We share our thoughts on the Xbox LIVE Arcade version of Doom II which includes taking a look at the game’s new features.
It’s been a while since the last version of DOOM II was released. That is, of course, if you don’t count the hundreds upon thousands of shareware rip-offs and game mods that have been created to this day. Yes, even today some people are sitting in their basements crafting more levels and puzzles to pay homage to id’s creation.
But now, we take a look at an OFFICIAL id Software incarnation of the franchise – DOOM II for the Xbox Live Arcade. Now not only is this title just the same as the DOOM II you remember sans a few things (one important point being the new campaign specifically for this release), but it’ll keep that nostalgic vibe going to the point where after you attempt to hook your phone up to your 360 to dial in and nuke someone – you realise it’s all on the LIVE network now – Ethernet, wireless, that sort of thing. I can hear the gasps of players now: “Ahhhh! The internet IS always connected now. What’s that I hear? Mbps! WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO MY SWEET 28 KBPS CONNECTION?!”
Graphics-wise, I’m happy to say that nothing’s been changed. How is this good, You may be wondering? Well, this means that it retains the nostalgic, bloody, pixely pleasures of fragging someone to bits, with all the gore right there for you. The play screen itself is quite small on default size, but you can resize it just a little bigger if necessary to get your DOOM II fix.
All the original sounds and music you remember from the classic title is back, and they all sound just as…erm…sharp? As you remember them from the 1994 PC classic. Your guns sound just as…realistic? And the death-cries and howls from your enemies who fall to your gun sound just as…horrific? As the original. That is, if you forget the tinnyness and all that jazz.
Not only can you unleash the hell on earth in the original DOOM II campaign (called Hell on Earth, funnily enough), but you’ll also get a brand new campaign in this Xbox LIVE Arcade rendition of the classic title. Called DOOM II: No Rest for the Living, in this episode you won’t find new updated HD graphics, you won’t find an easy campaign, you’ll find a bloody, dirty episode of DOOM II ready to sink your fangs into.
Story-wise, there’s practically nothing. It’s all about the mindless shooting and killing people on the hardest difficulty mode you can handle and making it to the switch at the end of every level.
Over to the gameplay side of stuff, it’s really simple: get a gun (start off with a pistol, naturally), look around (no aiming up and down, it’s all on the one plane). Even if an enemy is above or below you, all you have to be is facing his direction to shoot him. Shoot enemies enough times and they’ll die, allowing you to press on. This combat is often mixed with environmental puzzles and exploration, where sometimes you’ll have to look around for switches that open other doors, keycards to open other doors, and a whole mix of other puzzles as well.
Through the coarse of these two campaigns, or “episodes”, the levels get progressively more challenging either by adding harder and more enemies, and by making the puzzles more complex (i.e. more keycard puzzles or more switch puzzles). You’ve got a map to help you around each level, or map, but it’s a tad hard to use especially as it’s used in real time. Even when you’re in the map you can still move around…and so can your enemies.
The game promises six new enemies from the original game, and 32 new levels to get down and dirty with. You’ll pick up various weapons from dead enemies and/or in secret areas in the levels, and these give you a little extra firepower to use. The ammo in every weapon is limited, but it’s generally not a problem as most enemies drop some ammo for you to pick up and use.
Looking over to multiplayer, it’s quite simply put one of the most simple premises: You’ve got the one and only competitive game mode, Deathmatch, which the DOOM franchise was known for its simplistic, basic objective: kill everybody else and stay alive. Also now available for you to enjoy is Cooperative, which allows you to play through the game’s levels with up to three others for some multiplayer DOOM madness for the kinder natured folk who don’t like to shoot other people, but don’t mind gunning down a few demons from hell.
t’s a lot of fun for the most part but the thing is (as with other Xbox LIVE Arcade titles), it’s hard to find matches to join, and when you do join one, the controller input to screen output lag was so frustratingly long it was hard not to just quit out of a game there and then. It just wasn’t working for me.
The controls are quite simplistic (especially considering there was no analog input when DOOM came out, it was keyboard all the way, baby). Move your character with the left stick and rotate around with the right stick. Remember it’s just left and right rotation and not up and down as I’ve explained earlier. The A button is essentially your action button, which turns switches on, etc. Pushing B will switch your weapon, as will Y and pressing the X button brings up your map which I discussed earlier. Finally, pushing down the Left Trigger allows you to sprint and the Right Trigger fires a bullet.
The controls work fine and take no acclimatization to get used to.
ALL IN ALL…The Xbox LIVE Arcade version of DOOM II is more than a port, heaps of them have been done before. This version of DOOM II is all that and brings more of the same, so if you’ve liked DOOM, this might be for you. And if you’ve never played DOOM before, at $10, it can’t hurt to give it a try, especially since you’re getting all the original DOOM and so much more.
It’s more of the same really if you’re familiar with any previous DOOM titles. The new campaign introduced in this version of the game is a bit more challenging, though, which makes for a longer and more enjoyable experience.
Music and Sound
How can you not like Doom’s music? Sound effects sound the same but at the same time you wouldn’t stand for any of that HD/Surround Sound nonsense.
Are you serious? The score says 0.1 but rest assured we’re not actually giving this a mark and this doesn’t factor the overall score.
If you get a kid who’s grown up playing Halo/Call of Duty and show them this, they’ll be like “EWWW Where’s the HD!!?!?!?!”, but if you know what the original Dooms were like (and you should), then it’s pretty much the same.
It was really well thought out and planned, with me extremely interested for co-op. Unfortunately finding a match took for ages and after I managed to get into one the input lag took for ages. This repeated for several attempts and I could never really ge
They’re pretty similar for the most part to any other FPS so if you’ve virtually shot someone with your controller before it’s essentially the same stuff here, with a few minor tweaks. Overall they work fine and a general player should need no adjustments
Overall it’s an exquisite port of Doom, fantastically brought back in it’s true form. However at this point, do you really WANT to play some more Doom? If you do, then pick this straight up, because you’ll definitely enjoy it.