Doom II (Xbox Live Arcade) Review
A lot of FPS’s out there owe a lot to two titles that redefined the genre in the early 90s. Those titles being Wolfenstein, and of course Doom. As popular as those two titles were in 1994 Doom II came along and brought us more weapons, enemies and lots more fun. Fast forward to 2010 and Doom II is now available for on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
Many questions will be asked as to how this new version will play. Are the graphics revamped or kept the same? Will the controls be reworked to fit in with today’s standards? Is a 16-year-old game still fun to play? Find out as we take a look at the HOTs and NOTs of Doom II.
The gameplay in Doom II has been relatively unchanged. It’s the addictive and explosive action that older fans will still remember playing back in 1994. Even if you have not played Doom II before, you will still enjoy the instantaneous action the game offers. The basic premise of the entire game is kill as much enemies as possible while finding three key cards that allow you to open doors into the next level. This may sound simple enough but finding some of the keys require a bit of problem solving and of course a lot of shooting on the way. Some may argue that finding the keys may be boring as you will have to backtrack often to open a previously inaccessible door. In defense of this I though it added to the gameplay as it would have been too easy had this been a straight-up on-rails shooter like most FPS games these days.
The controls are also a major strong point of this game. As with every FPS game you control the your character using the left stick and aiming with the right stick. However, the main difference in this game is that you can only aim from left-to-right; there’s no aiming up or down. This is not a flaw as the game’s auto aim comes into play which I thought made it a lot easier and less stressful – especially when there can be ten or more enemies coming to you at once!
The level design is another strong point to a classic game. It’s not one straight line you have to go to as there are many paths to take and secret rooms you will have to find before you are able to escape each level. This added to the overall atmosphere of being trapped in a world full of monsters. Speaking of monsters, the character designs are among the best I’ve ever seen. The graphics may be outdated (more on that later) but the enemies look very menacing and downright awesome. They range from ten-foot tall Minotaur beasts to flying flame balls. Not only that but they all have their own unique attacks as well.
There is both offline and online multiplayer modes available with up to four players can meet up and play a classic game of deathmatch. But the main selling point in my opinion is the co-op mode which is also available online or via offline splitscreen. The best thing about the co-op is the fact you can select ANY level from the game to play regardless if you have finished the game on single player or not. If you are stuck on any level for any reason you can simply choose the next one. Some may call it a cheap to include this but it will be beneficial for casual gamers.
Although the game retains the exact look it had back in 1994 it does not really translate very well in 2010. The levels and on-screen enemies all look very pixelated and have lots of jagged edges. Some levels can be a little too dark and claustrophobic that it sometime can be impossible to navigate your way through the level. The main gripe I have is that the screen format is not HDTV friendly. The game’s does not have fit within a widescreen television. Unlike other remakes on the PSN or Xbox LIVE Marketplace which have been made to fill out the whole screen, this game sadly has big black borders on the side of your screen while you play. If you’re playing this game on a standard definition TV then you’re okay. Only people with HDTVs will experience the formatting.
Although the graphics are outdated and the screen formatting is poor, Doom II is still a blast to play. The gameplay and addictive multiplayer will keep any FPS fan happy. It may not have the flashiness of modern day games but it is still fun. If you’re a fan of old-school games or would like a taste of what gaming was like back in the early 90s then this game will not disappoint.Doom II (Xbox Live Arcade) Review,