Doom 64 Is The Most Underrated Doom Game

Though credits have rolled on the new Doom, I wanted to keep blowing up imps and pinkies. It seemed like the right time to revisit Doom 64. Doom 64 wasn't actually developed by id Software; it was created by Midway Games. It picks up after the events of Doom 2: Hell on Earth, when attempts to purge the previous demonic invasion through radiation blasts fail to destroy a being capable of resurrecting the demons. Your experience with the horde prompts the government to send you back in.

(If you subscribe to the wild Doom theory that I published a few weeks back, the ending of Doom 64 is canonically linked to the new Doom.)

Doom 64's release in early 1997 was memorable for a few reasons. One, it wasn't a straight port of Doom, which had been dragged around from machine to machine for years. Doom was starting to get a little repetitive.

Two, Doom 64 arrived during a drought in releases for the Nintendo 64. (You could only collect the 120 stars in Super Mario 64 so many times.) And though Doom 64 was overshadowed by the release of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter a few weeks prior, Doom 64 holds up a whole lot better than ol' Turok.

What's so immediately striking about Doom 64 is that it's treated as a reboot, visually speaking, even if it retains the base mechanics of Doom.

That's a far cry from the pink demons from the original game:

Image Credit: Wikia

Every enemy was given a makeover for Doom 64, and they're awesome. It's not an improvement, necessarily, but they're cool and in the same spirit. People even ripped the sprites from Doom 64 and dumped them into the original game. (With modding, it's a question of when, not if.)

The game is brutal, too. I mean, the first level opens with players being shot at by enemies locked in a cage. When I started playing, I died in the first 30 seconds without firing a single bullet. OK, Doom 64, I'm listening.

Otherwise, it's a straightforward but excellent Doom game. You shoot demons, you collect key cards and find the exit. Rinse, repeat. I shot my way through six levels before realising I should probably get back to work.

Doom 64's cult status has circled for years, with fans going out of their way to keep the game current. Doom 64 EX is faithful version of the game on PC that's been updated with access to modern resolutions and other helpful tweaks. It's gorgeous, as far as Doom games go. Despite Doom 64 having been released in 1997, Doom 64 EX is still being updated.

And I won't forget you either, Doom 64.


Comments

    It just so happens I managed to procure this game recently from a trader of games which I will decline to name at this point. I know I could go the emulator/rom direction but I hired this game back in the day so I know what I'm after.

    Only started the first level to test the cart out, it won't let you start without a controller save pak thingy. Thankfully mine still (kinda) works.

    As someone who quite liked the way FPS worked on the N64, I can't wait to play this. Need a CRT telly now, or how hard is it to mod a N64 to output RGB?

      If you don't mind acquiring a ROM I highly recommend Doom 64 EX.

      https://doom64ex.wordpress.com/

      It extracts all the data from the ROM into a .wad that allows you to play Doom 64 using a PC source port. It's a great game that really builds on the horror potential Doom 1 had.

      Surely there is an adapter or series of adapters that'll get it onto an LCD?

        my n64 looks HORRIBLE on an LCD. Looks so much nicer on a smaller CRT.

      The N64 puts out signals to RCA, so just use the RCA inputs that all standard LCD/LED tv's have.

        The reason some go for CRTs as depending on the make and model, the TV won't properly de-interlace the content.

        I see this when I use my Dreamcast as some effects become combed on the LCD.

        Makes me wish I could go back in time and get the VGA box for the Dreamcast.

          Indeed, well aware, it's horrible playing Goldeneye on an LCD, but when in a bind and desperate to play, it'll do. But, a CRT will always beat it out.

            Personally I think it will only get worse. Given that interlacing has no relevance in today's world it's only a matter of time before it is safe to assume everything is progressive thus making deinterlacing functions redundant.

              Time marches on unfortunately. Emulators are where it's at now where they can fake the interlacing thankfully

                Why would one want to? It doesn't make any sense.

                  @weresmurf: This is the thing, there is no-need for de-interlacing unless there is an interlaced video in the game.

                  Not to sound stilly but the games are and always were progressive. It was the video chips in the units and then PC video cards that did the interlacing due to limitations of analog signals and hardware at the time.

                  The only exception I can think of is the Atari 2600 where the hardware was so primitive (it is rumoured to even be RAM-less and only has the CPU registers to work with) one had to know the current state of the and influence each scan line.

                  But I'll end this here; I'm digressing too far over a personal preference. Cheers.

                  I dunno man, people just like throwing all that shit into emulators. I'm not big on them personally, I've just seen all the options in there that's all :) Have a good one :)

    It's kinda the real Doom3 but only released on 1 system. I remember being really impressed by the way the transparency looked on the spectre's. My main disappointment with it at the time is that it was just so damn dark compared to Doom1 and 2... then doom3 in all it's darkness came along lol. I've only played through Doom64 once, when it first came out but I do have reasonably fond memories of it.

      Yup, I remember Doom 64 fairly fondly, not with the absolute demonic devotion I had for the 2 original Doom games but I really liked it.

    I got through a few levels using the source port of Doom 64 and found it to be refreshing and quite good actually!

    I was pleasantly surprised, it even has some new enemies and weapons if i'm not mistaken =)

    If I remember correctly, there was a secret level in each chapter that held 1 part of the new superweapon. It involved some platform hopping in some sections but wasn't too hard. The final piece assembled a powerful laser that fired 3 beams, making mincemeat of anything that got in your way.

    Best sound design in any Doom game period. Once you get to the levels where all the ambient sounds are those of wailing babies it becomes quite unsettling.

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