An endless horde of Hellish demons are attacking Earth, and you are the only one that can stop them. But you have to do it without the modern conveniences like jumping and looking down. Doom II is the sequel to the game that helped define first-person shooters and brought a new level of challenge to the (then fresh) genre.
The game is a nearly identical port of the original computer version and has no snappy graphical upgrade or soundtrack remix. The pixels are huge, the sound effects are…disturbing, and the challenge is real. The game can be played on a few difficulty levels, and if you pick the hardest you can see where Halo got their inspiration for Legendary mode. The controls are laid out nicely on the Xbox controller giving easy access to different classes of weapon and the run button is conveniently mapped to the left trigger. That’s important because you will be running at warp speed through crowds of hellbeasts blasting your double-barrel sawed off shotgun as you go.
For the XBLA version, there have been a few additions, including a new chapter of levels. They offer an increased challenge and give those of us who remember the game inside and out something refreshing. The game can now be played locally or via XBL in deathmatches and co-op. Deathmatches online seemed glitchy, but co-op can be fun as many people never enjoyed playing Doom II as a group.
Playing through this game after 16 years after playing it for the first time, it still holds up. As a history lesson and a genuine classic gaming challenge, DOOM II is a great addition to any XBLA library. With new levels and a nearly identical experience of the original version, this is easily worth the $10. If you enjoy FPS then you owe it to yourself to play one that set the bar.