DOOM II: Hell on Earth
While Doom was a revolutionary game, Doom II: Hell on Earth was merely an extension of the previous game’s success. It retains the ‘more is better’ approach that we’ve seen in Wolfenstein’s Spear of Destiny, with the obvious difference that Spear wasn’t marketed as a sequel. As such, you won’t see anything drastically different here – it’s Doom all over again, but with more of the stuff that made it great in the first place.
Having sent the armies of the damned back to Hell, you return to Earth for peace and quiet. Naturally, some fool forgot to close the dimensional portal, leaving a gateway for all those evil denizens to invade the planet and take over. Armed with your worthless pistol and brass knuckles, you venture once again as Doom Guy to beat the invasion and drive the demons back.
Although Doom 2 is essentially the same game with new levels, monsters and one mean double-barreled shotgun, the game is structured slightly differently. There are no episodes this time, but instead the game flows as one stream of linear levels. The campaign is still divided among three major themes – you start inside a spaceport, then continue through a besieged urban environment, and finally enter Hell in its appropriately sinister form. And while the Hell from the first Doom was cool, the one here is truly surreal.
Doom II is also set outdoors more often, with levels that can take tens of minutes to traverse entirely. Puzzles are tougher, secrets are more mischievously hidden, and traps are all the more devious. One level for instance, Tricks and Traps, is devoted entirely towards screwing with you. Another is set in the middle of a huge industrial city, with buildings you can enter and explore. The levels are overall just more interesting, and, about halfway onward, more spooky.
There’s only one extra weapon here, raising the total number of firearms to seven. You’ll need every shell you can find though, because Doom 2 has a bunch of new monsters to deal with. Take the Mancubus, a fat ugly git who showers you with a stream of flaming rockets. The nimble Arch-Vile bursts you into flames from afar, never misses, and will also ressurect fallen demons to fight beside him. And if you’ve missed the Spider Mastermind from Doom, great news. Doom 2 has an army of smaller, though still deadly, robotic spiders to kill you.
And there you have it. It’s Doom all over again, but with more action, more monsters, more levels and more carnage. And if you’re insane enough to try to beat it on the higher difficulty levels, it’s got more pain too.
System Requirements: 386DX CPU, 4 MB RAM, 17 MB HDD, DOS
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