Doom: The Lost Episodes
As an unofficial mission pack numbering 3 episodes containing 27 levels for the original Doom, The Lost Episodes will give you a serious case of deja vu. It officially takes you through a gauntlet of demon-infested bases, caves and dark temples spread around Jupiter’s moons, but the texture packs used in all of the levels are practically identical to Doom’s own campaign. The levels, fortunately, are of general high quality, even if they don’t look all that dissimilar (with a few minor texture/sound tweaks here and there).
The levels in The Lost Episodes are quite challenging as a whole, even if you’ve gone through the hellish torture that was Final Doom. They might start simple enough, but will soon bombard you with devious traps, swarms of monsters and timed puzzles. In one level, for example, you’re thrown into a lava pit of angry monsters. You’ll find an invulnerability bonus nearby, but have a limited time to solve the switch puzzle before it wears off and you’re disolved into the lava. Most of the maps contain some touches of originality like this.
But they don’t contain anything that you haven’t already seen before. No new weapons, monsters, music or sounds at all. It would helped the game if it had something – anything – outside of the levels to make it distinct, but no. Really the only notable addition to this mission pack, and probably the only reason to play it, is that it has a strategy guide companion. It’s unusual first because mission disks hardly get something of the sort, and second because few games are sold with a pre-packaged guide. In any case, the book is of high quality and will help you through some of the tougher levels should you ever get stuck.
On the whole, The Lost Episodes is a decent enough addon for a timeless classic. It’s really just a competent mission pack with a nice book to it, but if you need an excuse to crank up Doom for the umpteenth time, then this should do.
System Requirements: 80486/33 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Win95
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