DOOM II: Hell on Earth

DOOM II: Hell on Earth
4.5
Platforms: PC, Mac, PC-98, GBA
Publisher: id Software
Developer: id Softwarev
Genres: 3D Shooter / First-Person Shooter
Release Date: September 30, 1994
Game Modes: Singleplayer / Multiplayer

Snap316_1Evil rears its ugly horns once more.

While Doom was a revolutionary game, Doom II: Hell on Earth was merely an extension of the previous game’s success. It retains the ‘more is better’ approach that we’ve seen in Wolfenstein’s Spear of Destiny, with the obvious difference that Spear wasn’t marketed as a sequel. As such, you won’t see anything drastically different here – it’s Doom all over again, but with more of the stuff that made it great in the first place.

Having sent the armies of the damned back to Hell, you return to Earth for peace and quiet. Naturally, some fool forgot to close the dimensional portal, leaving a gateway for all those evil denizens to invade the planet and take over. Armed with your worthless pistol and brass knuckles, you venture once again as Doom Guy to beat the invasion and drive the demons back.

Although Doom 2 is essentially the same game with new levels, monsters and one mean double-barreled shotgun, the game is structured slightly differently. There are no episodes this time, but instead the game flows as one stream of linear levels. The campaign is still divided among three major themes – you start inside a spaceport, then continue through a besieged urban environment, and finally enter Hell in its appropriately sinister form. And while the Hell from the first Doom was cool, the one here is truly surreal.

Doom II is also set outdoors more often, with levels that can take tens of minutes to traverse entirely. Puzzles are tougher, secrets are more mischievously hidden, and traps are all the more devious. One level for instance, Tricks and Traps, is devoted entirely towards screwing with you. Another is set in the middle of a huge industrial city, with buildings you can enter and explore. The levels are overall just more interesting, and, about halfway onward, more spooky.

Snap298_1There’s only one extra weapon here, raising the total number of firearms to seven. You’ll need every shell you can find though, because Doom 2 has a bunch of new monsters to deal with. Take the Mancubus, a fat ugly git who showers you with a stream of flaming rockets. The nimble Arch-Vile bursts you into flames from afar, never misses, and will also ressurect fallen demons to fight beside him. And if you’ve missed the Spider Mastermind from Doom, great news. Doom 2 has an army of smaller, though still deadly, robotic spiders to kill you.

And there you have it. It’s Doom all over again, but with more action, more monsters, more levels and more carnage. And if you’re insane enough to try to beat it on the higher difficulty levels, it’s got more pain too.


System Requirements: 386DX CPU, 4 MB RAM, 17 MB HDD, DOS

Base Game (Needs DosBox):

Complete Pack + Source Port
Magnet Link

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3 Comments

  1. Rimantas says:

    I play it now on ultra-violence, this Doom is MUCH harder than first one. Ultimate Doom had punishing levels in fourth episode, but here you will get torture. I have never finished all Doom 2 because i always droped it after first ten levels, but now i’m on challenge to beat it. Now suffering in level 15 😀

  2. Rimantas says:

    I have finally beated this game on ultra violence + all secrets. No cheats, no freelook. I play all classic Dooms on Chocolate Doom source port, because it gives 100% vanilla Doom like it was in 90s. I cursed few last levels, but then i reached 30th level… I thought it’s not possible until i have found way to beat it. You will never see levels like this in any other game.

  3. Viktor says:

    DoomII got a lot of shit in some of the official reviews.

    I think PC Gamer was pretty positive but there were other magazines, Euro based, that were not so favorable. Some tuned in to the quagmire of “it’s not something revolutionary or inventive” and played it of like it’s a bland extension and nothing more… totally ignoring that its greatness essentially rests on the fact that it just enhanced the original without rendering former obsolete. Doom was still more than worth playing even after Doomsday changed the world and gave us the juicy followup.

    I played the game in April/May 95 for the first time and had a hard time beliving what my eyes were seeing. I was so impressed that it motivated me to start coding myself and learn what an how on earth such a treat could be realized on the meager hardware of yesterday… also the enquiry who would be talented enough to pull off such a amalgamation of pure awesome.

    The level design is often criticized on forums like Doomworld(.)com were the “grand masters” decided that especially Petersons maps(city levels for example) are just sandbox maps or simply shite. Even McGees and Romeros entries have a hard time pleasing the “experts” when it comes to them being worthy of Episode 1 in the original Doom. I personally found some of the city maps pretty intiguing and exploring them was awesome… especially if you’re a secret fiend.

    DoomII has a very distinct feel to it and what was a bit of a precursor to what finally took form in Quake – everything is something of a wild hodgepodge BUT somehow it seems to fit together and this chaos being exactly what makes it so unpredictable and a classic. The maps are very abstract interpretations of certain themes (fortress, temple, installation, waste tunnels, etc.) which could be taken as a minus but after playing them ones brain fills the gaps way better than any mapper could do. Like with many old games, constraints mixed with excellence in art, sound and algorithms helped creating a joyful ride for the senses.

    DoomII dates back to the time when id software meant business in a positive sense – a small, young, energetic, talented and cunning team doing what they did best.

    p.s.: The review on this site, compared to some magazines in 94/95, took a fair jab at it without hype or venom – Props!

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