It’s Doom but not as you know it! Get ready to check out 3 of the best Doom mods of all time and discover what makes them tick!
Everyone loves Doom, I mean what’s better than blasting demons and trudging through the depths of hell as a badass space marine!
Well I’ll tell you what’s better than Doom itself. Doom modders.
People out there have made some absolutely insane mods, from major quality of life improvements and even more violence in stuff like Brutal Doom, completely genre altering mods like we see in My House.
And at this point, there’s a seemingly never ending supply of this stuff.
But, what I’m interested in for the topic of today’s video is when Doom modders recreate their favourite games within the confines of the Doom engine which can result in some absolutely incredible stuff.
So let’s dive into three of the best Doom mods of all time!
Table of Contents
1. Castlevania: Simon’s Destiny
Despite Castlevania and Doom not sharing a lot in terms of gameplay mechanics, thematically they’re actually reasonably similar.
Castlevania is about mowing down all manner of different ghouls, skeletons and vampires, and Doom is about mowing down hordes of demons. So, a crossover actually makes a degree of sense, and I can definitely see why Batandy took it upon themselves to converge the two franchises.
What Is Castlevania: Simon’s Destiny All About?
The premise here is that you take the original Castlevania for the NES, including every single level and boss battle and convert them into first person.
Obviously this means that the levels have been heavily edited from their original side-scrolling form, but what I like here is that a lot of the areas are still somewhat recognisable.
Just like the first area in the castle entrance with the stairs and dog encounters, and then later where you have the area where swamp creatures are coming out of the water.
What Weapons Are Available?
Surprisingly the combat mechanics are actually mostly intact; your main weapon is a whip and you can find sub weapons which automatically replace your existing sub weapon when picked up. That means you can only have one equipped at a time.
You have a dagger, the axe, the cross, the holy water, and the stopwatch all making appearances and all working exactly as they do in the original game.
Because your main weapon is the whip though, you’ll find yourself getting way closer to the enemies than you normally would in Doom and this combined with the much heavier emphasis on platforming, makes this truly feel more like Castlevania than Doom which is just ridiculous considering you’re literally playing Doom.
The platforming sections did take me a little while to get used to; if you let go of a key while in mid air, you’ll just stop moving pretty much instantly. I was always expecting more momentum to carry over which led to me undershooting a lot of the jumps.
But when you adapt to this it’s actually pretty good and the platforming is never really all that difficult to warrant needing incredibly tight controls either.
What’s The Best Thing About Castlevania: Simon’s Destiny?
The best thing about this mod is the way they’ve translated some of the gameplay sequences into a 3D space.
The medusa heads no longer just bob up and down but will weave left and right and appear in greater numbers to remain just as much of a threat as they were on the NES.
Some enemies are potentially even more threatening in this version too, like the bone throwing skeletons which now have way better range and accuracy.
I always felt like I needed to prioritise killing these guys because of how deadly they were!
What’s The Biggest Issue With The Mod?
Probably the biggest issue with this first entry in our best Doom mods list is that it’s really difficult. Not in terms of the level design or the enemy patterns or anything, but just in terms of the amount of damage the enemies do to you and the lack of healing items you’ll be coming across.
I get that this is mimicking the NES game which is notoriously difficult too, but even on the easiest difficulty, this can be a bit of a pain.
Luckily you can save the game whenever you want to basically create infinite checkpoints so it’s not too big of an issue though.
2. The Legend of Doom
Next up on our list of the best Doom mods is The Legend of Doom, a mod that takes another NES classic and throws it into the Doom engine. It recreates the original The Legend of Zelda in full 3D from a first person perspective!
Rather than taking a lot of creative liberties in order to recreate the game from a perspective it was never meant to be played in though, this time the aim of the mod is to be completely faithful to the original version of the game.
This means every single area you visit is a 1:1 replica of what’s seen in the NES version, and whereas this was impossible with Castlevania due to it being a side-scroller, with The Legend of Zelda, it already had a sense of 3D space with it being a top down game.
This isn’t just a proof of concept either, this is literally the entire game. You can play the entirety of The Legend of Zelda in full 3D from a first person perspective right now and it’s all thanks to the power of Doom!
How Does The Legend Of Doom Mod Play?
Of course it feels quite different to the original game; you can move much faster; and there’s no screen scrolling, so instead the enemies will spawn in when you approach the area they would normally be found; and the combat is way more fluid with you having far more movement options.
However, all of the puzzles, dungeons, side quests and characters are accounted for here, and even though the premise of playing Zelda through Doom sounds like a stupid idea, this is a legitimate way of experiencing the original Zelda game because of how faithful it is.
If you’re a fan of the original Zelda and you haven’t given this a go, then you need to try it out right now. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
3. Sonic Robo-Blast 2
Now before anyone starts yelling at me in the comments, yes on a technicality, this isn’t a Doom mod.
But, it does use the Doom Legacy engine, a source port of the original Doom engine which basically added in some modern quality of life features like mouse-aiming and jumping.
Because it’s running on the Doom engine, I’m counting it as a Doom mod even though it’s technically a standalone experience that you don’t even need a copy of Doom to play.
What Is Sonic Robo-Blast 2?
With that out of the way, Sonic Robo-Blast 2 is a fully original Sonic game which takes inspiration from the SEGA Mega Drive or Genesis games but instead of being 2D like those games, takes place in full 3D levels.
Looking at this you’d probably think, oh that’s a neat little mod and then kinda brush it off because it probably doesn’t have a lot going on outside of the initial gimmick of being a Sonic game made with the Doom engine.
However, this is the absolute real deal.
Not only is this a full on proper Sonic game featuring over 8 zones most of which having two main acts and a boss level, but then on top of that you have 11 secret unlockable levels, special stages which are references to Nights Into Dreams, a ton of competitive multiplayer options, full on splitscreen, LAN and online co-op for the main game. You’ve also got controller support and three different playable characters with more that can be unlocked and even more stuff on top of all of this.
Having all of this content is great, but not only is there this much to sink your teeth into, but it’s actually ridiculously high quality too.
Getting Stuck Into The Levels
Every single level was throwing new mechanics at me, from the underwater sections in the Deep Sea Zone, the many, many spike traps and swings to blast off of in Castle Eggman Zone and the strange bouncy goo in Techno Hill Zone.
The actual level design is amazing too featuring some real standout sections like this bit where you need to climb a tower while avoiding rotating spike balls, or this bit where the ceiling moves up and down and you need to avoid being crushed by entering holes in the floor.
There’s so much going on here and quite honestly, this is better than a lot of official Sonic games I’ve played.
Oh and also, the soundtrack here is also awesome too, it feels like this is a real Sonic game that should have existed in a parallel universe or something. I legitimately can’t recommend this game enough, it’s amazing.
The amount of passion that these fans have to recreate these games in this way is just incredible.
The fact that Doom is so versatile that it allows for this level of modification is also pretty amazing and this is just one of the many reasons that Doom has stood the test of time and remains one of the greatest games ever made.
If we had to pick a favourite Doom mod from this list, it would have to be The Legend of Doom, but that’s just because we’re massive Zelda heads. The other two are incredible too and well worth a play if you haven’t tried them!
Thanks for joining us on this Doom mods adventure! Let us know your best Doom mods over on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and tell us which games you wish had been made into Doom mods while you’re there!
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Rob has a particular fondness for the strange, obscure and quirky side of gaming and loves sharing his knowledge with others. He has been creating content on his own YouTube channel for several years and aims to take his passion to the next level with Retro Dodo.