I’ll always love Doom. Don’t care about the universe or backstory, don’t care that Doom 3 was 1000% less fun, don’t care that it was the Star Wars of videogames, irrevocably sending so much of the medium down a single path. Twatting Imps with shotguns at high speed never gets old – it’s that simple. I’m that simple.
So Oblige, an application which randomly generates entire, fully-functional Doom and Doom II levels has proven quite the delight.
The part of me that spent a day painstakingly crafting a three-room, six-monster level for a PC Gamer tutorial last year rankles at this near-instant, robo-robbing of such minor glory, but boy is this way ever easier. Sure, the levels have that sense of chaotic surrealism that’s unmistakably made by algorithm, not human hand – all bizarre ceiling growths, unnatural columns of health potions and futile mazes-without-exit. But it works – it creates elaborate playgrounds in which beasts roam, and then allows me to murder said beasts. Lo, I am pleased.
Grab Oblige from here – you’ll need a copy of Doom 1 or Doom 2 to play its levels, and if you’re toting Steam versions of those you’ll need to run them in another loader to easily bring up the new maps, as Valve’s editions complicate matters unnecessarily by involving DOSbox. I recommend the Doomsday Engine (which also adds subtle but effective Pretty) – simply point it at your Doomian .WAD file and then at the folder Oblige is saving its new levels to.