Doom 64, an original Doom game released exclusively on the Nintendo 64 in 1997, is often overlooked when discussing the history of the series. Perhaps that will change on March 20, when a Doom 64 port, complete with a new epilogue chapter, lands on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Doom 64 was originally developed by Midway, not id Software. The new release is being handled by Nightdive Studios, which specialises in bringing back classic games. It recently rereleased the first two Turok games, and is working on a remake of the first System Shock. Speaking with USGamer yesterday, Nightdive senior developer James Haley said that the Doom 64 port will continue the original’s story. Mother Demon, the big bad defeated by the Doomslayer at the end of the main campaign, apparently has a sister, and whatever amounts to familial bonds in hell compels her to take action. This means expelling the Doomslayer from the underworld and hoping for the best.
“Since you’ve been messing up Hell non-stop, she tries to get rid of you by sending you away,” Haley said. “If you can make your way back and take revenge, you’ll be rewarded with a bit of lore that fans of both series, new and classic, should enjoy.”
Doom 64 will also include a number of quality-of-life changes when it lands on modern platforms. This includes support for monitors with refresh rates over 60 Hz, which will allow speeds above 1000 frames per second. Nightdive also promises reduced input lag, an autorun toggle, new brightness settings, the ability to change the blood colour from red to green, and optional motion controls on PlayStation 4 and Switch.
The PC port will also provide the first legitimate opportunity to play Doom 64 with a keyboard and mouse.
“It very much feels like Doom – with some key differences in level design when comparing to the older games,” quality assurance lead Leo Mikkola told USGamer. “I don’t think the game necessarily becomes easier with modernised controls for keyboard and mouse – it becomes more accessible. The learning curve is lower compared to the Nintendo 64 version though, as movement feels more fluid overall and there’s a distinct reduction of input lag in our version, which makes the game feel more fair.”