Final Doom
Review by Al Giovetti, 10/03/96
Price: $50-$55
Genre: action adventure Doom-clone
Release: June 1996
Developer: Id Software
Programmer: John Carmack, John Romero and Dave Taylor
Music: Robert Prince
Art: Adrian Carmack and Kevin Cloud
Producer: Sandy Peterson
Publisher: GT Interactive
Phone: 800-610-4847
Website: http://www.idsoftware.com/, http://www.gtinteractive.com/
Requirements: 486DX2, 66 MHz, 4 MB RAM, 1X CD ROM drive, VGA with 512 KB video RAM, joystick, mouse, sound board, DOS or Windows 95 which requires 8 MB of RAM.

History: Doom has won a spot on the Video Game Hall of Fame right next to Pong, which is a rather stupendous achievement. No amount of Doom-saying or other negatives on the almost infinitesimal numbers of gamers who do not like Doom will remove it from that place of honor. Doom is unquestionably one of the most riviting and enjoyable computer romps to ever be invented. Final Doom was released just after the shareware version of Quake, but incorporates none of its innovations.

Company line: This is the end. The end of the undead marines, the acid-drenched hallways, and the hell-spawned hordes. The final chapter in the explosive, ever-addictive Doom series. This is Final Doom. Itís two new, 32-level episodes complete with new story lines ("The Plutonia Experiment" and "Evilution"), new frighteningly realistic graphics, and new pulse-pounding music. It's liable to get real messy around here. Be prepared.

Game play: Final Doom DOS offers no new monsters, no new weapons, no new viewpoints, no new sound track, no new lighting effects, no new plot line, no real challenges, and no real changes over the initial game. Doom was released over three years ago and has brought us other sequels like Ultimate Doom and Doom II. Now Doom offers us 64 new levels at almost a buck a piece.

There is nothing new here in many years at least since 1993 and perhaps earlier if you count FTLís Dungeon Master as a Doom game. You kill a lot of guys, search for loot and secret doors, pick up power ups and keys, open doors, and move into the next area, until everything is dead. You do not talk to anyone, you do not solve any puzzles, you really do not examine any items or discover any interesting plot twists or tid bits of information.

Why do the monsters keep coming? After killing fifty billion monsters, you would think they would be taking courses and seminars on negotiation, diplomacy, surrender techniques, advanced running, and high speed vehicles. Donít these monsters talk to one another? Or perhaps the real challenge is to die with as much panache as possible. They are monsters and it is mindless action arcade fun. Go figure.

Missions and careers: In Doom you conquer the game level by level, and Final Doom gives the Doomites another 64 levels to conquer in addition to the thousands of levels that are available for free on the internet.

Interface is pretty normal with load (F2), save (F3), end game (F9), quit (F10), new, and options displayed on the start up screen with a red eyed skull showing the current selection. Options are accessible at any time with the backspace key provide end game, messages on and off, Graphic detail level (F5), screen size (+ or -), mouse sensitivity, and sound volume (F4).

The gamma correction (F11) adjusts for screen brightness, messages on or off toggle (F8), quick save (F6) and quick restore (F9) are easily accessible while playing by hot key. At the bottom of the screen is shown the active weapon, ammunition, heath, weapons, your avatarís visage, armor, rockets, shells, bullets, key card list of three, and cells. Pressing the return key displays the last message when messages are active.

An auto-map is present but does not provide transportation from one location to another which is a large deficiency for this type of game. Once the level appears to be cleared an automatic transport system would save a lot of running around searching for secret areas. You cannot simultaneously access the auto-map and play the game at the same time as in other Doom clones, which is another design blunder. You can move but you cannot see where you are going in first person perspective view and monsters do not show up on the auto-map.

The game is controlled by keyboard, joystick, mouse, or a combination of all these to shoot, move, open doors, and pick up items, power ups, ammunition, and keys. You cannot look up, down or jump.

Graphics: The Windows 95 version has higher resolutions than the original 320x200, including 640x480, 640x400, and 320x2400 pixels.

Music and sound is provided by Robert Prince who did provide a few new music sound tracks for this round of the battle.

Multi-player: Up to eight players over network and internet, and two player over null modem, and phone modem. A forward thinking cooperative mode can activate other team members viewpoint with the F12 key press. One of the best things about Doom games is the multi-player features. Jason reports that network play is limited to four player, we did not test the program on the network.

References:
Jim Varner, http://www.gamespot.com/action/findoom, (46%).
Steve Bauman, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 71, October, 1996, pg. 88, 3/5, (60%-80%).
http://www.cdmag.com/action_vault/final_doom_review/page1.html
Jason DíAprile, Computer Player, volume 3, number 5, October, 1996, pg. 64, 6/10, (60%).