I have been for some weeks now, playing the original Doom games. I have now completed Doom (1993) and Doom 2 (1994) (this is the first time I finished them, I did play them before, but never played them in their entirety), and I now started playing Final Doom (1996) (I started with “TNT - Evilution” because it’s the recommended one to start with) and it’s sadly not as good.
Doom (1993) has some amazing levels, episode 1 and 4 being the strongest in my opinion (E4M2: Perfect Hatred being one of the level I loved the most), it obviously has some levels that aren’t so great, but all in all, I do think it’s the strongest of the two.
Doom 2 (1994) is good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a more messy, there’s far too much fillers and unfunny “find the hidden key” levels. From what I discovered, this makes sense though, since the game was made in 10 months, and almost all the levels (18 out of 32) were made by a single guy: Sandy Petersen. Some of the levels are truly great (like the first level of the game E1M1, which is one of the most interesting way to teach people to explore to find secrets).
As said previous, most levels of Doom 2 (1994) were made by Sandy Petersen, but he almost made 19 (out of 36) levels of Doom (1993). Almost all of his levels are great, this is amazing to see someone doing so much right when designing levels.
All 3 made, in my opinion the best Doom levels ever made.
Project Brutality is a good-but-really-flawed mod, from my research it originally was a fork of Brutal Doom (the most famous Doom mod) and is now free of any of the code of Brutal Doom (following a disagreement between the developers of both projects).
It drastically add dynamism to the games, it adds a lot of weapons… but is sadly filled with “bloat”, and unnecessary feature (that you have no way to disable - unlike in Brutal Doom where you could disable those features).
The things I hated the most about it is the fact that they modify the effects of the original weapons. The effects of the original weapons is great but for whatever reason they decided to change them (not necessarily for the better), and you can’t disable this change. This is sadly not the only thing I would like to disable: the fact that you now HAVE TO reload the weapons and the fact that aim assist is almost entirely gone.
Speaking of “bloat”: I didn’t use a TON of the features it adds (like the grenades), because I have no interest in using them… some of them, I don’t get why they were added in the first place.
In the end it looks like the mod try to add features of modern FPS to Doom… which is good for the people who want that (though they seem rare), but in my case, I play Doom… to play Doom… and not to play a modern FPS.
The reason I kept playing the games with it though is because it adds stuff I like, like the new weapons and the new sounds effects, but the fact that a lot of the features simply can’t be disabled trully is the biggest problem of the mod.
The original Doom games are, still, to this day, one of the best FPS ever made. The level design of most levels is close to perfect and is truly memorable (unlike most other games I played).
They’re simple games, but so efficient in what they try (and succeed) to do: being fun.
PS: I hate the new Doom games.