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SummaryA great, evolutionary sequel to an already awesome game
The GoodAwesome graphics (at the time), especially if you were used to Wolfenstein 3d. Ran pretty well on my 486. Fun, brutal demon killing-spree gameplay. Modded like crazy. I made a few major mods of my own, such as an almost complete recreation of all graphics and sounds. I could play 4-player deathmatch games over a modem using the game server in MBBS. 2-player would run full speed over 9600bps :) It introduced me to networked multiplayer gaming. Ultra-violence mode >:) While nightmare is great and all, I like to KILL all the demons. 'Exit to dos' messages.
The BadThe simplicity of the game is a double-edged sword. It makes it generally very fun to play. However, more complicated 1st person games such as System Shock were fun and interesting on a totally different level. I believe both styles have their own place in the world of gaming.
Nothing much else I can complain about.
The Bottom LineDoom ][ was largely different from Doom. First, the code was more mature and more stable. Doom ][ had multiple revisions that improved stability, compatibility, and networking performance. Second, the level design had a different emphasis. While Doom strived to maintain a similar style of gameplay to existing games (usually 2d), which included navigating mazes, solving stupid puzzles, etc., Doom ][ focused more on kicking demon ass. The levels are more obvious and less confusing (most of the time). Third, They add new enemies and a new weapon (the double-barrel shotgun). The game is 30 consecutive levels, so you get to keep all your accumulated stuff with nothing but little written narratives every 10 levels.
To me the gameplay just seemed much more fluid. I like prefer fighting 10 imps at a time with a shotgun over navigating a maze with a pistol being chased by a demon, but that's just me. (This is why I don't much like Doom3, actually, as it went back to that Doom1 mentality).
I agree with others that the graphics did not change, and while that may be disappointing to some, it also meant that people didn't really have to upgrade to play Doom ][. It ran on computers about as well as Doom. Doom 3 has much nicer graphics, yes, but there definitely exists a performance penalty...
And on that note, at the time, the graphics did not have to improve much to keep people playing. Doom had an awesome dark and, at the time, immersing engine and style. Its one of the few games that you could find impaled and/or mutilated people hanging from the ceiling twitching. I mean, nowdays thats a lot more popular... but then it was pretty novel.
All and all, awesome. I still play it sometimes.