DOOM II Xbox Live Review
I never thought I would be starting off the title of an article with the words "Doom II Review", but when I found that the game had been released to XBox Live, I jumped at the chance to play my favorite game from the Dooming era. In case you've been living under a rock, Doom II: Hell on Earth is the sequel to the popular first person shooter Doom that was released by id Software in 1993. Even after all this time Doom II still offers gameplay that I have not seen in a modern game in quite some time. Most 3d shooters require tactics and usage of a team to complete a campaign. Doom II, however, takes a much simpler approach with a simple mission: kill or be killed. This is what gaming should be at times to allow your mind to relax and enjoy the carnage at hand.
The game is more than 15 years old and the graphics show it with the high amount of large square pixels that you can see on your screen. It probably did not help matters that I play the game on a 72 inch television either which makes each pixel that much bigger. Even though the graphics are pixelated, it is still extremely enjoyable to watch the Cacodemon die with its melting effect death and the Imp get chopped up with the very popular chainsaw being wielded in your hand.
Doom II was originally a DOS based game and most people used the keyboard for their slaughtering in the game during that era. The port of the controls to the Xbox 360 was done extremely well, though I do miss being able to hit "3" to pull up my favorite weapon but instead have to scroll through my weapon list to find it. Remember that in the Dooming era of gaming there was no looking up or down and no jumping, so these features were not included in this version either to keep everything close to the original game.
Who can forget when games only had midi music? This brings up yet another example of the game staying true and using the same midi music as the original. I found myself humming a bit to them as I played the original game far too much in my younger years and know the music by heart. The weapon firing effect, aged as the rest of the game, but still brought a smile to me as I would blast through the level killing the evil creatures to my hearts content.
Multiplayer is a horrible joke on Xbox Live sadly. There is no way that I could find to see if anyone else was playing with you or check to see who was winning the game. There was also a high degree of lag when playing on Xbox Live that makes the games even more unbearable. It seems like the entire concept was just an afterthought and a poor one at that. The saving grace for Multiplayer was the split screen mode which allow you to play without lag. On a large television, it was very enjoyable, especially when you can watch the other person curse as you kill them over and over again.
Doom, when compared to current FPS games, is vastly different as the game comes from a much simpler era. Games were created using the limited resources at hand and drove our primitive hardware to the maximum to play them. Personally I enjoy the simpler gaming era as the developers had to earn their accolades more than today. This brings me to the best part of Doom II to me which was the introduction of double barrel shotgun, the only new weapon in Doom II over the original. The gun allowed you to shoot 2 shells vs the one that the normal shotgun allowed. This allowed more carnage and allowed you to take out more than one enemy at a time. This gun was one of the major reasons I loved Doom II and therefore this port, as it gave you more of a scatter shot approach to taking out your foes. This, however, does not help you from dying as much as you would think and I found myself hitting reload far more than I wanted to, as the game is a bit harder than I remember.
If you are in the need to go into a game and slaughter creatures in a mindless fashion, then Doom II is definitely for you. Do not expect top of the line graphics or high quality music, but you can expect a lot of killing and being killed as you play your way through the slaughterhouse called Doom II again.