A look at R-Comp’s Final Doom re-release

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download (1)Originally released for RISC OS in 1999, Final Doom has received a bit of TLC from the ever busy chaps over at R-Comp to make it compatible with RISC OS 5 and newer hardware, which includes the Raspberry Pi, ARMX6 and the Titanium.

The game uses the engine, items, and characters from Doom II, but instead has 70+ levels not available in the Doom 2 game, and also includes the original Doom first episode for you to test your whits on..

What’s new in this updated version?

The game is now compatible with 32-bit RISC OS computers, including modern boards such as the Raspberry Pi, Beagleboard, Titanium etc.

A cool new feature in this version is the game will now run on RGB/BGR swapped systems such as any Titanium-based RISC OS computers.

This version has had a lot of work done on the music, several different soundtrack options are available, including a new high quality digital soundtrack in place of the MIDI – this was recorded from top-of-the-line original equipment to give the best quality audio.

The price point is another change with this re-release. The game can be downloaded from R-Comp software distribution store Pling Store for the reasonable sum of £11.99 (£9.99 +VAT), which is pretty good considering the amount of life you can get out of this game, and that’s before you consider the countless amounts of downloadable levels available on the web.

A look at the game itself

Final Doom uses the same engine and much of the same graphics as Doom 2, with the difference being it has two 32-level iWADs (level packs of sorts). The two iWADs are all very well designed (mostly, there are a few sketchy ones) and are in sync with the overall Doom mood and feel. Something that hits you pretty early one when playing Final Doom is its difficulty, it is considerably harder than Doom 1 and 2.

Performance-wise, the game will run well on anything from a RiscPC upwards (a pre-StrongARM RiscPC might run slightly slower, but it should still play fine).

The Story 

As with all other Doom games, both games kick straight into the action which pits you against wave after wave of hell-born daemons, but you’d be wrong in thinking it was just mindless violence. Oh no, there’s a story behind the blood and guts. Here’s a rundown of both iWADs’ storylines.

download (2)TNT: Evilution – In TNT: Evilution, the Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) are once again intent on developing and experimenting with dimensional gateway technology.

They set up a base on Io, one of the moons of Jupiter, with a solid detachment of space marines for protection. Their operations are ruined however when a a spaceship from Hell arrives on Io. Hordes of daemons emerge from the spaceship hell bent on whipping out life on Io.

The Plutonia Experiment – Taking place following Hell’s catastrophic invasion of Earth, the people of earth are rebuilding, and so are the UAC – who have reformed.

The scientists working for the UAC start working on a device known as the Quantum Accelerator that is intended to close invasion Gates and stop possible invasions.Their work is cut short however when a huge gate from Hell opens up and unleashes havoc.

Comparison vs free Doom ports for RISC OS

I know what some of you might be thinking. Why pay £11.99 when there are free options for RISC OS out there, Jeff Doggett’s port being one of them, although there’s quite a few (albeit older) others floating about.

All the free Doom ports for RISC OS don’t come with any level files, so if you’re wanting to stay within the law, you have to shell out for the official level files (WADs) anyway. The biggest pro’s in favour of R-Comp’s commercial version is it’s ease-of-use and stability.

There’s no setup like you have with the free options, which require sourcing WAD files and placing them in a location the game is expecting the file to be in – plus the game does appear to be a lot smoother and far less buggy than other versions out there. The R-Comp version also has networking support, which I don’t believe is available with any other port for RISC OS.

Final Doom can be purchased as a £11.99 download from R-Comp Pling Store. If you do pick up a copy of Final Doom, or if this review’s made you crave a Doom session then I highly recommend you check out Martin Bazley’s RISC OS made (using Deth) WAD files, the ones I’ve tried have all been very well designed.

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