more you have more than enough to use against the numerous zombies, imps, gorilla-like demons, flaming skulls and of course the famous Bruiser brothers. Every monster has its own strengths and weaknesses and you really need to adjust your strategy depending what weapons you have at your disposal and what monsters you are facing. Do not start using a pistol against something like a Baron of Hell or a rocket launcher against a swarm of charging Lost Souls.
But DOOM's gameplay is not its only asset. Its graphics and presentation as a whole definitely deserve as much praise. Yes, compared to today everything in the game looks like a hellish, ultra-violent version of a Looney Tunes cartoon, but for 1993, DOOM's graphics were nothing short of a revolution. DOOM was the first game that really created a realistic looking environment. Using differing lighting effects, varying heights and fully textured levels it was finally possible to walk through caves that looked like caves and buildings that looked like buildings.
And then there is the atmosphere, which was far ahead of its time as well and still remains compelling even to this day. Both the tech and hell levels manage to look believable. Tech levels have terminals showing useless info, cargo boxes and huge, important looking doors. Hell levels have rivers of blood and lava, dark caves and caverns with rock or flesh walls and hanging, mutilated bodies everywhere.
Finally, there is the music and sound effects. For music, DOOM uses heavy metal music based on songs by Pantera, Slayer and Metallica for many levels while others have dark and atmospheric music made by Bobby Prince. Even people who do not like metal music or dark ambient music will certainly like DOOM's soundtrack. It perfectly fits the game and every level has a suitable music track. As for the audio, every weapon sounds great and all monsters sound pretty intimidating (gotta love the demon's growl and the Cyberdemon's walking sound).
The BadAlthough I have been praising this game so far and I consider DOOM one of gaming's biggest landmarks, I do have one of two negative remarks about this game. First and foremost, while most levels have an excellent design, some levels like E2M6 and E3M7 have big, Wolfenstein 3D like mazes. I, for one thing, dislike mazes since they artificially increase the time it takes to get through the level and overall they are just a chore to get through. It may be just me with my lack of patience with this. But this is just a bit of nip picking.
And of course, do not play DOOM for its story. Do not expect philosophical views, plot twists or high character depth (take a game like Deus Ex if you want all that). But does this game need a story? Of course not!
The Bottom LineThis game must be played by anyone with even the slightest interest in gaming. Do not let DOOM's age fool you, this game will grab you by the throat and balls and will not let you go until you have finished it. And I case you did finish it, go ahead and download the many, many great mods and conversions for Doom. Basically, this game has years of lasting appeal.
So get this game from Steam, eBay, your brother, friend, or simply get the shareware version, I do not care. Grab that BFG and start blasting away!