This is my favorite game ever. I still play it every day even though it's been ten years since I first got it. The graphics were super for its time and the sound effects are awesome. The monsters have very distinguishable grunts, cries, and screams. An exploding zombie makes an unforgettable ripping sound which no other game had. I would spend hours at the keyboard wading through levels over and over again killing as much daemons and zombies as I could. I would forsake other activities that I had at that age, such as homework. To compensate for the lousy performance of our 486/33MHz, I would lower the resolution and decrease screen size to keep the action going. Soon the Space, Ctrl, and Alt buttons would jam which drove my dad crazy! But I would still install and delete that game before he came back from work. Eventually I had my own PC's and got newer games but Doom and Doom II were always installed and I would run them regularly.
Doom II had the addition of some new monsters (seven I think), a new power up, and a new shotgun which increased the fun. There's lots of friendly fire in the game and the monsters would fight each other if one accidentally missed you and hit another monster of a different species. You can just run around a level dodging hits and then step back and watch the show. Level 17: "The Courtyard' and level 20: "Gotcha!' are the best settings to do that. There are tons of mods made for Doom by other gamers. My favorite one is the Terminator 2 mod where weapons' and grunt sounds were replaced by sampled sounds from the movie.
Yes, I admit that even I could ask for improvements. One would be consistency of levels with the level name. Most of the supposedly human-made structures in both games had no evident utility, like the "Refueling Base" in D2 or the "Nuclear Plant" in D1. The programmers could have added some control rooms, some sort of pumps or rechargers, or reactors, or something like that to make it look like what the name of the level says. But instead there are mazes, traps, pools of slime and ooze, rising platforms, and secret hallways which contain power ups and lead nowhere. Other levels have monsters shooting at you while trapped in cages or from closed locations which make no strategic and no common sense, but perhaps the demons built those levels and who knows what they were thinking. Other improvement of course would be the ability to look up and down and to jump. That was fixed in Zdoom; a renovation to the original Doom source code made by another fan.
Doom III is due out next month and I can't wait to get it. I've played lots of FPS's that came out after the original Doom but none have stuck with me as much as it had. More sophisticated and more realistic games such as Soldier of Fortune I&II, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and Medal of Honor(with the blood patch) are very fun and interesting but only leave ripples while Doom I&II left a crater. Doom's cartoonish and monotonous graphics, sound, and violence still make it very enjoyable and fun.
If you're looking for other fun, fast loading, simple FPS's then don't miss Blood, Redneck Rampage, and Duke Nukem 3D! They run on the Build 3D engine which offers you more freedom than Doom such as flying, jumping, ducking, and free looking. But the constrains of Doom helped make it enjoyable in its own theme and sense.
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