Brutal Doom: Gore and Violence Taken to the Extreme

I think it’s safe to say that nearly every person who claims to be a “gamer” has played Doom at some point in their life. id Software’s masterpiece of occult themes and gory violence popularized the first-person shooter genre and molded it into what it is today. But that’s not to say that Doom is without its rough edges. Art, animation, and interaction in games has come a long way from the shotgun-blasting hallways of Doom. Modern updates of the formula either miss the mark (Serious Sam) or are not even in the same vein (Doom 3) as the original. What is a player to do if they want to dig in to the demon-killing extravaganza?

Well, download Brutal Doom.

Brutal Doom is a mod for Doom – big surprise – that glorifies the violence and pacing of Doom without breaking that original feel. This is Doom, but bigger, better, and faster. I’ve played quite a lot of Brutal Doom since discovering it over a year ago, and it has yet to disappoint me in how consistently fresh and entertaining it can be. Some of my personal favorite features include:

  • Weapon changes such as adding reloads and alternate fire modes to almost every weapon. For example, the pistol is now an assault rifle that has an iron sight as an alt-fire. The plasma gun has an alt-fire charges up a shotgun blast of plasma. The chaingun has an alt-fire that is a bullet hose.
  • New enemy attacks. Imps will leap at you to scratch and claw at your exposed flesh, for example. Enemies in general are a lot smarter and more dangerous.
  • Locational damage. Headshots matter!
  • Truly ridiculous amounts of gore. Enemies gib into huge chunks, blood splatters and drips on every surface, and enemies will often clutch at spilled guts and torn-off limbs as they die.
  • Improvements to melee, specifically the addition of some incredibly violent execution animations. Punch your hand through an imp’s chest and rip out his spine!
  • NPC characters that will assist you. See that trapped soldier? Punch him free of his bindings and he’ll run around shooting baddies for you. Just try to not get in his way, or you’ll die as well.
  • A variety of miscellaneous actions to perform, such as rolling left and right or flipping enemies the bird to enrage them.

The funny thing is that – despite ratcheting Doom up to corny action movie levels of gore, violence, and testosterone – Brutal Doom still feels like Doom. The weapon changes all fit within the overall balance of the game, and that cautious exploration of Doom’s maze-like maps is still present. It just has a new coat of gloss and gore to make the whole experience more satisfying and responsive. It also works with Doom, Doom 2, and Final Doom, so you’ve got a good selection of games to delve into.

That isn’t to say that Brutal Doom is without any issues. The most notable is that it simply doesn’t work in online multiplayer. I have tried countless ways to link up with a friend to play co-op Brutal Doom, but the game always desynchronizes. There’s also the issue of the friendly NPC AI, which will often accidentally kill you with rocket blasts or plasma shots while attempting to kill a monster you are attacking. Be wary of releasing those other soldiers, as they could be the death of you. For the most part, though, it’s a polished and entertaining mod.

You can download Brutal Doom right here on Gamefront. It requires you to own Doom in some capacity, and you can pick up Doom from Steam for piddling change. I personally play Brutal Doom by using the port GZDoom, which offers a wide variety of improvements and enhancements (such as modern hardware acceleration and resolutions) that make the imp-blasting experience that much more enjoyable.

So get to it! Start blasting away at those demons. And let me know about how great or terrible you think Brutal Doom is in the comments.

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3 Comments on Brutal Doom: Gore and Violence Taken to the Extreme


On February 25, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Brutal Doom is awesome, one of the best mods I’ve ever played. It’s just perfect for any evening you feel like wallowing in wretched gushing excess, easily surpassing any other gore game I’ve ever played.


On February 26, 2013 at 5:58 am

hmm… gotta check it out… why did I missed it amongst all those other ty mods… ok..

Ah, here, this one’s also worth checking out, if you got gearbox’ed with Aliens: Colonial Marines:

It requires.. GZDoom off course.


On June 27, 2014 at 8:59 am

Yes, it does break the original feel. Brutal Doom, in addition to being laughably juvenile and pointlessly gory, unbalances the game and breaks virtually every map WAD not designed for it. John Romero is smart enough not to directly say he doesn’t like it, but he’s said a few things that could be taken both ways and linked to this post on his Facebook page: