DOOM-merchants strike again

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DOOM was the hit game of 1994. Spreading across the globe faster than high-security prisoners, this black-hearted gorefest brought three-dimensional monster-mashing to screens everywhere. Now the programmers have bought Ferraris and the same theme is being pressed into further violent service. Heretic is the latest of DOOM's hell-spawned progeny. You are the hero, armed with fearsome gauntlets, mystic crossbows and other magical instruments of mayhem. The monsters are many and entirely undisposed to stop for a chat and a cuppa: flying red griffins, hooded warlocks and spectral Arnies throw themselves and copious flaming gunk at you with relish. Heretic includes some welcome innovations: you can glance above and below to spot any fiends sneakily peekingover a balcony. In DOOM, you could just stare dumbly ahead as you were marmalised. Then there's the Morph Ovum, a weapon that turns your opponents into chickens which cluck indignantly and peck your ankles. DOOM addicts will love it; if you've go t a fast PC, a spare six megabytes and don't mind the ectoplasm, get on board.

Heretic is available from CompuServe, Cix and many Internet sites