Playing Doom for the first time.
The first time I played Doom I was on a 486/sx 33 MegaHertz machine with 4 Megabytes of RAM and probably a 500 Megabyte hard disk drive, and a 14″ monitor.
I was playing at night and I loaded up Doom with C:\>CD DOOM C:\>DOOM and loaded up the game and saw the DOOM logo for the first time. I selected Hurt Me Plenty and saw E1M1. I remember that I used to get quite hammered when I went up against a Shotguy or a Imp, and it was in E1M5 that I saw my first Pinky Demon. That was scary, I thought WTF is this? Once I saw a Pinky lean over to a shotgun sergeant and bite him and it looked like it bit his head off. I was shocked by the violence of that and splattering monsters with a rocket launcher and then going down the hallway in E1M8 to fight the Barons, that was always accompanied by a feeling of foreboding that no games these days can really capture. Sure the graphics of Doom cannot match Far Cry, Unreal Tournament 2007 & Modern Warfare 2 but the style of graphics it uses are so good that it does not matter at all. The level design has been described as matched only by Valve Software’s Half Life game which came out many years later. But that used the Quake 2 engine to craft a 3D game, Doom’s 2.5D engine has a unique look to it that modern games do not have, just more and more realistic 3D-rendered environments and models. But as a review of the old shareware game I am doing from memory, it still stands up today for the frightening dark levels and masterfully designed enemies crafted as 2D sprites in a 2.5D environment is a masterpiece of level design, and the nightmare mode does not seem to be around anymore, what the Hell happened to -fast monsters and -respawn these days? I guess in the quest for better and better graphics they have lost the ability to have heaps of monsters anymore, only Serious Sam tried that but it still is not Doom.
This screen-shot shows a secret area inside a crate. Very interesting indeed. When you come out of here there is a Mancubus and an Imp waiting for you. The next screen-shot is showing the entrance of the secret area, you go up the small crates to grab the box of shotgun shells and you can press on the side of the crate to open it and get into the secret area where you have to kill a trooper and then exit and kill the aforementioned Mancubus and Imp and grab a green armor. TNT MAP20 is hard sometimes but clambering over computer desks and slaughtering Imps and Troopers in a giant office is heaps of fun. The Atari hell map in the console doom wad is another example of an office map and heaps of fun to play as well. If Doom used the Unreal engine and had cool looking landscapes like that game has then it would be quite a quite different gaming experience with more realistic renderings of hell and tech bases with surrounding landscape. Doom2 MAP01 “Entryway” would be a very different looking map. Sure Vavoom has 3D styled architecture but it is not up to the graphical excellence of Unreal. I know that there may not be any projects porting Doom to the Unreal engine but I have to say it would be very interesting to see.
Playing Doom these days is quite different than playing it in the old days of Doom, when I was playing Doom Shareware v1.666 and
I did not know many of the secret areas and it was much more difficult as a result, I used to be frightened to go down the hallway to the lift in E1M8 to fight the Barons as I knew what was coming and I dreaded it utterly.But now I have played Alien Vendetta, Scythe 2 and DV2 and nothing much challenges me anymore except Nuts and Nuts2. But remembering the times you had playing Doom shareware and then the registered Doom. I actually have played Doom on the Super Nintendo as well and that console port was the most true to the original game and the music was better than the Sega 32X port as the Angry Video Game Nerd will attest. The PSX Doom version is good with the new music although opinions are mixed on the new sounds. I like them, but they are not to everyone’s taste, but that is up to the player.
Getting back to the Unreal engine, here are a couple of nice screen-shots of Unreal Tournament 2003 running with a Geforce 6200 with 256 Megabytes of video RAM. This screen-shot shows the canyon on the alien planet with the large pine-like trees scattered around. This map has the best layout and looks awesome too. A Doom hell map like MAP20 with realistic landscapes would be totally worth playing, especially if you could climb around on rocks and snipe monsters from various vantage points. That would make map design more challenging, but fun at the same time with the ability to hide weapons and power-ups under trees and inside caves or even inside or above caves and tunnels. A very different game-play experience to the 2d world of Doom, but the classic game-play of Doom ensures that it will always be around.