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Normally when I see a game getting pumped out again and again without change over the decades it does annoy me a little, yet Doom and its predecessor Wolfenstein will always be forgiven. There is no doubt that these games are what made first person shooters what they are today. Without these there would have been no Call of Duty or Goldeneye.
The game was first released in 1993 and has had a number of sequels, some good and some bad, but in my opinion this is the best, the classic. I picked this up when it was a mere 200 Microsoft points (which is less than £2) but it normally retails at 400. The core game stays the same but it does introduce some new elements such as split screen co-op and a few online multiplayer modes Co-op and death match.
As far as the main solo missions go the game is unchanged and just as good as it used to be, the graphics are a little dated but then they were going to be. Despite this the monsters themselves still have you on the edge of your seat from time to time when things get tense proving that the game still has its same effect.
The controls are prefect and far superior and fluid than any console version that I have played before, strafing around corners and dodging fireballs has never been easier. I guess it will never beat the original on the PC with all of the free downloadable content but the Xbox Live Arcade version is superb, especially with the classic retro sounds and musical backing. For a mere 400 points you would be a fool not to buy it on the Xbox, there are hours of play time to be had, far more than most modern games and once you get past the graphics (if they hold no charm for you) you will find that it is still a tense and fluid shooter that rivals the solo shooters of today.
In short the Xbox version of the original Doom introduces some great new multiplayer modes and yet keeps all that was perfect about Doom the same. If you are a gamer that went by and somehow missed Doom in its purity you must pick this up and give the daddy of all shooters the respect it deserves. For a mere 400 points you would be crazy not to as even expansion maps for modern day shooters cost around 800-1000 points and for half of that price you could be getting one of the best first person shooters of all time and a chunk of gaming history.
It's Doom. It may not have been the first of its kind, but it's certainly the game that single handedly propelled the first person shooter into the hearts and minds of many. For the Xbox 360 release, it hasn't changed a bit, and that is absolutely a good thing.
If you've played Doom before, you know what to expect. You begin with a pistol, and your job is simply to kill or be killed. As you progress you'll meet bigger and badder enemies and find bigger and badder guns, including the much lauded (and rightly so!) BFG-9000. Gameplay is frantic and spooky at times; there's nothing worse than scouring a level for the exit, thinking you've killed every last enemy, only to be confronted by a random, thrashing enemy when you reach an area you've never been to before! Bosses are as ever, an absolute treat to fight and are still some of the best ever seen in any game. I've certainly never seen another Cyberdemon.
The only downpoint of the 360 release really feels a little unfair to it, but here goes anyway. Back when the original Doom came out, I played on a keyboard, using cursors, space to activate, and Ctrl to fire. That's it. Since then things have moved on, and we now have another thumbstick for strafing and looking around. This changes the game a lot, and in fact makes the game a whole lot easier, which was a bit surprising. My advice would simply be ramp the difficulty up above what you're used to!
It misses on 5 stars... just. I love this game and I mean LOVE IT. Memories come flooding back of when me and my cousin used to play this along with 'Duke Nukem,' 'Blood' and 'Carmageddon' - all classics.
But what we're doing here is not reviewing DOOM in its year of birth but for the Xbox 360 and does it translate to gamers now?
Only those feeling sentimental about DOOM are shouting yes and to be honest I'd probably be one of you. For the current generation of gamers though this just doesn't appeal - again I am open to comments - please don't feel the need to punish me for my opinion! If you're coming to DOOM as a new player, with a history of playing shooters after the year 2000, this game will have no meaning or value.
As I started this up I once again felt the delicious fear as the music started up and the familiar menu screen appeared. It's fast paced, frantic, full of big weapons, power-ups, nasty beasties, collectables, secret tunnels and stashes of weapons...
Not far in to the game I was amazed at how difficult it was, the hardest level used to be a comfortable challenge! I must be getting older. Much like all shooters at the time, levels are bland and large with no real guidance, you will undoubtedly find yourself wandering in circles, trying the same doors again and again, cursing that last keycard that you can't find. Like me you will give up on the level and find amusement in making your character grunt (A button) against the walls (sorry) and focus on finding all those secret passageways...
Multiplayer is fun actually but it's very difficult to find a game on live. Next to impossible in fact - whch adds further merit to my point that the current crop of young gamers have no wish to play this game. A few friends and I ended up just creating custom games and going wild - there are some tremendous weapons and opportunities to sneak round the back of your opponents, hilarious fun.
In summary, this game was a phenomonal achievement and paved the way for the games we have now. Without DOOM, things would have been very different. It might not have the draw for new gamers but hey, all those rejoicing at its release on here will continue to love it.
When Doom first became available on Xbox Live Arcade, I immediately downloaded it, a knee jerk purchase motivated by a warm and overwhelming sense of nostalgia for all the many, many evenings I spent blasting imps and chainsawing cacodemons as a schoolboy in the mid 90s. And then...I left it idling on my hard drive, whilst I busied myself with the array of sophisticated, deep and involving games in the Xbox 360 catalogue. I remember firing it up once out of curiosity, chuckling at the old blocky menu and that familiar MIDI music, before I moved on.
Yet recently, after completing a lengthy and involved RPG, I felt like I needed something that provided a quick fix, an instant gratification - a videogaming sorbet, if you will. I happened across Doom once again, and decided to give it a look to kill five minutes. Two hours later, I had been firmly reminded why I loved the game so much in the first place.
Playing Doom is a simple and immediate thrill. The granddaddy of the FPS shooter (Yes, I know full well about Wolfenstein, but I never rated it as highly, in terms of content or impact on the industry,) still plays like a dream. There's no Y axis, no sniping - no reload even, which allows you to enjoy the blasting with almost zen-like purity, as you negotiate the somewhat crude looking, yet fiendishly well designed levels, searching for that secret panel that will give you the Mega Armor, or that Rocket Launcher. (To this day I've yet to find another in game rocket launcher that obliterates enemies with such a satisfying WHOOSH and THUD!).
Barrelling around blasting at everything that twitches is a freeing and immensely satisfying experience, with no consideration of stealth, sneaking, alternate routes, vehicles et al. Just let your trigger finger go wild as you chop down waves of hellspawn. And that leads me to my next point - the graphics of course are very dated by today's standards, but the design is still top notch. The enemies are all instantly recognisable and utterly charming, dissolving into pixellated mounds of gore and organs after the requisite number of shots, and accompanied by that timeless and evocative suite of moans, groans and roars.
Multiplayer works well. I've heard reports of lag; bafflingly given the PC game's history of running smoothly over phone modems. I didn't encounter this; perhaps they have patched it since those early reviews. Buddying up with mates and smearing them across the walls with a plasma rifle is as much fun as it ever was, and holds its own against more modern multiplayer offerings in terms of sheer enjoyment. Additionally, it seems the Xbox pad was designed for this game, as the instant reaction times sometimes required aren't diminished at all by the transition from keyboard and mouse.
To close, I can't recommend this game enough for only 800 points. Don't download as an exercise in nostalgia, or cap tipping to the past - download it because it's a bloody (literally) good game.
Doom is a first person shooter game first released for the PC in 1993. The game was one of the first of its genre, pipped only to the post by Wolfenstien 3D in 1992. However Doom has been widely accepted by critics as the beginning of it all (sprouting many "Doom-clones" such as Duke Nukem after it's hugely successful aftermath). There are 4 different episodes featured in the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game, three of which were featured on the original version and the fourth episode "Thy Flesh Consumed" several years after the games initial release.
The gameplay of the game is widely recognizable, even to a player relatively new to first-person shooters. The player cannot aim up and down, although the can look left and right, move their player around, sprint and switch weapons. Admittedly this isn't exactly the biggest breakthrough in gaming, although it's nice to see that Microsoft hasn't over-complicated the classic gameplay through add-ons and upgrades. The only exception to this is the addition of the multiplayer mode which if I'm honest isn't the best and therefore the servers have been empty since a few months after the release of the game, unfortunately rendering some of the achievement points permanently locked in the players' absence. The sole purpose of the individual missions within the various episodes is to proceed through the level as quickly, efficiently and as mercilessly as possible; various weapons can also be collected on the way to improve the killing power (and the potential for fun) of the player.
The graphics of the game have an extremely dated feel, however they are dated in the same way as an antique rather than an unfashionable piece of clothing. They have come of age once again and look rustic and they are enjoyable to look at as you play through the game, even if only to compare with the current day graphics to be astounded as to how far computers and graphics designers have come in such as short space of time. There are some nice animations for the enemies and the designs of the levels are varying throughout the game, the environments of the different episodes vary from the pits of Hell to what is presumably some kind of chemical industry facility.
The sounds of the game are also very dated; however they are huge fun to listen to as the game progresses. Even though the music is composed from deep hums and bleeps it manages to portray the right feel the game tries to put across and they suit the graphics extremely well. The sound effects of the enemies are also cool and quirky and you can see the influence which they have had on games which have been released even since the games release. The stars of the show as far as the sound effects are concerned are the sounds made by the weapons. The powerful feel of the shotgun, the short blast of the pistol and the roar of your chainsaw are some of the most satisfying effects which you will experience in any game. On a short tangent one of the most satisfying sound effects I have ever heard in a game is the sound created by the Plasma Rifle in one of Doom's sequels "Doom 3".
In conclusion Doom is a completely compulsory download, and at only 800MP it is an absolute bargain. The game hasn't dated since the day of its release and if anything shows that a good piece of game development and innovation can remain timeless, a path that surely only a select few other games will get the privilege to follow.