Review: Doom (DOS)

By Drew Wilson

This may be one of the most famous and infamous games ever released before the year 2000. Doom remains one of the best known classic games released on DOS and has become a staple for most avid first person shooter enthusiasts. We take a look at this particular video game.

Released in 1993, this may be one of the most influential games in the entire video game series. After it launched, many games were since created with references of some sort to Doom. In fact, there was a term that has been used to describe numerous first person shooters as a “Doom clone” for quite some time. It was also infamous for it’s high level of violence and gore as well as its demonic undertones throughout which sparked criticism back when this game was becoming popular.

The story is fairly straight forward. You are an unnamed marine from the UAC (Union Aerospace Corporation) that was sent to Mars. There were numerous experiments into teleportation technology on the Martian surface as well as on two moons. Something went horribly wrong and your unit was sent to investigate. After everyone else was killed by the demonic hoards, you are left alone as the last man standing. You are to stop the hoards from coming through the portals with whatever means necessary.

After you pick a difficulty, you start off with a simple handgun. You make your way through a dizzying labyrinth of secrets, locked doors and switches collecting various items and weapons. Items include the Armour, invisibility and temporary invulnerability. Some weapons you can pick up include a chain gun, shotgun and, of course, a BFG9000.

One thing I liked about this game is that you don’t get bigger weapons right away. You have to fight some of the weaker zombies and imps with a limited number of weapons towards the beginning. You can obtain some of the weapons early on if you explore carefully enough, but chances are, you are popping some of your foes with either your handgun or your fist if you run out of bullets.

The game is also divided into different episodes (four of them). Once you complete one episode, you’ll have to start the next episode fresh without the weapons you’ve obtained from the previous episode. This is kind of a pain, but it’s usually pretty straight forward to re-obtain your weapons.

One thing I wasn’t a big fan of is the fact that, in order to strafe, you have to hold down Alt and then use the arrow keys to decide which direction you want to strafe. This method doesn’t permit turning and strafing at the same time which somewhat limits your movements. Another thing I didn’t like about this game is the inability to jump at all. If there is a ledge with an item on it, chances are, you have to find a convoluted way to obtain it whereas most later games allow you to just jump up and grab that item.

For a game of that era, the graphics are very well done. Numerous games were still only two dimensional and this game was in 3D. Looking at the size of the game on disc, it’s even more impressive how nice the graphics are and still have the game be able to fit in such a small amount of space. So, well done on that department.

The music varied a bit on this. Many had horror-like undertones, but there were a few somewhat upbeat songs in this particular game. The sound effects were also a huge positive with each monster featuring their own sound. You can hear them milling about in the next room or snarling when you take them out with your chainsaw. Perhaps the only setback here is that sometimes, the sounds from the same monster overlaps a little at times. Subtle, but there if you find a rapid fire way of injuring the enemy.

Overall, this game is definitely worth checking out years later. If you are into first person shooters and haven’t played this game yet, I’d recommend playing it so you don’t get booed at by fellow FPS fans. Trust me, just me, it’s worth the play anyway. Even years later, it’s still enjoyable to play because it can still challenge me at times.


General gameplay: 20/25
Replay value: 10/10
Graphics: 10/10
Audio: 4/5

Overall rating: 88%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85

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