Hi and welcome to another Amiga game review here on Old School Game Blog!
Today I’m going to write about a first person shooter called Gloom Deluxe. This is not the original Gloom game, but a version that is improved and also works on Amiga computers with OCS/ECS-chipset!
I have this game in my personal collection and will share some pictures of the box, manual and disks below. 🙂 Pre-ordered the game at Christiansens Elektriske (a shop that sold Amiga software and hardware in Norway in the 1990’s) and often rang them to hear how long it was before the game was released, hehe. Good times!
My setup consists of an Amiga 1200 with an ACA1221EC turbo-card from Individual Computers. I’m very happy with this card. That said, it is not the fastest card when it comes to running 3D games on Amiga, but still does a good job I think.
First some history about the game. Many of you will remember that Amiga users were very eager to get games similar to Doom, and of course the game Doom itself, on the Amiga back in the middle of the 1990’s. Team 17 entered the race with their Alien Breed 3D game and later on Alien Breed 3D II, Manyk released Fears (developed by the demo group Bomb), Fields Of Vision brought Breathless to the table, and Black Magic created Gloom. There were other attempts as well, which you can see in this list.
As mentioned above, Gloom was developed by a team called Black Magic Software. Mark Sibly, the programmer, became well known for creating popular titles like Overkill and Guardian. He was also the man behind the Blitz Basic programming language on Amiga.
Requirements and Installation
To run the original Gloom you must have an Amiga 1200, Amiga 4000 or Amiga CD32, but to run Gloom Deluxe, you can run it on an Amiga 500 or Amiga 600, as long as you have an 68020 CPU and 2 MB of RAM or more.
You can run the game from floppies if you want to, or if you do not have a hard drive. If you want to install it on a hard drive, an install-script is included. Double-click on the icon and follow the prompts. After a few minutes the game is ready to run.
The Background Story
Most game have some kind of story and Gloom Deluxe is not an exception.
You are in control of a character, a soldier, that is armed with a deadly plasma-rifle. According to the manual that came with the game, you are fighting cultists who are very dangerous. Here is a photo of part of the story:
So it happens that you are teleported to a building crowded with cultists and they start attacking right away, no questions asked.
Gloom Deluxe sports a single-player campaign, which is the standard way to play the game. You can also play in two-player split-screen mode. This makes it possible to co-operate with a friend, which is quite remarkable for an Amiga first person shooter from back then. You can play against another person in a death-match in either split-screen or over network. If you are lucky enough to have two Amiga computers and a serial cable to connect them, you can have a blast. 🙂
There is also an option to choose between “Messy” and “Meaty” modes. This determines what happens after you’ve destroyed an enemy.
Gloom Deluxe supports using keyboard, joystick or CD32 joypad. It’s great to have so many options I think. In such FPS games, you need to be able to side-step easily to avoid incoming fire, so I recommend keyboard or joypad.
You can access the options while in-game. Press ESC and you can adjust the quality of the graphics (1×1 pixel or 2×2 for example, remove ceiling or floor). This is very helpful for those of you, me included, who does not own one of the faster turbo-cards. However, I feel that Gloom Deluxe runs better than Gloom did on my setup, so I assume the Chunky 2 Planar conversion is better in the deluxe version.
Since this is a first person shooter on the Amiga, I assume most of you would be interested in knowing how it runs. Is it fast?
In my opinion the 3D-engine used in Gloom Deluxe is quite fast considering the game is running on a classic Amiga. On my setup, ACA1221EC with fast-RAM, the game runs pretty well! I have played it on an Amiga 1200 with a Blizzard 68030 50MHz in the past and there it ran great! If you have a 68060, I’m sure it flies and runs smooth in fullscreen 1×1 mode.
Gloom Deluxe is a fast paced shooter with plenty of enemies and action to be found. Sometimes I think of this game as a shoot’em up instead of a regular first person shooter. 😉
The game consists of many levels (over 20, but have not completed the game myself, but some day I hopefully will). There are secret rooms with bonuses spread throughout the game, and even a mini-game featuring a title similar to the classic Defender! After what I’ve read elsewhere, there might be more mini-games included, but I have not found these. There’s also a good variety in enemies, some more difficult than others.
Like in other first person shooters, you can upgrade your weapon to become more powerful by picking up bonuses. You don’t get rocket launchers and the likes in Gloom Deluxe, but your plasma rifle packs enough punch to get you through the levels.
Gloom Deluxe is a an early first person shooter game that runs on all Amiga computers with 68020 and 2 MB of memory. The 3D-engine is more optimized and faster than in the regular Gloom release. The game proves that the Amiga was, and still is, capable of much more than many people could imagine back then. We do see this today with all the amazing games, demos and programs that people develop for the platform. Gloom Deluxe sports good graphics, especially if you have a fast Amiga, action filled gameplay and sometimes a bit spooky atmosphere. 😉 With both single- and multiplayer-mode, I think it deserves some extra praise for this!
I remember being very excited about Gloom Deluxe when it was released. It’s still fun to play today and I think I will try to complete this game finally. Having owned it for so many years, it deserves some gameplay. 😉
If you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend getting hold of it. If you have the choice between regular Gloom and Gloom Deluxe, I’d go for the latter (which actually includes original Gloom too).
Thanks for reading and hope you have enjoyed this review. 🙂
Gloom Deluxe Download: https://www.lemonamiga.com/games/details.php?id=1407