Review: Gloom (Amiga 1200/4000) (1995)

Gloom AGA

Review of Gloom for the Amiga 1200/4000

Introduction

Today we’re going to have a look at a Doom-clone for the Amiga 1200/4000. The game is called Gloom and it was released in the year of 1995.

Xtreme Racing
Xtreme Racing - Another game from Guildhall Leisure

The game was published by Guildhall Leisure Services Ltd. After the bankruptcy of Commodore in 1994, Guildhall was one of the most active and prominent publishers of Amiga software. Apart from Gloom, we can find games like Xtreme Racing (fun 3D racer) and Legends in their portfolio.

The team that made Gloom called themselves Black Magic Software. Their programmer, Mark Sibly, became famous for creating quality games. Examples are Overkill and Guardian. He was also the mind behind the Blitz Basic programming language on the Amiga.

Creating a decent and smooth 3D-engine with texture mapping on an Amiga 1200 was (and still is) a big accomplishment back in the middle of the 1990’s. By creating Gloom, Mark Sibly and Black Magic Software became pioneers in this new field of Amiga gaming. The Amiga software market before 1995 was totally dominated by 2D games. Gloom was one of the first titles to break this barrier.

Requirements

Gloom
Getting ready for action!

You can actually run Gloom on a standard Amiga 1200 or 4000 without any add-ons. Being AGA, it won’t work on an Amiga 500, 600 or 3000 . You must have an Amiga 1200 or 4000 to run the game. Another option is of course to run the game through an emulator like WinUAE.

The game can be installed on a hard drive, which is convenient.

There’s also a CD32 version available.

The Story

The storyline of Gloom is simple. You find yourself teleported to a building that is infested with dangerous enemies. Your character is a soldier armed to the teeth with a deadly plasma-rifle. Your mission is to survive the onslaught of enemy soldiers, transparent ghosts and skinheads. As you progress through the levels, your escape draws nearer.. Can you save yourself from this nightmare? That is what Gloom is about.

Options

Apart from the usual single-player campaign, Gloom does also support a two-player split-screen mode. By selecting this option, you can play the game with a friend. You can also challenge him or her to a death match like in other first person shooters. This can be a bit of fun, but not for long, as you can follow the movements of your opponent by watching his or her part of the screen. This removes a lot of the excitement. If you’ve got two Amiga machines, you can avoid this by linking the computers together with a serial cable. That Gloom supports this option is a plus.

Gloom - Blowing the up!
Gloom - It's about blowing up your enemies!

Remember Moonstone? In that game you could turn blood and gore on and off. This was a perfect solution for both the faint hearted and blood-thirsty. Did you know that you can do the same in Gloom as it has a violence mode? Here you can choose between meaty and messy. I believe these options speak for themselves..

Playing the Game

The 3D-engine is fast. Even if you run the game on a standard Amiga 1200, you’ll be able to play the game without any serious issues. If you feel that the game is too slow on your vanilla machine, you’ve got the possibility to turn down the resolution. I’ve been playing the game on a computer with 68030 CPU and it worked flawlessly.

The first thing you’ll notice when playing Gloom is that it is fun. It is fast paced, it is filled with enemies and it never gets boring. There’s always someone or something to shoot at. The enemies are aggressive, so watch out!

Beware of the dangerious enemies!
Watch out for aggressive enemies!

In Gloom you can’t see the gun you are using, which is uncommon in the first person shooter genre (think of Doom, Alien Breed 3D, Quake and so on..). This was a bit disappointing, but it’s more of a cosmetic thing. You’ll quickly forget this when playing the game. Also, there’s not a huge arsenal of handguns and rocket launchers to choose from. You’ve got a plasma-rifle and that is it. Fortunately your rifle can be upgraded by picking up bonuses, so you’re not stuck with the standard one all the way.

There are many different levels. Over 20 (I’ve not managed to complete all of them yet, but that is a goal I have for the next months.) to be exact. These differ in environment and difficulty. You’ll notice that the textures are nicely drawn. Each level contains a secret room with bonuses. Very handy when you feel that luck is running out. I also found a mini-game inside Gloom. It is a fun version of the classic Defender from the arcades. Great stuff. There should be other mini-games available after what I’ve heard. Can you find them all?

Summary

Gloom is a great first person shooter for your Amiga 1200 or 4000. The 3D-engine works like a charm and proves that the Amiga was, and still is, capable of more than many could have imagined. The game is like a shoot’em up in 3D with plenty of action. Your trigger-finger will certainly get a lot of exercise when playing Gloom. The graphics look nice and the sound effects are cool as well. The game features a single-player campaign and two-player modes which adds to its lastability.

Gloom - Playing the game
Body parts

If you like first person shooters and want to play such game on your Amiga, Gloom should be your first stop. Highly recommended!

Downloads

You can download the game by visiting Planet Emulation via the link below:

http://planetemu.net/index.php?section=roms&dat=754&page=g

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14 comments

    • Two people can play Gloom at the same computer in split-screen mode. You can also play over a modem (!) if you want. Final option is to link two Amiga computers together with a null-modem cable. Cool stuff. 🙂

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  1. There are quite a few Amiga games supporting serial linking. Alien Breed 3D (and 3D II), Blitz Bombers, Dogfight, Doom and many, many more. 🙂 I’ll probably do an article on this sometime in the future.

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  2. I remember so this is available also on A500+.. It’s a cool game and a big demonstration of Amiga’s 3D power ; )

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  3. I had this one original,one of the last amiga games I bought. Fast and fun,but graphics were horrible, serious lack of detail and resolution.

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