Written by  :  Guy Chapman (2001)
Written on  :  Dec 05, 2007
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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Still Capturing The Sense of Doom.

The Good

Back when the Nintendo 64 was still in its infancy, Midway heavily promoted the fact that "Doom 64" was their "big exclusive" for the system. And it was for them.

Midway wasn't a stranger to Doom at this point in time. Having released two Playstation versions and a SNES version, the team that worked on those created this version from the ground up. Other than the name and related elements, this was an all new experience rather than a port.

The new levels were, at times, pretty fiendish to complete. There were several traps, puzzles, and tight situations the player had to work through, which fortunately had solid controls and a customizable button layout made things easier. It wasn't a keyboard and mouse, but it worked.

The graphics and sound were real stand outs for this game. There was no fog to handle screen draw-in. Everything was purely atmospheric, and the textures utilized the filters of the N64 to make a less pixelated-looking game, and kept true to the game's dark themes, This wasn't a bright, colorful game as so many titles were in Nintendo's stable.

Sound was all new as well. Not as much music, as it was atmospheric noises, creepy sound effects, and moody tones that added a level of unease to the player's situation.

The game pays a good homage to the original games, while trying to be its own title. For the most part, it succeeds quite well.

The Bad

The most fatal flaw is the game's lack of multi-player. For any first-person shooter, especially Doom, this was a wasted opportunity not to include this feature, and severely hurt its replay factor.

While the game's graphics were good, the default setting was simply too dark. It took fully customizing the game in options, then adjusting the television settings themselves, to make this game viewable enough to play. It also didn't hurt to play it in a dark room. For ambiance, it didn't hurt, but to do this much out of necessity.... This could have easily been adjusted.

The other factor was just the timing of its release. This went up directly against Acclaim's Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, which included bloodier deaths, the ability to look up and down, and a jump button for the character. While adding these features would have taken away what makes Doom what it is, it made for some harsh comparisons between the two.

Doom 64 also removed a handful of long-standing enemies from the series, which were sorely missed, and the overall story was pretty weak. Then again, you didn't necessarily play Doom for its epic storyline. One played to blow apart demons.

The Bottom Line

Doom is... well, it's Doom. If it had come out at another time, or included multi-player, it could have fared better than it did.

That said, it's still a good game with a lot of puzzles to sort through, and demons to blast. It captured the spirit of the series well, though it has never been considered an "official" sequel in the series.

That in itself is a shame, as it's a credible title that lives up to its namesake... even if it has a few blemishes here and there.

Worth a look.