Doom

doom_logo

I got completely sidetracked when preparing this week’s article after discovering that Doom, possibly my favourite game as a teenager, is now available to play in a browser.Upon finding this link I was hit by a huge wave of nostalgia and decided to delay my article on the Intel Atom article until next week whilst I pay homage to this revolutionary game.

Released back in 1993, Doom has been recognised as a pioneer in several areas of gaming including 3D graphics, network gaming and custom expansion.You take on the roll of a space marine who has been deported to Mars as punishment for assaulting a senior officer after you were ordered to attack civilians.You work your days in a lowly security job whilst a coalition called the UAC, who are also stationed on the planet, perform secret experiments with teleportation.One day they unexpectedly transport back a wave of creatures that overrun the base and either kill or possess the personnel stationed there.A military unit is sent to investigate and you are left guarding the hanger whilst the rest of the group proceeds but after hearing sounds of gunfire and violence it becomes apparent that you are now alone on the base.It is at this point that the game begins and you work your way through hell, annihilating practically everything in your path to try to make it back to Earth alive.

The game itself was distributed as shareware so that users were able to play the first episode completely free of charge but had to buy the game if they wanted to play all three in the trilogy.It is played as a first person shooter so you experience everything through the eyes of the main character with the objective of each level simply being to reach the exit leading to the next area.Unfortunately there are a number of obstacles including hoards of monsters, pits of toxic slime, ceilings that crush your character and locked doors which can only be opened with the correct key card.To encourage you to explore there are numerous weapons and power-ups hidden throughout the level and to assist navigation, an onscreen map is available which charts any areas already explored.

I would have been around twelve when this game was released and my fondest memory of it was hooking up two computers and playing with my next door neighbour either co-operatively or in a ‘deathmatch’ against each other.Although by modern day standards the graphics could be considered crude, at the time they were terrifying; if you turned off the lights and turned up the sound it was surprisingly atmospheric and even fifteen years down the line hasn’t aged badly at all and is still as playable now as it was back then.

Custom Expansion meant players were able to create their own maps and create their own characters to put in to the game; this resulted in literally tens of thousands of additional maps that you could either obtain on disc or download.As the Internet wasn’t too big in the early 1990’s many, myself included, relied instead on dial up Bulletin Board Systems to download our maps.

To obtain the version of doom you can play in your browser simply visit www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/470460 – you should be up and running in seconds which is impressive when you consider Doom used to arrive on a fistful of floppy discs.Of interest is also the website http://prboom.sourceforge.netincludes a ‘port’ of Doom which has been adapted to run on the Windows Operating System; the original was written for DOS which Windows cannot emulate particularly well.You will have to download or buy the map files yourself as they are still copyrighted but a search on the Internet should point you in the right direction.

 

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

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