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Thread: Game Review: DOOM 2 (XBLA)

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    DCEmu Reviewer Bratman Du's Avatar
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    xbox 360 Game Review: DOOM 2 (XBLA)

    Publisher/Developer: Bethesda Softworks
    Developer: Nerve Software / Id Software
    Release: May 26th 2010
    Genre: First Person Shooter / Shoot em up
    Players: Single-player, Co-op, Online Multiplayer
    Age Rating:

    Sequels today are a tough business. Creating a franchise seems to be everything these days. Typically games and the technology and software solutions get better all the time and as a result, sequels often perfect the formula of the first game. Of course, sequels can find it hard to shake that 'it's not as new and exciting as the first game' syndrome, but a lot surpass their first incarnation in terms of enhancements to gameplay, etc. Take something like Gears of War for example. The sequel was much the same as number 1, with a few graphical tweaks, extra weapons, and so on. Is it more fun to play than the first one? I'd say yes, but it also suffers from 'more of the same' syndrome - another affliction of sequels. These aren't negative statements against Gears by any means, both 1 and 2 were great. But you have to wonder - how much will number 3 differ from them? Back to the 90s now, when '3d' was a relatively new concept in gaming, and difficult to pull off in those days. The original Doom wasn't the first game to try and create a 3d world. It seemed to be more of a refinement of the game mechanics of Wolfenstein3D, which the gaming public were super hungry for back in 1994.

    Two players = double fun

    Back in those times with the hardware available, Doom was about the closest to 3D we had. It had the first person perspective - no looking up or down though (even though a lot of levels had some verticality to them, you simply rotate your view left or right, and strafe as well. If something in front of you is lined up vertically with your gun, you'll blow it away, even if it's at a different height. Enemies were 2D sprites in the gameworld, with clever texture swaps used to give the pixelated bastards more depth. You wandered around fairly large environments, collecting coloured keys to open matching doors, checked funny looking walls for secret areas, and picking up a massive arsenal of increasingly devastating weapons.

    That's Doom. That's also Doom II. And that's ok, because there were so few first person shooters back then, a 'more of the same' of Doom was very welcome.

    And they tell two people...

    But it wasn't just the fact that these types of games were rare back then, there's more to it than that. For starters - the Super Shotgun. Never mind the ridiculously powerful and unwieldy BFG, the double barrel beauty is your best friend in this game. It frequently makes the top ten list of best game weapons ever, and with good reason. This reason is because it rocks. It rocks a lot. The spread of it turns a wide throng of enemies into red mush and bloody corpses. The sound of it is glorious, and the reloading animation/sound is one of the most pleasing audio visual experiences you will ever have. It's beautiful, and so much fun to use.


    Yea, this is an old game, and I feel sorry for those who are young enough to have missed the time when this game came out. You see, whilst it may have been more of the same, you could tell ID had become more confident in the use of their game engine. Levels are more complex and elaborate than Doom 1, with many twists and turns. New enemies are fierce and brutal and attack en masse, some even act as monster generators and spit out other enemies at you. It's hectic and exciting, everything a game should be. AI is pretty much 'come at you with everything' - no more complicated, although if you can position yourself between two bad guys and get one to hit the other, you could start a riot.


    I was worried when I booted it up for the first time, that it's oldness would detract from it, but I seriously did not stop smiling the whole time I was playing. They keep the excitement level high for a game with such hardware and software limitations. Encounters are set up so well that it's still a
    terrifying game to play. The controls translate nicely to the 360 pad, and there's certainly no difficulty in picking them up. It's fast paced - more than I remembered even, you'll be rampaging through the many levels at breakneck speed sometimes, obliterating everything in your path.

    I hate these guys so much

    New things exclusive to this port include 1080i support, online multiplayer, splitscreen, and 5.1 surround (which is awesome btw!). Aside from some slight changes to options i.e. remapping buttons is not allowed and the automap cannot be explored past your immediate area. Nothing gamebreaking I assure you. In addition to the 32 maps included with Doom II, and extra episode called 'No Rest For the Living' comes with 9 extra levels of mayhem exlclusively for this version. Bonus!


    Multiplayer is alive and well here, and although I had a hard time finding other players online, there's always split screen for up to four players, to do deathmatch or co-op. What more could you ask for?

    The action is still slick, the weapons still look and sound cool, the enemies horrifying and unrelenting, the levels masterfully designed, and the music is still awesome.

    I challenge you to not enjoy this bloody trip down memory lane - and if you're too young to remember - this'll give you a good bit o' schoolin'!!!

    Play without hesitation. It's still Doom, it's still a classic.

    Last edited by bandit; June 30th, 2010 at 14:12.

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