Bigger, badder, and bloodier than the original, this sequel extends the carnage started in Doom. If you like viciously violent, anti-story entertainment (Seagal, anyone?) you'll slaver at the chance to slay new monsters with perfectly robust hardware. Those seeking the ultimate in home demon protection can now protect their plane of existence with a double-barreled, pump-action, combat shotgun that blasts more holes than Mobil Oil.
Among the new monsters included, Mancubus and Arch-Vile rank at the top of the hope there's nothing behind this door list. Mancubus is a big droning brute of a cement mixer who hurls balls of fire. Arch-Vile, the ragged edge of a dead man's nightmare, conjures up an evil flame of death and revives dead enemies.
Even with its darkly entertaining firepower and pleasingly grotesque menagerie, the game has its flaws, like an unrelenting and simplistic soundtrack that gets pretty annoying over time. (Don't worry, though, the game's sound effects are as brilliant as they were in the original, and remain one of its best features.) More bothersome, especially for fans of the first game, is that the repetitious action in this nasty and brutish sequel just isn't as addictive as it was in the original hit. Doom II doesn't build the same visceral or emotional connection because it doesn't enhance the original experience in any original way. Compared to Hexen, for example, which broadens the Heretic legend, Doom II adds little substance and no plot to its predecessor (space marine saves earth by killing monsters isn't a plot).
Doom II is a dark, disturbing game. And while it may not bring anything new to the genre, it can create obsession-level loyalty if you tend not to look beyond the barrel of a gun.