Since Wolfenstein was released on the PC there has been a desire
to play first-person 3D games. Unfortunately, in the past the
system specifications for the Amiga have been annoyingly low
(A500+1Mb) causing many of the big developers to ignore it in
favour of faster systems such as the PC and Mac. It is only since
Commodore went into liquidation that the Amiga community has begun
to realise that their Amigas can no longer cut it with the
high-powered games of today, and begun to upgrade. However, without
a large scale market, companies such as id refused to convert their
titles to the Amiga and so it was left to Amiga developers to
attempt to create their own Doom-style games, or as Amiga Power
Doom but on the Amiga
The Amiga has been graced with a number of Doom-clones that
attempt to recreate the feel of the original game and in many ways,
improve on it. However, it is not easy to create a polygon-based
three dimensional world with just two megabytes of ram, so most
companies cheated. As with the original Doom series, the
Doom-Clones used a pseudo-3D trick to create the game area. This
had a number of restrictions on what could be accomplished in the
game, such as the creation of walkways above platforms. most
developers used these restrictions to their advantage by increasing
the action or strategy involved in playing the game. Below are just
a few of the many Doom games that are available on the Amiga.
Doom Clones: Arrival- 1995
Fears- One of the first commercial Doom clones
to be released. Fears was based upon a PD game called Fear and was
designed to show that Doom could be released on the Amiga. The
A1200-only game was basic in almost every way with poor level
design, poor AI, and frustrating gameplay. It's only saving grace
was a level editor bundled that allowed anyone to design their own
levels. Unsurprisingly no one did.
Citadel- The only 3D puzzler that can be run on
the A500. It shares very little with Doom and suffers from slow
control system and a lack of interest.
Gloom- one of the first Doom games available
was the originally titled "Gloom" and is still seen as one of the
best clones on the Amiga Like Doom, it could not display platform
above or below, only in a straight line, but improved on the Doom
formula by increasing the puzzle element slightly, using switches
to open different parts of the level. There was also a greater
variety of baddies than in Doom although they were easier to beat.
Gloom is hailed by many as a classic and can be run on a stock 2Mb
A1200 system. The downside to this is that the graphics are quite
blocky compared to some of the later clones. A game fast on action
with slight use of puzzles.
Alien Breed 3D- Alien Breed, the first (and
only) successful attempt to recreate the claustrophobic atmosphere
of the Alien movies. Alien Breed 3D is something like the 6th
sequel to this groundbreaking game, and, as the name suggests, this
time it is in 3D. Imagine something like Alien Vs Predator on the
Playstation but with better gameplay and you will understand how
good this game is. It even features the welcome appearance of the
exploding barrels, shoot one and those close-by will also blow up!
Admittedly this has been done before but it seems to be more fun.
The game is more puzzle orientated than Gloom but offers a greater
variety of enemies to kill, maim, and destroy. It even runs quite
fast on a stock A1200 2Mb, although it does have a problem with my
Apollo accelerator. My only complaint is that the graphics can be
very confusing with many passageways being almost invisible.
Doom Clones- The Second Coming
A year after the original Doom clones were released the
next generation reared their heads. These games were based upon
accelerated processors as graphics began to improve. As a result
the Doom-clones began to surpass the originals graphics and
Gloom Deluxe- Gloom but even better. The game
featured a new 1*1 pixel mode, the choice of different screen
resolutions and sizes, as well as support for VR headsets, head
tracking was not supported. The game was designed for expanded
Amigas, barely running fast enough on the 2Mb A1200, even in a
small screen. The graphics had been improved to create a greater
variation in level design, but remarkably it could now be run on
any Amiga with a 020 and 2Mb ram, in contrast to its AGA-only
predecessor. The game really needs at least 4Mb and a 030 to fly.
The playability had been improved slightly with even better level
design and tougher enemies. The variety of the enemies had also
been improved to make them tougher than those found in Doom,
although it never became frustrating. At many points in the game
you could walk around a corner and be confronted with a large
ED209-wannabe who was constantly firing.
Breathless- The first Amiga game to feature 1*1
pixel mode. The game improved on other Doom clones with the ability
to look up and down. It also had intelligent enemies that actually
put up a fight, as well as long levels that fun to play.
Alien Breed 3DII- Due to the popularity of
Alien Breed 3D, Team 17 released a sequel, featuring an improved
game engine, 1*1 pixel mode, and the ability to jump. Artificial
Intelligence had also been improved as well as a better level
design. The only problem was the relatively high requirements of
the game compared to systems of the time, at least a 040 was needed
to run the game at a reasonable speed. The game also included a
rather basic level editor designed in AMOS. In 1997 the source code
was released onto the internet allowing anyone to compile the game
for their own machine, improving the speed slightly. Unfortunately
this game never released the attention it deserved and did not
receive the expected sales, contributing to Team 17's decision to
leave the Amiga.
Nemac IV- A German game that set you against a
range of mechanoids of all shapes and sizes. The game broke away
from the trend of Doom clones and tried a variety of weapons and
situations. Like Gloom Deluxe and AB3D2, Nemac IV used the
obligatory 1*1 pixel mode, and is one of the few games to use the
Graffiti chunky pixel card.
Testament- A frustrating game that takes the
Amiga back to the days of blocky graphics and unimaginative
locations. Fortunately it is slightly better than Fears.
Gloom 3- The third in the Gloom series is a
CD-only affair put together by Gareth Murfin. It uses the same game
engine as Gloom Deluxe whilst increasing the number of levels
available. Unfortunately, these are mostly PD affairs and suffer
from poor design and a complete lack of character; I'm still not
sure if the gun is meant to be a pea-shooter, it sounds like one.
The only improvement are the intro and between level screens. A
The Real McCoy
In 1998 the unbelievable happened, Doom and Quake were
released. How this affects the number of clones is yet to be seen.
Why make a clone when you can buy the originals?
Trapped 2- A 3D polygon-based puzzler that makes Doom look like
the archaic dinosaur that it is. A graphical feast with amazing
effects that wouldn't look out of place on a Playstation.
Genetic Species- Entertaining Doom-style game
that looks good and plays well. Graphically it beats most of the
other games, with the exception of Trapped 2. The game is a return
to the Aliens-inspired design and enemies; spiders burst out of
eggs in an style so familiar to Ripley fans it almost borders on
copyright infringement. The game engine is fast and has a variety
of interesting locations, twists and turns to keep most people
happy. Unfortunately, it has a distinct lack of structure, at
points forcing you to wonder what to do next.
Doom- The teacher finally comes to the Amiga.
five years after the original was released on the PC, Doom rears
its head again with the release of the source. I can honestly say
that this is the best Doom-clone on the Amiga because it is Doom.
The game remains as playable as it was five years ago and can be
enhanced with thousands of levels designed by Doom-addicts all over
the planet. Never has a game been as popular as this. The Amiga
version runs surprisingly well, with full speed being possible on a
low spec 030 card, it can even support network play against PC's
and Macs. The leader of the gang!
Quake- To be honest the only game on the Amiga
to beat Doom had to be Quake. The PC classic boasts a proper 3D
environment, all the baddies, and features that made the original
so popular in 1996. It can use the total conversions and mission
packs that makes this game so configurable and long-lasting. As was
expected, Quake requires a fast processor with 060, a lot of
memory, and a graphics card being recommended. A 040 with 18Mb can
just about cope with a small screen or dithering but it is
frustrating. A PowerPC version is too be released soon.
Gloom 3: The Directors Cut- To be released
during 1998, Gloom3DC promises "professionally" designed levels and
a greater variety of enemies to fight against. The game engine
still appears to be the same as Gloom Deluxe but the game will be
enhanced with over 60 minutes of footage, featuring "real" actors.
Hopefully it should be better than Gloom 3. We hope.