PC Master/PC Games Special 1994 Doom & Doom II review

Well, I figured I'd contribute to Doom 20th's century by sharing a local Greek "Doom specialty" back from the good old days....

T'was December of 1994, and in the PC Master magazine (which then was split into PC Master and PC Games), there was a 9-page special about Doom, which was also the first time I ever read something concrete about it, even if that means that I was a year late to the party...so much, that the magazine presented Doom and Doom II together, and Doom was already v1.666 by then. But keep in mind, that was Greece in 1994 for you, the WWW hadn't taken off yet, and living in a province town only made the "backwater effect" stronger. FWIW, I think I got my copy of Doom v1.1 in that same month, though...a DOOMed Christmas indeed.



I had only vaguely heard about Doom until them, and I only had a "modern" PC (a 486 DX/40 with 4 MB of RAM) since August 1994. Based on the description and screenshot alone, I couldn't quite understand what the game was about or how the gameplay was like, since I had no experience of FPS games whatsoever. I could mentally picture a kind of rail shooter, but no further than that.

The review was EPIC from so many points of view. In the 9 pages, it had a quite romanticized, idealized and somewhat apocryphal view of the game (unusual for an action game and the editorial policy, which tender to favor adventure and RPG games), as well as an introduction to the game's editing tools (DEU and DMAUD, which were included in that issue's bundled diskette!), and even the cheat codes, right off the bat!

Even the article's first page was so Boss:




The text reads: "DOOM FROM 1 TO 1.666", translating "DOOM" quite literally as "CONDEMNATION".

Underneath it:

It has been called the game of the decade. It has been nominated for Hollywood's lounges. It has everything...it is DOOM


Hmm....looking a bit ahead (2005, Doom movie) are we? But it absolutely was the "game of the decade"...Hell, it proved good enough for TWO decades in a row! May it go on for another 100...

There are several other parts of the review worth translating, but it's quite a bit of a job to do right here and now in one post, so I'll translate as I go. For now I'll only indicate what sections the review is split in:

  • Foreword/introduction
  • Plot (focusing on Doom)
  • Doom 2 - Hell on Earth
  • Graphics
  • Platform - Requirements - Tools
  • Doom 1 Editor
  • Sound Effects - DMAUD11
  • Serial/Network/Modem Playing
Each section has its own noteworthy points, though some (like the platform one) does get a bit too much into the idealistic, even calling Doom as a technological miracle which superseded even the machine's native OS -which, perhaps, for the DOS original it was kinda true!

The game's final score tape was also one of the highest ones to date:
  • Graphics: 91%
  • Sound: 94%
  • Gameplay: 99%
  • Endurance: 97%
  • ATMOSPHERE: 100% <- Doom was the only game to ever receive an "Atmosphere" rating
Oh well...get the PDF here (includes scans of first page, and the review's 9 pages from the magazine):

http://www72.zippyshare.com/v/53837223/file.html

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Avoozl said:

That Ecstatica game on the first image sure looks interesting.


How do you like that Under A Kiling Moon special review co-featuring with Doom, then? That was really an era of innovative and fresh games O_o

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Thanks Maes! That's an awesome thing to share. I really like those reviews and articles from the past.

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Ecstatica was an interesting game. They developed a 3D engine based on ellipsoids rather than polygons. Everything was smoothly curved.

It didn't take off, though. I think there was a sequel (web search: yep, there was), but other than that the technology wasn't reused anywhere.

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Thanks for this blast from the past Maes!
I vividly remember the awesomeness of impending Doom II... The very definition of bad ass.
Combined with the multimedia and cpu craze of the day it was 'the right thing' to drool over and be amazed by.

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