DOOM, Brutal Doom, and Project Brutality: One in the same?

By Paul Linfor

If you’re like me, May can’t come soon enough because id Software dropped a new trailer for DOOM showing some new tidbits from the single player campaign. More importantly, it has set the release date for all platforms on the 13th of May, 2016. This will be the culmination of 5 years of work, barring the years between 2008-2011 where what was done was scrapped for “Looking too much like Call of DOOM.” But that’s still about 3 months away so what’s an anticipating DOOMer to do to fill the time? Why play Brutal Doom and Project Brutality of course!

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Brutal Doom is the brainchild of Sgt. MarkIV, a dedicated DOOM modder who released the first version back in 2010 and has been updating it ever since. The whole concept essentially was to take everything that made Doom, Doom and turn the dial all the way up to 11 and tear it out, taking inspiration from the schlocky B-Moviesque Doom Comic released back in the mid-1990s.

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Brutal Doom not only turned up the gore by allowing you to do things like blow the head clean off the shoulders of an enemy, rip their eyes out, or tear off one of their limbs and knock their head off like your kid at a T-Ball game. It also totally reworked how DOOM was played. The weapons were given a fresh coat of paint (or in the case of the pistol, replaced altogether with an assault rifle, turning the original weapon progression tiers on their head), alternate fire functions, smoother animation, increased difficulty levels, and the AI of the enemies were dramatically improved allowing them to get creative with how they attack you, be they imps leaping at you when you get to close or a Baron of Hell launching a room sweeping plasma blast.

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Project Brutality is an extension of Brutal Doom, created by PA1NK1LL3R and given the official blessing by Sgt. MarkIV, expands your options, weapons, enemies, difficulties, and everything else that Brutal Doom has to offer and more if you want a more complex experience.

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However, ever since the public release of trailers for DOOM (still sore about QuakeCon 2015), people in the Doom community have been noticing a large number of similarities between it, Brutal Doom, and Project Brutality. These have ranged from overarching concepts such as the implementation of larger amounts of gore and the implementation of executions to more direct elements such as one of the weapons being very similar and even a few of the fatalities in DOOM being copied wholesale.

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Many in the community simply use the similarities to poke fun at them while others have taken them more seriously than actually necessary, saying that DOOM 4 is a triple-A copy of Brutal Doom. However, the whole idea of DOOM ripping off Brutal Doom and Project Brutality is flawed and for a very good reason. It’s common knowledge that everything in culture builds off of a previous work, in this case it’s no exception. A better way to think about the matter is to consider it a cycle of creativity; Brutal Doom and Project Brutality both being the fruit of John Carmack’s decision to make Doom modder friendly and to provide the tools for it which set the trend for all modding utilities today. And after they breathed new life into a still strong game and its modding community, it only makes sense that id Software would build off of the things that made Brutal Doom great and incorporate them into the new game, in effect completing the cycle. For me, knowing this will make playing DOOM that much more special. But until it comes out, it’s time to RIP AND TEAR!

(Thanks to Youtuber JRMYXD for his video highlighting the similarities.)

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