If you were playing through the new Doom thinking “this just feels right”, it turns out there may be a very deliberate reason for that. According to the designer of the 1993 original, the numbers behind the 2016 reboot are based on those of its seminal predecessor.
Both the original and classic Doom games deservedly made our list of the best shooters on PC.
That designer is John Romero, who was speaking to our own Jeremy Peel. Asked whether or not he'd played Doom 2016 and noticed the care that has clearly been taken over its fundamentals, Romero says:
“I talked to the lead designer, and he basically said they had the original Doom up, and they were replicating the metrics of the original Doom - firing rates, damages, movements and everything. So if you were burning down a Baron of Hell in the original Doom, that’s how long it took to burn him down in the new Doom.”
Double-jumping, mantling, and a fully 3D engine give Doom 2016 a kinetic, frentic quality to which the original clearly aspired - and in its time, achieved - but which marks a huge difference that can't be ignored, as do its many more weapons.
But numbers like basic movement speed, enemy health and weapon damage still count for a hell of a lot when it comes to pacing. So if you noticed that imps still take two shotgun blasts to put down, and smiled with nostalgia, that's because the modern version has made a very deliberate attempt to rebottle lightning.
“Even though it looks totally different, it feels like [the original], because the numbers are the same,” says Romero.
He had plenty more to add about how modern shooters have evolved from the arena boom that Doom and Quake catalysed, so check back soon for a full write-up of his chat with Jeremy.