Fact Sheet

Authors Dave Johnson
Engine standard Doom engine
Date 1996/4
Levels 1

Review by Colin Phipps

screenshot The style of those Doom 1 PWADs from 1994 is easy to recognise for most Doom players: lots of Doom 1 textures like STARTAN, STONE3, and those ones with vines over them. Usually the textures were misaligned, even though the structures were simple. And lighting was done by room - whole rooms with pitch black or flashing lighting were common - detailed lighting was yet to come. And even though "Classic" was written in 1996, it definitely has that old style. It's definitely not a bad example of it - there are many stylish areas, and no serious errors, and the texture misalignments weren't that widespread or glaring. The yellow lights in the acid pond (see screenshot) are pretty silly, and I don't disagree that it's completely outclassed by newer levels, but I've seen plenty worse in this style.

You won't remember this level for its architecture, and I almost wrote off the gameplay at the start, when I was nearly pop-gunned to death by a bunch of troopers. But further into the level, I really began to enjoy it. There are some well-layed-out areas that give good tricky fights. It's a pity some areas let the rest down by being too easy. There are quite a few traps, though these also varied a lot in difficulty.

The authors makes use of darkness in some areas to give a different style of fight - you have to watch carefully to pick out the shotgun men and spectres. There is even a computer maze (a maze because it was winding and dark, not because it was complicated), which really adds to the old Doom 1 style. The level progression is quite good; each of the interesting areas guards a keycard, so you go get them each in turn.

This level was very hard to rate. The architecture is good compared to many levels in the same style, but below par for it's age, and pretty basic by more modern standards. And the gameplay has flaws, but there are a lot of good fights, and I enjoyed it. If you like those old levels, you'll like this.


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