Review: “TiberiumDoom 1.9 (Beta)” (Mod for “GZDoom”/ “Doom II”/ “Final Doom”)

2014 Artwork TiberiumDoom review sketch

[NOTE: I originally wrote this review a few weeks ago and it is of a (now obsolete) beta version of the mod. I just checked the “ZDoom” site again about an hour before this review was scheduled to be posted and apparently the final version of this mod (version 2.0.1) was released on Friday. I haven’t had a chance to play the new version yet. As such, some of my criticisms of the beta version may not apply to the final version. ]

Well, it’s been a while since I last reviewed anything “Doom”-related, so I thought that I’d take a look at a rather interesting mod I found a few weeks ago called “TiberiumDoom 1.9 (Beta)“.

Before I go any further, I should point out that you will need the “GZDoom” source port in order to use this mod with your copy of “Doom II” or “Final Doom”. In addition to this, at the time of writing this review, I’ve only had a chance to play this mod for a few hours – so it will only reflect my experiences so far.

Anyway, let’s take a look at “TiberiumDoom”:

Tiberium Doom title screen

One of the first things you will notice when you start playing “TiberiumDoom” is that the HUD has been redesigned so that it actually looks like the inside of the Doomguy’s helmet.

This is pretty cool and it adds an extra level of realism and immersion to the game, although this subtle change also gives the game a slightly more “serious” atmosphere than I’m used to when I’m playing “Doom”.

Yes, the HUD is ACTUALLY a HUD!

Yes, the HUD is ACTUALLY a HUD!

Another thing you will notice when you start up this mod is that the Doomguy has a lot more health than he usually does. I think that both the health and armour meters now go up to a maximum of 999 (?) rather than just 200.

Whilst this change might sound like it makes the game a lot easier, the enemies deal a much larger amount of damage – so this extra health doesn’t give you as much of an advantage as you might think.

Talking about the enemies, this is one area where this mod does fairly well and there are quite a few new enemies here.

Whilst most of them are just palette-swaps of the familiar enemies that we all know and love (eg: there are now several varieties of cacodemons and hell knights) with slightly modified attacks and health levels, all of the “zombie” enemies have been redesigned so that they actually look like zombified space marines.

Yes, the zombie space marine in the distance ACTUALLY looks like a zombified space marine...

Yes, the zombie space marine in the distance ACTUALLY looks like a zombified space marine…

Again, this is a fairly small change, but it adds an extra level of realism to the game.

However (and I really I hope that this has been altered in the final version of “TiberiumDoom”), the text that appears at the top of the screen when you are killed by one of the shotgun zombies is… well.. not exactly great.

I understand that the designer of the mod was probably trying to be “funny” or “irreverent” – but using slightly threatening anti-LGBT language to do this just makes it look like this mod is aimed at immature people who enjoy playing certain other popular (and more modern) multiplayer FPS games, rather than at discerning “Doom” connoisseurs.

Yes, I’m probably making a mountain out of a molehill here, but it diminished my enjoyment of this mod very slightly. At the very least, I didn’t really like the fact that the game itself just assumed that I both didn’t like LGBT people and that I wasn’t LGBT myself. Both of these things are totally untrue for me!

Anyway, here’s the message in question. Again, I really hope that it has been amended in the latest version of the mod:

[Click for larger image] It's the text at the very top of the screen. Reader discretion is advised.

[Click for larger image]
It’s the text at the very top of the screen. Reader discretion is advised.

But, on the plus side, some of the palette-swapped cacodemons and lost souls have a really cool green and black colour scheme and – when you defeat one of these enemies, they will explode with a BFG-style blast, dealing damage to anything in the general vicinity. Seriously, this is one of the coolest things that I’ve ever seen in a “Doom” mod:

Not ONLY does this cacodemon look wonderfully gothic, but.....

Not ONLY does this cacodemon look wonderfully gothic, but…..

...look what it does when it dies! Yes, that's a BFG blast... from the Cacodemon!

…look what it does when it dies! Yes, that’s a BFG blast… from the cacodemon!

Another cool thing about “TiberiumDoom” is that it’s a lot more gruesome than most “Doom” mods that I’ve played.

Whilst you shouldn’t expect the kind of graphic dismemberments and detailed viscera that you can find in “Brutal Doom“, the monsters will leave large amounts of blood splatter on the walls and they will explode in a gigantic cloud of red mist when hit by a rocket or an exploding barrel.

As you would expect with a “Doom” mod, “TiberiumDoom” also features a vast array of new weapons too. Whilst I haven’t seen all of them yet, the ones that I have seen are fairly interesting variations on the standard weapons that we all know and love.

However, (and this is an issue with a lot of modern “Doom” mods) they almost all feature a “realistic” reloading system, which can get in the way of the gameplay during many of the frenetic battles that “Doom” is so famous for.

This is especially true for the standard “Doom” pump-action shotgun, since the Doomguy no longer automatically pumps the shotgun between shots in “TiberiumDoom”. You actually have to do this manually with the left mouse button.

Whilst this might seem “realistic”, it gets slightly confusing and I’ve died several times because I’ve been ready to fire at a monster – only for the Doomguy to pump the shotgun instead of firing it.

Trust me, it gets very annoying when there's more than one monster on the screen...

Trust me, it gets very annoying when there’s more than one monster on the screen…

But, there is one cool trick that you can do with the reloading feature on at least a couple of the weapons (although I’m not sure if this has been removed in subsequent versions of the mod). Basically, when you run out of ammo for at least one or two of the weapons, you can still press the “reload” button and it will load one bullet into the weapon. So, although using this to your advantage is rather time-consuming, it means that a couple of the guns essentially have infinite ammo.

Still, there are some rather cool weapons here – my favourite is probably the quad-barrelled shotgun. You can either fire each barrel individually or you can obliterate anything in your path by firing all four at once!

BOOM!

BOOM!

Whilst this is possibly one of the coolest things that I’ve ever seen in a “Doom” mod, the fact that the alternate fire button for the quad-shotgun is the same as the “reload” button for the other weapons can lead to a lot of accidental ammo wastage.

In addition to this, the reloading animation for the quad-shotgun is one of the longest I’ve ever seen in a computer game – making it impractical for fast-paced battles.

Yes, even the zombies are getting bored waiting for the reloading animation to finish....

Yes, even the zombies are getting bored waiting for the reloading animation to finish….

All in all, “TiberiumDoom” is a very good – albeit flawed – mod for “Doom” that gives the game a more “realistic” atmosphere. The new enemies also add some extra variety to the game, although the new weapons can sometimes get in the way of the gameplay though.

Whilst this mod doesn’t quite reach the standard of “Brutal Doom” or “The Stranger“, it’s still a fairly entertaining and challenging mod that will breathe new life into a familiar game.

If I had to give it a rating out of five, it would get three and a half.

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