Why do I come back to DOOM when so many new, bigger games and vaster worlds have superseded it over the decades? Why might you? For me, it comes down to the uncertainty: a single shotgun blast will make a sergeant drop–most of the time. The odd time it doesn’t, he gets a shot at revenge. From this simple, tense heuristic and from innumerable others, strategies and tactics bloom.

I’ll admit it: I mostly just replay the free shareware episode. I come back, time again, year after year, to those nine levels, and every time, it’s a little bit different.

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