This year, DOOM will be celebrating its 28th birthday, yet it still endures as one of the most popular first-person shooters ever. Part of DOOM's longevity is likely due to its ambitious and ever-loyal community. Like many long-lived games, a niche segment of the fanbase has committed itself to modding the game and keeping it current. A mod called "Beautiful Doom" might be one the most unintrusive examples available. It aims to keep the game's retro visuals but spruce them up a bit, like adding a layer of varnish to an antique coffee table.
Beautiful Doom is unique in its simplicity. Mods normally run a range from functional to truly bizarre, like the recent mod that added Mario's legs to DOOM's Cacodemon. Beautiful Doom couches itself firmly in the former camp. It changes everything and nothing at the same time. Specifically, Beautiful Doom smoothes out the animations, sprinkles in new special effects, and adds a ton of new textures and, most importantly, physically accurate gibs unique to each creature.
The mod is only compatible with GZDoom—an enhanced port of the DOOM engine to run on modern systems. Because Beautiful Doom leaves the gameplay largely unaltered, with the exception of being able to look up and down, it is highly compatible with other mods. This means that if players wish, they can add mods to change the movement and other aspects of the gameplay to garner an even more modern feel.
The degree of customization is totally up to each player, but Beautiful DOOM stands as a solid base to work from considering it is only a visual update. Inveterate players can view Beautiful Doom as a welcome addition as they chase the remaining challenges still alluding the DOOM community.
id Software's original DOOM is recognized today as being not only one of the most influential first-person shooters of all time but one of the most influential video games of all time, period. It wasn't the first game of its kind, as id Software's Wolfenstein 3D from the year before had a similar gameplay formula, but DOOM perfected the playstyle and consequently popularized it.
One similarity that all products have, whether it be video games, books, or shampoos, is that successful products will be imitated. Therefore, numerous games were released in the years that followed DOOM that all had very similar gameplay and became known simply as "DOOM clones."
Considering the enormous amount of Star Wars video games that have been released over the last few decades, it makes sense that at least one of them would try to capitalize on the DOOM-hype. Star Wars: Dark Forces was released just over one year after DOOM and did a fantastic job of recreating id Software's FPS formula within the Star Wars universe.
It may surprise younger gamers that back in the 90s, LucasArts wasn't predominantly known to the gaming industry for their licensed Star Wars and Indiana Jones games. The company was acclaimed for its numerous excellent graphic adventure titles, such as Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle, and the Monkey Island series.
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