bill-swift - October 24, 2013
You're surely familiar with the legendary Doom. This controversial classic is as much a Nineties icon as utterly shit, garish tracksuits, ill-advised hairstyles and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It rose from an obscure mail-order-only affair to become a phenomenon; paving the way for the Call of Dutys, Battlefields and Halos of the world.
The sequel to this Satanic and goretastic tale, subtitled Hell on Earth, was a fully-fledged retail release. It continues the tale of that anonymous space marine, who descended into Hell itself armed only with a pistol and a scowl and proceeded to kick several shades of ass. Immediately after the events of the original, he returns to his home planet ‘too tough for Hell to contain;' discovering to his chagrin that these demon bastards have also invaded Earth. In case that wasn't already plain from the title.
This time, it's personal. This time, as you may recall, our hero's pet rabbit, Daisy, has been decapitated and its head impaled on a stake (as demonstrated by that brief scene at the end of Doom). This time, our marine is all kinds of pissed. If there's one thing space-badasses love, after all, it's their pet rabbit. We wouldn't want to be a ghastly flesh-thing from the depths of Satan's asshole when this guy catches up with them, that's for sure
What follows is a charming little romp across the lush meadows of Earth, with interludes for cartoon bluebirds to land on the marine's shoulder and deer to cautiously approach and nuzzle at his hindquarters. Whatever ‘nuzzling' is. It's a festival of family funtimes, and a good time is had by all. Or something like that, we drank most of the Nineties away and our memory has been known to play tricks.
We're reliably informed that Doom II was, in fact, nothing of the sort. It was more along the lines of the first installment: cruising through dimly lit hallways, most of which are painted a tedious shade of gray, while all manner of abominations try to chew on your gonads. After the remarkable success of the first game, this was hardly going to be a radical departure, after all. What players wanted in a sequel was simple. More levels and more types of demon to dispatch. In this sense, Hell on Earth delivered in a big way.
The marine's arsenal is largely untouched, with only one new weapon: the Super Shotgun. As welcome as a double-barreled boomstick is, the major addition to the second outing is the array of new beasts on offer. The Revenants, for instance, are reanimated skele-demons with bloody goriness running down their crotches. Then there's the Hell Knight, a slightly less manly relation of the original's Baron of Hell which is nonetheless still described in the game's manual as ‘the worst thing on two legs since Tyrannosaurus Rex.' The Pain Elemental, a huge floating turd with furious, bitey teeth of much biting, is a favorite.
Doom II: Hell on Earth was and is regarded as a classic of the genre. Expanding on everything we loved about Doom, while retaining all of those iconic sound effects, weapons, key-collecting shenanigans and growling-heads-on-the-HUD... what's not to love?
Source of images: gamefaqs.