Doom 64 is a Lost Gem, Nostalgic Counterpart to Eternal

Due to limited access to Doom Eternal’s multiplayer, we’re taking extra time to finish our review to provide you the best possible assesment. In the meantime, check our first look at Doom 64 running on PS4.

Originally released back in 1997 on the Nintendo 64, Doom 64 launched to mixed reviews. Praised for its graphics and level design, but also hit for feeling like just another Doom port. Unlike Doom, Doom II, and later, Doom 3, Doom 64 would never find itself ported to another platform. Despite this, the game has garnered a cult following since its launch, and finally, after more than 20 years, players can experience Doom 64 in a whole new way. Nightdive Studios, the talented team behind numerous remasters such as Turok and Turok 2, have brought Doom 64 to current-gen consoles for a whole new generation to enjoy.

It goes without saying: Doom 64 does not play like Doom 2016 or Doom Eternal. It’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane where environments were simple 3D polygon models and enemies were just sprites. The game also features many of the limitations or older first-person shooters. There’s no vertical axis to look up and down, no jump button, and no ability to climb over walls. Rather than a weapon wheel to select what gun you’d like, the weapons are chosen in sequential order by pressing the shoulder buttons. Doom 64 feels like a game from the 1990s with all the technical limitations in toe, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any fun here.

The joy of Doom 64 stems from it’s quick, but well-designed levels. The remaster includes all original 32 levels rebuilt with enhanced visuals. They may seem basic and rudimentary compared to today’s standards, but running around, finding secrets, and progressively unlocking new parts of the level is pretty fun thanks to the level design and gameplay. Much like the recent games, Doom 64 keeps players on their toes and continually moving. Though you’re not as nimble in a 90s game, Doom remains about strafing and dodging enemies. Stand still and you’re good as dead.

Even if you’ve never played Doom 64 before, there’s plenty of familiar elements that newer fans will pick up on. Enemies like the Imp, Demon, Baron of Hell and Arachnotron among others are all here. Meanwhile, all the familiar weaponry is here. You get your shotgun, chaingun, rocket launcher, pistol, and of course, the BFG. No, you can’t aim up and down like in the newer games, but all these weapons still pack quite a punch.

Graphically, Doom 64 looks clean and crisp running on modern hardware. Nightdive Studios have done a spectacular job getting the game looking and sound as pleasant as possible. You won’t be confusing Doom 64 for a current-gen game, but it still looks and plays perfectly fine.

Doom 64
is a lost gem, one that never left the Nintendo 64. Thankfully, Nightdive Studios and Bethesda Softworks are giving it a new lease on life. The developer has left the original game intact, but carefully upgraded the presentation and sound for modern displays. It’s a fun, nostalgic trip down memory lane and is well worth checking out to see this lost chapter in Doom’s history.

Doom 64 launches March 20 as a standalone release on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch. The game comes free as a pre-order bonus for Doom Eternal on PS4, Xbox One and PC.