Each year around the anniversary of Doom’s release, Doomworld.com publishes a list of the best WADs created during the previous 12 months. I usually play a handful of them to rekindle my love for my favorite game of all time. I thought I’d create this thread in case anyone else wants a periodic excuse to play it again.
Here’s what I recommend to get Doom up and running:
Purchase and download Doom and Doom 2 from whatever digital distributor you want. You only need doom.wad and doom2.wad from here.
Download and unzip the latest version of GZDoom.
Download C#4rp Doom Launcher (CDL).
Download the WADs below that look interesting. You can leave them as zip files.
Run CDL and add a path to the two IWADs, a path to GZDoom, and a path to the user-created WADs.
Most WADs use Doom 2, so select that in CDL. Check a WAD in the list or run without one to play the original game.
Once GZDoom is running, go to the options and set your screen resolution, always mouselook, and change keys to WASD. Explore the other options if you want.
A couple notes about modern Doom WADs:
Mappers have increase difficulty as skills have improved. Hurt Me Plenty (difficulty 3) is a lot like the old Ultra-Violence (difficulty 4). If you haven’t played in a while, start with difficulty 2.
Almost all WADs work with the GZDoom port. If you have problems, check the readme. The readme also tells you what Doom IWAD to use.
Here are some WADs from this year that you might want to try.
Anyone who wants to re-live that old-school Doom gameplay without playing the original maps should play Doom the Way id Did. It’s 27 maps for the original Doom 1. They’re designed to play and feel like those classic John Romero and Sandy Petersen levels from the early 90s. If you’re the type of person who thinks Painkiller and Serious Sam are a lot like Doom, please play this WAD so you’ll stop being so wrong.
If you want to see what modders can do with modern source ports, play Putrifier. It’s basically a Quake II map. The only problem – and it’s a big one – is the frustrating switch hunt gameplay. You press buttons, which are sometimes hard to notice, and have to run around to find out what they do. This is probably the biggest issue that some Doom WADs have these days. Fortunately, most mappers do a better job. Check this one out until you get lost and frustrated.
You can also try Winter’s Fury to see scripting and other effects. It’s a partial conversion, so there are some new enemies and weapons. Modders have been doing this for a while.
Most of the others have solid gameplay or some unique reason to exist. Jump in and try something else out.