DOS – 1993
Description of Doom
Doom and its sequel, Doom II, are arguably among the most important games in the history of PC gaming. Though there were older games that involved the exploration of 3D rendered environments in first person, including 1990’s Castle Master, in which you hunted demons and found treasures in a fully 3D-rendered haunted castle, the first person shooter boom began in earnest with Apogee Software and id Software’s smash hit Wolfenstein 3D. Doom took the \cough\ historical setting of the shooter and put it in space. Military research bases on the Mars moons were experimenting with transporter technology and accidentally opened a gate to hell, though which demons poured forth. Doomguy fights his way through the Martian bases and Hell itself to try to stop the onslaught. By today’s standards, it was a thin plot, but people weren’t playing these classic shooters for the story. While Wolfenstein was really only 3D in name [dungeons had no Z axis], Doom built upon what the id Team had made, in terms of both what a shooter could do and the market for FPS it created with the shareware distribution model. Doom had big, truly 3D environments, numerous texture patterns, and variant lighting. These all set Doom apart from and above the Wolfenstein clones which still relied on “flat” environments and had static lighting. The use of textures and lighting in the environment allowed id, and later the modding community, to create a greater variety and diversity of levels, avoiding repetitious rooms and hallways that all looked and felt the same. They also allowed for the creation of jump-scare set pieces that became one of Doom’s hallmarks: you think you’ve cleared the room; you grab the key/push the button; the lights go out; suddenly doors open all around you, and you’re swarmed by demons! Doom’s gameplay is pretty timeless. Most, though not all, of the basic standard features of the FPS as they’re recognized today are here. It’s designed for easy play on a keyboard [believe it or not, mice were once uncommon and not particularly useful], and its wide range of difficulty settings can accommodate everyone from the neophyte to the most hardened twitch gamer. Plus, the vast surfeit of fan-made content and expansions means there’s no practical end to how much Doom you can play. Doom is one of the most popular, most played, and maybe most discussed game franchises in history, so it would be easy to say we missed something in singing its praises [did I mention it’s got cool music?]. The real question is, if you haven’t played Doom already, why haven’t you downloaded it and started playing it now?
Review By P. Alexander
Doom is available for a small price on the following websites, and is no longer abandonware. You can read our online store guide.
Various files to help you run Doom, apply patchs, fixes, maps or miscellaneous utilities.