Reader Review: DOOM II

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Mark does, as he wonders whether chainsawing imps is as much fun as it was sixteen years ago.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Mark Duval. If you’ve played DOOM II, or just want to ask Mark more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.


DOOM was the phenomenally successful PC shareware title released in 1993 which popularised the First Person Shooter (FPS) genre. The sequel was released the following year. The plot of DOOM II continues on from the end of the first game, where you play the part of a space marine who has battled a demon infestation from hell on Mars and its two moons. You’ve now arrived back on Earth where the demons have followed you and have created hell on Earth. The plot is not especially deep and is really just a flimsy excuse to shoot things, but that’s part of the fun.


The Action: DOOM II is a fun fast-paced game. While you can sneak up behind a demon and surprise it with your chainsaw, DOOM II is not a stealth based game, but is instead a fast action FPS where you run into rooms, choose a weapon, and shoot demons and try not to die.

The Atmosphere: For a sixteen year old PC game with obviously inferior graphics and sound by modern standards, it does a great job at keeping you on edge and spooking you. The varied lighting throughout the levels creates suspense and the sound effects of the demons grunting in the background will have you nervously trying to gauge from which direction the demons are coming. Playing this game in the dark with the sound turned up is a fun way to frighten yourself silly.

The Level Design: There’s the 32 original levels of DOOM II plus nine extra levels created exclusively for this Xbox Live port. All the levels are cleverly designed and balance adrenaline-pumping demon-shooting action with using your brain to figure out the best way to clear through the levels.


The Price: The original DOOM on Xbox Live sells for 400 Microsoft Points. DOOM II, however, sells for 800 Microsoft Points which is a bit excessive for a 16 year old game that is only a slight upgrade from the original.

Lack Of User-Created Content: A notable feature of the original PC Doom games is that players could create, share, and play their own levels. No such thing is possible in this console port, which is a pity.

DOOM II is an enjoyable action FPS. It’s an exciting single player game but also an exciting multiplayer game. It has stood the test of time and, whether the DOOM series is something you’ve already played on the PC back in the 90s or is a game you’ve never played but only heard about, DOOM II is still fun to play today. I recommend you download it on Xbox Live and check it out.

Reviewed by: Mark Duval

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    Nice review, but you shoudldn't say the graphics are "inferior"... the aesthetic of that game is lost when you play it on PC with a high resolution pack installed. The game drips art style, more than most new games, and it's completely unique from everything else. Things like the pentagrams, faces in the walls, zombies on spikes, etc... Same with the sound effects and the music... what modern FPS could get away with a constant heavy metal soundtrack?

    I love everything about this game, it's technical flaws included. If you change just one thing, it ceases to be Doom...

    Good to see some original retro content.

    Doom 1 was originally 800 points, but got a permanent price reduction after a year or so.

    I was personally a little disappointed with the lack of any form of graphical filter as most of the ports have these days. On a 50" LED, the game sure looks dated.

    I'll admit it, I've been spoilt by SSF2THDR, R-Type and TMNT Re-shelled.

    Apparently DOOM is only 400 MSP because it is a an "arcade hit". It was once 800 MSP as well and still is in America. I dont know about you but its taken me a quite large amount of time to battle through the blood bath again, so I think its worth it.

    Wow, 16 years, hard to believe it's been around that long, scary I can actually remember when it came out!

    Thanks for the feedback everyone :)

    Justin: I mean "inferior" on purely a technical level. On an aesthetic level, I agree with you, it still looks and sounds awesome.

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