Format: Playstation Genre: First Person Shooter Released: 1995 Developer: id
Ah, good old Doom. I remember when it originally came out in 1993 – suddenly it became cool to own a PC, which up until that point had been the sole preserve of flight sim enthusiasts and Civilisation fans. As an Amiga owner I could only seethe in jealousy as my PC-owning mates regaled me with tales of besting Cyberdemons, while I made do with Alien Breed 3D and Gloom. After a long wait, I finally got my chance to engage the hordes of hell in 1995, with the release of Doom on Playstation.
Looking back at this game, it’s just amazing how simple it is – things that we take for granted in modern FPSs (like the ability to look up and down) just didn’t exist in 1995. Then again, if the protagonist of Doom managed to defeat the army of Hades without looking up once, perhaps the ability to swivel your viewpoint vertically is overrated. Yes, looking up is definitely for wimps.
Of course, the best bit about Doom was the multiplayer. I clubbed together with my mate round the corner to buy a link cable, and seemingly every day in the holidays he would schlep round to mine with his Playstation for a bit of a Doom sesh. In the current climate of massively multiplayer FPSs, two player link-up Doom seems almost quaint, but for most of 1995 it sucked up my spare time like a supermassive black hole.
The single-player mode was pretty addictive too. The need to find all of the hidden rooms in the game held an extremely seductive allure, and I remember spending most of the game rubbing up against walls while fumbling with the ‘open’ button. I seem to recall there was a hidden disco room, but I can’t find any screenshots of it – can anyone help?
Then there were the enemies – considering they were just pixellated 2D sprites pasted onto a pseudo-3D background, they did a pretty damn good job of being scrotum-tighteningly scary – there’s nothing more likely to give you a coronary than rounding a corner and running slap bang into a Cyberdemon.
However, my favourite baddies were the fantastically named Cacodemons – which were sort of like massive red floating Madballs that spat fire instead of water. Fun and scary.
I’ve just had a thought – were there any other Playstation games that used the link cable? The only one I can think of is Command & Conquer: Red Alert, but there must be others… It’s funny, that link cable cost us twenty quid, and the only game we ever used it for was Doom.
Still, it was worth every penny.