Skulltag - Destructoid

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5:11 PM on 12.11.2008

Studies have proven that you are all wanks. But enough about that, letís talk about something that could help you diminish your wankieness.

Skulltag is an engine-port-mod thing for Doom. Iíve seen a fair few doom mods flying around the Internet such as the Legacy Doom port and a few others, but thatís akin to saying you thought you saw some grass yesterday. Doom mods are ten-a-penny, but not Skulltag. Skulltag is special. Proper special, mind you, not that silly ďgiftedĒ nonsense. It does things to Doom that make it more fun than Left 4 Dead. Itís really that good.

I donít really know how to describe it. Itís Doom, but a million times better, holding the potential for even more on top of that. It really just depends on how far you are willing to push the game, and how much you want to get out of it.

The game is tailored to work with ZDoom. You can put anything in it and itíll work.

There are two paths you can take based on the following criteria:
1. You own any PC Doom game
2. You donít own Doom at all

If you own the game, you can simply grab the original iwad - ďdoom.wadĒ, download Skulltag and youíre away. If not, either acquire it through some not less than illegal means, or you go download FreeDoom and grab the iwad from that. As usual, I leave you without an excuse not to. The few who refuse are simply left denying themselves free fun. But what can you do? What mysterious wonders are contained within this godly executable?

The addition of extensive multiplayer seems a good start. The entire game has been reworked to play an extremely smooth and incomparably fun online multiplayer game that supersedes the original - and most modern multiplayer games - in every way. Deathmatch is back and better than ever along with 6 other new game modes, but now with the inclusion of bots, more maps, more weapons and pretty much more everything else. Online co-op makes an appearance, drowning in gamemodes and depth of play. Standard co-op, survival and invasion are all present, with every gametype supported for bots, capable of 32 simultaneous players and unlimited replayability.

This is Freedoom, btw.

Talking about online multiplayer, however, doesnít do it justice. Iíve played the game for ages and rarely played it online. Yet it still offers more fun than most games to date. If I ever want my ears to bleed and my spleen to rupture from unfiltered, raging awesome, I play offline survival while listening to Podtoid. This is why I mostly play Bot Deathmatch instead when listening to Podcasts which whittles down the awesome to safer quantities; ulcers and an ache in my face from all the gleeful smiling.

One of the things that made Doom great was the sense of scale. You get a gun; you kill a man. You get a shotgun; you blast that man to pieces. But then you get an imp, who is harder to take down. Then you get the rocket launcher, and then the gibs happen, and so on. Skulltag continues this formula in various ways by including new weapons, new items and new enemies. Most if not all are based off the old enemies, but every one is designed to complement the game you are playing, as each has a role that you can immediately identify and deal with on the fly.

There is so much content in the game, I just canít talk about it all. Iíd really love to, Iíd love to tell you about how the spread power-up combined with the BFG-10,000 (yes) is the pinnacle of human creation. Iíd love to talk about how being cornered by hordes and hordes of hellspawn, only to back into a surprised plasma cell and start leaving charred bits of them on the walls surpasses the fun of any Gears of War chainsaw or deliberate online griefing. The game makes me want to tell you about these things, but I canít. You canít eloquently justify the phrase ďFucking Awesome.Ē You just need to experience it yourself.

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