Leather-clad raiders with neon green mohawks roam irradiated monuments to capitalism, their acid-spitting lizard-dogs in tow. Ashes 2063, by modder Vostyok is about as 80s an apocalypse can get, even after filtering it through a 2018 iteration of a 90s game engine. It's a free post-apocalyptic FPS (or total conversion mod, if you're old-school) built on the ever-popular GZDoom engine. Its first episode launched yesterday.
The game is still in development, and has been in the works since at least early 2015, but this first episode and its nine levels should be plenty to chew on for now, out just in time for Doom's 25th anniversary. Ashes 2063 might be using Doom's engine, but it feels a lot more like Duke Nukem 3D, with inventory management, some NPC interaction, trading and even a motorcycle to putter around its larger maps on. Combat feels tight, especially in its ammo distribution, so when you're up close you might want to try just stabbing some bad dudes with your alt-fire knife attack.
Ashes 2063 is one of the big projects I was hoping would release in time for Doom's 25th anniversary - the original shareware release happening on December 10th, 1993. The latest official entry in the series - Doom Eternal - won't be out until next year, so let's celebrate by keeping up with the community. There's been a ton of stuff released in 2018 alone, much of it by creators younger than the game itself. I wonder if Doom's 30th will be as momentous, and feature even more fresh blood?
You can find Ashes 2063 here on the GZDoom forums, although the episode one download is all the way down on Page 54 here. You'll need the GZDoom engine and either Doom 2 or Freedoom's WAD file (you'll probably want Freedoom: Phase 2) to fill in the blanks.
PSA: Friends don't let friends play GZDoom mods with blurry textures. Follow this little guide video to get those pixels pin-sharp in just 30 seconds or your money back.