Doom II is Id Software's follow-up to their award winning Doom. Published by GT Interactive, it was released for DOS in 1994, just one year after its predecessor. Unlike most sequels, this one is actually good.
Playing as the same sole surviving space marine, you have escaped the horrors of mars and arrived back on Earth. Unfortunately, hell has beaten you back home and destroyed the majority of it. Good thing you saved some bullets. You’ll square off against some familiar baddies on your home turf, but this time they brought friends. These new hellspawn have more advanced attacks than their Mars brethren and will possess the bodies of human survivors. Which makes reaching your goal more difficult, but never fear, the super shotgun is here! So reload, saddle up, and save the remnants of humanity.
Utilizing the same 3D graphics engine and 2D sprites for enemies, Doom II looks and plays much like its predecessor Doom. Including the pressing of switches and collection of key cards. The biggest difference being that Doom II is played through levels that make one big episode, as opposed to separate episodes.
While not as highly awarded as its progenitor, it was still named Game of The Year twice and is featured in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. This is another one of my favorites that I still own and play. Trust me, play one and then play this one. You won’t regret it.
See Also: Legendary Game Developers: id Software
Review by: Tasha
Published: 22 January 2017 2:26 pm
Before I got to try this gem I only knew it and its predecessor from magazine- (preview)s during the 1994 era.
Countless times we would oogle all the game's screenshots and I couldn't believe how realistic the game(s) looked. Fast forward one year to February 1995 when I finally got my brand new Pentium 60(Vobis branded) which enabled me to enter the realms of DoomII in grand fashion.(The top dog was the P90 so for a normal buyer the P60/66 was as good as it got - most of my buddies still had 386s running Wolfenstein)
A friend of mine had the game on diskettes and after I had installed/unpacked the data I was greeted by its infamous title graphics. So far... I was Really impressed BUT when the screen "melted" and the real game started I nearly fell out of my chair. Words can't describe how impressive the whole thing came across - the general design, gfx, sound & music - imagine your first kiss, rock concert, etc. it was truly a life changing experience. And after having played it for some time it only got better - big maps, creepy monsters, secrets, multiplayer & level editors. Doom/II was not simply a game it was a unique cult classic that defined what was possible on a "dormant" business platform like the PC.
The game often gets praised for its double barreled shotgun, new monsters and game balance but critized for its map set where the main point of perceived annoyance harkens back to Sandy Peterson's "sandbox" levels.
While there are some issues with his mapping style(for example bad texture usage, clunky geometry & blunt visuals) nonetheless his numerous input(s) for DoomII created a new niche of maps that strayed from the established indoor style and defined a new theme - "city maps".
Sprawling open spaces perforated with random buildings(think of E3M6 "Mt. Erebus") where different kinds of rewards/traps awaited the player, giving the maps a bit of a "non-linear" feel which clearly was distinct from the usual serialized (indoor) hassle. Despite its new charm(s) critics love to point out that Episode 1 made Doom so much better than part II while forgetting that the (registered) classic also had episode 2 & 3 which themselves could in no way compete with the level of quality that Romero's original episode 1 had established.
So it's a murky issue which seemingly boils down more to style and personal preference than to purely "objective" quality.
Nonetheless Romero's "tame" participation in the map roster of the commercial release could be seen as a substantial let down although McGee's great entries were, in a way, able to "make up for it".
Albeit merely a young buck, McGee's entries are surprisingly representative of DoomII's updated aesthetics which, with the more recent texture roster, set new standards - "brutalistic", earthy, industrialized & nifty design(s) fused with technology representing a thematic diversion from its more "sci-fi" inspired predecessor.
DoomII seems to reflect a general tier system when it comes to the, perceived, quality average of the supplied maps per mapper.
Tier 1 - Romero
Tier 2 - McGee
Tier 3 - Peterson, Green(only one map)
While not all maps of a mapper(exception Green) are limited to its tier, in general the quality is highly predictible according to whom the level was made by - e.g. a DoomII map by Romero is highly likely to be really good while a Peterson map can be good.
My Ranking(quality descending to the right within each tier)
Tier 1 - Map11, Map26, Map29, Map05, Map04, Map03, Map02, Map06, Map14, Map15, Map20, Map10
Tier 2 - Map17, Map27, Map28, Map22, Map01, Map08, Map13
Tier 3 - Map18, Map24, Map12, Map09, Map23, Map19, Map25, Map21, Map16, Map07, Map32, Map31
Tier Unclassified - Map30 (due to hardware restrictions architecturally neutered)
Despite all drama/dispute DoomII is a historically significant behemoth of a game and gave birth to things Much larger than the sum of its outstanding parts.
If you're into older machines then maybe get the original DOS exe running(+ 'novert' utility for the mouse) on something like a fast 486(pricey) or moderate Pentium(cheaper), buy a Soundblaster AWE or GUS and hook it up to a stereo and use a Big CRT as the icing on the cake.
Always remember - it's not just a game it's an obsession.
Review by: Dean Hammond
Published: 20 March 2023 8:33 am