Let me preface this review by saying that I think Doom is one of the most entertaining games of all time. Its innovative gameplay (not to mention the fact that it was the first game to popularize network play) has earned it a spot next to Pong in the Video Game Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, the game that enthralled audiences in 1993 has been surpassed in almost every category by more recent offerings, most notably Duke Nukem 3D and Id's own Quake. Like an aging athlete, the time has come for Doom to hang up its gloves and exit gracefully from the scene.
If Final Doom offered new monsters, new weapons, or even new challenges, this would be a very different review. Sadly, all three are lacking in this release. The only tangible benefit Final Doom offers over its predecessors is 64 new maps to play. When you consider that there are literally tens of thousands of levels that can be downloaded off the Internet for free, you have to wonder why a mere 64 levels lists for $54.99!
On a more positive note, Id did include executables for both MS-DOS and Windows on the same CD. While the DOS version remains identical to previous releases, the Windows 95 version offers a few cosmetic enhancements - including higher screen resolutions. While these higher resolutions certainly look better than the stock 320x200 mode, the use of low resolution bitmaps still creates some heavy pixelation. In addition, the frame rate takes a nose dive when multiple creatures appear on screen, thus negating any aesthetic benefits the higher resolution may provide.
In conclusion, Final Doom may be of interest to gamers who don't already own one of the previous five releases of Doom. If you have already spent your hard-earned dollars on one of the previous titles, though, treat this game like a Baron of Hell - stay very far away from it.