Rik’s recent review of Doom prompted me to have a look at Doom Reborn, a mod for Doom 3 that recreates the levels of the first two games.

Doom 3 handled very differently to those predecessors – it was all about creeping around cramped corridors waiting for a demon to go BOO and leap out of a trapdoor at you. That’s largely a matter of level design though. I’m happy to say that the pacing of the combat here in Doom Reborn feels reasonably true to the originals. You have the more open levels, and also the running speed has been dialled up to Doom levels, which was rather ridiculously high when you think about it. Yet that Olympic sprinter-level motion is a key part of the shootouts in Doom – a rhythm of circle strafing enemies, or diving in and out of cover to avoid incoming fireballs.


Couple of observations – you can jump, which obviously wasn’t an option in the old days. Some windows now have an invisible barrier to stop you taking shortcuts around a map. Also, the basic soldiers do some sort of little sideways commando roll, for some reason.

The mod is in pre-beta and as such is still awaiting some features. For example you can’t actually save your game. Also it doesn’t yet support widescreen resolutions. Given this is being put together by some guy in his spare time, I suppose we shouldn’t be too demanding.

Some people, I’m sure would rather play one of the Doom source ports like Brutal Doom – that is, an upgraded version of that original engine. Or they might even prefer the pure unadulterated Doom as played in 1993 (which I think is what Rik went for). It’s a matter of personal preference. I do wonder that, if we’re going to play modernised Doom, it should be properly modernised with a current iD engine, and not something that is itself now a decade old. Still, it can’t hurt to have options when revisiting as essential a classic of gaming as Doom.

So I’ll continue to keep an eye on this mod. Although I do wish they’d try and recreate the original skybox texture. I miss those gloomy, foreboding mountains.