Review by Crazee Boy
This is definitely in my top five games, and for such good reason.
Let me point something out. Please ignore my n00bish reviews of games like Metroid Prime 2, Pokemon Box, Nintendogs, etcetera. I've taken on a serious review-writing style, and I don't throw scores of ten around like I used to. So, with that in mind, on we go.
I didn't play Doom II back when it was released. I played it about a year ago. I bought the Doom Collector's Edition pack at Wal-Mart, thinking it could be fun to try. After all, I had played Doom on the PlayStation, although only for a little while, and I had heard incredible things.
Well, needless to say, I liked playing Doom, despite the crappy Doom 95 engine. When I later switched to ZDoom, with it's support for high resolution and mods galore, that's when I was addicted. I'm still addicted. As of writing this, I was playing just an hour ago. And really, the mods are why I love this game so much. The Doom engine, in this day and age, has far more support than newer games, and the things that can be accomplished with it now astonish me...
A quick note is that I'll be grading Doom II on a fair level. IE, not comparing it to current games.
For it's time, Doom II had great graphics. 3D environments, nice textures, detailed sprites, well-detailed backgrounds... And that's just on Doom 95. On a source port like ZDoom, things look so much better. High-resolution, letterboxing if you please, dynamic, glowing lighting... But a great thing is that, even with tons of enemies onscreen, the Doom engine is still smooth like butter.
Doom II's sound effects are dandy, too. While they aren't all that engrossing, like you'd expect from your Quake 4 and Doom 3 games, they work well for Doom, and are very clear. Gunshots are noisy enough, enemies make good growls and death cries, and... Well, what more can I say? It works.
Okay, Doom, in general, used MIDIs. But MIDI is just fine with me, because the tunes in Doom II are fitting of the levels, fun to listen to, never too overpowering, and they just work. It's really the same as the sound effects; what more can I say?
Doom II excells in what matters most, and that's the gameplaw. Raw action. Running from room to room, killing anything that moves, pressing a button, finding a key, killing more things, and moving on to the next level. That's what Doom is supposed to be, and that's was Doom II delivers. No pesky story to get in the way, no comrades, no friendlies. Just you, hordes of demons, and a shotgun between the two of you. It's so simple and crude. And I love it.
I have to admit, I loved games like Halo and Half-Life, but they offered too much. Story, friendly characters, and just too much silence. Too much time spent doing nothing but running around. Sometimes, you just say "Screw this, I want to see some blood!" And Doom delivers. This is 'the' action game, and for a reason.
I've only experienced Doom II online over ZDoom with one friend, and we played a few levels co-operatively, which was a lot more fun than deathmatching, which is horrible with only two people. I was surprised at the low latency. I'm on 56K, and my friend is on 28K. While there were spots of lag here and there, it was rather smooth. When we played while he was on a DSL connection, it was almost completely lag-free. The overall experience is entertaining, but I find going solo more fun...
Games built on the Doom engine, in general, are extremely modular. (Doom, Doom II, Final Doom, Heretic, Hexen, and Strife). Most of the mods produced nowadays are for Doom II, and the engine that's most widely supported in ZDoom. ZDoom allows for incredible, never-before-seen effects in Doom games. Mist, particles, scripting, true 3D (sometimes), new enemies and weapons that don't just replace the old ones, and much more. Practically everything can be changed, and some of the mods (Such as Action Doom) change it so extensively, you wouldn't recognize it.
Of course, some mods just add new levels, some add high-quality MP3 replacements to the MIDI tracks, some change the graphics, and more. It's pointless to try to list everything off, as the mods you can download are so different and interesting. Although, of course, sometimes they're just stupid...
Doom II is an amazing game. Raw action, great graphics and sound, extensive customizability... For the third time. What can I say? Go buy the Collector's Edition, download ZDoom, and play all the Doom games. Then find some mods and enjoy Doom all over again!
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
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