A while back I was thrilled to see R-Comp delving into their back catalouge of RISC OS games by re-releasing Final Doom for modern RISC OS machines, and at a reasonable price too.
Andrew and the team haven’t stopped at Final Doom, the Pling Store now features the Doom Trilogy for modern RISC OS 5 computers – including the Raspberry Pi!
Based on R-Comp’s original ports of Ultimate Doom and Doom 2 – the pack includes the main Doom trilogy (Doom 1, 2 and Ultimate) as well a number of official expansions and other additional levels.
Thrown into the mix is the RISC OS version of Wolfenstein, which is not natively supported by modern (32-bit) RISC OS but it does work well under Aemulor. A Doom-engine version of Wolfenstein is also provided, which will run natively on modern RISC OS.
What is Doom?
In case you’ve been living in a cave or under a horrificly oppressive regime over the last two decades, you’ve most likely come across Doom in some shape or form, from the various games to the poorly-received 2005 movie. Doom is a series of first-person shooter games developed by id Software. It focuses on the exploits of an unnamed space marine operating under the auspices of Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC), who fights hordes of demons and the undead in order to survive.
Along with Wolfenstein 3D, Doom is considered to be one of the pioneering first-person shooter games and was one of the first titles to bring 3D graphics, network multiplayer and third-dimension spatiality to the masses.
What’s new in this re-release?
Much in the same veign of their Final Doom re-release, a lot of work has gone into the music. Several different soundtrack options are available, including a new high quality digital soundtrack (optionally) in place of the MIDI.
The game supports a sizeable array of add-on PWADs and user-created levels. Network multiplayer is still present in this release and is compatible with newer 32-bit RISC OS systems, including the Raspberry Pi.
Doom is now fully compatible with Titanium and other systems that require RGB/BGR colour swapping, meaning that this release will run on anything from a battle-worn RiscPC to a an ARMini, TiMachine or Raspberry. It also seems to run well under RPCEmu emulation.
The games pack is priced at a reasonable £14.99 price point – which considering the original price upon release all those years ago was £32.50, it’s not a bad deal.
What’s the advantage when compared to FreeDoom?
RISC OS has had many ports of Doom over the years, most notably the excellent FreeDoom, ported to RISC OS by Jeff Doggett. So naturally you might be thinking, why should I throw £15 at a game that I can play for free?
While it’s a fair argument, for the £14.99 price you can’t really complain if you take into account that all the level files are included – as opposed to having to source them yourself (legally!) in the case of FreeDoom and other free ports of the game.
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.
If you look at what’s included in return for your cash – Three Doom games, a whole host of additional levels including official expansions, Wolfenstein 3D and a Doom-powered version of Wolfenstein, it’s really not to be sniffed at.
The Doom Trilogy can be purchased as a £14.99 download from R-Comp’s Pling Store. If you do pick up a copy and/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.
UPDATE: R-Comp have since made the Wolfenstein 3D version bundled wiith this trilogy fully 32-bit and ARMv7 compatible.