Brutal Doom’s Story Campaign Released

Brutal Doom [official site] isn’t your grandfather’s Doom II, is the sort of thing I’d say if I wrote for a games magazine in the ’90s. Its reworked weapons, enemies, and combat do change Doom an awful lot, making it an ultraviolent new game with a friendly old look. Now Brutal Doom has its very own story campaign, blasting through a Mars base, down to Earth and across Los Angeles, then into Hell. Skipping through a few maps, I larked about in toxic waste, lead an AI squad through demon-infested city streets, fought the biggest dang Cyberdemon I’ve ever seen, and generally had a gay old time.

The Hell on Earth Starter Pack’s levels are designed for Brutal Doom’s different play and bring a new continuous story, with levels starting where the last left off and adding a few voice-overs and all that. Yeah, it was pretty cool to blast through the streets of LA backed by marines and the occasional tank, and I’ll return to see the whole thing once I’ve wrapped up work. The story’s thirty levels long, introducing several new bosses and whatnot, then those other two are, in classic Doom tradition, bonus Nazi levels. Check out some of the flashy set pieces and battles in this trailer:

You can download the Starter Pack over here. It can run standalone without Doom at all, but will be a bit wonky and not look as nice. I’d really recommend copying the Doom2.wad file from your Doom 2 installation into Brutal Doom’s directory to get the original and proper art.

Having been delayed a bit, the map pack finally arrived last week alongside a new year and a new version of Brutal Doom. V20b brings big performance improvements, a rebalancing, more death animations, and other stuff. If you’ve already got Brutal Doom and simply want the update, not the new maps, that’s here.


  1. Silverchain says:

    Seeing the bloodstain on that wall made me reach for a mop and bucket.

  2. Dominic Tarason says:

    Two things notable about this release:

    A: Brutal Doom is now designed to work happily with the copyright-free Freedoom data pack with minimal impact. Some of the textures in the levels will look a little weird, but it’s otherwise near fully intact.

    B: Brutal Doom the gameplay mod and Brutal Doom the campaign are two seperate files that can be used together or independently. You can play the BD campaign with pure vanilla Doom or one of the countless other gameplay mods out there. Personally, my recommendation is Project Brutality, which uses BD as a foundation for a ton of new features, including progressive tech level upgrades. A campaign starts out using mostly vanilla Doom tech, but the endgame has 25~ guns with multiple firemodes, and 3-4 variants of every enemy type.

  3. rexx.sabotage says:

    Alice, I think you could stand to brush up on your US geography.

    You imply that LA and Hell are two distinct locales.


  4. The Bright Side says:

    I must say, I never really stopped playing DOOM over the years, even though there were extended breaks. Since I discovered Brutal DOOM a few years back, it has been an immutable building block of my free time… I meet at least once per week with friends for coop sessions.

    v20b is brilliant in every single way, the culmination of everything the previous releases have been building towards! Especially because of the performance improvements and the destructible bodies :-D

    I love this stuff. Haven’t gotten around to the new campaign yet, but we’ll burn through that just as soon as we’re done with the “Valiant: Vaccinated Edition” map pack. :-)

    • The Bright Side says:

      *meant to say: never stopped playing over the years *since its release*

    • PoulWrist says:

      Yeah, me neither. There have been a year here and there where I haven’t booted up a Doom version of some sort, but the number of different levels, mods and other wonderful projects that you can keep up on around Doom is enough to fill anyone’s gaming life. I tend to go through the Cacoward stuff throughout the year. Because, hey, while it’s Doom, it’s still a game I’ve played extensively throughout the last 22 years or so.. can’t play it all the time :p

  5. ddaymace says:

    Awesome! love the music. Now all we need is Black Mesa Final in 2016

  6. hamilcarp says:

    “is the sort of thing I’d say if I wrote for a games magazine in the ’90s”

    That made me chuckle

  7. dethtoll says:

    The sad thing is that it really isn’t Doom at all. It’s what 14 year old boys think Doom is. It’s puerile, juvenile garbage for people with mental and emotional problems. It harkens back to the bloody sprite edits that Eric Harris made for a couple of his Doom maps (look it up.) The mod maker is a notorious shitbag who has been banned from nearly every Doom related forum there is, has documented Neo Nazi leanings, and is generally a sociopath. The mod itself completely wrecks the balance of the game due to a fundamental misunderstanding of the flow of combat.

    I try not to be judgmental, but I really do think less of people who like it. And anyone who calls it “the way Doom was meant to be” needs to GTFO.

    • Mungrul says:

      Huh, guess I must be maladjusted then, as I really quite enjoy Brutal Doom.

      I know the dude who makes it has some unsavoury opinions, and I’m aware that there’s controversy about how much of it he can legitimately lay claim to, but at the end of the day, I still find it fun.

      In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if I’m going to play Doom at all, I usually play it using Brutal Doom. The actual gameplay changes aren’t as drastic as you imply, and the extra sound and graphical work generally enhance things for the better.

      I’d even go so far as to say that I prefer Brutal Doom’s shotgun to the original one, as it’s an evolution with meatier sound effects rather than an outright attempt to replace it with something better. This is a rather large statement for me, as I honestly believe no other shotgun in FPS history has come close to the original Doom one.

      And as with most decent Doom mods out there, if there’s a gameplay changing element I don’t like, I can turn it off.

      In much the same way, I can appreciate Ender’s Game as a great sci-fi novel while acknowledging that Orson Scott Card is a really rather unpleasant human being.

      But of course, this is the Internet where shades of grey aren’t allowed to exist, and only the extremes of opinion are acceptable.

      • dethtoll says:

        Mostly I’m perfectly fine with differences of opinion, or I try to be anyway, but this is something I can’t really budge on. As a 20+ year fan who’s still playing after all these years I feel very strongly about this.

        • Gravy100 says:

          Just to play devils advocate here – what about the things you enjoy made by people who may have unsavoury opinions but you just don’t know about yet? Or may never know? In this case Brutal Doom is an ultra violent mod for an already violent game made by someone with extreme opinions and that makes it easier to be pretty cut and dry about the whole thing, but as the poster before me said – shades of grey are important.

          • dethtoll says:

            The mod maker is the least important reason why I dislike BD. But even so, I’m never going to see a Roman Polanski film and I have trouble enjoying Megadeth albums.

    • EhexT says:

      While I don’t know anything about the author, the statement that they get Doom exactly wrong is – exactly right.

      Just the trailer alone shows that this has nothing to do with actual Doom – because actual Doom is impeccably designed maps, thoughtful enemy placement and brilliant ramping through item placement. That and the violence is Doom is a joke – gibbing is a punchline that rarely happens and is deliberately put into maps through barrel placement. This is just maximum gibs all the time just because they can – nothing in that trailer looks like satisfying gameplay, because it’s maximum stuff with no thought or reason.

      It’s no surprise the new Doom takes it’s inspiration from Brutal Doom – it’s exactly what a clueless person thinks Doom is like.

      • Gravy100 says:

        It is different to Vanilla Doom for sure but for me I think it helps keep Doom going, through modification Doom has grown and spread out into many different forms and that’s exciting that people are still so interested in trying different things for it. For me I play a little Brutal Doom from time to time but try out lots of other mods too, variety is nice, and fun.

        • dethtoll says:

          I dunno man, there’s plenty of mods keeping Doom going. After all these years there’s still a thriving community. Brutal Doom is just so unnecessary.

      • Mr_Blastman says:

        So I guess you haven’t played this 32 level campaign? Because if you had, you’d stuff your foot in your mouth.

        The campaign is really well done. I’m only on the seventh level but has been great. There are some really nice levels in it and really push the limits of what I thought was possible in the Doom engine. The design is fantastic, the enemy placement is great and it is a nice challenge for veteran Doom players who can roll through Doom with one life and not even break a sweat.

        • dethtoll says:

          No comment on BD’a campaign but I suggest you go give Sunlust a try. It’s mostly not as pretty but it does a great job of showing what a talented mapper can do with mostly-vanilla restrictions.

    • Mr_Blastman says:

      So I guess that makes John Romero, creator of Doom, wrong, because he likes Brutal Doom? He’s said so publicly a few times.

      You need to get a grip, man. Those voices in your head are harmful if you listen to them.

      • dethtoll says:

        I wish I had seen this comment of yours first so I would have known not to take you seriously.

        • Mr_Blastman says:

          You should. John likes it. That says a lot. So what if Brutal Doom is full of blood and gore. A lot of us LIKE blood and gore.

          • dethtoll says:

            Romero also made Daikatana and takes the worst pictures of his wife. He’s not infallible and was responsible for the schisms that formed among the original 6-man team that founded id that resulted not only in Tom Hall’s ouster but his own.

            None of this, by the way, warrants your crack about “voices in your head.”

          • Mr_Blastman says:

            Like I said, stop taking this whole article or Brutal vs. Vanilla Doom so seriously. The fact you’re upset about my comment just backs it up.

            You went nuclear in your original post, man.

          • dethtoll says:

            Please stop.

    • Stopsignal says:

      Ohh for the love of god. People complaining about BD are way more obnoxious that the ones that just have the “the way it was meant to be played”
      The worst part is that it is basically that. It has the same shock value as the one it had at the original release, but with the technology of today. That’s why Romero says he likes it basically. It’s what kids in their 14s thought Doom was when they daydreamed.
      I almost never play Doom with BD yet I can really appreciate all the work out into it, too. I won’t defent using sprites from other people without credit at all, and the creator of the mod leaves much to be desired indeed, but the mod clearly shows how much you can tune the game to your own liking. This dude did that and apparently lots of people like it that way too. Why get mad for that? Even more people will be introduced to Doom because of it, and then discover original Doom, then maybe code more mods and make maps. I did all that path, and now I am spriting and making small mods for it, with a map sometimes. You should be happy really.
      Also, sometimes it’s a good stress reliever. A damn good one.

      • dethtoll says:

        It’s what kids in their 14s thought Doom was when they daydreamed.

        … isn’t that what I said in my post, though?

        I’m telling you that’s the problem.

        • Stopsignal says:

          I am talking not in the sense of people today, but rather in the sense of people then, at the time the game was released.
          With that, I’m off.