My Bloody Valentine
Happy Weekend TAY!
I started up the original Doom last week as I was pondering what to play. With all the talk about the new ports of Doom to consoles and having recently watched this cool video from Digital Foundry comparing the different console ports of Doom through the ages, I couldn’t ignore the pull.
There are few games I have replayed more than Doom. I was at university when Doom launched and within a year, the shareware version was all over the university computers.
My own personal purchase of Doom was first on the 32x and I enjoyed the hell out of it on that ill-conceived device. However, a few months later, my (then) fiance and I bought a Pentium 90 PC (our 286 and Amiga 2000 computers were no longer cutting it) and a whole new world of PC gaming was suddenly opened up to us.
Through the years, and with each iteration of PC hardware, I always seem to go back to Doom at some point to explore what the modding community has done to improve the experience.
This time around I’m playing with Brutal Doom through GZDoom (which is a 3D accelerated Doom source port). Brutal Doom adds a ton of visual enhancements to the game, but it is the buckets of blood and added gore that it is most famous for.
Thankfully, GZDoom and Brutal Doom allow the user to turn off most of the enhancements. This allows the player to basically have the original Doom experience but with more amenities such as increased frame rates, higher resolutions, and modern aspect ratios.
I’ve left a small number of enhancements on that I feel improve the visuals without fundamentally changing the game. There are still a couple of instances of new enemies that are found in specific areas and other very minor changes, but it feels like the original Doom...with the added ability to paint the walls with demon blood.
I believe you can turn off all the enhancements (at least the options seem to suggest this) while retaining all the gore effects, but I think what Brutal Doom adds to the environments is well done and only seeks to spruce up the 27-year-old visuals.
The blood effects are impressive and the number of decals can get insane. I ended up having to reduce the number of decals from the maximum amount possible as the big messes were leading to dips below 60fps.
Brutal Doom is a great way to play Doom and I could see myself going back and trying the game with the full suite of enhancements. I’m most interested in seeing what the game does with the improved AI options. This apparently allows the enemies to have different behaviours and even different abilities.
I’m looking forward to more Doom this weekend. I’m still in awe of the speed of the gameplay and the incredible level design...I’m having such a blast.
So, what are you playing this weekend?