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Doom 64

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Released: 1997

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Nintendo 64

Publisher: Midway

Developer: Midway

Submitted by: jonathan winter

Doom’s huge success meant that the seminal first person shooter was ported from every machine from the Gameboy Advance to the Atari Jaguar. Doom’s famous scaling sprites, midi tunes and brutal violence gave near endless enjoyment to gamers on various systems and endless mileage to the tabloids looking for something to blame for the demise of society. Id software encouraged gamers to create their own levels and some of these were given official releases and unleashed on various formats. In amongst all these near identical versions, there does remain one anomaly in the Doom catalogue: Doom 64. Thirty two exclusive levels and a complete graphic and sonic overhaul make this well worth hunting out for the Doom aficionado who can complete all the previous games with their eyes shut and knows all the locations of every secret in each level.

Wisely, the classic nuts and bolts of the gameplay have been left untouched. Get thrown into a map (military base chic meets satanic lair) liberally stuffed with aggressive soldiers, imps and demons to be blasted, hunt down the colour coded keys, avoid radioactive waste and being crushed and get to the exit alive.

The tinny music of the original has been banished and replaced with a menacing soundtrack of ominous low rumbles, scraping metal, wailing voices and ambient bleeps. The familiar grunts and roars of Doom’s protagonists have been kept alongside the memorable gun reloads, opening doors, switches and transporter effects. Doom’s simplistic but effective lighting has also been given a radical revamp with levels bathed in soft neon hues. Your enemies have been given a makeover as well. While still remaining sprites, they now sport textures, ridding them of the pixelated look of their predecessors.

Doom 64 has the same tried and tested gameplay (but no multi-player), it’s new eerie style works well but inevitably does makes it feel slightly less “Doom” like. In comparison to the modern FPS, this is a pretty basic game but the challenge of defeating a new level is just as intense and compelling as it was back when Doom first hit the PC