Bethesda has announced, during their E3 press conference, that the first level of DOOM will be free on Steam! For a week! Because demos died a few years ago! And shareware is a concept that feels like a dream we once had! Sad face emoji.
Bethesda started big. When the lights and music dropped, the giant screen at the E3 showcase showed a DOS prompt. After fiddling around directories for a moment, the unseen user typed one small word: QUAKE.
The game is Quake Champions, an arena-based shooter pitting “diverse warriors with unique attributes and abilities” against one another. It has been designed for “world class esports play at every level” and contains big Stroggy bastards and a blue-haired lady.
RPS Feature A punchier Doom
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Hexen was released at a time when I bought just about any first-person game that I could get my hands on. In the mid-nineties that meant I had a shelf full of games running on id engines, many of which were made by Raven Software. I still have a soft spot for Raven and always forget that they’re still around, in name at least, working on bits and pieces of Call of Duty. It’s probably a step up from Soldier of Fortune. It’s not a step up from Hexen though. I love Hexen.
RPS Feature Snap and Tear
Id’s spectacular DOOM reboot has been out for less than a fortnight, but its SnapMap level editor has quickly captured the imaginations of its community. Already there are hundreds of custom built maps and missions available. But finding one that’s worth playing can be tricky. The vast majority are slightly wonky first attempts at mapmaking, while the “most popular” lists are plagued by a host of cheap and nasty maps designed to exploit the SnapMap points system.
Hence RPS sent me on a special mission to punch my way into the bowels of SnapMap and rip out something that’s worth your time. With that in mind, here are five of the best and most interesting user-made experiences, alongside a few other suggestions.
RPS Feature Naturally I made an all-Cacodemon map
Because DOOM instantly makes me revert to being 13 years old again, my first SnapMap was a tiny room filled with 30 Cacodemons, with a boss Cacodemon with 1000% health waiting in a room just beyond it. Which, naturally, required a red keycard to access. I’m quite pleased with it, because I am 13 years old again.
RPS Feature It sure ain't Quake 3.5
DOOM [official site]’s singleplayer campaign was so surprisingly strong that I no longer object to writing the name in capital letters. Of course, it has a multiplayer mode too – as important a part of the Doom heritage as is speed and shotguns – and, were you to believe the marketing, this was the most important element of the new id shooter. With the legions of Hell all defeated, I now turn my attention to real hell: other people.
If only you could talk to the monsters. Now that would be something.
You can! At last, you can! I am crying in purest joy.
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