Developer: id Software
Publisher: id Software
The Ultimate Doom is a classic FPS from the 1990s. You play as a marine trying to make your way through each level, killing tons of enemies, and main boss guardians of hell. There isn’t much to the story, and Doom is primarily focused on the gameplay and exploration.
As far as gameplay goes, you need to make your way through each level by finding the exit. Sometimes you’ll need to interact with certain objects or levers, and then other times, you’ll need to find keys to unlock various doors in order to progress. Combat is the core of the gameplay though, and you’ll want to kill all enemies that stand in your way. Staying moving to keep enemies at range, and sidestepping incoming projectiles is a must.
There are a variety of enemy types, as well as a boss fight at the end of each final level of the chapter. The combat is fast paced, so you’ll want to act quickly to blast your enemies to bits before they have a chance to retaliate or overwhelm you. Shields and health do not regenerate, and ammo is limited. Each level is loaded with secret areas, and exploration is not only encouraged, but rewarded with stronger weapons, special abilities, or power-ups, along with shields, health, and ammo to keep you topped up. The more secrets you can uncover, the easier time you will have with the coming levels. Be careful though, if you die, you will lose all of your weapons, and have to restart the current level from the beginning.
- lots of secrets to discover
- fun gameplay despite the game’s age
- good soundtrack; it’s upbeat and gets you excited to fight enemies
- good replay value for those who enjoy speedrunning and/or finding secrets: there are 5 difficulty settings, and 4 episodes of the game
- controls are the biggest issue: Controls are not customizable, and there is no controller support. The game is meant to be played using keyboard inputs only, but there is mouse support. Using only keyboard inputs takes some getting used to, so I wound up using the mouse to aim instead. The only problem with using the mouse is vertical mouse movement also moves your character forward or backward. Aiming with the mouse and accidentally moving your mouse vertically can get you killed, which may be bit frustrating at times. There is no way to turn this vertical movement off in game either, but there are third-party downloads you can get to disable the vertical mouse movement.
- (nitpick) The Ultimate DOOM released in 1995; with that being said, the graphics are extremely dated, and the resolution is quite low (while I didn’t mind the graphics too much since it’s a classic, the visuals might be a turn-off for some people)
- (nitpick) sound effects aren’t the greatest, but they do give you enough of an indication that you can often tell what is coming and where from
The Ultimate Doom is a classic, and a nice pick-up if you’re looking for a huge nostalgia trip. I was actually surprised to see that the gameplay held up alright for how dated it is; and it was more enjoyable than some recent games, such as STRAFE, that tried to adopt that old school Doom feel. With that being said, the controls were problematic for me, and while it was nice to play a classic Doom game, I’d prefer to stick to the more recent DOOM games instead.