SHORT LIST 4 - November 1996
Hitting the streets around now should be the full version of id Software's long-awaited sequel to the phenomenally popular Doom, in which the bitty computer graphics of the original have been replaced by lovely lifelike polygons with realistic movement and lighting, and, frankly, very little else has changed. If you're one of the microscopic minority with access to a network of fast Pentium PCs, the eight-player Deathmatch mode is something of a revelation, but otherwise it's a little difficult to see what all the fuss is about. It's still a very good game, but we've seen it before with a shorter name.
(From GT Interactive for PC CD-ROM, £45)
PRO PINBALL - THE WEB
Now arriving on the next-generation consoles after a well-received PC debut, this is the finest pinball experience available to gamesplayers short of, well, going out and playing some pinball. The universal criticism levelled at the original (that it only had one table to play, compared to the videogame pinball standard of four) is still applicable to the conversion, but there's more design skill and attention to pinball detail on show here than in four of any other pinball game's tables, so it all works out in the end.
(From Empire for Sony Playstation and PC CD-ROM, £40)
FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX 2
Not a football result, but an astoundingly, comprehensively, ridiculously realistic simulation of the mechanics of driving a Formula One racing car, this five-years-in-the-making game (although that's stretching the definition of the word) takes you closer than you could ever possibly want to get to knowing what it feels like to be Damon Hill. Despite that, it's a superb game, and if you're itching for something a bit more demanding than Ridge Racer and Sega Rally, it'll be right up your, er, pit lane. If you're not careful.
(From MicroProse for PC CD-ROM, £35)
Hugely atmospheric and scary Scooby-Doo-for-grown-ups game set in a creepy mansion littered with flesh-eating zombies. How come you never hear about nice zombies? Gardening zombies, say. Or Bosnian aid worker zombies (think how handy they'd be in the front line, unperturbed by snipers' bullets). That'd be an interesting and original game idea, for a change. Or maybe a TV sitcom. The Nice Zombies. Anthea Turner could be in it. Yeah.
(From Virgin for Sony Playstation, £45)
PETE SAMPRAS EXTREME
(From Codemasters for Sony Playstation, £40)