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Doom goes back to boardgame origins

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If your PC's too weak to pump out acceptable Doom 3 framerates - or you're heart's just getting too old to cope with game-series' ever more frenetic pace, US company Fantasy Flight Games has the answer: the Doom boardgame.

That's right, long after digital pastimes like the original Doom crushed demand for the more traditional cardboard creations that inspired them, it seems old-style entertainment requiring a little imagination on the part of the player might be making a comeback on the back of their erstwhile nemesis.

Doom 3 - the boardgame

Each box comes with a host of plastic marines and monsters, dice and corridor cards, weapon tokens, wound markers and door boards with which two to four players can act out ultra-violent battles without the... er... violence.

No, we're not entirely convinced, either. In our youth, we played this kind of thing ourselves - Games Workshop's rather good Dungeonquest was the last one - but the immersion and immediacy of computer-based first-person shooters like Marathon and Doom hooked us with too strong a hold.

Still, for those who once enjoyed rifling through rules and navigating tortuous turn sequences - or those who've never done so but think they might like the experience - the Doom boardgame has much to offer that the essentially rule-less PC version lacks. Not least is the fact that the $55 box doesn't require you to purchase hardware costing more than ten times that figure to play it at something approaching a decent framerate.

FFG has already posted the first rules supplement, available as a download from the company's website. So too are the rules themselves for those players seeking an boardgaming experience akin to playing the original game's demo rather than the whole thing.

All of which causes us to wonder, how soon before FFG, like Id before it, falls victim to the P2P phenomenon, with digital scans of Invader Cards, Wound Tokens and Map Pieces distributed among file-sharers too meanspirited to cough up for the real thing? We shudder at the thought. ®

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