test chamber

Test Chamber – We Play John Romero's Surprising New Doom Level

by Jeff Marchiafava on Jan 19, 2016 at 10:41 AM

After a 21-year hiatus, John Romero has crafted a new level for the original Doom. Join us at we try it out.

Andrew Reiner and I play through the first few sections of Romero's new map, Tech Gone Bad, which serves as a replacement for the finale of episode one. Despite still being limited by the technological restraints of the original Doom, Romero manages to make the new level feel fresh: Red cracks sprawl through the hallways of the overrun installation and deal damage if you stand still on them, paths of stepping stones have you hopping over poisonous pools (despite the lack of a jump button!), and myriad buttons shift the environments in surprising ways. Whereas the original E1M8 level was rather short and straightforward, Romero's new level feels like a worthy finale, requiring players to thoroughly explore a large and winding installation that's packed with detail while also traversing its outskirts in a massive outdoor environment. The level still ends with the iconic battle against the two barons of hell, but ratchets up the intensity even further. The level is a remarkable technical feat, and a reminder of Romero's design expertise. 

While we sprint our way through the first few minutes of the level, Reiner shares some more of his thoughts on the upcoming Doom reboot. View the video below to learn more and see Romero's level in action.

Those interested in playing Romero's new map for themselves can find the necessary files and instructions here. Old-school Doom fans should also check out our retrospective on the game, as well as Romero's playthrough and dissection of Doom's episode one, which he did with Double Fine. For more on the new Doom, click on the banner below.