13 years after Dwayne Johnson starred in Doom, a new movie based on id Software's famous first-person shooter is in the works.
A remarkable technical achievement, but are the cutbacks too much?
27th February 2018
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We like the Switch version of the Doom 2016. We respect its remarkable technological achievements and we're blown away by the fact that a playable version of this game exists at all for Nintendo's hybrid machine, but the fact is that the game has issues. The drop from 60fps to half-refresh was inevitable, but the impact to resolution and wobbly performance detracted significantly from the overall experience. Last week, developer Panic Button released a patch for the title and to say that people were excited about its potential would be a vast understatement - our social media was awash with demands to re-test the title, with many believing they were seeing some profound improvements in the revised code.
But what has actually been delivered? The patch notes suggest that developer Panic Button has 'increased the average resolution in lower-res areas of the game', which is a welcome upgrade. In shoehorning a modern game engine onto a mobile chipset, Doom's pixel-count is highly variable. Like for like comparisons in the most intense scenes aren't really possible, but we found some interesting data points nonetheless. Outside of combat, we actually found pixel-counts before higher and lower than the original release we tested, but in more challenging scenes, the game does appear to hit 720p while docked more often in situations where you might expect drops. However, drops to 648p are commonplace. In actual fact, Doom seems to scale both horizontal and vertical axes - it's a truly dynamic experience.
The point here is that while there is a difference, the perceptual effect is not significant - it's improved but it's still a very blurry game overall. It's even more difficult to determine in handheld mode but pixel counts do not suggest a transformative boost here. But that's not really the whole story. The fact is that this new patch does improve the experience and it's all about improved performance.
The Nintendo Switch edition of Doom now boasts gyro/motion controls.
Switch owners noted the patch (numbered version 1.1.1) downloading overnight. On booting the game, they discovered motion controls were now an option.
It's a feature fans have asked for - and Bethesda has quietly decided to implement.
A couple of weeks ago, I put my mental and physical endurance to the test with four epic hours in Sykrim VR.
One of the most celebrated FPS franchise giants has finally returned to the House of Mario. Going back more than two decades, Nintendo hardware has always had a unique relationship with the series. Doom for the Super NES, sluggish though it may be, was a technical showpiece for Nintendo's 16-bit machine while the Game Boy Advance conversion felt like holding the future in your hands. There are echoes of this in Bethesda's Switch port of the Doom 2016 reboot. This is mobile technology pushed kicking and screaming to its absolute limits.
Against all odds, developer Panic Button has succeeded in bringing the entirety of the Doom experience to Nintendo's latest machine and it mostly works, though the brutal nature of many of the compromises may well be too much for series purists. In assessing this port, a little perspective is required. The fact it exists at all is somewhat miraculous, and we can't go in expecting a pixel-for-pixel match with the PS4 and Xbox One versions.
Let's start with the good news. This port is content complete, and every level from the original release is present and correct. There was concern that stages would need to be divided up to fit into memory but that's not the case at all. Encounters play out just as they did on the more powerful console platforms, and every stage is presented as a complete experience. Every enemy, weapon and feature is present and accounted for and that's an important thing to consider. After all, Doom 3 for the original Xbox, a comparable port in terms of accomplishment, featured levels which were reduced in size and complexity to work within the constraints of the system. That's not the case here.
Developer id Software has announced demon-blasting shooter Doom will launch on Nintendo Switch on 10th November.
Nintendo announced last month Doom would be coming to the Switch alongside another id Software IP - Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus.
Doom on Switch will feature the full single-player campaign with all difficulty modes, including ultra-nightmare mode. Players will also have the opportunity to choose arcade mode, allowing you to replay the entire game with a time and score attack.
Just how powerful is Nintendo Switch and what are its limits? From Digital Foundry's perspective, it's been fun - and fascinating - to see the evolution of the platform, our expectations of the core Tegra X1 processor's capabilities exceeded by several key releases. But a Switch conversion of the Doom 2016 reboot? That's on a whole new level, and we had to check it out. We went hands-on with the game for about 40 minutes last week, our key question being: just how did they do that?
One of the most popular and influential titles of all-time, id software's Doom played a key part in gaming's challenging 90s transition from two to three dimensions, and its legacy of technical innovation continues to this day. Last week, Nintendo and Bethesda announced a handheld version of the Doom 2016 reboot, seemingly a technological miracle in handheld form. However, back in 1993, full-fat Doom required a medium to high-end PC - and the race was on to accurately translate this incredible new experience to more affordable console hardware.
When Doom was announced for Switch earlier this week many were wondering what corners id Software would have to cut to make its stellar shooter run smoothly on Nintendo's hybrid console/handheld. And now we know.
Bethesda's double whammy of resuscitated id Software IPs, Doom and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, are coming to Switch.
Few video game protagonists are as iconic as the Doom Marine, which is kind of odd as we only see the first-person shooter hero's body illustrated on the game's cover. But it's an amazing cover, one etched in all of our collective minds as the pinnacle of early 90s heavy metal action. What we didn't know, until now, is that that guy was modelled after Doom's lead designer, John Romero.
UPDATE 30/06/2017 2.52am: John Romero's original Doom 2 floppy disks sold for an astonishing $3150 on eBay.
Wow aren't cars fancy today. The things they can (almost) do - like play the original Doom on their little computer screens. Not that you would play: you'd be driving. You can't drive and play Doom - can you?
The measure of any piece of hardware is whether it can run Doom. And it turns out that pretty much any modern computer can, whether it's a MacBook Pro's Touch Bar, the programmable display in a key on the Optimus Maximum keyboard or a Vtech InnoTab.
Acclaimed Doom modder Sergeant_Mark_IV, the person behind popular mod Brutal Doom, is releasing their upgraded version of Doom 64, Brutal Doom 64, next week on 30th October.
This PC mod will outfit Doom 64 with new special effects, particles, lightning, gore, sounds, weapon animations, enemies and cut content from Midway's 1997 spin-off. You can see how this enhanced fan remake looks in the trailer below:
Next week's release will be an early version of Brutal Doom 64, as more content will be added. The release next week will contain all 32 levels from the original game, but Sergeant_Mark_IV will still add enemies like Chaingunguy, Revenant and Mastermind in later versions. Enemies Archvile and Hellhound are planned too.
Doom modder Ben Mansell made a level for Doom 2 that is so big that it takes upwards of an hour to complete. Probably a few hours for most on a first run.
Someone once parodied Gone Home by merging it with Doom in the humourous video Gun Home. But now ex-BioShock and The Cave developer JP LeBreton is taking that seemingly ludicrous juxtaposition of first-person games seriously in his upcoming Doom 2 mod / memoir Autobiographical Architecture.
Modder Edy Pagaza is working on a Doom mod that merges it with Capcom's 2006 PS2 classic beat-'em-up God Hand.
Back in 1996 ad agency Digital Cafe created a free Doom mod called Chex Quest as a pack-in toy for the popular breakfast cereal. Naturally, it was about protecting a sentient race of cereal from slimy green aliens. Now, the artist behind that project, Charles Jacobi, is working on an HD remake of the quirky commercial mod.
Popular Doom mod Brutal Doom, which makes id Software's 1993 classic and its sequel much more violent and aggressive, has received a new upgrade that adds weapons from this year's Doom reboot.
The original Doom was one of gaming's great milestones. It wasn't the first of its genre - or even the first by developer id Software who previously made Wolfenstein - but it was arguably the best. So popular was Doom that nonchalant musings about it in trade magazines became the stuff of legend. Who could forget Edge's famous "If only you could talk to the creatures" review, or GamePro's hilarious "ProTip" caption "To defeat the Cyberdemon, shoot at it until it dies."
Doom 2 modder Doug Keener has recreated Jerry Seinfeld's classic NBC sitcom in id Software's 1994 shooter.
Doom has moved on. id Software's new take on its old classic once again straddles a fault-line between the partly colonised surface of Mars and a rollicking Death Metal album cover version of Hell, all goat motifs and bubbling plumes of gore. Brought to life with staggering detail, it's a world away from the sprites and vertices of John Carmack's original Doom engine, but each chapter does feature a secret area modelled on one of Doom or Doom 2's maps, nestled inside this assured, muscular reboot like a vestigial organ.
A new and improved GoldenEye 007 mod for Doom is in the works, and a demo is expected by the end of the month.
Legendary and maybe part-machine programmer John Carmack will receive this year's BAFTA Fellowship award, joining the likes of Gabe Newell, Shigeru Miyamoto, Will Wright and many others. He'll receive the award at the BAFTA Games Awards 7th April in London - an event happening alongside EGX Rezzed.
If you pre-order the Xbox One version of the new Doom, you get Doom 1 and Doom 2. So says the Xbox Store.
Doom co-creator John Romero has crafted his first new Doom level in 21 years.
"There was never a name for the Doom marine because it's supposed to be you" - John Romero, co-creator of Doom
Released on game's 21st birthday.
Where would games be today if Doom hadn't happened? 21 years ago it was a real milestone - the establishment of a first-person shooter genre we see so much of, and take for granted, today.
Doom co-creator John Romero let it slip that he's starting development on a new shooter. His first since Daikatana in 2000.
Where the bloody hell is Doom 4? It makes me so sad that my beloved id Software can't get its s*** together on Doom 4, or so it seems at least. This should be one of the easiest sells in the world. Bright, colourful hellscapes, superfast movement and fantastical projectile weaponry, labyrinthine levels with keys and secret rooms - the antithesis to all the grit and grime of contemporary first-person shooters.
Todd Hollenshead has walked from id Software, Bethesda has confirmed.
A ridiculous Doom 2 mod turns all the grunting marines into vrooming automobiles, making the whole thing resemble a crude approximation of Destruction Derby or Twisted Metal.
There are few games that will ever have as much impact on the games industry as Doom. Two decades after release it remains a touchstone for the genre, and has influenced a whole generation of designers; the shooter that defined a thousand shooters.
John Romero, the veteran developer and id Software founder who helped create FPS touchstones like Quake, Doom and Wolfenstein, is planning a return to the genre in which he made his name.
Romero, who's currently CEO of social game studio Loot Drop, Inc., told Eurogamer that although he hasn't formally started work on the project he has the design nailed down.
"Yes, I'm definitely going to be making another shooter and it will be on PC first," he explained.
Here's one for the history books. Jordan Mechner, the veteran game designer responsible for Prince of Persia, has dug up a fan letter he received nearly 30 years ago from a 17-year-old called John Romero - the very same guy who'd go on to create FPS touchstones Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake at id Software.
id Software's seminal FPS Doom returns to Xbox Live Arcade today, publisher Bethesda has announced.
To mark the anniversary of Doom's release, 20 years ago today, here's a treat from the Eurogamer archive: Paul Dean's retrospective essay on the game, first published on 15th January 2012.
Doom creator and industry veteran John Carmack has hit back at accusations that games promote violent tendencies in players, arguing that they're in fact "cathartic" and more likely to reduce aggression.
Universal wants to make a new DOOM film, despite the first unanimously falling foul of critics and averaging a lowly 34 per cent (Metacritic).
John Romero, legendary designer of seminal first-person shooters Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake, is turning his attention to a new type of gamer – Facebook gamers.
The history of PC gaming can be neatly split into two eras. Everything from 1993 onwards we can class as the Modern Age, in which the PC is established as a games platform in its own right. (We can pinpoint 1993 based on the fact that before that year the number of PC games that have survived into posterity drops off precipitously.)
Microsoft appears to be preparing three more games for the budget Xbox Live Arcade Hits range.
Assault Heroes and Doom will be offered for half-price on Live Arcade this Wednesday.
Id Software's Todd Hollenshead has revealed that the Quake and Doom creator is working on a new gaming franchise, powered by a brand new engine from developer John Carmack, GamesIndustry.biz is reporting.
It looks like DOOM might not be the last classic id Software game to make its way onto Xbox Live Arcade, with company CEO Todd Hollenshead saying that the reaction to it "bodes well" for others to follow in its wake.
Almost every time we post a review of a new release on Xbox Live Arcade, someone inevitably pipes up "what's the point?" - as though old games are somehow exempt from re-evaluation. The attitude seems to be that Microsoft has the right to release anything regardless of quality as long as it's cheap, or that it's somehow 'unfair' to judge an old game. What nonsense. If Microsoft - or Sony, or Nintendo - wants to charge good money for ancient content, we're here to tell you whether it's worth the asking price, whether it's boxed product or otherwise.
Quick review? Doom is definitely worth the asking price.
Unlike a lot of games that came out at the start of that difficult transition from 2D to 3D, Doom stands the test of time thanks to fantastic, memorable level design, a refined control system, a perfect weapon balance, the list goes on. When Bungie spoke of basing Halo on the "30 seconds of fun over and over" design ethic, it was a principle Doom got right from the opening level onwards.
Going to Mars? Don't bother taking any cheese. Judging by the recently released trailer for the DOOM movie, which is available download now as a High Definition video, there's plenty to go around.
Of course, we've no idea whether the film will be good or bad. We have suspicions, but they're mainly to do with the lack of fountains of Hellish gore in the trailer. If the full film has Hell, lots of big scary demons that don't look at all like men-in-suits-with-four-buglike-eyes-QUICK-RUN and, dunno, they fire half the cast, it might be brilliant.
It's definitely more DOOM III than the others though - heck, it looks like they only have one flashlight, for a start. Heck I tells ya. Take a look anyway. It'll give you something to talk about in the pub, and then back away from occasionally reloading your glass.
A new trailer for the forthcoming Doom movie is now available to view on US website IGN.
You can also watch a Comic-Con panel discussion with the stars and producers, and find out what The Rock's nickname really means.
The Doom movie begins with Sarge (The Rock) leading his team to a Martian research facility where scientists have just identified the remaining 10 per cent of the human genome, with results that aren't really that hilarious. When it all kicks off and corpses start turning up left right and centre, it's down to John Grimm (Karl Urban) to save the day.
Activision Developer id Software / David A Palmer Productions Small But Perfectly Malformed id Software have a reputation for pushing the latest graphics technology to the limit. Take Doom, for example. When it first came out I had a 12Mhz 386, and to get the game to run smoothly I had to reduce the area of the screen which it actually rendered to the size of a credit card. Flash forward to 2001. Doom has arrived on the GameBoy Advance, and some things never change - the game is still pushing technology to the very limit, the picture is still the size of a credit card, and the hardware is still struggling to keep up. Doom is probably the most graphically impressive title that we have seen so far on the GBA. It may lack the gaudy colours and crystal clarity of Rayman Advance, but it makes up for this with detailed texturing and sprites which are lifted almost pixel-for-pixel from the original PC version of the game, although sadly the blood has been replaced by Nintendo-friendly green gore. The weapons in particular are beautifully rendered and animated, with the full selection on offer from brass knuckles and pistol all the way up to rocket launcher and room-clearing BFG. The eerie sound effects and cheesy MIDI music stylings of Bobby Prince have also been beautifully transferred, and classic noises like the roaring of imps and the awful ripping sound as they claw at your flesh all add to the atmosphere of the game. Unfortunately two things haven't made it on to the GameBoy though - the all-important boss monsters. Although episode two still ends well even without a cyberdemon to scare the bejeezus out of you, the final map is something of an anti-climax. Gone is the giant robotic spider, and in its place are two rooms full of monsters and ammunition followed by some pointless unlocking of doors to reach the exit. The last few levels of Doom were always the weakest, with an over-reliance on pools of lava, cramped mazes and teleporter puzzles, and the revamped last level just makes this even more of a disappointing end to a great game. Knee Deep In The Dead Otherwise the original twenty four levels have been recreated faithfully for the most part, with only a few obvious changes, none of which harm the flow of the game. Having said that, a couple of the maps could really have used more drastic editing. Mount Erebus in particular suffers from terrible slowdowns in a few places, and although you can switch off dynamic lighting in the options menu to get a frame rate boost, this removes all variation in lighting and kills the atmosphere completely. Aside from the occasional frame rate problems though, Doom's short monster-packed levels and fast paced visceral action work a treat on Nintendo's hand-held. The "three keys and an exit" run-and-gun gameplay is a little basic by today's standards, and the AI and storyline are virtually non-existent, but the game makes up for this with wall-to-wall carnage, a tense atmosphere and plenty of secret areas to uncover. The controls are surprisingly easy to master, with the D-pad controlling your movement, select bringing up a map, and the A and B buttons handling running, opening doors, pushing switches, firing and so forth. You actually have a choice of half a dozen preset configurations, with the best using the shoulder buttons for strafing but requiring you to hold down two keys at once to switch weapons. This can be a little fiddly in the middle of a fight, but on the bright side having dedicated strafe keys makes circling around your enemies a doddle with a little practice. Conclusion Dave Palmer and the boys have done a solid job of converting id's seminal shooter to the GameBoy Advance, with only a few frame rate issues and the weak ending letting it down. The game itself is fairly short, but with a choice of four difficulty settings and the addition of two player co-operative and four player deathmatch options via the link cable, there's plenty here to keep you coming back for more. - Doom screenshots 8