Astoundingly, Total Chaos Is A Doom II Mod

Doom II? Did you get a haircut? And also plastic surgery and a name change and a new home and a new family and Silent Hill's fog effects?

Remember Doom II? Remember how it came out in 1994? I’m going to go ahead and assume the creators of Total Chaos don’t, because otherwise they would understand what they’re doing is impossible, and it would immediately poof into non-existence. Oh, and it gets better: the mod’s biggest inspiration is apparently STALKER, which has my gamerly Geiger counter crackling with thunderous glee. Or maybe that’s my regular Geiger counter. I should probably check on that. In the meantime, there’s a very impressive trailer below.

Total Chaos doesn’t really sound like it’s gonna be about total chaos, but that’s fine. Gaming has enough of that. The totality of total chaos, if you will. This sounds better:

“Total Chaos is an upcoming Doom II mod for GZDoom & Zandronum that pushes the modified 1993 engine to its very limits! Featuring many current-gen features such as 16x motion blur, bloom lighting, and godrays.”

“With gameplay inspired from games such as S.T.A.L.K.E.R, players are dropped on an island with a video camera to explore the deadly surroundings. There are no guns in Total Chaos. Instead the players must use their wit and the hazards they find in the environment to defend themselves.”

Sounds splendid, if you ask me. Looks quite nice too, given the creaky, pendulous nature of its backbone. Of course, none of that guarantees it’ll actually be any good, but I’m hopeful. There’s no release date yet, but apparently a demo is coming “soon.”

It is the year 2014 and I’m considering reinstalling Doom II to play STALKER. Clearly reality broke and exploded into a nightmarish hellstorm a long time ago, but I think I’m OK with it.


  1. Eclipse says:

    This is as much a mod for Doom II than The Dark Project is for Thief. (hint: it wasn’t)

    • Niko says:

      Yeah, GZDoom isn’t exactly Doom II. 3D floors including slopes? Reflective floors, dynamic lights? Might as well be a Quake mod.

    • faelnor says:

      So Total Chaos is Doom II?

      • Shadowcat says:

        Doom was awesome, and I am SO PUMPED for the upcoming demo of Doom II. I’m just surprised at how long it took them to make it, or possibly at how much I’ve aged in such a short span of time. I’m not sure. I think there may be a wormhole.

    • Vesuvius says:

      The Dark *MOD*

  2. Tridae says:

    Love love love the look of this. Liking the way the camera moves and sways just a bit to remove the typical gamey stiffness without getting annoying. . .Love the scanline effect too – I know its a cheap way to hide bad graphics but somehow that makes it all the better for me. Modern shiny graphics are nice but there’s something I miss about adding your own imagination into crappy graphics, kinda connecting the dots instead of being spoonfed ‘real’ – if that makes any sense.

    Found the trailer to be quite tense, to me the only ancient tech giveaway was the fall grunt sound.

    All in all.

    Must play!

    • womp says:

      Yeah man, that makes perfect sense. Old muddy textures are like – video game impressionism

    • Geebs says:

      My vision only ever moves like that after about 6 pints

    • Vodka, Crisps, Plutonium says:

      >>Modern shiny graphics are nice but there’s something I miss about adding your own imagination into crappy graphics.

      Also, say, “Doom II” within the mod engine’s name. Seriously, I don’t like to sound like an old Eastern European car with broken exhaust pipe, but that exactly sounds like a some kind of marketing blurb, missing the commercial point of the hype (only fame-gain purposes)

      Seriously, if you would have released same good-playing, but muddy-looking game on some Cryengine or even Source, good people of gaming community just frowned a bit, at max.

  3. LordoftheHills says:

    That classic low-res “unh” sound when he lands on those pallets made me laugh out loud. God I miss Doom.

  4. derbefrier says:

    Its impressive but they lost me with the no guns thing. I find the running around games to be pretty boring after the initial tension wears off. Still its amazing how good it looks

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I don’t like games where all you can do is run away like a scared child, but this sentence “players must use their wit and the hazards they find in the environment to defend themselves” makes me believe that we *can* indeed kill our enemies. That we might be able to be creative about it and feel like saying to the screen “Hah, didn’t see that coming, did you?” or “Yeah, take that!” after we have designed a trap out of the hazards available.

  5. Jahooba says:

    Looks beautiful. Needs a flashlight :)

  6. Secundus says:

    finally, for the last twenty years I’ve been playing doom II all I’ve ever wanted is for someone to come and alter the game into a highly scripted bland zombie horror game

  7. CookPassBabtridge says:

    “16x motion blur, bloom lighting, and godrays.” All The things that People Who Complain About Graphics will be turning up shortly to complain about then? Its just missing Lens Flare and brown textures.

    • kalirion says:

      People don’t like Godrays? I always thought they looked really cool, when implemented well.

      Yeah, Bloom and Motion Blur can go to hell.

      • hamilcarp says:

        Seriously. Especially motion blur. Who thought that was a good idea?

        “Hey, this game has great graphics, but they would look even better if they got smudged across the screen in an incomprehensible smear every time you move the camera.”

      • Shodex says:

        At times, Battlefield 3 is one of the worst looking games I’ve ever played. Simply because it looks like they made a really nice looking military shooter then found a high out of his mind JJ Abrams and let him shit all over it until the lens flares take up half the screen and the sun rays takes up the other half.

  8. Lemming says:

    It’s super impressive and I wish the modders well with their plans, however I am disappointed it’s a total conversion rather than playing Doom 2 in this modded world. I thought I was looking at a new interpretation of the the Earth city level at first.

  9. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Impressive work with the engine, although can’t help wondering if they’re hamstringing themselves for the sake of it.

    Also, today I have learned that rearranging health packs in your inventory does not open doors.

    • Skabooga says:

      That would explain why I’ve been unable to unlock my office door for the past two hours.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Ever tried modding for the Doom engine? Ever tried modding for any of the newer id tech engines or Unreal? Doom is far, far easier to make stuff with. That comes with its simplicity, sure, but that’s one of the many reasons Doom endures to this day. That and the timeless, satisfying gameplay.

  10. GallonOfAlan says:

    The netcode sux.

  11. SRTie4k says:

    I don’t really understand the whole camera aspect. Was a camera glued to this poor mans face prior to being dumped on an island? Were his eyeballs replaced with CCD image sensors? Is he a photojournalist with casts on both arms that don’t allow him to lower them?

    I must know!

  12. elmo.dudd says:

    Astoundingly? Replace assets with higher quality ones. The world is still comprised of sectors and linedefs. It does look nice, but that is the magic of art and post-processing. It looks like it has potential, just don’t get Nathan’s choice of “astoundingly”.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      I realise this is often a pretty weak argument but in this instance I really think it applies. Have you made Doom 2 look that pretty lately? Because if you haven’t, I certainly don’t think you can say it’s not astounding.
      And I’m pretty sure you haven’t, because in my experience, nobody who can do that sort of thing dismisses when other people do it.

  13. SillyWizard says:

    I like how when the evil monster-mans start chasing the protagonist, he continues to stump along at his regular, leisurely pace.

  14. Michael Fogg says:

    I kinda hope for a revival of sprite-based 2.5D games in indie development (the Doom-Duke3d era). If we accept pixel platformers as a legit artstyle, then why not flat planes and pretend-3d. Interesting stuff could be potentialy done with it and it would look better than low-poly, badly textuted full 3d stuff we often get today.

    • dethtoll says:

      I agree with this 100%.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Modding with the Doom engine is much, much simpler than newer 3D engines. GZDoom adds many niceties including high-resolution textures, audio, a variety of visual effects…. but the same simple level design principles apply. 2D level design. Sure that means limitations, but it stimulates creativity and reduces the amount of hurdles one has to get over to produce working mods.

      So yeah, more of this please.

    • xaphoo says:

      Wow, this concept is blowing my mind. Even a retro-Quake project, true 3d paying affectionate homage to 1996, would not be amiss.

  15. Vandelay says:

    “It is the year 2014 and I’m considering reinstalling Doom II to play STALKER”

    You should reinstall Doom 2 to play Doom 2. Still amazing fun. They just don’t make shooters like it now and really miss the maze like level design that actually requires exploration, along with having to actually conserve ammo and fight multiple enemy types. Doom and its ilk might sometimes be considered dumb shooters, but they are smarter than most mainstream shooters in the last few years.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      My favourite thing about Doom 2 is, and this surprised me when I first realised it, the balance of its weapon set. I stopped and thought about it one day, and since then I’ve been struggling to come up with a single game that has a more balanced roster of weapons. Everything is genuinely useful throughout the entire game, with the possible exception of the pistol. Combined with your point about ammo conservation it makes for a shooter that is not only smart, but also pretty tense at times.

      • derbefrier says:

        Gamespot actually had a article I read the other day pretty much echoing what both of you had said. It was pretty much a plea to developers to bring back the maze like levels the awesome guns, non regenerating health etc.. The best part about that article was the map comparison the made. The picture was level design in 1995, which showed a very complex level and “modern level design” a straigt line with markers for cut scenes. Funny because its true.

      • dethtoll says:

        Doom 1’s weapon set was balanced. Doom 2’s weapon set is basically “Super shotgun and a bunch of other shit you’ll never use.”

        • Phasma Felis says:

          Nah, not really. Even if you leave out the all-trumping BFG, the rocket launcher and plasma rifle still beat the super shotgun pretty hard. And of course if you’re fighting hellhounds in a narrow hallway it’s always and invariably the chainsaw.

          • dethtoll says:

            None of it will see half the use of the SSG, though, simply because there’s an abundance of shotgun shells and the rest burn through their ammo pretty quick.

            SSG is basically as powerful as a rocket launcher up close, but ammo for it is far more plentiful. Therefore it’s “I Win: The Gun.”

            Weapon balance was much better in Doom 1; it was just an issue of enemy balance in that game (Barons were meatshields.)

        • Mman says:

          The only weapon in Doom (both) that’s useless after a point is the Pistol, and even that serves an important role in the overall gameplay pacing (at least if you pistol-start maps). The Super Shotgun is arguably the best all-round weapon, but there are still many situations the other weapons heavily outclass it.

    • derbefrier says:

      Brutal doom is where its at in 2014. That shit is amazing

      • dethtoll says:

        Maybe if you’re 14. Brutal Doom is legit the stupidest, most pointless mod made for Doom in a long, long time.

        And Sgt. Mark IV is an attention-seeking neo-Nazi.

        • Phasma Felis says:

          So I just looked at your other posts in this thread, and apparently your approach is “disagree with everything in the most vitriolic way possible.”

          Not the most subtle troll, but whatever floats your boat, I guess.

          • dethtoll says:

            If that’s your definition of vitriol I question how you got through grade school alive.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            Ah, the old “yes, I’m kind of a butt, but not nearly so bad as those other butts” card. Such a classic.

          • dethtoll says:

            That’s basically a lot of not what I’m saying at all, but you clearly need to be correct for self-gratification and who am I to stop you?

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            Hot damn you’re good at these. Keep going, I haven’t had this much fun with nostalgia in ages.

    • dethtoll says:

      Nah, nah. I just played through the entire series recently. Doom 2 is inferior to Doom 1 or either of the Final Doom mapsets. That’s largely because of Sandy Peterson’s horrendously ugly mapping.

      • Casimir's Blake says:

        To be fair, the fanbase have gone on to produce so many great, fascinating and fun works for the Doom engine that surpass the Doom II levels. There are just too many good map packs to mention, but a good place to start is Doomworld’s Cacowards. Truly hundreds of hours of quality Doomage, right there. Super Sonic Doom, Plutonia 2 + Revisited and both Scythe sets are just some that I’d recommend.

        • dethtoll says:

          I look forward to the Cacowards even more than my birthday or Christmas (which are days apart, btw.)

          My personal favourite mapsets will always be Darkening 2 and Suspended in Dusk.

  16. Casimir's Blake says:

    Not wishing to denigrate the achievements of the Total Chaos team, but how come a mod like this gets a post of its own but the excellent Underhell receives absolutely no coverage since its release? It is absolutely worth trying, brilliant single player FPS.

  17. cerealbox says:

    When I was a kid my brother got a pirated copy of doom ii from school. My dad had gotten a computer for work and my brother let me play it. After about 20 minutes I hadn’t even realized I pissed myself.

    Even today, if I try to play fps, after 20 minutes I have this weird freaked out feeling. Like, it’s fun, but then I stop playing and I’m like “wait, that wasn’t fun, that was just stressful.”

    Anyway, while I applaud the concept and it looks awesome, at the age of 28 I’m not looking forward to pissing myself again.