From the title and the screenshots, I can guess what all you readers are expecting. It looks like Doom and sounds like Doom, but more importantly, does it play like Doom?
There's no escaping the fact that the 'in' game of the moment is Doom... on the PC. Everyone seems to want to make a close version of it on the Amiga - it's rumoured there are many more to come.
Some people believe Doom on the Amiga is just not possible, and I agree with them. Others believe or hope to believe that Doom will grace their Amiga screens soon. I feel it will never be reproduced on the Amiga because of the technical differences between the PC and the Amiga. However, if Escom do produce a PC that's Amiga based then I'll have to believe it when I see it. Until then, I won't be holding my breath.
Gloom is basically a 3D shoot-'em-up that contains the most violence ever witnessed. There is an option to switch it to either meaty or messy. If messy is selected, as soon as you fire a bullet at one of the opposing soldiers they will burst into little bits and leave an awful mess on the floor which you will have to walk through. You can imagine after shooting quite a few soldiers that the floor won't remain in its shiny, polished state.
You are basically thrown into a futuristic Space Hulk maze which looks remarkably like the scenery used in the film Aliens, and the idea is to get out- alive. This is not such an easy task because there are literally hundreds of foot soldiers and bare chested madmen to plough through. These and huge robots will stand in your way, firing bullets ten times the power of your own.
As soon as you fire a bullet at one of the opposing soldiers they will burst into little bits and leave an awful mess on the floor
Throughout the game bonuses are available for collection which can affect your health and firing power. A huge gun with a full weapon boost is essential for disposing the bigger robots.
There are plenty of options to choose from before you begin the game, including a two-player split screen where you can chase your opponent around a selated maze with only yourself and a gun. You can also play Gloom through a serial link connecting two Amiga's together, so you can both play using a full screen.
The Amiga 1200 has, in the past been able to churn out some quite speedy graphics, although something has to be sacrificed for this. For more speed, the variety or amount of sprites usually deteriorates immensely. In Gloom's case, the variety of sprites is lacking and during the later levels the amount of sprites does affect the speed.
There are three main locations and in these there are some sub-missions where you have to reach the exit. There are no real missions such as rescuing colleagues which is a shame because it gives the game a plot and a storyline, which Gloom unfortunately hasn't got.
As said before, the level of violence is quite high. After shooting someone with a bullet they won't be content with falling to the floor and disappearing, but throw themselves violently in the air while spreading their various organs over the wall. On occasions I have noticed that if you get too close to an exploding body, it will squirt spots of blood on to your own face. Bu the end of a particularly nasty level you will find that your face will be covered in blood, partially covering the action.
Now, the bit that you've all been waiting for - the speed. Well, it depends you see. During the game pressing escape will bring up an option for you to change the screen resolution and size of the actual playing window. If you choose a high screen resolution the window size will automatically be reduced. You can play with a small window to emphasise speed, or with a full screen to emphasise the action. They both work well, so it's up to you.
The actual character sprites do appear very blocky when you get reasonably close - although to increase the speed, the floor and ceiling graphics can be switched off.