Ever since Doom 2 came out I kinda forgot about Doom 1. Always thought that the lack of monster diversity would be too much to bare after the additions to Doom 2. But recently I decided to replay all the old school Doom games and realised I actually like Doom 1 more than 2. Simply put the athmosphere and "story" in 1 is great, makes 2 seem like a collection of 30 random maps. It all comes down to the maps. They actually seem like genuine locations (especially episode 1). As a kid I didn't really care about that, it was just all out action, but now I can appreciate the atmosphere found in the maps of Doom 1.
That being said, thought I'd list my top 5 favorite maps from Doom 1. I'd like to hear others favorites and opinions of these maps.
5. E3M6 - Mount Erebus
Definitely the most unique Doom 1 map, being outdoors and very open ended. I think it works very well for the 3rd episode, feels like you are fighting on the surface of Hell. Would have liked to see more outdoors maps for ep3 to further make it stand out from the previous 2. Guess E3M2 is an outdoors map, but due to very limited space doesn't feel much like it. Anyway, think Mount Erebus was very well pulled off for Doom's engine.
4. E2M6 - Halls of the Damned
This map always creeped me out. The ominous music and the brightly lit hallways create a nice contrast. You just know something bad is around the corner. I want to get out of here as quickly as possible! With the many Barons of Hell in such tight corridors I find this one of the hardest maps of Doom 1. I also like the quest to go out there and find all the 3 keys, which you can do in any order you want.
3. E1M2 - Nuclear Plant
This is a great example of what I wrote above. The map simply feels like a genuine location and looks beautiful. When I think of Doom 1 this is the map I have in my mind. The dark corridors towards the end always scared me as a kid. I like how the dark area is completely optional and filled with secrets. If you brave yourself to go there you can get the chainsaw. I love how you can get a glimpse of the chainsaw area from another part of the map, making you wonder just how the heck can you get there. All in all, this map just feels right and oozes with atmosphere.
2. E2M2 - Containment Area
Some reason this map always reminded me of the film Aliens. I didn't really think about it before, but the map has no zombies. Think they really were going for a special scary feel with this map. You just feel lost and scared running around the crate mazes. Like how the players in co-op spawn around different parts of the map, again adding in to the feel of being alone. The map also makes great use of the yellow key, rewarding players who return back to the crate area to explore those previously locked doors. Oh, and it has that very cool crusher section near the end. Again, great atmosphere, and a well designed map that feels like a genuine location.
1. E1M3 - Toxin Refinery
This is my favorite Doom 1 map. I like everything about this map, from the eerie music to the well designed layout which forces you to track back to previously visited areas. I can imagine massive battle taking place in the map between the marines and hell, before the marines being overrun and a calm silence falling over the place. The map also introduces the player to the demon and spectre.
This map has a great sense of mystery to it. Tons of cool and well hidden secrets. I like how the map shows you a glimpse of these secrets (the soul sphere in the window, the zombie filled secret level area you can see from the window above, a box of rockets up there where the imp was). Seeing them makes you search for a way there. The secrets are also well executed, just hugging and pressing every wall won't cut it, most of them require you to listen carefully for audio cues. It was a perfect choise to have the entrace to the secret level on this map.
Last edited by on Jul 12 2012 at 07:37