Brutal Doom V20 Ripping And Tearing Into June

Well then.

I’ve been trying to change my use of ‘awesome’ from the ’90s exclamation of bodaciousness to the more reverent and terrified connotations it once had. But no, the mod Brutal Doom [Mod DB page] is totally awesome, not to mention tubular, radical, excellent, gnarly, wikkid, sikk, righteous, and wikkid sikk. It’s the gory fever dreams of a child of ’90s excess after a hard day’s fragging.

The long-delayed version 20.0 finally has a release date – June 5th – and a new trailer shows off so many ridiculous things that I had to laugh. A Baron of Hell picks up and tosses an explosive barrel, monsters lose limbs and keep on coming, you dual-wield big guns, and Doom Guy punches and kicks and rips and tears, and everyone explodes into bloody little bits. Awesome!

As you might notice, Brutal Doom is pretty different to Your Father’s Doom. It replaces lots of the weapons, introduces reloading, and gives monsters new attacks, which all makes for a pretty fundamental change to the rhythms and timings of Doom. Though if it’s been a while since you visited Doom, you might simply notice that it is awesome.

Brutal Doom is the posterchild for ’90s excess, with cussing, taunting, dual-wielding, kicking, chainsawing, animated fatalities for tearing monsters apart, and all the gore that ’90s computers could never actually compute. That’ll run a lot better in v20 too, as performance is heavily improved. (And yes, it will have an option to turn off that swinging chainsaw strap.) V20 will also bring a ‘Starter Pack’ with 30 new murder-friendly maps. To the max.

I’d recommend taking a look at Demonsteele for some other ’90s radicality, with really fast gnarly sword-and-gun magical ninja action like a bodacious anime. Or Doomdream is an interesting, melancholy wander ’em up based on the author’s dreams after playing a load of Doom.

Cowabunga, dudes.


  1. BTAxis says:

    Brutal Doom is great. It recommends the Doom Reloaded megawad as a map pack, which is indeed really nice for it. Every level contains a berserk pack, which means you get plenty of opportunities to rip and tear.

  2. Kempston Wiggler says:

    Can’t wait for this! June 5th is also my brithday! Best Present Ever! :)

  3. Not_Id says:

    Absolutely love Brutal Doom.
    Can you imagine the amount of money Gabe could’ve made if he’d been able to monetize all the Doom mods?

    Gabe: Hey John, I want to make money off all those mods gamers are making for Doom?
    Romero: FUCK OFF GABE!

    • technoir says:

      Um… Romero actually pretty much pioneered selling mods way back in 1996: link to

      • socrate says:

        wait how is final doom a mod in any way?…might aswell call every expansion,(battlechest,gold edition and complete pack) or re-release a mod

        • Dare_Wreck says:

          Did you read the link? Final Doom was built by the mod community and published by iD.

  4. TomxJ says:

    Theirs something really primal about Doom, I hope this heightens that rather than just ramping up everything to 11. Don’t get me wrong though, this looks bloody incredible!

    • Scumbag says:

      “this looks bloody incredible!”
      I see what you did there.

  5. Donjo says:

    Talk To The Monsters mod is coming out soon I think. Can’t wait!

  6. tangoliber says:

    I probably post this every time I come across a Brutal Doom mention:
    Brutal Doom is fun for a laugh. Vanilla Doom is still feels and works much better as a game. New or returning players shouldn’t feel like they should skip it.

    Some great level packs: Community Chest 4, Vanguard, Lunatic, Back to Saturn X.
    If you want something different (non-vanilla gameplay) that really pushes the engine to do something beautiful, check out Winter’s Fury.

    • Geebs says:

      I rather think Brutal Doom does a very good job of being like Doom, but more so.

    • technoir says:

      My go-to Brutal Doom response is to link to this excellent blog post: link to

      Brutal Doom is fun, but vanilla Doom is even more fun.

    • Kempston Wiggler says:

      I agree with Geebs. I’ve loved Doom since it came out. Still one of my all time favourites. Brutal Doom just makes that amazing experience more visceral. It’s an amazing Mod.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Nah, I’m with you on this one. Brutal’s fun for awhile, and I still go back to it once in a very long while, but it in no way matches vanilla for balance. It has a bunch of stuff that’s practically useless and gimmicky in the extreme (the entire fatality system, for a start), the starting weapon is overpowered enough that you can practically win with nothing else in half the classic maps, things like reloading, some of the new monster attacks and the aforementioned fatalities really butcher the pace, etc.

      Realistically it’s just like any other doom mod, it’s a different take, it’s fun, it’s not the be-all or end-all. It’s not the “true” Doom, it’s not an “upgrade”.
      Its creator is also a giant willy, but that wouldn’t be enough to stop me liking the mod on its own.

      Still, I’d say give it a try. I’ll probably give v20 a try. Just don’t deprive yourself of vanilla or of other fun mods that take the game in other directions. Demonsteele as Alice already said, or even a classic like Psychic if you like it fast-paced. If you want something more thoughtful with more modern trimmings there’s the excellent DoomRLA, or you could check out Wrath of Cronos if you want an even more rpg-oriented spin (there’s DoomRPG too, but I’m less keen on that one. Still great)
      If you want to go the whole way into ultra-realistic territory there’s Hideous Destructor, which is hilarious fun but not even remotely fair. (Or maybe it’s TOO fair?)

      And of course there’s craptons of mods that just pretty stuff up or reskin weapons if that’s your bag. It’s amazing how much stuff people are still doing with this game two decades on.

  7. Spacewalk says:

    They gave the shotgun a sack.

    • Synesthesia says:

      That was my exact thought. “Does that shotgun have… a pair of balls?”

    • vorador says:

      The mod author insist is a carry strap.

      But it really does look like it grew a pair. In any case, it can be turned off, thank god.

  8. Dumdeedum says:


    The Doom purist in me will accept mouselook but no more!

  9. Baines says:

    Being reminded that Brutal Doom exists has led me to wondering what the big fallout was between Brutal Doom’s creator and ZDoom.

    Brutal Doom’s description says the lack of ZDoom support is intentional. The ZDoom forums has an announcement post “Regarding Brutal Doom”, which contains a list of rules regarding discussion of Brutal Doom and the notice that Brutal Doom’s creator is still and will remain permanently banned.

    • Protester19 says:

      There’s a lot of different points of view on this topic, and a lot of speculation as to why what and when, considering the forum blackouts, but from what I’ve gathered, SGT Mark IV told a ranting kid on the forum to go off himself, and offered a link on how to do so with a plastic bag and duct tape. The head honchos took this as a good chance to kick him out of the forums. Don’t think it was just for the egging on though, they were quite, quite elitist. Saying things like, “Brutal Doom is killing our community” and “Brutal doom is just bringing in little kids” and so on and so forth. The battle between vanilla and brutal continues, with no clear winner in sight. But i know who i am rooting for (;

      • Giftmacher says:

        I’m a regular on Zdoom, and thought I should clarify; while I do find the Doom community to be pretty stodgy and, yes, elitist at times, Sarge is a very unpleasant person who had faced numerous warnings for blatant dickishness within the community, and was known to include commented-out racial slurs within the code of Brutal Doom (which have since been removed). The Doom community is absolutely full of cantankerous old-guard grandpas, that’s an extremely apt criticism, but Sarge’s banning on Zdoom and a number of other Doom forums is highly deserved.

  10. vorador says:

    I had a ton of fun with v19, and v20 has enough new stuff that it might warrant another playtrough.

    It is very different from Vanilla Doom, for better or worse. A (almost) total conversion, so to speak.

  11. GallonOfAlan says:

    Played through Doom with the previous Brutal Doom last year. Best FPS fun I had last year, by far.

  12. SomeDuder says:

    Rip and tear. RIP AND TEAR. I wonder which version is endorsed by which John. I suspect Carmack might surprisingly be more of a Brutal guy…

  13. Mr_Blastman says:

    Whenever I’m having a bad day and I need to smile… I play Brutal Doom. It’s the best therapy a computer can buy!

  14. unacom says:

    Whereas any FPS, I know of, seems to spring monsters on the player, this one turns it the other way round. Which I find higly amusing.