Doom 64 Xbox One review: Same gameplay, great technical improvements
The classic returns.
Doom 64 is a first-person shooter that originally launched on the Nintendo 64 in 1997. The title didn't garner the best reviews at launch because reviewers felt that it didn't do enough to differentiate it from the original. It ended up feeling like just another port, and for the most part, I agree with that assessment. Aside from the better visuals – still quite retro from modern standards – it feels like the original Doom. Unless you know the levels by heart, you'll be hard-pressed to find a difference. Luckily, there's more going on with the Xbox One port.
Bottom line: Doom 64 looks and plays great on Xbox One X, but it's more of the same.
- Excellent new level
- Looks great on Xbox One X
- Smooth frame rate
- Feels like past games
- Imprecise controls
- Confusing level design
Doom 64 gameplay and story
Doom 64 takes place after the events of Final Doom. You're sent to an abandoned facility to take out a threat that seemingly escaped the demon-slaughtering you inflicted upon Hell the last time. Unfortunately, it's a trap and you have to fight your way out. However, the ending is what really stood out for many gamers because it's not what anyone expected. Oddly enough, it gave more depth to the Doom Marine's character.
Doom 64 features the same objectives that have defined the series, and mostly the same awesome weapons. You have to go through dozens of levels – and an additional mission for this version that ties to Doom Eternal – finding keys, shooting demons, pressing switches, and finding hidden weapons. While the gameplay loop is quite addictive, it still features convoluted level design and imprecise shooting mechanics that many newcomers may find frustrating.
Doom 64 performance and visuals
Doom 64 looks great on Xbox One X and, believe it or not, appears to be Xbox One X Enhanced with widescreen support. The menus are crisp and there are no upscaling artifacts. The visuals are "blocky," of course, but each block is defined. It reminds me a lot of Forsaken Remastered on the system.
What's more important is that it runs at a locked 60 frames per second on the console. During my playthrough, I didn't encounter an dips in performance, and if there were, they weren't noticeable. It's clear that a lot of care went into this game, because the Doom and Doom II ports Bethesda released were broken at launch.
Doom 64 final thoughts
Overall, Doom 64 is a memorable game that one can look fondly at years later. It's a great addition to Doom Eternal, and if you finish the campaign of the upcoming shooter, you should give this one a go. However, don't expect modernized controls or other improvements. It's the same game with the same quirks.
The addition of another level that ties this title to Doom Eternal is probably the reason many will want to play through Doom 64. It's a lot of fun and not what you expect. From my understanding, it seems like it takes place directly before the events of Doom Eternal, because there's even a tie-in cutscene. That addition elevates the game in my opinion because it's something new that everyone can enjoy.
Relive the classic
Doom 64 is a port of the 1997 classic for modern machines. It features updated visuals, as well as a new level that ties directly into Doom Eternal.
Hell on Earth
Doom Eternal is the next frenetic iteration in the long-running franchise. Set for launch this month, the game aims to bring even more fast-paced action to consoles and PC with new enemies, story, multiplayer modes, and more.
The game was reviewed on an Xbox One X with a code provided by the publisher.
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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.