Fourteen years is a long time in gaming and, given the advancements made in the first-person shooter (FPS) genre, Doom 2 should be a museum piece. It isn't. What it lacks in sophistication (you can't even look up and down), it makes up for with pure, visceral shooting. Even now, nothing feels quite as satisfying as pressing the muzzle of a super-shotgun into unyielding demon flesh and watching its innards hit the wall.
PROPHET OF DOOM
Of course, given the ageing graphics, most of the work is done by your imagination. But Doom 2 still has enough atmosphere to make this feel effortless. Indeed, the game's grasp of dread-inducing tactics is to the survival horror genre what its shooting is to the FPS. From the cunning placement of enemies to the masterful use of sound effects and lighting, Doom 2 is a master class in creepy tension.
But what makes this game a must-play even now? It's the level design that does it for us. Without the scope or raw horsepower available to modern shooters, Doom 2 makes a virtue of its claustrophobic environments to create some of the most intricate shooting galleries ever. As a result, areas you thought safe suddenly turn against you as hidden passages slide open and disgorge another slew of hell spawn.
Doom 2's apparent point and shoot simplicity hides a complexity and satisfaction that stand it in good stead among today's bigger and better-looking shooters. In short: it may be getting on a bit, but dismiss it at your peril.
Doom 2 remains a superb shooter that even newcomers will appreciate.