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Classic Doom and Doom 2 get native widescreen, mod tools, new modes and more

Latest patch chock full of quality-of-life improvements

Doom 2
Doom 2 (1994) got a new port to PS4 and Nintendo Switch last yearr.
Image: id Software/Bethesda Softworks
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

A robust update for the original Doom and Doom 2 delivers official 16:9 widescreen support, an optional crosshair overlay, and even motion-control assisted aiming for Nintendo Switch and platforms using a DualShock 4 controller.

The title update, which became available on Thursday, is slap full of optimizations and quality-of-life features — for example, the minimap and the end-of-level intermission now has a millisecond timer, to help out speedrunners.

The widescreen support is noteworthy, in that Doom and Doom 2’s original renderer will now natively produce a 16:9 image without any letterboxing. “The [field of view] has been increased to reveal more image on the side, instead of chopping off the top and bottom,” id Software added in the update notes. “Many of our Add-Ons have also had widescreen support added, so download the latest version from the Add-Ons listing to check it out.”

PC players who own The Ultimate Doom or Doom 2: Hell on Earth on Steam will now find the new re-releases in their libraries, with the original DOS versions of the game still available as a launch option. And the Doom engine can now load patches from DeHackEd — one of the first modding tools for the original release. “Add-Ons can now use new weapons, change enemy behavior, and more,” id said.

Players also get to enter cheat codes via keyboard now, for those who have been touch-typing iddqd or idclev19 since they were eight. There is also a new skill level, called Ultra-Violence+, and a change to split-screen multiplayer that turns it into something called Deathmatch 3.0. What both do, and do differently, are in the patch notes.

Doom and Doom 2 were ported over to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and mobile platforms, along with Doom 3, in July 2019. Despite a launch goof involving accounts (which gave us some hilare memes, at least) the first two games have gotten solid post-launch support over the past year. A January patch ramped up the frame rate to 60 fps from 35, added a quick save option, and other quality-of-life upgrades.

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