The Ultimate DOOM (DOS)

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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39520)
Written on  :  Jan 14, 2009
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Prepare to meet thy doom!

The Good

So it was id Software who was responsible for creating a new genre called the first-person shooter. Their first game, Wolfenstein 3D, was a massive hit. Their next game, DOOM, was an even bigger hit. At the time where there were Wolf3D clones such as Blake Stone and Corridor 7, people chose DOOM over these clones. Why? Because it revolutionized PC gaming – offering immersive 3D graphics, multiplayer gaming, and support for custom expansions.

Although I find the story a bit difficult to grasp, I had a great time blasting hell spawn and making my way to the exit. The “hell spawn” include imps, possessed humans, Cacodemons, Hell Barons, and many more. You can use up to seven weapons to kill them, each with their own individual ammunition. I found out that the best thing to deal with enemies is quite amusing. Say an imp is trying to flame you but a Baron gets in the way. The imp accidentally hits the Baron, who turns on the imp and the both of them engage in battle. Once the imp has been killed, the Baron turns its attention to you and fires away. Using this strategy is a great way to save your ammo. My favorite enemy at the moment is the Cacodemon. It makes a good hissing sound when it encounters you, its eyes light up when it fires, and it spills out its intestines when it dies.

As I just mentioned, there are seven weapons to choose from. You have a pistol, which is well suited to dealing with the earlier enemies such as the imps and humans, but as you proceed through the game, you are able to obtain better weapons that do a lot more damage. Each individual weapon can do massive amounts of damage to certain enemies. The shotgun, for example, is useful against the imps and humans, and the rockets are more powerful against the Cacodemons. You also have a fist, which is more powerful if you manage to get the Berserk power-up. Use this against the imps and humans and they turn into blood and bone. The BFG-9000 is a very rare weapon that does maximum damage to the game's bosses. Years ago, a friend told me that BFG stands for Big Fucking Gun. Turns out he was right.

Graphics-wise, I believe that they are much better than Wolf3D's because DOOM's graphics appear less blocky. Some of the sections of certain levels are much darker, heightening the atmosphere of the game. The backgrounds are excellent, especially the one used in episode three, “Inferno”. The background used for the first episode, “Knee Deep in the Dead”, made me feel that I was looking at the Sierra mountains (which are used in Sierra's logo). The fourth episode, “Thy Flesh Consumed”, has a yellow-orange background, which is excellent because it made me feel as if I was walking toward something in a sunset. At the end of each level, the player is presented with a location map showing what location they have just completed and which one they are going next while they view their statistics. Each of the maps look really nice. Such maps are not present in the fourth episode, but at least you have the background of skulls similar to that of DOOM II.

What I really much enjoyed while I was playing the game is the soundtrack, which is much, much better than Wolf3D. It is great that you can enter the setup program and change to a different sound card. The sound effects are awesome. I like listening to the human's grunts when they die and the moan that the Barons make. A thing about the enemies, and this feature isn't found in other first-person shooters, is that you can always tell when they are in your vicinity. You can zero-in on their location and kill them with whatever weapons you have.

The controls are easy to get used to. All you need to know is to how to shoot at enemies and operate doors, similar to id's last game. There is no complex controls seen in the latest first-person shooters. The only new thing is the map, which you can activate by pressing the [Tab] key. It's very useful if you happen to find the computer area map somewhere in the level, because you can discover unexplored areas (which are the gray areas). Then you can make sure that all your statistics reach 100%.

The Bad

I haven't noticed this in the first three episodes, but in the fourth one, there is a bug preventing enemies from coming out and fighting you, even when they see you and make a warning sound. They tend to stay put, meaning that it would not take long for the player to destroy them in about five seconds.

The Bottom Line

DOOM is the second first-person shooter that id Software has made, and it is a good one. It has a large number of features that stand out, including better graphics, an excellent soundtrack, more weapons, multiplayer support, and the ability to load and play custom WADS. I like the backgrounds used in all three episodes, as well as listening to the excellent soundtrack that the game has to offer. One neat thing about the enemies in the game is that you always know when they are around, and you can walk up and destroy them, just like that.

If gamers have waited an extra two years, then they would have gotten The Ultimate DOOM. As well as letting them play the original three episodes, they can get to play just one more episode called “Thy Flesh Consumed”. The Ultimate DOOM even doesn't require the original game to run. This episode picks up where episode three left off: you basically take revenge on the person who killed your pet rabbit Daisy.

If you have played the original three episodes but didn't think they were challenging enough, then you should hunt down a copy of The Ultimate DOOM as this gives you one more episode that proves to be a challenge. Or, if you don't want to spend the extra money, you could just upgrade the original game to v1.9, which is the same as buying it retail.