Diabloom: Fall Of Mars Embiggened

By Alec Meer on March 23rd, 2009 at 5:50 pm.


It’s sure nice that the creator of the excellent Doom/Diablo mashup Fall of Mars dropped me a line over the weekend to say there was an updated and dramatically expanded version out. Rather unfortunately, I now hate him. I lost over three hours to FoM this morning, you see. Three hours during which I should have been playing Men of War for a Wot I Think. The others will surely spurn and scorn me.

Their hatred is perhaps a price worth paying, for I had a great time. Unlike the proof-of-concept last version I wittered about a while back, this is getting on for being a complete game. It has a start and a finish, it has linked maps and levelling, it has a ton of Doom foes and weapons, and it has all the ludicrous compulsiveness of Diablo’s ever-escalating click marathons. Were this released in the mid-90s, it’d probably have been hailed an instant classic.

Inevitably and understandably, it’s a bit crude of visuals and interface, and as with any Diablolike the second you realise you’re playing it more to watch a bunch of numbers slowly increase than for the visceral fun of the combat, the illusion shatters a little. Plus there’s something fairly obtuse about the idea a space marine who’s running for his life through a demon-infested moonbase pausing to mull over whether +2% life-drain is better than +4 armour or not. But that’s an inherent complication of the genre, not Fall of Mars. In fact, I enjoy Fall of Mars’ combat rather more than much of Diablo, as the guns really do fit the Diablo structure beautifully, and ramp up in effectiveness spectacularly. I was lucky enough to get an ultra-rare Minigun (named, cutely, the Nailgun) as a drop, and the resulting devastation was glorious.

If there’s one thing I’d seriously grumble about, it’s that ammo’s maybe too plentiful – running out was never an issue – and health packs sometimes a little too scare, given how hard it can be to dodge some of the projectile-lobbing monsters. Clearly too, the addition of co-op would do wonderful things, but it’s already a fantastic, robust experience that genuinely releases both Diablo and Doom on much more than a purely surface level. It’s Diablo, it’s Doom, it’s free, and it’s a grand old time. Go get.

Here’s a video, in case you’re dithering. The post-rock soundtrack’s an odd one, however – it’s not in the game, and while agreeably gloomy-epic is weirdly at odds with the hyper-kinetic ultra-violence of the thing itself.


Doom: Fall of Mars Game Doom FoM: Pre-Beta Sneak Peak video – Mod DB

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37 Comments »

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  1. Lorc says:

    Most frabjous day!

  2. rob says:

    A bit of Godspeed is ever welcome. This looks awesome, if only for the nostalgic factor.

  3. Griffinheart says:

    Blowing away demons…just what I need to relieve the stress of trying to find my way around Ohio.

  4. Dominic White says:

    I’d say that a lot of Dooms soundtrack was far more out of place than the track chosen in that video. No shortage of droning midi dirges and horrible bleepy-bloopy renditions of heavy metal anthems.

    That reminds me, next time I’m playing Doom online (which has a remarkably active community, still constantly churning out maps and mods), I need to try some 65daysofstatic. Should be more interesting than most of the MIDI mush that accompanies the game by default.

  5. alex_jacobson says:

    Godspeed!

  6. Markoff Chaney says:

    This looks like a perfectly cromulent mash up. I’ll give this a shot later this evening or tomorrow. It could be much worse than merging 2 of the greatest games together.

  7. Lachlan says:

    Entertaining, but urgently in need of a map…

  8. DigitalSignalX says:

    The guy who made Mob Ties should make a FPS of diablo now, and it would be a great day. I’m sure there’s time, should only take a couple hours in FPS creator to scrounge up some textures to swap out.

  9. rob says:

    Dominic – 65days are touring pretty soon, looking forward to seeing them

  10. Über Nerd says:

    download make playlist from here;
    http://www.doomworld.com/classicdoom/info/music.php?wad=remix

    especially Asphyxiated Soul

    It bloody sucks without minimap it doesn’t stop you from getting addicted. Avoid like aids if you love your freetime.

  11. Scandalon says:

    If’n it’s better/newer/remixed Doom music you want, I’d say Dark Side of Phobos is the answer – a couple clunkers in there, but the rest are either quite good, thematically, or nearly brilliant. (Some of the other Doom-themed songs on OCRemix are good as well.)

  12. Ecko says:

    65daysofstatic are amusing live, saw them with the Cure of all people, and they were a bit out of place smashing away but I had great fun!

  13. yns88 says:

    Eh, too much Diablo and not enough DOOM for me. Of course, there will probably be lots of much needed features added later, such as the shotgun being able to hit multiple enemies, the hazard suits actually protecting you from hazards, and having a map to refer to and such, but so much of the game just doesn’t fit in with DOOM. The town being shaped exactly like in Diablo is obviously a joke, but why is there even a town in the first place? The stat system doesn’t make any sense in the Doom setting. Why does strength increase the damage dealt by your pistol? The “magical” powerups with things like +5% to damage don’t fit in at all either, and the monster “scaling” is also irritating. I didn’t get my powered up shotgun just so that it could take me several shots to kill the zombies on the next dungeon level just because they’re now level 3 zombies! Which brings me to my next point, you can’t cancel the monsters’ attacks by putting them in pain.

    Also, the game really needs to allow you to move with the keyboard. This system works fine in Diablo because of its focus on melee combat and “whack this guy 30 times until he dies” system, but when (almost) all of your weapons are ranged you need to be able to move and shoot at the same time.

    DoomRL managed to keep all of the staples of the classic DOOM games while completely changing the genre. I hope later versions of this game bring it closer to an actual DOOM game and less of a copy of Diablo with the names changed.

  14. Carra says:

    Music reminds me of a zombie movie. 28 days later maybe?

  15. bhlaab says:

    The pathfinding is pretty awful, I kept getting stuck on corners. Having to dodge fireballs with a point and click interface was annoying as well.

    Mostly this game just made me think how awesome a Doom that plays like Fallout would be

  16. bhlaab says:

    Oh, and anyone who disses on Doom Midi can suck on an egg!

  17. BooleanBob says:

    I’ve seen 65days live at the Leeds cockpit; I found them more bemusing than amusing to be honest. Not that there was anything wrong with the set, but not a soul in the crowd seemed to want to dance, or move, or do anything than stand unnervingly still for the entire duration. Never happened at any gig I’ve been to before or since.

    Regarding the article, I was all set to have a massive whinge about the term ‘mash-up’ but I followed Meer’s link and discovered I’d already done so last time this came up. This confirmation of my own behavioural predictability was a little upsetting, but remembering that I’d coined the (godawful) term ‘retrhomage’ more than made up for it. It’s now my singular goal in life to get retrhomage into the gaming vernacular, preferably without anyone thinking to ask for a definition. Sounds best breathed in a romantic, husky latino accent.

  18. yns88 says:

    @bhlaab: A Doom game that plays like Fallout? What would be the point of that? Unless all of your conversations are “DIE YOU DEMONIC BASTARDS!” it wouldn’t be much of a DOOM game at all, now would it?

  19. Cooper says:

    If only you could talk to the monsters

  20. twb says:

    yns88 — WASD works fine for me.

  21. Valentin Galea says:

    I’m playing this and also DoomRPG on the mobile phone!

  22. malkav11 says:

    Honestly I think I’ll still stick to DoomRL. There’s something even more agreeably goofy about turning Doom into a turn-based text RPG.

  23. bhlaab says:

    @yns88: Mostly I meant the turn-based combat.

  24. Benkyo says:

    @malkav11: Yup, DoomRL is a much more enjoyable experience. It makes a perfect break from Sporkhack and Dwarf Fortress.

  25. Stromko says:

    I found this a pretty enjoyable distraction, though it does get a bit dreary after awhile. Could just be because my head was congested and pounding from a nasty cold while I was playing.

    I managed to accumulate a massive amount of health packs by capitalizing on weapons or upgrades that gave health-leeching. Blasting a few zombies or lost souls inbetween engagements with the nastier, projectile-spewing enemies kept me at maximum health, especially once I got that lovely Nailgun with its insane rate of fire.

    I’m not sure if there’s an ending so to speak. I got to a level where all the walls are flames, and can’t find any stairs down. Took out a big nasty cyber-demon though, that could well have been the ‘end boss’.

  26. MetalCircus says:

    Man the song in that video is win sauce

  27. Chis says:

    Nice game, shame that Godspeed were only ever capable of playing their instruments at one speed. Very, veeery, sloooooooowwwwwlyyy.

    Moya is pretty good though.

  28. WK says:

    This runs like shit on my computer.

  29. Markoff Chaney says:

    I enjoyed DoomRL very much as well. This game is actually a lot better than I thought it would be. Not even 6mb too. Nice work.

    I hope more retrhomages like this make it to the light of day. A nice little waste of time. Personally, I might have gone with retrhomerges, but that’s mixing up 3 words and may be a little too much to get the finer points done right.

  30. JM@QT3 says:

    What is that song, exactly?

  31. rekenner says:

    Wait.
    Wait.
    Wait.
    Health packs too scarce? Uh. No offense, but you sorta .. uh, suck. I dunno, maybe I just played cautious, but with an end game VIT of like 15, I ended up having to heal all of twice in the entire game. The first boss, I used a healing item, the final boss, I used 2.
    I find the game incredibly easy the entire way.

  32. Denton says:

    @Carra

    There’s a reason it reminds you of 28 Days Later. The Track is East Hastings by Godspeed You! Black Emperor and this segment of it was also in the film.

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