Doom remade as an ultra-hard roguelike, playable now for free

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As we approach the 30th anniversary of Doom (yep, we’re getting old) it’s staggering just how much life and variety remains in the classic id Software FPS game. Three decades since its release, passionate players continue to tweak, tune, and totally transform the definitive PC shooter, making it feel like a completely modern FPS, or in some case, a new game entirely. Available now and totally free, a recent Doom mod achieves the latter, converting id’s 1993 masterpiece into an extremely tough, randomised roguelike, similar to contemporary hits like Dead Cells, Darkest Dungeon, and Into the Breach.

Developed by ‘difficultoldstuff,’ also known as ‘DOS,’ Doom Infinite rebuilds the classic shooter with all the elements fundamental to a roguelike. Enemy, weapon, and power-up spawns are randomised. Levels are generated dynamically. You can even mod your guns. The idea is to create an entirely new Doom experience, whereby you face a completely unpredictable and increasing tough challenge with each stage.

As well as randomised spawns, enemies are now given traits, curses, and stat changes to make them more difficult and more varied. Though the skins are still the same, their behaviour changes from level to level – you might see a Baron of Hell, and think ‘oh yeah, I know what to do here,’ only for it to come charging at you at double speed and kill you in a single hit. There are hidden areas, procedurally generated boobytraps, and the levels can even alter and redesign themselves – just like the best roguelikes – as you play.

“Greatly expanding upon the original’s mechanics, Infinite allows for a fun, dynamic and unique experience along with perma-death and unlockable achievements,” difficultoldstuff explains. “Dynamic spawners, balanced game director, visual and audio updates, three brand new weapons, music shuffler, and even a simple but expressive emote system – those are only some of the extra components built into this mod, all to enhance ripping and tearing through hordes of demons hunting you down.”

The longer you survive, the higher your ‘Curse Level’ will climb, forcing tougher enemies to spawn alongside trickier traps. In response, you can customise your stats, mod your weapons, or lean more heavily into the randomly generated power ups.

If roguelike Doom sounds like your bag, you can get Doom Infinite here. Although the mod is available for free, you can also support its development at difficultoldstuff’s Patreon.

Check out some of the other best old games that you can still play in 2023. Alternatively, keep an eye on the present with all the best new games, or look to the future, and the greatest upcoming games making their way to your PC.

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