The original Doom games continue to draw a massive fanbase and community thanks to their unrestrained moddability, which has led to such excellent creations as Brutal Doom, improving animations, particle effects and gameplay, as well as inundating the games with floods of lovely gore.
After more high-fidelity bloodshed? Check out the best FPS games on PC.
Doom (or ‘Doom 2016’, as I awkwardly call it to avoid confusion) takes a different approach by introducing SnapMap. This tool makes it easy for anyone to try their hand at creating maps, modes, and even rudimentary storylines for the game. Hardcore modders may find it a bit lightweight, but even now in the first week of release the community’s given us some great content to dig into.
Ever thought how great Doom would be if it had Destiny-style co-op raid encounters or if it was a, er, farming simulator? No? Well the early Doom SnapMap contingent have, and the results are surprisingly good.
Music Maker 9000: 768BYCKU
Charming because of its oddness rather than its actual functionality, Music Maker 9000 still shows off how malleable SnapMap can be. You spawn in a big warehouse-like room, with three of the four sides having a giant musical instrument on the ground.
There’s a keyboard, drum sequencer and cowbell for you to play around with, though it’s a bit of a shame that at this point only the drum sequencer can be left to carry on a beat automatically. The cowbell and keyboard need to be played manually, which as you can imagine is easier on the single cowbell than the 74-key (that’s a complete guess) keyboard.
Still, it’s definitely novel, and kudos to the creator for making something so improbable for a game like Doom.
Hot Potato: Thy Spud Consumed: LRMTC27H
This one’s an absolute gem. It not only utilises Doom’s flowing, smooth mechanics to non-combative ends, as you run-and-jump your way through several stages in a race against your steadily decreasing health, but it also lets you trade and chat with a perfectly friendly cacodemon.
Yep, between levels you get to head on over to ‘Cacodemon’s Chthonian Curiosities’ and spend the ‘cacoins’ you pick up on your runs on health upgrades, speed upgrades and armour (you can replenish your health using the ‘Complementary Carbonated Concoctions’ for free).
I always thought that if Doomguy wasn’t such a bellicose bastard, that cacodemons would probably be perfectly decent sorts, and this one here proves it, as chatting to him will yield compliments and words of encouragement. See? They’re all just misunderstood, really...
Harvest Doom: G3KDDG5E
Creating a Doom take on probably the most tranquil, therapeutic game ever to have existed sounds like a sick joke akin to taking your grandma to a Drum & Bass night, but here it is, and it turns out grandma’s actually not a bad raver i.e. it kind of works!
Yes, Harvest Doom is a tribute to Harvest Moon, the legendary series in which you live the day-to-day life of a farmer. In this dark, industrial reinterpretation of it, you buy and grow crops, raise demons, and trade with Hell Knights and Mancubus’ for better crops and demons to raise. What’s the purpose of all this? To gather enough power-ups and demon followers to venture through the treacherous mines, of course.
You can play this mode co-operatively, and it’s a surprisingly soothing contrast to the vicious main game.
A more hands-on take on the Tower Defence game than you’re probably used to, Onslaught has you fending off waves of demons descending on a structure you need to protect. Between each wave, you get to purchase weapons and power-ups using money earned in the previous round, as well as buying traps and defences for your base.
It’s kind of refreshing not have enemies constantly swarming you like a horde of customers at the Wal-Mart entry doors on Black Friday, as you and up to three co-op buddies attempt to stop their demons in their mindless march towards your base using rockets, shotguns, and the rest of Doom’s great gun arsenal.
It may not be as strategic as your Dungeon Defenders or your Plants vs. Zombies, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. This is still DOOM we’re talking about...
What rhymes with mole? Soul! So of course some witty punster couldn’t resist taking that and running with it into SnapMap, where they created a tribute to the classic fairground arcade game - but with shotguns and Doom’s Lost Souls replacing squidgy mallets and helpless mammals.
This being an arcade game, you need to first pick up some coins from the ATM, then head on over to the machine and blast as many of the bastards away as you can in 30 seconds or so. The Souls pop up out of holes, just like the moles (making that rhyme wasn’t one of my goals), and you can shoot them into each other to rack up combo points.
Poor Lost Souls. They’d probably much rather be in hell than go through the humiliation of being used as a sideshow attraction like this...
With the option in SnapMap to dictate how much health enemies have, and what conditions must be met to hurt or kill them, with a little bit of tinkering you can set up raid scenarios - essentially turning any enemy into a massive bullet-sponge boss that goes through several phases.
Quite a few of these have already been created by players, and just typing in ‘raid’ in the search box is bound to bring up more and more options as SnapMap gathers momentum. Of the current crop, Raid Boss Stage 1 is a fun battle to dive into with your pals, as you take on a juiced-up Mancubus, with the battle going through several stages and at one point teleporting you to some misty netherrealm where you fight imps.
Seeing as there’s no co-op in Doom’s standard multiplayer modes, these remain your best bet for some team-based fun.
Survival mode: 9LP4KKGP
If playing a Destiny rip-off mode sounds a bit too new-school for you, then how about a good old-fashioned survival mode where you fight off wave after wave of hellspawn side-by-side with your comrades?
There are plenty of these maps already available, with Ultimate Survival ranking highly among them thanks to its unique team scoring system, which means that you’re competing against each other for points while at the same time trying to make sure everyone survives. The ‘High Score WAVE CHALLENGE’ is solid too, as is the clinically-titled ‘Survival Arena 1-4p Coop v1.3’.
While the maps on all of these are fairly well-designed, it’d be nice to see id Software eventually allow player-created game modes like this to be played on the official maps. Here’s hoping...
Demon Hunt: XM7JRW76
A great idea that deserves more exposure, this mode is similar to ‘Infection’ or ‘Virus’ seen in so many other multiplayer shooters. One player starts off as a demon, while the other three are marines, and must group together to fight it off. If the demon kills a person, that person then also becomes a demon, and together they hunt the remaining two players.
The game is over when there are no marines left standing, giving the mode a tense, horror feel.
This mode takes me back to the days of playing ‘Survivor’ in Aliens vs Predator 2 - that suspense of seeing marine numbers dwindle and get steadily overrun by aliens is unrivalled as multiplayer games go. It’s just a shame it only supports up to four players, and the current setup of SnapMap means it’s almost impossible to jump into a game of it with strangers - something that can hopefully be patched with future SnapMap updates.
Still, if you actually have some mates, then jump on in! There are a lot of Demon Hunt modes, so it’s best to track this one down using its Map ID: XM7JRW76
Got any SnapMap tips? Let us know in the comments below.