Doom II: Hell on Earth Reviews

AuthorReview
geckothelizard
92,922 (52,053)
geckothelizard
TA Score for this game: 409
Posted on 24 January 11 at 12:50, Edited on 28 February 12 at 01:21
This review has 26 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
In the Christmas of 1995 I spent the majority of my holiday at my friend’s house, playing on Sony’s then newly released PlayStation. I was wowed by likes of WipEout, Tekken and Ridge Racer, but the most fun I had came a few months later, with a demo disc of the PlayStation version of Doom. It was only one level (Doom 2’s “The Gauntlet”), but we spent hours plumbing its catacombs for secrets. The full game remains one of my favourites on the system, and just about the only one that I still reach for to this day.

When Doom 2 was released in 1994, it was by most standards a glorified expansion pack, with only a handful of new enemies and additional sprites, and no graphical enhancements. Regardless, iD's crack team of level designers were churning out hit after hit, and at 30 levels (plus 2 secret) it doesn’t miss a beat. If Doom was iD’s serious attempt at Dante’s Inferno via shotgun, Doom 2 is them having fun with the concept: Level 8 ‘Tricks and Traps’ puts you through a series of death rooms, like a more violent Crystal Maze; Level 16 ‘The Suburbs’ slowly ticks over before teleporting 100+ enemies for a frantic climax; and don’t get me started on the ‘because we can’ vertigo of level 24 ‘The Chasm.’

Doom 2 has been re-released periodically since 1994, though the days of it commanding a full retail price tag are long-gone. Accordingly, we now see it join the original Doom as an 800 point XBLA release, replete with “HD” makeover, Live co-op/deathmatch, and an additional episode entitled “No Rest for the Living” featuring 9 new levels to litter with the corpse sprites of your enemies. It is a joy to find that in the space-year 2010, people are still making Doom WADs, and good ones too; ‘No Rest for the Living’ lacks the taut pacing of the core episodes, but it throws you right into the deep end with wave-after-wave of enemies, challenging even the veterans.

If you have played the XBLA version of Doom you will be familiar with the rest of the enhancements, and how little they affect the core gameplay. Whilst purists will be happy to hear that the graphics, levels and midi soundtrack are un-altered from the PC original, I miss the lighting and sound improvements introduced with the PlayStation version of Doom. Fortunately the legally-unhindered amongst you can download Aubery Hodges’ unrivalled OST, and play that as a custom soundtrack. The Live options are sadly unaltered with co-op more of a curio thanks to infinite respawns, and deathmatch often a laggy mess. It wasn’t until QuakeWorld in 1996 that John Carmack got to grips with online play, and Nerve have kept the online experience irritatingly authentic.

As with Doom, the achievement list includes the brag-worthy “Complete the game on Ultra-Violence difficulty,” amongst a sprinkling of the silly (“Kill a Cyberdemon with your fists”) and the annoying (“Get a 100 frags online”); but many will just be happy to have an excuse to play Doom 2 again. It’s a tight, exciting and challenging experience that may surprise many that played the shareware on their 486, typed “IDDQD” and enjoyed 15 minutes of splattering Imps in level 1.
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JoeCool7835
268,381 (173,320)
JoeCool7835
TA Score for this game: 282
Posted on 28 May 10 at 12:10
This review has 21 positive votes and 10 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Doom II is here, and all I can say is, "It's about f***ing time!!!" The greatest FPS of the pre-Halo era, Doom II has it all, and I can't think of a better reason to drop 8oo Microsoft points.

The story means little here, but I'll fill you in anyway. Though your nameless Marine character managed to close the portal to Hell that opened up and wiped out humanity's colonies on Mars' moons, a portal managed to open on Earth itself. So it's back into the fray, which means blasting through 30 more levels, including two secret levels that would be VERY familiar to veterans of id's other shooters. And, as if that wasn't enough, there's even a new, never-before-seen campaign included!

The game design is the definition of simple. Your goal is to get to the exit of each level with hordes of beasts in the way. Each level is designed as a maze to work through. The beasts are iconic, with a mix of beasts that return from the original Doom (like the Imps and Cacodemons) and some new ones (like the Mancubus, a fat monster with two guns for arms, and the dreaded Arch-Vile, who fires shots as powerful as the BFG and can raise enemies from the dead). Fortunately, you have lots of firepower available to you, from pistols and shotguns (including the new-to-Doom II double-barreled shotgun) to rocket launchers and the Big-F***ing-Gun itself.

The Achievements are a nice mix, though some are clearly repeats from Doom and Wolfenstein. I do like the unique ones though, like the ones for getting 20 chainsaw kills in one stage and killing the Cyberdemon with your fists (good luck).

Doom II hangs with Halo and Modern Warfare as one of the FPS shooter elite. Everyone who even has a passing interest in blowing crap up needs to play this one! clap
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FFX Brotherhood
762,269 (376,620)
FFX Brotherhood
TA Score for this game: 409
Posted on 25 September 12 at 00:22
This review has 6 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
The second game in the series of DOOM games was originally released by ID Software back in 1994 for Macintosh computers and MS-DOS. The game continued on the FPS popularity set forth by the original DOOM with very few changes to the core game-play. However it is still nonetheless a gem of its time. DOOM II: Hell on Earth was released onto the XBLA May 2010.

Story:

What’s different this time around? Basically the demons have found their way onto earth somehow and have starting killing all the humans. The survivors planned to build a spaceship to launch the remaining survivors into space; however this plan is cut-short because the only Spaceport with the potential to do this has been taken over by the demonic horde. The remaining space marines fight their way to the spaceport and manage to escape leaving you alone on the planet all alone facing your untimely end.

However you soon learn that there might be a way to stop the invasion from hell once and for all so being your bad-ass self you step through that hell portal ready to give those monsters a second serving of death.

Graphics:

Nothing is majorly different from the original DOOM on the XBLA in terms of graphics. If you are not a fan of old-pixel graphics then stay away from this game only if you cannot physically bear them. This game more than makes up in game-play than what it does in terms of graphics or complexity. I will however say some new monsters have been brought in and they keep to the whole sadistic and tortured look of some of the monsters from the original DOOM.

However I will mention that in its time the original DOOM revolutionised graphics with its full texture mapping and lighting capabilities that marked and advance in game development.

Sound:

The sound for this game consists of Metal-ambient style music played in the background of each level. Personally my opinion on the music is that it is kick-ass. Seriously go listen to some of soundtrack on YouTube you won’t regret it. But the key element of the music is to add atmosphere to the game.

Imagine opening a door and being faced with a horde of vicious imps all waiting to get a piece of you and then a beautiful metal solo starts playing. You get pumped full of adrenaline and petrol as you rush forward to cut-down the beasts. The soundtrack seriously adds a whole level of atmosphere to this game.

Game-play:

DOOM II keeps to what it knows with its emphasis on running and gunning and simple level design which requires getting to an “Exit” sign to move forward to the next level. After doing this for so many levels you will be faced with a boss adversary who is a lot tougher than anything you will have faced before in terms of DOOM. Any item that can be picked up can be done by simply waltzing over it and it appears in your inventory. This applies to armour, med-kits, ammo and new guns. Nothing majorly different from its predecessor sadly but still a great game-play to boot.

I believe that there are 2 chapters each somewhat lengthy so it should keep you occupied for a decent amount of time story wise. Don’t ask me how long the story will take to complete because I have no idea. What’s good about these sorts of games is the fact you can try for speed-runs of your favourite levels to see where to stack up in the world leaderboards,

Multi-player:

Just like DOOM this game has a 4 man co-op mode so you and your buddies can take on the minions of hell together. Or if that doesn’t take your fancy there is a somewhat good death-match system you can play. Generally speaking I had a little trouble with lag every now and then and also had problems with the online community being dead sometimes. However if you have friends with this game then this problem should be easily overcome.

Achievements:

A decent set of achievements that shouldn’t take too long to gain the 100%. The achievement list consists of things like “Chapter Completions” or “Fragging” so many players online. Although I do prefer this games achievements to that of DOOM as there is some variation in terms of what the achievements are. Anyone fancy taking a cyber-demon on with your fists?
Again nothing too complicated or time consuming here.

Conclusion:

Although it doesn’t bring anything really new to the table DOOM II has kept to its roots and is just as simple yet fun as the original in my mind. I would highly recommend this game as I found it a great time killer and also a nostalgic blast from the past. The only problem is that if you didn’t like the original DOOM then you are unlikely to like this one as nothing has really changed in terms of graphics or game-play mechanics. However if you are a nostalgia junkie I would highly recommend this game.
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