These games were incredibly popular in the 90s. They laid the foundation for modern “boomer shooters”. Below are some of the best examples.
Developed by id Software, the original Doom is considered not only one of the most important FPS games, but also one of the most significant games of all time. This is not the first representative of this category, because a year earlier id Software presented gamers with Wolfenstein 3D with similar mechanics. However, Doom perfected it and thereby popularized it.
Any successful product, be it video games, books, or shampoo, has imitators. The same can be said about Doom: after it there were clone shooters.
Star Wars: Dark Forces
Given the sheer number of video games set in this universe, it’s no surprise that at least one of them is Doom-inspired. The release of Star Wars: Dark Forces took place a year after the popular shooter. The core mechanic has been very successfully transferred to the Star Wars universe.
Younger players may be surprised to learn that LucasArts was famous in the 90s for more than licensed Star Wars and Indiana Jones projects. The company has created excellent adventure games such as Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle and the Monkey Island series.
This is the first title from Insomniac Games. The American studio has developed great games for the whole family – for example, the “Ratchet and Clank” franchise and the original “Spyro the Dragon” trilogy, as well as the last two parts about Spider-Man.
The Doom clone seems like something out of the ordinary for the creator of cheerful platformers. However, Disruptor is one of the best representatives of the unofficial genre.
This game, like the aforementioned Star Wars: Dark Forces, tried to differentiate itself from other similar shooters of the 90s. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that it was released based on the famous film franchise. Alien Trilogy was developed by Probe Entertainment, also known as Acclaim Entertainment. She went bankrupt in 2004.
The graphics of the Alien Trilogy are not particularly impressive. This is a very serious problem for a project based on the film. But the rest of the game is great: the realistic soundtrack deserves special attention.
Rise Of The Triad: Dark War
This shooter came out almost exactly one year after Doom. Developed by Apogee Software, now known as 3D Realms. The familiar Doom formula was presented from an unexpected angle. There are several characters to choose from, each with their own merits and demerits.
Rise of the Triad will be in the spotlight this year. In 2020, it was announced that the game would be re-released 25 years later for Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4.
The original version was published in 1996 by Velocity Inc. The shooter was developed by Rogue Entertainment: it tried to improve the mechanics of Doom. In particular, RPG elements appeared, for example, improving abilities and interacting with NPCs.
Strife: Veteran Edition was recently released on Nintendo Switch. An unusual hybrid of FPS and RPG has become more accessible to a new generation of gamers.
The developers did not hide the similarity of their game with the famous shooter: on the cover there is a bold inscription “from the creators of Doom”. Heretic was developed by Raven Software. This is the first part of the “Serpent Riders” trilogy.
One of the most famous representatives of this top. And it’s not only about its quality, but also about its availability. In 1995-1997, Heretic was released on Microsoft Windows, MS-DOS, Mac, PlayStation 1, Sega Saturn, and then on Nintendo 64.
The self-explanatory shooter was originally published in 1997 by GT Interactive Software, which was renamed “Infogrames” and then “Atari, Inc.”. The game was created by Monolith Productions, best known for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War.
In May 2019, Blood was re-released as Blood: Fresh Supply. Nightdive Studios worked on the new version. Available on Steam and other platforms.
Hexen: Beyond Heretic
The second part of the mentioned “Serpent Riders” trilogy. Beyond Heretic is a lot different from your typical Doom clones. To begin with, the developers took inspiration from Rise of the Triad: Dark War, and therefore there are several characters to choose from – each with their own abilities. In terms of levels, they were pretty non-linear, especially when compared to Doom.
While the graphics of Hexen: Beyond Heretic are already looking dated, they were stunning for their time. In general, the game was able to take the ideas of the original Doom in the right direction.
Marathon 2: Durandal
The developers of this game know how to make a great first person shooter. US studio Bungie created the original Halo trilogy, Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach, followed by the Destiny series. The Marathon franchise is very similar to Halo, so it can be considered an ideological continuation.
In 1995, Durandal was released on the Mac, and the following year on the PC. The game was re-released on the Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360, most likely in the wake of the popularity of Halo 3, which was expected to be released next month.
Duke Nukem 3D
In 1991, the first part of this franchise came out, a 2D platformer. The sequel also became a side-scroller. And the 1996 Duke Nukem 3D is a true Doom clone. All three games were created by the aforementioned 3D Realms, formerly known as Apogee Software.
The parallels with Doom are obvious. But, as with some of the other examples, the locations have become more open compared to the classic shooter from id Software. And instead of the silent Doomguy, the arrogant rude Duke Nukem became the protagonist.