Tag Archives: doom

Neon-Soaked Shooter Amid Evil Really Hits The Spot

Sometimes, you just wanna play a damn shooter. You want some gnarly weapons, some mazes to wander in, and no particular justification for blowing up whatever demons cross your path. Amid Evil, a throwback shooter now released out of early access, channels the spirit of Heretic and Hexen for a frantic, first-person burst of blood and magic.

Amid Evil is published by New Blood Interactive, which also released the Doom-inspired DUSK and John Woo-infused Maximum Action. Amid Evil transplants the heavy metal, Dungeons & Dragons vibe of 1994’s Heretic and crafts a worthy successor campaign of twisty levels and flashy weapons. There’s not much story here; there are demons and dark gods, and it’s your job to take them out. What makes Amid Evil work is how it manages to marry the edgy flair of its forefathers with intelligent, almost Zelda-esque level design.There are plenty of explosive firefights, but also plenty of secret pathways and keys to find. Each level is a maze lit up in glowing neon, packed with strange orbs and raging monsters.

Embracing the fantasy design of Heretic allows Amid Evil to have a much different tone than Dusk. That game married the industrial anger of Quake with moody horror inspirations like Children of the Corn or Pumpkinhead. Amid Evil lives in a more excessive realm, similar to 1981’s Heavy Metal. You’ll grab electric tridents and shock flying angels until they shiver and burst into energy bits. You’ll find magic swords that hurl out energy beams that clash with enemy attacks, or else power up to bounce off ancient castle walls. It’s a familiar form of throwback first-person shooting wrapped in gleeful flair. It’s wizards and lost souls, and ancient magics, twisted and shaped into a familiar but satisfying package. Amid Evil’s world is the stuff of notebook sketches, and it leverages its magical elements to create worlds full of blood-soaked caverns, blue-flame alters, and duels between battle axe wielding badasses.

Amid Evil never leans so far into flashy excess that it becomes corny, though. At its core, it is a game that offers exploration punctuated by enemy encounters instead of a single exhausting gauntlet. Arena fights or monster corridors invariably give way to lager antechambers or branching paths, some of which require the proper key to access. Amid Evil’s arcane halls invite exploration, giving it a more deliberate and measured pace than a peer like Maximum Action or even modern titles like Doom 2016.

I’ll admit that Amid Evil doesn’t tickle my nostalgia bone as much as Dusk did. I’m not someone who has a deep personal relationship with Hexen. But what I’ve played so far is rock solid, leveraging the far-out fantasy vibes in an exciting shooter that I’ve found hard to put down. If you’re eager for a new shooter or simply staving off boredom until Doom Eternal, Amid Evil is a fantastic way to (magically) blow off some steam.

Source: Kotaku.com

John Romero Made A New Doom Mod And It’s Great

1993’s Doom isn’t the first shooter, but it is the one that truly kicked off a genre. Heavy weapons and bloody demons ignited controversy, while stellar level design kept players engaged. A 2016 reboot updated the series for modern times, but those left craving classic Doom can now hop into Sigil, a new collection of levels from one of the game’s original creators, John Romero.

Doom’s modding community is a dedicated one, churning out tons of levels and modifications ever since the game’s release. Sigil is what’s known as a “megawad,” or a mod nearing commercial size, and it’s some of the most punishing and devious Doom I’ve ever played.

Romero, who is working on a new FPS called Blackroom, stitched the project together in his spare time throughout 2017 and 2018. The result is an unofficial sequel to Doom’s fourth episode featuring nine new levels and music crafted by the eccentric guitarist Buckethead. I’ve been playing it all day, even streaming it on Kotaku’s Twitch channel, and it owns.

Playing Doom kicks off the highly specific level design observation node in my brain, and Sigil’s reveal some great tricks for making not just good Doom levels but great first-person designs in general. Romero delights in labyrinthine levels, some of which transform as walls open up to reveal spacious outdoor areas and hidden enemies. His flavor of Doom design has a lot in common with Zelda dungeon design, tasking players with making a mental map of the area and remembering where to go once they pick up keys or weapons. Sigil’s levels invariably loop on themselves or otherwise feature literal mazes for players to dissect.

What makes Romero’s designs work so well is how unabashedly excited he seems to be about them. Levels are teeming with enemies, including many tougher ones like the beefy, energy hurling Barons of Hell. Each new maze is punctuated with fights that mix and match Doom’s precisely-designed enemies. Pits feature side walls where projectile-spitting cacodemons and rushing floating skulls force players to dance in the tightest of spaces. Thin walkways span over chasms, doors waiting at the end. Open them, backstep, and you’ll find demons and zombies guided into the most perfect funnels.

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The result is a challenging experience that manages to add bloody moments of triumph. Hell, the opening level starts with the player surrounded by fireball-spewing imps, inches away from a shotgun. There’s a real giddiness here, a sense that a master is excitedly returning to his favorite tools. (That said, this WAD only uses original Doom 1 assets and enemies, meaning it can occasionally feel less complex than other, fan-made projects.)

Sigil has a problem, but it’s the same one that many Doom modifications and WADs run into. This is a tried-and-true game, and Sigil presumes your familiarity with the original. There’s no slowly ramping difficulty, no miniature set-pieces meant to teach you to handle new monsters before they become commonplace. You’re in the thick of it, and if you happen to be a fresh-faced player for whatever reason, Sigil will kick your ass. The default difficulty is tricky; higher levels feel like borderline trolling. Screw it, let’s just toss a few cyberdemons at the start of this level. You know how to dodge, right?

In the old days, we used to call all first-person shooters “Doom clones.” But there’s nothing else like Doom. There’s a particular, nearly impossible to describe playfulness that even the 2016 reboot sometimes misses. A single run through Romero’s new levels feels positively joyous, a chance to see fantastic level design in action and observe a master at play. It’s hard, and I feel guilty admitting that I’ve been hurt plenty, but it’s Doom. Sigil gets it. How could it not?

Source: Kotaku.com

Insanely Difficult DOOM Record Beaten After 20 Years

While speedrunners are finding new angles and breaking records all the time, the nature of some levels and games means that some records truly do stand the test of time.

One quirk of the original DOOM was the in-game timer that you see at the end of every level. Rather than rounding up or rounding up or down on the precise time a level was finished, the game always rounds down, regardless.

Now if you’re dealing with a larger level or a speedrun of a full game, that’s not a big deal. But what if you’re doing a speedrun of a very specific level – a level that takes nine seconds at most to complete?

This is the crux of the issue that has seen a DOOM world record stand since September 1998, a record that has recently been broken. As outlined by speedrunner enthusiast and YouTuber Karl Jobst, the record has hung around for so long because of the difficulty involved in shaving a full second, rather than a half second or fraction of a second.

The run is an Ultra Violence Speed, meaning that players have to run through the level as fast as possible on Ultra Violence difficulty with enemies enabled. That means there’s a good deal of randomness involved in runs – will they give you a straight line to the finish? – and a very, very small margin for error.

It’s a great breakdown of how these DOOM speedruns work, and how the community was able to discover use new techniques to help shave time off the record. There wasn’t much time to save either. Had 4shockblast wasted one extra frame at any point in their run, the frame rate at which DOOM runs means the speedrun would have clocked in at 9 seconds.

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You can see the full run from 4shockblast, which sits alone at the top of the Hangar speedrun rankings, can be seen below.

This story originally appeared on Kotaku Australia.

Source: Kotaku.com

Doom Mod Turns The Game Into One Extremely Long Hallway

Tired of getting lost in the original Doom while hunting for ammo packs and teleporters? Well there’s now a mod that takes everything in the game and unravels it along a single, unwavering path, and it’s called Linear Doom.

Created by modder DeXiaZ and uploaded to ModDB, Linear Doom takes all of the game’s clever level design and reduces it, from beginning to end, into a series of corridors. It’s still possible to move slightly to the left or right, but for the most part the game only operates along a single axis. Everything from demons to secret switches have been condensed so they all appear within a single hallway.

All of the walls from the original 3D spaces are still present; they’ve just been flattened into a new kind of especially hellish dimension. On the one hand it’s impossible to get lost; on the other hand it’s impossible to avoid enemies. Linear Doom is best played holding down the forward arrow and CTRL button like your life depends on it, because, well, it does.

It’s easy to get up and running. All you need is a copy of Doom, the GZDoom software, and a copy of Linear Doom downloaded from ModDB. If you’ve ever had dreams of speedrunning Doom, now’s your chance. 

Source: Kotaku.com

New Doom Map Recreates A Famously Terrible Bathroom

Two years ago, a Something Awful user decided to renovate his bathroom, and did it in about the worst way possible. Not only was it a garish mess—it looks like a Helghast home improvement show—but he violated a bunch of building codes with some reckless DIY along the way.

As bad as all that is, you can now enjoy it from a distance with a Doom map that faithfully recreates the room. It also has an excellent name.

If you’re wondering why the ground around the bath is causing damage, that’s because the actual bathroom featured rocks all around the bath (designed to grow moss), and the damage caused to Doom Guy is a reflection of the damage we have all had to take looking at this casino/Yakuza bar colour scheme.

You can download the map here.

Via Motherboard.

Source: Kotaku.com

Accountants Throw One Hell Of A Doom Party

Work is hell, but usually in just the metaphorical sense; you wouldn’t expect an office full of accountants to actually look like the kind of place you’d run through with a chainsaw saving humanity from space demons.

And yet here we are, with LPL Financial in San Diego throwing this little soiree for Halloween last year. Which I know was months ago, but it just showed up today in a format missing its sound and some of its coolest features, so I figured it was worth showcasing here in all its glory.

LPL Financials: we’ll rip and tear through your taxes.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Weird Story Behind Doom’s Rare “Ouch Face”

I don’t remember the exact situation I was in when I first saw the face, but I was surprised. I was playing Doom on a crappy Dell computer at the time. I was no older than 10. What was that? Why did the Doomguy look like he had just stepped on a LEGO brick with his barefoot?

I don’t even know if that was the first time I saw it or just the first time I was able to notice his small face change into something I didn’t know about. Years later, I found out what this face is, why it is so rare and how it works.

In the classic Doom games, the player can see their health, ammo and armor on a status bar located at the bottom of the screen. Also included on this bar is a small face which is a visual depiction of the Doomguy. As you take more damage, the Doomguy gets covered in blood. The face will also smile and look around as you play. It even changes if you activate the god mode cheat, gaining glowing yellow eyes.

Most players will see a lot of these different faces as they play through Doom. However, the ouch face is rare and when the game first was released, players weren’t sure what was happening. Many weren’t even seeing it. Some believed it was a totally random occurrence.

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However, once Doom’s source code was released by id Software in the late 90s, players discovered what was going on. The ouch face is so rare because of a programming error.

Players found in the code that the face should show up whenever a player takes more than 20 damage, which isn’t a very rare event in Doom. But the code controlling when the face appears was written incorrectly. Instead, the face only shows up when the player gains 20 health or more while at the same time taking damage. This is much rarer, usually only happening when a player picks up a large health item while getting attacked by more powerful enemies.

There are ways to easy see the face. One of the most reliable ways to see the ouch face is to stand on a floor that does damage and then enter the god mode cheat code, iddqd. After doing this, the player gains more than 20 health while taking damage and results in the ouch face popping up.

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The ouch face has become a bit of meme in the years following Doom’s release. For example, it can be found in Doom 3 on an in-game magazine.

In various ports of Doom the ouch face has been made easier to see. In the Playstation 1 port of Doom, the ouch face commonly occurs when the player takes damage from behind. Some source ports like ZDoom have actually fixed the bug, making the face appear more often in gameplay.

Source: Kotaku.com

A Modder Is Trying To Recreate The Legend Of Zelda In Doom

Doom and Zelda don’t have a lot in common beyond heroes killing a bunch of monsters. But one modder, Exkodius, has spent the last three years trying to recreate the original The Legend of Zelda in the Doom engine.

Their work so far is impressive, with fantastic visuals that immediately capture the look of a classic 8-bit game, but in a 3D perspective.

Unfortunately, Exkodius doesn’t have the time to fully complete their project. So they’ve released the files and a demo of the project onto the internet.

“I really hope someone with the passion or just the know how can have some use of this and maybe even finish it?” said Exkodius on the Moddb page for their Zelda/Doom mod.

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Even unfinished, the mod is impressive and hopefully someone will either finish the mod or Exkodius will find the time to return to their project and finish it.

If you want to play this Doom mod, download the files and follow the instructions on the Moddb page.

The Legend of Zelda: Total Conversion (Moddb.com)

Source: Kotaku.com