Doom Catch-All of Doom

I keep hearing great things about 64 from the gameplay to the soundtrack... Think I'll have to fire it up this week as well.

DC Malleus wrote:

I keep hearing great things about 64 from the gameplay to the soundtrack... Think I'll have to fire it up this week as well.

I didn't think much of this as a pre-order bonus but I've also been hearing that 64 is this an underrated gem of a game so I'm definitely going to give it more than the 10 minute peek I gave it following the release of Eternal...

Classic weapon pose:

I didn't even realize this existed until I watched some Eternal reviews/piss-taking on YouTube. It's... pretty damn great although it does look like they still went a bit overboard with how much the barrel of the weapon protrude into the center of the main view area.

Oh that reminds me of something I left out of my thoughts post.

I LOVE the UI customization of Eternal. I really did not like the HUD by default, much too candy-colored and over-busy.

Being able to switch to a more muted color scheme (I loved "Sentinel") as well as being able to turn off UI elements (did not need my Runes or extra lives on screen at all times, and definitely did not need that big-ass demonic presence bar), along with turning down the HUD opacity in general, made a great difference.

And yeah, I also used the classic weapons pose, which is just how DOOM should be.

I can't say enough good things about the DOOM 64 release. It's everything you would want a classic game ported to modern platforms to be. SO much care was taken to present the game as faithfully as possible, including retaining a password save system that nobody is going to use, and re-implementing the N64's 3-point style texture filtering in shader code rather than just lazily using bilinear or anisotropic filtering that they could probably turn on with a press of a button.

For console users they even implemented mouse/keyboard on Xbox, and motion aiming for PS4 and Switch. Just going above and beyond in every area they possibly could.

There's an absolute ton to love about the game itself, but the port/update job is just exquisite. I already loved and bought Nightdive ports (the Blood port is another must-own), but this one-ups their already amazing track record.

Just finished myself and honestly for me the game got worse and worse as it went along. One arena fight after another, tons of Super Mario Doom platforming, and the final two boss fights are a total joke that were full of more gimmicks and tricks to make them take longer. Overall I’d rate it a solid 6 out of 10, hard to believe this is the same team that did the first game. Since this is the direction they are taking the franchise then I’m definitely skipping the next one. I did enjoy it overall, but way too much frustration and not nearly enough fun. On to Borderlands 3, where I can hopefully just shoot things with impunity.

@Legion: Thanks for calling out the UI customization! Even for console there are an unheard of number of options to fiddle with. I think my fave UI scheme is the one right after "Sentinel". The middle color blindness video option is also very interesting, putting a more vivid and dream-like slant to everything. It was also great to turn off the motion blur.

As for my progress... I dunno. My desire to like Eternal continues to suffer something akin to a death from a thousand cuts. My experience in the final sequence of the Super Gore Nest is pretty indicative of the push & pull this game has on me:

Spoiler:

There's that timed escape sequence after you blow up the demon heart. I got off way on the wrong foot so by the time I was headed in the right direction the electricity and explosions had almost completely engulfed the critical path. The visual effects and darkness make navigation incredibly difficult. I ended up dying but on respawn using my 1-Ups I was thrust back into the exact same situation of needing to find my way out like a blind man. Died through my remaining 1-Ups. I think if I reload my checkpoint it's going to drop me right before I throw the last switch and all hell breaks loose so I have a chance to get a head start again, but man, this sequence really annoyed me. (I'll also try disabling the funky color blindness setting I was rocking to improve visibility?)

This so doesn't feel like Doom to me and it's been amazing how willing I've been to walk away from this game instead of compulsively playing it as I have past installments.

I'm about 1/3 of the way through DOOM 64, and I no longer have any questions about whether or not DOOM Eternal is the best DOOM release of 2020.

It's not.

DOOM 64 feels like this alternate reality version of DOOM. Especially now with mouse and keyboard, it's weird to play something that is SO familiar yet SO alien at the same time. For a game that looks so different, I'm awestruck at how much it feels like playing the classic PC DOOM games, down to many small details (and not working from hazy nostalgia here, I ran through DOOM, DOOM II, and Final DOOM in sequence just a few years ago).

I imagine some of that uncanny feel was probably lost in its original iteration, being played on that horrendous N64 controller and all. Had it been released on PC, this would have been the true DOOM 3. Absolutely blows my mind that this has been hiding in plain sight for almost a quarter-century.

Few more things about DOOM 64:

* If you've completed classic DOOM games, play on the hardest difficulty. I assumed that the second-hardest ("I Own Doom") would be the Ultra-Violence equivalent, but it's more like Hurt Me Plenty. If you play older DOOM games on UV, then I Own Doom will be too easy.

* Quicksave often. The game is very fair except for one huge glaring exception: pits with no escape. And occasional sequences that make those pits appear right under your feet.

* In Steam, go to the game Properties and add "-skipmovies" to the command line (Launch Options). It takes forever to start the game otherwise.

The pits and the approximately 2000 intro videos when you launch are pretty much my only complaints with the game. Particularly the pits that appear without warning as part of a trigger sequence.

Played the first level today and in some ways I think I like it better than DOOM 2016, in other ways I understand why others are less pleased by it. I don't know how to quantify it, as the first level of DOOM 2016 wasn't exactly the most open-ended. The entire game still pushed you from combat arena to combat arena. But this first map felt like it was all forward momentum whereas DOOM 2016's first map had like, two or three paths between sections.

But what's more clear is just how lethal this game is. You definitely run out of both ammo and health quick, and they toss some powerful enemies at you from the get go. I think that's one of the reasons I enjoyed this early level more, while at the same time proving slightly frustrating because of how little you're equipped at the start. I actually do appreciate the shift to different enemies having different weaknesses and vulnerabilities, but we'll see what I'm thinking when there's ten or fifteen different demon types on a single battlefield. I also imagine the extra lives is part of the reason things are more difficult, and I gotta admit, I'm curious about trying the game with the extra lives mode once I've beaten it once.

What's perhaps the most depressing is that this is the first time in a long time I've played an FPS on a console and felt like the controller was less adequate. There's no way I'll swap to a keyboard and mouse because 1) my PC could never perform as well as the Xbox One X, and 2) my keyboard and mouse is still uncomfortable for gaming for me. But dang, this game moves so fast it's tough not to feel like you could use something more precise.

So I'm almost finished with the third level, but decided to take a break after using what spare extra lives I had on the Slayer Gate encounter.

I'd actually thought I was doing pretty good, keeping roughly 5 extra lives in stock up until the second Secret Encounter in that level. Next thing I know they're spawning two snek-men, a mancubus, and two or three fodder in a cramped space. I failed to kill them all in time twice, and managed to get it on the third try... but at the cost of all three extra lives.

It's the first time I've found the game legitimately frustrating, because it feels like a really, really stupid encounter where the developers just laugh at you. In a game about mobility, it's an encounter that gives you none. Were it not for that Secret Encounter (and my own stubbornness) I imagine I could have cleared the Slayer Encounter with the additional Extra Lives (the two I had were eliminated).

Even so, I don't recall the encounter design of DOOM (2016) being this nuts, and I also feel like some of the decisions run counter to the game's actual purpose. Zoom in and blast the weak point with the rifle? Seems simple enough, and maybe works great on PC, but on console it's an action that begs for you to not move too much, which means exposing yourself to enemy fire.

It's weird, because I feel like there's a lot of decisions that really do make this a more engaging game to play. Giving the enemies weakpoints or vulnerabilities to certain weapons, and then giving the player control over which attack provides ammunition, health, or armor are all great ways to both encourage the player to use all of their arsenal while offering some freedom in deciding which resource is necessary. Unfortunately, a lot of those cooldown times are really long, and you'll definitely be needing armor and health towards the game's start.

There's also just so many buttons, it's clearly an old-school design where the keyboard was taken for granted over any concept of proper accessible design. It's enough to make me wonder if they perhaps included too much and should have shown some restraint?

Of course, the reality may be that I just need to stop expecting to 100% a map on my first time through. However, I also now know that I should save some of those secrets for the end of the level when quick travel is available. I really don't want to have to go through this whole map again just for one Slayer Gate, but the main path doesn't eat up nearly as many extra lives as those optional challenge encounters. Best to stock up on extra lives and try that stuff towards the map's end.

Lastly, while I certainly enjoy much of the exploration and platforming segments, there's been at least three that feel so unclear and finnicky that I'm pretty sure they were slapped together by an intern.

ccesarano wrote:

I'd actually thought I was doing pretty good, keeping roughly 5 extra lives in stock up until the second Secret Encounter in that level. Next thing I know they're spawning two snek-men, a mancubus, and two or three fodder in a cramped space. I failed to kill them all in time twice, and managed to get it on the third try... but at the cost of all three extra lives.

This was the only Secret Encounter in the game I had to come back to later because it was so tough for your current loadout. When you come back armed a bit better it's a breeze. That's actually just a good principle in general, if you're having a tough time with some secrets or Slayer Gates, when you go back later with your full armament the levels feels completely different (on the subject of extra lives, replaying levels is a super easy way to stock up on a tonne of +1's)

It's been said to death, but steel yourself for the Marauder in a couple levels and don't be too upset when he sucks up all 17 of your extra lives.

I finished Eternal a few weeks ago. I remembered I hadn't finished the original game (2016) so went back and discovered I wasn't even halfway in. I've been working on that off and on since then and finished it tonight. It's been quite a ride over that game and a half of frenetic FPS and it also served as a great refresher to help me compare it with Eternal. I agree that Eternal is generally more engaging and found the weak spots to be a pretty satisfying mechanic, but some other stuff (i'm looking at you, mr. buff totem) i wasn't as excited about. After getting a little annoyed at the platforming early, I settled in and found it a satisfying but not too difficult challenge. I was really glad they decided to get rid of the classic map hunt-the-lever secrets from the original game as I found em super tedious - I was so focused on 100%ing everything that I repeated pretty much every map at least once and some as many as 3 or 4 times.

Anyway, after playing Eternal and most of 2016 back-to-back, I'm definitely ready for a break from Doom before their first campaign DLC for Eternal hits.

I rarely replay games, but DOOM 2016 was so good I just took it for a 2nd run. This time on ultra violence instead of Hurt Me plenty. I just wrapped it up tonight, that was fun! Some of the late levels get a little to frantic or a little too long, but they were still very good. I don't think I've played a game where I like the fast paced shooting so much. I'm usually a slower paced guy.

DOOM 2016 really is a master class in FPS aggression. I'm still bummed that they bloated DOOM Eternal so much

I don't have Eternal yet, but I'm sure i'll get it at some point.

So I did something I never do because I'm a totally 1337 gamer yo. I started this game on a lower difficulty. I hadn't played since I was maybe 2/3rds through the fourth map, and having a sense of what was coming just left me with... exhaustion. So I decided I'd give it a whirl on "I'm Too Young To Die", which has me feeling really odd as I still find the game exhausting to play, yet have 16 extra lives after the third map. This is not only way more than I had my first time through, but way more than I ever had at once.

I was feeling like I might have had some new epiphanies, but rereading my post from April I feel like I've just refined my thoughts regarding the game's design: namely, that it's a console port of a PC game first and foremost. I'm also not sure who was in charge of the game's aim assist. I've grown up enough to accept that, yeah, shooters on console basically kind of need that assistance to help players out, but DOOM Eternal's is oddly inconsistent. I've found myself struggling to shotgun a basic demon while the game drags my cursor in moments I don't want it to. It's like the Halo/Destiny problem, only on further extremes (it's usually only noticeable with Bungie's shooters when you're trying to snipe and someone walks in front).

It's more than just the speed and precision aiming, however. I've considered customizing the button-mapping due to how many tasks take your thumbs off the sticks, thus inhibiting movement and aim in a way that PC players won't have to fight with. I can't think of any sort of universally good preset, though. As such, if I want to swap grenade types, I effectively have to accept that I need to stop moving in order to have my left thumb swap out. I can mitigate this somewhat by using jump pads to keep me moving while swapping grenades, but it's one of those limitations that's felt pretty severely given the pace of this game's combat.

This also remains an issue in platforming. For reasons unknown to me, the Slayer is incapable of jumping or dashing in a straight line. So I'll jump, double-jump, then as soon as I hit the dash on the B-button he's suddenly swerving to the side. Whoops! Missed the dash refill! Too bad your thumb was on the B-button and not the right-stick to adjust. Well, okay, what if I remapped that to a bumper? Oh, wait, then I wouldn't have immediate access to the flame belch or grenades, both of which are far more important in combat than the dash button. Perhaps I could remap it to the right stick and leave B-button to melee? Oof. Having to press on the aiming stick while precision jumping sounds like a recipe for disaster.

It puts me in a weird spot, because I like a lot of additions to the game's combat. I like thinking about using the flame belch on a horde of zombies before tossing in a frag grenade so they burst into a shower of green candy. I like trying to save up some gas canisters to slice a heavier enemy in half for ammunition. In theory, I like the weakpoints. However, console-brain me would prefer if they were "elemental" weaknesses or were weapon specific like the energy shields overloading from the plasma rifle. Stuff like that seems like it'd match with the fast-paced and hectic nature of the game rather than trying to precision blast arm cannons and such. However, the precision-based nature is all part of what makes it very much a PC-first game, and given how many years PC players have had to deal with awful ports of console-first games I'm hardly going to argue that they shouldn't get something that caters to them.

At the end of the day, though, my issue is the same as I had with the prior DOOM, which is that these levels are just indulgently huge. It's not so bad now that I've knocked the difficulty down and can fulfill my compulsive desire to 100% each map on the first try, and it's not like I'm not used to rather long maps in video games. I kind of love how Halo's levels are pretty big, for example. Yet the combat in Halo isn't exhausting like it is in DOOM Eternal, especially as the platforming/exploratory segments are incredibly brief. There are only so many big battle arenas, but there are so many small skirmishes between.

Which is incredibly silly sounding since I'm a big fan of games like Devil May Cry 5, which is mostly combat.

It makes it a tough game to figure out where I stand. I'm enjoying it, but I'm exhausted by it so easily. Do I like this game? Am I playing it out of obligation since I spent $60 on it? I don't know. It's so weird to look at the game and say "This is good... but I'll be glad to finish it and never play it again."

New features are well and good, but more is not necessarily better. More game designers need to learn this. Perhaps they should practice writing poetry.

Interestingly, I have problems similar to what you describe when I play WH40k Inquisitor. It has multiple controller options, but all of them get in the player’s way in one way or another. I sometimes wonder if anyone on the dev team uses a controller exclusively.

i'm thinking about reinstalling and working through the campaign on a higher difficulty. but i'm unsure what's actually going on with the denuvo issue. does anyone know if denuvo anti-cheat/tamper is still included or if it's been removed yet.?

Tycho the Mad wrote:

i'm thinking about reinstalling and working through the campaign on a higher difficulty. but i'm unsure what's actually going on with the denuvo issue. does anyone know if denuvo anti-cheat/tamper is still included or if it's been removed yet.?

Denuvo was removed from Doom Eternal at the end of May.

Great, thank you, all the news i could find was "next patch will remove it" but nothng seemed to say "it's gone!"