Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Doom 64 Is The Most Underrated Doom Game

Illustration for article titled iDoom 64/i Is The Most Underrated iDoom /iGame

Though credits have rolled on the new Doom, I wanted to keep blowing up imps and pinkies. It seemed like the right time to revisit Doom 64.

Advertisement

Doom 64 wasn’t actually developed by id Software; it was created by Midway Games. It picks up after the events of Doom 2: Hell on Earth, when attempts to purge the previous demonic invasion through radiation blasts fail to destroy a being capable of resurrecting the demons. Your experience with the horde prompts the government to send you back in.

(If you subscribe to the wild Doom theory that I published a few weeks back, the ending of Doom 64 is canonically linked to the new Doom.)

Advertisement

Doom 64's release in early 1997 was memorable for a few reasons. One, it wasn’t a straight port of Doom, which had been dragged around from machine to machine for years. Doom was starting to get a little repetitive.

Two, Doom 64 arrived during a drought in releases for the Nintendo 64. (You could only collect the 120 stars in Super Mario 64 so many times.) And though Doom 64 was overshadowed by the release of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter a few weeks prior, Doom 64 holds up a whole lot better than ol’ Turok.

What’s so immediately striking about Doom 64 is that it’s treated as a reboot, visually speaking, even if it retains the base mechanics of Doom.

Illustration for article titled iDoom 64/i Is The Most Underrated iDoom /iGame
Advertisement

That’s a far cry from the pink demons from the original game:

Image Credit: Wikia
Image Credit: Wikia
Advertisement

Every enemy was given a makeover for Doom 64, and they’re awesome. It’s not an improvement, necessarily, but they’re cool and in the same spirit. People even ripped the sprites from Doom 64 and dumped them into the original game. (With modding, it’s a question of when, not if.)

The game is brutal, too. I mean, the first level opens with players being shot at by enemies locked in a cage. When I started playing, I died in the first 30 seconds without firing a single bullet. OK, Doom 64, I’m listening.

Advertisement

Otherwise, it’s a straightforward but excellent Doom game. You shoot demons, you collect key cards, and find the exit. Rinse, repeat. I shot my way through six levels before realizing I should probably get back to work.

Doom 64's cult status has circled for years, with fans going out of their way to keep the game current. Doom 64 EX is faithful version of the game on PC that’s been updated with access to modern resolutions and other helpful tweaks. It’s gorgeous, as far as Doom games go. Despite Doom 64 having been released in 1997, Doom 64 EX is still being updated.

Advertisement

And I won’t forget you either, Doom 64.

Senior reporter at Kotaku, streaming Mario deaths at youtube.com/patrickklepek

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

letters2kay
Letters2Kay

THIS ALL DAY. Doom64- along with Mario64, sold me on the system, and these two games along with Resident Evil 2 got me back into gaming when I had lost interest for quite a while.

I love everything about Doom64. The sound design is incredible- this is one of the first games I really played in the dark with the sound cranked, and I can still hear the music/ambient effects if I close my eyes. Phenomenal. The level design was some of the best I have ever seen in a first-person shooter. I love all of the secrets and hidden rooms and items and even entire levels. Not only is it a fun and very challenging shooter, it is almost a puzzle within itself. I remember my heart racing sometimes after finally clearing a large room, and I remember getting so deep into a fray only to watch as another dozen Demons congregated around my fading corpse.

“You have got to be fucking kidding me...”

Have been saying that a lot more lately and having a lot of the same feelings playing through the new Doom. As a Doom64 diehard, they really translated a lot of what made that game so... perfect.

EDIT: Got a new PC recently and installed Doom64 with emulation and paired my DualShock4 (using DSTool) and mapped the controls to modern shooter style. It plays so smooth and feels so nice on a modern controller.