Doom Legacy review

This started out as a review for PRBoom Plus – a recently updated version of the open source Doom engine for Macs. It wouldn’t work on our test machine and no amount of troubleshooting could solve it. So, we took a step down the development chain and installed PRBoom instead. This is an older branch of the same software – and did work on our test machine.

There’s great support in the tool for the open source Doom WAD conversion ‘FreeDoom’ as well as for all the other commercial iterations of Doom available, from the original to Ultimate Doom. By default, this package hands control of forwards and backwards movement over to the mouse – and it took us some time to work out how to fix this. We also had to search out, download and install separate game files to get it running.

By this time we were in dire need of an original Doom fix, so turned to Google in search of something that would just work. Doom Legacy was what we found – last updated in 2006, but still highly playable. When we first encountered the Doom demo in 1992 it took half a day to download over a 14KB connection. Doom Legacy took about one and half minutes. And after a further 30 seconds, we were playing Knee Deep in the Dead, Doom’s famous demo episode.

OUR VERDICT

It seems incredibly anachronistic now, but is still lots of fun – and Doom Legacy adds features that were beyond the capabilities of ID, the original developers, back in the day. Enemies are still 2D sprites, but the environment itself is now rendered in full 3D, with Quake-style freelook enabled by default. For nostalgic thrills, there’s nothing better.

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