You can't escape Doom. After tearing open a portal to Hell on the Source engine, it's aiming its slavering maw at the roguelike genre with DoomRL, where you'll have to escape a dark and infested facility of demonic horror while also worrying about the looming threat of permadeath. No pressure or anything.
All the roguelike trappings show up alongside sound effects and graphical sprites lifted directly from the FPS. You'll frag beasties in quick, turn-based battles while scrounging for ammo, health, armor, and keycards. Three classes—Marine, Scout, and Technician—determine your stat spread and passive traits, and there are over 30 randomized levels and mod support for extra user-made floors.
DoomRL already has a dedicated community talking shop and contributing content over on its official website, and the latest version, 0.9.9.7, released yesterday after a little over a year in development. You'll probably want to brush up on the game's wiki as well before jumping in.
Mar 19, 2013
As far as giving an older game the Source treatment, GhorsHammer's gmDoom port project is probably the quickest to elicit a "Holy %)#@" out of me since Black Mesa. It chainsaws out the UI, enemy, and weapon sprites from the proto-FPS and stitches them into Garry's Mod with astonishing smoothness. I can't imagine how downing a Strider with a blast from the BFG would work, but after seeing it in action in GhorsHammer's video, I can't imagine how it wouldn't work.
The mod is undergoing a final round of bug testing and tweaks, and it'll show up in Steam Workshop sometime this week for download. It looks like the Frankensteinian bridge between Doom and Source flows both ways, as you're seemingly able to set up fights against classic hellspawn such as the Cacodemon and Revenant while touting Half-Life 2's arsenal. That includes vehicles, and running over crowds of Imps in Episode Two's muscle car while blasting E1M1 sounds all kinds of awesome.
Mar 8, 2013
Article by Nathan Ditum
Apparently refusing to avail itself of the teleportation technology that kickstarted its earliest predecessor, Doom 4 has been creeping towards us slowly from the shadows since it was announced in May 2008. Since then it’s been teased, mentioned, and even glimpsed in a leaked selection of artwork that suggested anyone looking for finely detailed neo-classical balconies was in for one serious thrill ride when the game finally arrived.
We’re less focused on the neo-classical balconies, though, and more on the shooting and the hellspawn. Here are a few ideas we’d like to see propping up the big first-person shooter’s return.
This is a call for barrels in an emblematic sense, which is exciting as it’s something that might never have happened before. The thinking behind it is that the barrels in the original Doom and Doom II weren’t necessarily a sublime piece of game design, but did and do effectively recall the /style/ of play. They’re placed apparently at random, but also in places where an early shotgun blast will set off the exaggerated “ker-TUSH”explosion followed by the slick sound of entirely inside-out enemies capitulating to gravity. There is a cartoon kineticism to the original games, epitomised in the barrels, and in dodgeable fireballs, and the ability to strafe so quickly you can see the side of the rocket you’ve just fired. Translating this directly would be disastrous, obviously, but a sense of it is what was missing from the hollow horror of Doom 3, and will be crucial to Doom 4 (and if that leaked art is anything to go buy, it looks like we’re covered).
It’s very important that the game take us to Hell in a literal, lakes of fire, citadel of Pandemonium, walls of the agonised damned way. This is what gave the brash original its exploitation punch - you’re not popping your way through a familiarly demonic arcade metropolis, you’re in /actual/ Hell, a Roger Corman stakes raising that contributes significantly to Doom’s shotgun abandon. The leaked art shows New York torn apart by some kind of pan-dimensional event, the poor Public Library getting a very similar going over to the one it received in Ghostbusters II. It looks like an up-to-date-ing of Doom II’s Hell On Earth scenario, and Id Software has talked about gameplay involving post-civilisation survival. We’re fine with all of that, as long as the upshot is that we get to go back to Hell and shoot it in its face.
An unshakeable faith in the power of the shotgun...
...except when there’s a plasma weapon handy. Doom more or less defined the 1-2-3-4, fist-pistol-shotgun-chaingun notion of armoury escalation in first-person shooters. It is the standard from which Halo deviated with its potent handgun and two weapon limit, which many others have followed. How Doom 4 returns to and passes comment upon this is unclear, but by virtue of its lineage simply including guns in the style of any other shooter is not an option. It needs to either knowingly defy or satisfyingly play upon expectations - make the shotgun a death-packing standout maybe, or offer a chainsaw attachment to all weapons - and it must remember the direct feedback and deadly simplicity which made scaling Doom’s firearm pyramid such a thumping rush.
A hero generic to the point of invisibility
This sounds counter-intuitive if not deliberately askew. But! If ever there was a series to free us from the tyranny of shooters that bleed feelings and force character into action then it is surely Doom 4. Stop leaking emotion all over our loading screens. Stop sending us impassioned grunts recorded in downtown LA soundbooths that are intended to somehow make shooting demons more meaningful, as if there could be any meaning more powerful than them being demons and us having a gun. Doom is about purity of purpose and big expositional screens filled with small red text that tell all the story you need apart from a small angry face raising its eyebrows and occasionally becoming a bruise with a orifice in the middle. It would be excellent if it could stay this way - and happily, from the looks of the leaked art the character designs couldn’t get more generic without having their virtual features sanded down to a raw nub.
An engine that works
Rage was designed to show what id Tech 5 could really do. For months, marketing materials and developer diaries crooned about the new engine's "mega textures" that would give artists complete mastery over the surface detail of Rage's rust-coloured canyons. But come launch day, it just didn't work. The textures took long moments to load in every time you turned your head, offering smeary geometry where there should have been fine detail. Whether id decide to pursue the claustrophobic survival horror trappings of Doom 3 or joyously embrace the lurid slaughter of Doom 1 and 2, the engine needs to show us the treasures promised by Carmack and co. in the run up to Rage.
What would you like to see from Doom 4? Do you want to mow down the hordes of hell, or cower in the dark with a flashlight?
Feb 17, 2013
Shacknews - Alice O'Connor
If you were the type to draw fanciful Doom scenes all over your schoolbooks, rejoice! Thanks to the mod Brutal Doom, id's shooter is now every bit as violent as your younger self's doodles. Every dismemberment; every curbstomping; every immolation; every Hell Knight being kicked square in the soul spheres: they're all here. A new version came out last week, letting me post a long-overdue story about this gory marvel.
Brutal Doom, as the name suggests, makes Doom and Doom 2 more violent. Blood sprays across walls, gibs fly freely, you can blow enemies' legs off to make them crawl then curbstomp them, the Beserk powerup adds horrifying fatalities, more weapons are in, and it's generally, well, brutal. Now moreso, since creator 'Sergeant_Mark_IV' released version 18 on Valentine's Day.
The changelog includes--and Mark's very kindly illustrated many of these with videos--kicking teeth out the faces of crawling enemies and punting Barons of Hell in their laughing gnomes, new burning animations, new fatalities, new plasma deaths, improved AI, better blood, and oh so much more.
Grab Brutal Doom v18a here at Shacknews. You'll want to run it in the Zdoom, GZDoom, or Skulltag replacement Doom engine.
Quake II was one of the first FPS epics to espouse the pristine logic of firing rockets at one's feet to jump higher. Id's memorable shooter didn't skimp on the bullet count either, and in celebration of its 15th anniversary yesterday, Creative Director Tim Willits shared a few did-you-knows (via Eurogamer) surrounding the art and multiplayer.
For instance, just three artists crafted the 2D and 3D visuals for Quake II's entirety, delivering an orange-tinged world of metal and flame shuddering beneath a massive human military offensive. An earlier suggested title for the game was WOR, but id changed the name after realizing Quake II's fast-paced action better suited the renowned series.
Lastly, Willits' multiplayer arena of choice, The Edge, hides over 50 trick jumps for handy hoppers, though Willits only designed two of them. The rest were discovered by early adopters of ye olde drum-and-bass jump videos.
The remainder of December holds further commemorations for PC gaming greats of the 1990s. WarCraft II hits 17 in just two days, with id following right behind with a 19-year-old Doom anniversary on Monday. Planescape: Torment, Black Isle's masterful RPG, turns 13 next Wednesday. Id returns yet again with tough platformer Commander Keen's 22nd birthday on the 17th, and nothing boosts holiday cheer like the sorcerous cultists of Raven Software's Heretic which dings 18 on the 23rd.
Dec 5, 2012
The team over at RGB Classic Games is giving us our nostalgia fixes in the form of Java-based DOS emulation. They currently host over 300 games from days of yore including Doom, Commander Keen, Earthworm Jim, and many more that didn't get spotlighted because they were too far down the alphabetically-organized page. And it's totally free.
It almost seems too good to be true. You might expect the hammer of legal action to be looming just above the dusty library of classics, but the site's intentions appear noble. As it explains: "The highest ideals of this site are to support the authors by providing links to their web sites and ordering information for the full versions of games that are still sold, and to encourage the authors of classic games to preserve their games for future generations by making them available for sale or as freeware. If you enjoy a shareware game, please consider buying it from the author.
"All of the games on this site are freely distributable because they are shareware, freeware, or because the copyright holder has officially and legally released all rights to the public domain (abandonware)."
Assuming that's the case, the site shouldn't see any problems, but if it does offend a copyright holder, we'd expect a simple removal of the game in question to suffice. Cue up some Nirvana and have a look for yourself.
Clear your schedule and make room on your hard drive: there are over 9000 mods up for consideration as ModDB's 2012 Mod of the Year award nominees, and only a little over five days to nominate them. A big green button on each mod's page makes it hard to miss the opportunity to give your favorites a bump.
There isn't much time, so we'll get straight to it after this obligatory acknowledgement that we said "over 9000" on the internet: tee hee, references. Moving on, DayZ and Black Mesa are tough to ignore, and The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod was a valiant community effort. Those might be the most talked about and praised mods this year, and we expect they'll secure nominations, but there are so many more that deserve recognition. Which are you voting for?
If you need a refresher, you might want to browse our recent mod coverage to see if you've missed any driving elephants or My Little Pony conversions.
Nov 20, 2012
Shacknews - Steve Watts
It's the season of heavy holiday hitters for the games industry, but if you're more of a classic connoisseur you might prefer strolls down memory lane. To that end, a "Doom Classic Complete" set is hitting the PlayStation Network today, and it packs three of the hell-heavy titles together.
Since Bethesda Softworks bought id Software, the publisher has been keen on making use of its old franchises. This will be the second Doom in just over a month, after the recent release of Doom 3 BFG Edition.
Nov 14, 2012
Shacknews - Alice O'Connor
Ah, FPSs! They don't make them like they used to, do they? No, in many ways and for a number of reasons. But if you find yourself nostalgically longing for The Good Old Days and sniping at the likes of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, then have I got the Doom 2 parody mod for you!
Released on the same day as Cod Blops 2, Call of Dooty II: Green Ops crams waypoint markers, regenerating health, cutscenes, flashbacks, nonsense conspiracies about Russians, popup hints, and other foolishness into id Software's classic FPS.
"Let's face it: Shooters today suck. Their levels are too linear, they aren't challenging enough, and they play more like interactive movies than the experiences we once loved up until the mid-2000s," creator 'Chubzdoomer' says in the readme file. "Call of Dooty is an ode to the terrible shooters that now inhabit the market and have taken over the gaming industry by storm. This WAD isn't supposed to be fun to play - it's here to make a statement."
Call of Dooty II is fittingly the sequel to last year's Call of Dooty, which was itself inspired by kmoosmann's 'If Quake was done today.' Annual sequels to mods parodying games suffering annual sequelitis, how glorious!
Of course, this being a modern linear FPS, multiple editions are a must. There's a plain old Standard Edition for proles, a Limited Edition with the original Call of Dooty and some before/after screenshots, and a Special Edition which also adds the soundtrack, ringtones, and achievement icons. Any true Call of Dooty fan will want the Collector's Edition, which packs all that plus the papercraft marine, 'making of' document, and the Green Ops Armor DLC. It's a small touch which means so much.
In the word of Dethklok frontman Nathan Explosion: "Brutal." Originally released in March, the Brutal Doom mod furnishes Doom's buckets of blood, steaming guts, and ultra-violence with a critically missing element: more buckets of blood, steaming guts, and ultra-violence. We're talking extreme Chunky Salsa Rule here. A freshly spawned Halloween update provides custom fatality animations as you RIP AND TEAR into Hell's minions.
Helmed by the one-man efforts of Sergeant Mark IV, Brutal Doom doesn't just coat everything in strawberry juice. The mod also augments weapon and projectile behavior to react slightly more realistically—slightly; you're still fighting demonic hellspawn in a box in space—such as inflicting harmful splash damage to yourself if you're too close to a wall. Stealth kills and movable barrels are also possible. Headshots count. Limbs sever.
"Everything in Brutal Doom is extremely intense," the good Sergeant writes. "Everything sounds louder, looks bigger, moves faster, and hits harder. The camera shakes every time something explodes near you. Enemies are harder and smarter, and weapons and explosions are loud as fuck.
"Some enemies will scream in anguish and try to crawl away when near death, and they can be used as human shields. Blood will drip through your visor every time you shoot enemies too close."