Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Doom (3DO review)

Developer: Logicware
Publisher: Art Data Interactive
Released: 1995

Doom is a first-person shooter that was licensed to Logicware and ported to the 3DO in just three months.


This version consists of 24 levels and the premise is usually to locate coloured keys to open locked doors and eventually reach the exit. Due to performance issues the gameplay takes place in a smaller window rather than full screen. There are actually six different screen sizes you can choose from (two of them can only be accessed via a cheat) which is a nice idea that's not usually seen on home consoles. However, once the action starts even the smallest screen is extremely choppy with laggy controls and a seriously low frame-rate. It's downright unplayable in parts and I actually found myself worrying for my 3DO's life as it frequently had to momentarily stop gameplay while trying to render the level! Similar to the SNES version strafing is performed via the shoulder buttons; it works well in theory but there's a half-second delay between you pressing the button and your character moving. This makes aiming your shots difficult and sometimes you'll overcompensate for the delayed controls and end up off target once the game engine finally catches up. Many times your shots will inflict zero damage even though you'll be firing directly at an enemy. On other occasions it seems to take forever to kill things, especially lowly Imps who seem to be able to take an inordinate amount of damage in this version. It's incredibly frustrating and it really does feel like you're fighting with the game at every possible turn. One of the shining points of this port is the music though; here you'll find CD quality, remixed tracks and each one sounds fantastic, especially the main theme with its metal lead guitar. Your progress is also saved so you can pick up your adventure at a later date.

Doom on the 3DO has a multitude of problems that make the gameplay experience a complete chore. It runs and plays so poorly that the horrible 32X version looks like a masterpiece in comparison!



Random trivia: This port of Doom was handled by Rebecca Heineman and as mentioned above she only had three months to complete the game. Read more about her development story here.

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