I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The original 1993 Doom represents not just an epochal event in the history of videogames, but a watershed moment for all culture, of all kinds, everywhere. The team at id Software created undoubtedly the greatest FPS in history. Whether Half-Life, Halo, Counter-Strike, or anything else, it doesn’t matter what came later – they all owe a debt of inspiration to the original demon-ripping epic. More than 30 years since it first arrived, and thousands of mods and WADs later, you wouldn’t think Doom could ever get better. But now Brutal Doom, the revolutionary reimagining of the 1993 classic, which John Romero says would have “destroyed the game industry” had it launched back in the day, has its biggest update ever. Doom has never been this much of a blast.
Created by Marcos ‘Sergeant Mark IV’ Abenante and an extensive team of collaborators, Brutal Doom is like Doom played through seven extra amps and that Mad Max guitar that shoots out fire. A ferocious reimagining of the original FPS game, it keeps the fundamentals of id Software’s masterpiece intact, but heightens them, and heightens them, and heightens them some more, to create the definitive Doomguy simulation. You know that grin he does when he picks up the chaingun? That’s your face when you’re playing Brutal Doom.
The latest version of Brutal Doom represents the largest update in the mod’s entire history. On top of everything else that’s been added over the years – new guns, new sound and gore effects, new animations, new mechanics, new everything – you now have improved weapon sprites, smoother animations, and a slew of visual overhauls that attempt to more closely align Brutal Doom’s additions with the assets of the vanilla game.
The rocket launcher, chaingun, and plasma rifle now look closer to the first game (although they keep their extended functionality and alternate fire modes, as well as their far punchier sound effects), and the SMG has been redesigned to look just like the gun the unfortunate Marine is carrying on Doom’s box art.
The Cacodemon and Archvile have also been redesigned to look closer to the original game, but the biggest addition here is Horde Mode. Built entirely from scratch for Brutal Doom, this is a wave defense mode with a twist. Enemies pile in, bodies pile up, and you need to stay alive to battle a climactic and extremely tough boss.
The problem? Even if you haven’t finished clearing the previous wave, once the time runs out, the next load of demons is coming anyway. In some cases, you’ll be fighting alone. In others, you’ll be defending wave after wave in a huge base alongside AI Marines who can operate turrets, jump into vehicles with you (yes, Brutal Doom has vehicles), and where you can even phone in airstrikes.
This is Doom at its most spectacular, its most vicious, and its most, well, Brutal. If you want to try Brutal Doom, the latest version is available to download right here.
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