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Written by  :  jTrippy (63)
Written on  :  Nov 18, 2008
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars

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When is it ok to rehash a classic? When the classic is Doom!

The Good

Fine-tuning the atmosphere and level design of its bone-crushing predecessor, Doom 2 provides a new set of levels that expand beyond the claustrophobic labyrinthine and into the sprawl of urban entropy. All the monsters from the original are back, plus a handful of new ones. What really makes this stand out over the first entry in the series is the sheer mass and complexity of each level. Each challenge is subtlety and painstakingly crafted, and the suspense no longer relies solely on the monster-hidden-in-a-crevass ploy. Imagery plays a heavy role this time around -- clockwork symmetry, buildings made of decaying corpses, walls made of stretched faces, and satanic grafitti pervade each level. The climax is one of the biggest, baddest bosses of all time -- a monster-hurling, sky-scraper sized baphomet that just... won't... die! Unlike more "sophisticated" peers (System Shock, Ultima Underworld, Hexen), Hell on Earth never strives to be more than a run-and-gun good time, with a focus on gameplay rather than gimmick.

Doom 2 also brought custom level design into the mainstream. It was, and still is, one of the most popular games to edit in your own content, thereby making it infinitely replayable. And with today's sourceports like Doomsday and Doom Legacy, there's no reason to ever stop playing this classic!

The Bad

It's by-and-large more of the same. Who could blame id for cashing in on the phenomenon at its peak? That said, there really wasn't enough back in the day to justify the game's $40 price tag if you had the original, especially given the Doom engine's customizability.

The Bottom Line

Doom is the greatest game of all time. Doom 2 is its worthy sequel. Anyone looking for classic and masterful level design would do well to give this another run through. Hell on Earth shows you that true immersion relies on bone-crushing atmosphere, not cheap gimmicks.