Blasphemy! A Doom release that isn’t deemed a five-star game? Well yes, but only because we’re well into 1996 and the Doom engine has been slowly superseded by technological advances left and right, most notably those put forth by Quake, id’s very own next generation 3D shooter. Gaming has steadily advanced and Doom was really showing its age by this time, yet id Software thought it appropriate to repackage their venerable demon shooter for one last berserker punch. And truth be told, it’s damn painful, but in a surprisingly good way.
From The Bowels of Doom
Final Doom is a collection of two WAD files (TNT: Evilution and The Plutonia Experiment) containing 32 levels each, with a total of over 60 gruesome levels. These aren’t for wimps – they’re some of the most sadistic levels you’ll find. The map design at id has moved up a notch as Hell on Earth was made, and the maps in Plutonia resemble that game more than those featured in the original Doom as a result. Evilution, the other half, is a map pack developed independently and specifically bought for Final Doom when it was completed by Team TNT, its original authors. Both are unapologetically murderous in difficulty, especially if you choose the higher modes.
The only real change in the game engine is the new Windows 95 launcher. It allows players to access all of the things that were previously only available to those players who’d mastered the command-line interface of Doom easily (erm, the “command-line interface of Doom” sorta describes DOS, eh?). It allows you to jump to any level, set the difficulty levels, set screen resolutions and redefine the interface. Because it’s a native Windows 95 application, there’s no sound card setup, and you can play in multiple screen resolutions.
But of course you don’t have to rely on the launcher alone to play the game. Numerous third party source ports have made it possible to play Doom (and Doom Engine-powered games) on modern systems with little trouble. Look for programs like Doomsday, ZDoom, Zandronum or Doom Legacy (which is compatible with several operating systems).
Once that music and those creepy sound effects start oozing out your speakers, you quickly realize that you’re still in for what has always been the most visceral experience to date on the PC. Sure, other 3D games at the time were more sophisticated, but Doom is the original â€“ and for a great time it was the best â€“ at simulating pure dread. When you walk into a dark hallway, turn the corner and stand face-to-face with hellspawn, it’s much more effective than walking through a strip bar while being attacked by a pig in an LAPD uniform. So pick it up if you’re up for a challenge and are happy to spend that extra quality time in Hell.
System Requirements: 386 Compatible CPU, 4 MB RAM, VGA Card, Windows 95