Double your DOOM.
It's been a while, but id, Bethesda and Nerve have finally brought the second chapter of the DOOM saga to the Xbox Live Arcade. While the game itself isn't as memorable as the original, fans of classic FPS action will still find that there are plenty of thrills to be had within DOOM II's dark corridors and hellish domains.
Players once again take control of a lone marine as you rip and tear through 32 more levels of demonic infestation, as well as a brand new chapter created specifically for the XBLA version. Veterans of the original DOOM will find that they now have access to a potent double barreled shotgun. And they'll have plenty of chances to test it out, as Hell has reinforced their front line with a host of new monsters, such as the Lost Soul spewing Pain Elementals, and the lethal ArchVile, who has the power to resurrect the dead.
From a technical standpoint, both the visuals and gameplay remain largely unchanged from the first game, save for a few new textures in the environments, and the additions mentioned above. But, I will say that Nerve have once again done a fine port job, as there are no missing animations on the sprites, missing textures, or shortened levels that have plagued ports of years past. Controls are smooth and responsive, for the most part. And thankfully, the D-pad serves as a kind of quick select between weapons that use a certain type of ammunition, which certainly comes in handy during those close encounters.
As I mentioned earlier, for as fun as this game is, I really don't feel that it stands out quite as much as the original did. The game's level design stands as the main culprit. While there are a few gems buried within, the flow, difficulty, and overall structure don't resonate with me as much as the ones found in DOOM.
Regardless, I can still recommend DOOM II to anybody who's hankering for that olde timey FPS flavor. Along with plenty of single player content, you've got co-op and multiplayer modes, leaderboards, and 200 Gamerscore points to earn. You could certainly do worse for 800pts, so go ahead and tool up.