New Doom Old Doom: A New Mod for an Old Classic

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With the rise of hype of Bethesda Softworks’s and id Software’s necromancy work on the DOOM Franchise, it’s interesting to see more and more lights shone on the remnants of DOOM’S past.  Just as a reminder, we aren’t talking about any of those awful Saturday night mock horror movies.  What we are talking about is the rabid and thriving fan-base that is still playing and modding the original DOOM games.

DOOM revivals and reboots have been circulating around for a while now.  One mod in particular is a rather fantastic modification to DOOM or DOOM II called Brutal DOOM.  From their website:

In development since 2010, the 18th Cacoward winner and Moddb 2012 MOTY Editors Choice of Creativity Award Brütal Doom takes Doom into a whole new level. It makes the game much more violent than before. There’s much more blood, plus it adds unique gibs, death animations, dismemberments, headshots, executions, fire and explosion particles, flares, shadows over all objects, and much more.

The whole world becomes more real and interactive.You can kick severed limbs and heads (and sometimes, use it to activate some traps in the map earlier, or even kick them against enemies to do some damage), you can shoot enemies’ heads to deal more damage (and cause more gruesome deaths) you can destroy most things in the the scenario (trees, lamps, hanging bodies, etc), you can paint the floor, the walls, and even the ceiling with blood, you can push the explosive barrels to make traps, or grab them and use like an explosive weapon, you can silently take down enemies from behind and perform stealth kills, the chainsaw actually cuts the enemies in two. When you find the berserk pack and get super strength, you can perform cinematic executions and RIP AND TEAR your foes with your bare hands. Some enemies will scream in anguish and try to crawl away when near death, and they can be used as human shields, and much, much moreModdb

Interestingly enough, this sort of fan dedication is something that the new DOOM by Bethesda-id wants to capture with their DOOM SnapMap modding system.  If the new mod system can speak to players and the overall DOOM modding community of the older games in the same ways as the original editing tools do, the new DOOM can be something rather special indeed.  However, accomplishing this feat will be rather difficult due to the extremely high expectations that players of the original DOOMs have with any DOOM title.

Most of all, those high expectations revolve not only around the fast paced grizzly action based gameplay that is a staple of DOOM, but it mostly revolves around supporting a robust modding community.  These communities are essential to the success of DOOM and other games such as Unreal Tournament by Epic Games, the game’s lifeblood, if you will.  According to an interview with Game-Trailers.com and Game Informer with Bethesda Softworks’s Pete Hines at this past year’s Quake Con (a convention that celebrates video games), the new DOOM won’t support mods that are created outside of the tools offered in their own proprietary modding system, SnapMap.

Now, on the surface, this sounds pretty extreme.  No mods outside of the proprietary software.  But to be fair, that is the story with most modern games, including those made by Bethesda (specifically Oblivion and Skyrim).  There is a long list of games that live or die by their mod editor (which include games like Blizzard’s Starcraft and Warcraft, BioWare’s Neverwinter Nights, and an the ill fated editor of another of BioWare’s games: DragonAge: Origins) and DOOM will be no exception. What will and won’t be allowed is yet to be seen, though.  If Fallout 4‘s workshop system is any indication, there will definitely be some surprises hidden about in the SnapMap editor.

Related: Bethesda Announces New Doom at E3 2015

Moving on, something that is a little fun happened at the end of last week.  On Friday, one of the original designers of the original id Software’s DOOM, John Romero, created a level mod for the original game.  He released the news and a download link on his Twitter which is attached below.

According to a brief from Gamasutra:

Veteran game developer John Romero took to Twitter today to spread the word that he’s made a new Doom level, something he says he hasn’t done in over twenty years.

Romero’s return to the game that jumpstarted his career in game development is a fun little Friday surprise for developers, especially Doom enthusiasts, some of whom are thanked in the readme file accompanying the level.Alex Wawro

 

This is the sort of thing is what I was hoping we’d see from Mr. Romero, as far as DOOM news was concerned, even though he is no longer with id Software.  Since he’s the creator of DOOM, I’ve been wondering if we would hear any DOOM related news from Mr. Romero.  And this is probably some of the best news we could have gotten.

I’m still curious to see if Mr. Romero will enjoy the new DOOM from Bethesda Softworks and his old company, and if, in his eyes, the new game will do the old title the justice it so seems like it should receive.  For now, all we can  do is wait for the new DOOM to come out and see if it and its SnapMap mod system is of any worth.  But until then, mods for the old version save the day… like always.

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Have you played the new E1M8 map by John Romero?  Have any good memories from past DOOM experiences?  Looking forward to the new DOOM and are excited by anything you’ve heard or seen so far?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

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