Digital Foundry: New Doom Patch Is Brilliant: Disappointing Ports Are Now Must-Buy Purchases

chandoog

Member
Oct 27, 2017
13,158


Remember those retro Doom ports that arrived for the current-gen consoles last year? Flawed in many respects, they were a genuine disappointment... but the new update from Bethesda is close to perfect. John Linneman delivers his verdict.

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chandoog

chandoog

Member
Oct 27, 2017
13,158
TL;DR

- Before patches: Incorrect lighting, stretched aspect ratio, broken music.
- Now: One of the most significant game updates DF has seen.

- An initial patch fixed the lighting and music playback a few months ago.
- No more Bathesda login needed anymore either.

- Latest patch adds support for Add-On's, with additional WAD's being curated.
- Real time MIDI playback added.
- Frame rate improved to full 60 FPS via sub-frame interpolation. The game logic still runs at 35 FPS (however to human eyes it looks like a stable 60 FPS)
- WAD's like Sigil can incur minor dips, but not a big deal. Not really an issue on PS4 Pro, but Switch has some slowdowns and base PS4 has slight more slowdowns than Switch.
- Switch resolution dropped to 400p, PS4 runs at 600p.
- Minor judder generally (35 FPS logic running at 60 hz) but much better than before.
- Proper 4 : 3 aspect ratio mode added along with 16 : 10.
- Uneven pixel scaling in either visual mode which can cause some distortion.
- Level Select added and weapon select modified.
- "Game" and "Level" brightness sliders added.
- Wolfenstein inspired bonus stages also restored.

- If you utilize the console's Sleep Mode, restoring from this state will cause pauses. Fix is to close game and start again.
- Some additional latency noticed, not a huge problem but could be further improved.
- Mobile port also updated and received support for Add-On's.
 

Jbourne

Member
Oct 31, 2017
4,558
I was positive about it at first, but it's pretty consistently buggy for me. If I resume the game after having it suspended, 9 times out of 10 I get a pop up of the main menu after a few minutes of gameplay. I can still play, but saving isn't possible and inputs control the menu as well as the game. Very frustrating.

They fixed a lot of issues with these ports, but I'd still consider them janky as hell.
 

pswii60

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,099
UK
Surprised the frame-pacing issue on XBO wasn't mentioned.

EDIT: Minor judder mention. I wouldn't call it minor! Annoyed the hell out of me, you can see a stutter (like a framedrop) every couple hundred milliseconds. Probably isn't so obvious on a LCD.
 

lazygecko

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,247
I'm guessing such substantial updates to the ports this late is paving the way for the Doom 64 port which will in all likelihood be using the same sourceport engine they worked on.
 

Dark1x

Digital Foundry
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
3,190
Surprised the frame-pacing issue on XBO wasn't mentioned.

EDIT: Minor judder mention. I wouldn't call it minor! Annoyed the hell out of me, you can see a stutter (like a framedrop) every couple hundred milliseconds. Probably isn't so obvious on a LCD.
I didn't get it on Xbox One, does that version have an issue?
 

FairyEmpire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,724
Yeah, these patches turned solid but slightly disappointing ports into near-perfect versions of the formula.

Doom 1 now includes both Final Doom episodes along with Sigil, while Doom 2 includes both Final Doom campaigns too along with the XBLA exclusive campaign they had on the 2010 port for X360. Both games feature 60fps which feels really great, both versions have level select and quick save/load, there's quick weapon select assignments to the D-pad which is handy as hell, along with all kinds of technical improvements. Sure, getting the WADs on PC and using one of the many source ports is the best way to play: can use KB+M, custom WADs, set up the game in any possible way, use mods and whatever. But for 5 bucks each these ports run beautifully on consoles, including the portable Switch, which also means there's finally a legal and competent handheld version of Doom 1, 2, Final Doom, and even Sigil. Excited that more (at this unofficial) WADs are gonna join the games in time, for 10 bucks having hundreds of levels of one of the best game( combo)s ever made is quite the deal, even if you already have the game on PC as you should.
 

pswii60

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,099
UK
I didn't get it on Xbox One, does that version have an issue?
Feels like a frameskip every 200 milliseconds, I find it really annoying. Really obvious if you pan the camera slowly. I haven't tried the Switch version again to compare yet.

It might be the same as the minor judder you mentioned but perhaps more obvious on OLED due to the response rate.
 

FairyEmpire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,724
Are these the best ports/version of the game now? Better than pc?
On PC you can use any source port, mod, custom WAD, customize the shit out of your game basically so no, it doesn't beat PC. It's quite easily the best and most complete port we have right now however, unless you're looking for online play: that is present on the last-gen ports but not in this one sadly. Only local co-op and multiplayer is present.
 

Leo-Tyrant

Member
Jan 14, 2019
1,187
San Jose, Costa Rica
Got the Switch version of Doom 1 this past weekend due to the patch notes. I play on the Lite so its handheld only.

4:3 looks glorious on the go. Framerate is amazing. Best version of Doom 1 for me as I like it more on the small screen.
 

Extra Sauce

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,507
I posted this in the other thread, seems potentially appropriate here:

Extra Sauce said:
Great video.

Also, since there's been a decent amount of criticism in this thread including by yours truly, I just wanted to say that I've been having a wonderful time with the game on my PS4 since the new patch. Doom is a game I played countless times over the years but I'm not sure if I ever actually finished it. I'm currently going through Inferno after playing through the first two episodes and plan on moving on to the added content after I'm done with the main episodes.

It's amazing how well this game continues to age. I think part of it has to do with the beautifully drawn sprites, which brings me to my question. Does anyone know if there are modern shooters out there that use sprites instead of 3D models? There is a metric ton of 2D games out there featuring awesome pixel art but I can't really think of anything emulating the Doom/Wolfenstein/etc aesthetic in a retro fashion.

In other words, something that would be to Doom what Shovel Knight was to the likes of Mega Man and DuckTales.
 

APOEERA

Member
Oct 26, 2017
730
How's the DOOM III port now? I'm leaning towards getting all three this weekend but I want to make sure there's not a flash sale coming up with them.
 

Doomguy Fieri

Member
Nov 3, 2017
1,583
I posted this in the other thread, seems potentially more appropriate here:
Here are a couple.

 

FairyEmpire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,724
Where do I buy the definitive PC versions for modern PC's these days? Steam? Epic Game Store?
The definitive versions are fan-made source ports basically. So the best thing you can do is pick up any version of the game (Steam is fine), then use the WAD files included in them that will serve as the base games for whatever source port you decide to use. It also opens you up towards an endless world of custom maps and mods made by the community, and an insane amount of QOL changes, compatibility stuff, or even modern game styles if you so prefer (some ports allow you to look around vertically, others have actual 3D models, etc.). The best way to play Doom right now is get in the hands of the community and enjoy how they evolved Doom throughout the past 27 years or so.
 

CatAssTrophy

Member
Dec 4, 2017
1,678
Texas
Surprised the frame-pacing issue on XBO wasn't mentioned.

EDIT: Minor judder mention. I wouldn't call it minor! Annoyed the hell out of me, you can see a stutter (like a framedrop) every couple hundred milliseconds. Probably isn't so obvious on a LCD.
Maybe there's some variation in how bad some are getting the issues.

IE: DF says there was minor lag introduced but for me it's 100% unplayable- and I'm not very picky about input lag coming from a super laggy Vizio in the past.

I'm going to try rebuilding the database on my PS4 Pro (sometimes this helps I hear) and try again. It's also worth noting that I felt like the input lag was a small bit worse with a loaded save than it was with a new game.
 

Edward850

Software & Netcode Engineer at Nightdive Studios
Verified
Apr 5, 2019
106
I'm guessing such substantial updates to the ports this late is paving the way for the Doom 64 port which will in all likelihood be using the same sourceport engine they worked on.
Doom64 is definitely not compatible with the classic engine, least of all any part of this port.
 

Finny

Member
Oct 25, 2017
245
Where do I buy the definitive PC versions for modern PC's these days? Steam? Epic Game Store?
best bet is to grab the steam version and run it with a source port. there's about a gorillion and a half to choose from nowadays, but the main options boil down to:
GZDoom - most popular and most modern with loads of whiz-bang features and is the primary port for advanced modding. can be overwhelming with the amount of options and customization.

Chocolate/Crispy Doom - more conservative source ports that try to maintain a more pure classic doom feel.

PRBoom+ - more or less the in-between option.
 

Gitaroo

Member
Nov 3, 2017
1,585
On PC you can use any source port, mod, custom WAD, customize the shit out of your game basically so no, it doesn't beat PC. It's quite easily the best and most complete port we have right now however, unless you're looking for online play: that is present on the last-gen ports but not in this one sadly. Only local co-op and multiplayer is present.
does the switch version support HD rumble at least? So exclusive features I guess.
 

AlmostMilk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
342
My only issue with these is, will I have access to them on next Gen consoles? Because I sure as hell don't have access to the 360 versions I purchased and was able to play until these came out. I really don't want to have to keep buying these over and over again because they just feel like re-releasing them again.
 

demondance

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,750
I really wish these were available for owners of the GOG or Steam versions of Doom 1 and 2, and not just the twelve people who bought them on Bethesda.net. *sigh*

Yes, I know the PC version is easily the way to play, since you can use whatever sourceport and WAD combination you want. But it'd be nice to have versions playable on this level with a simple download.
 

CreepingFear

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,579
best bet is to grab the steam version and run it with a source port. there's about a gorillion and a half to choose from nowadays, but the main options boil down to:
GZDoom - most popular and most modern with loads of whiz-bang features and is the primary port for advanced modding. can be overwhelming with the amount of options and customization.

Chocolate/Crispy Doom - more conservative source ports that try to maintain a more pure classic doom feel.

PRBoom+ - more or less the in-between option.
and I'll be able to get all these new features such as 60 fps and the John Romero newly released map?
 

RedOnePunch

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,116
I tried the original on my switch and just didn’t enjoy it with the joycons. Seemed fine though. It’s definitely Doom and the online bs is gone and the music wasn’t all messed up.
 

Danneee

Member
Oct 27, 2017
894
My only issue with these is, will I have access to them on next Gen consoles? Because I sure as hell don't have access to the 360 versions I purchased and was able to play until these came out. I really don't want to have to keep buying these over and over again because they just feel like re-releasing them again.
Wait, did they revoke the licenses for the 360 versions??
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,505
Yes, I know the PC version is easily the way to play, since you can use whatever sourceport and WAD combination you want. But it'd be nice to have versions playable on this level with a simple download.
It's not complicated to get GZDoom running: https://zdoom.org/downloads

and I'll be able to get all these new features such as 60 fps and the John Romero newly released map?
Source ports can run at far higher frame rates than 60. Sigil is free to download here: https://www.romerogames.ie/si6il
 

Dark1x

Digital Foundry
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
3,190
Surprised the frame-pacing issue on XBO wasn't mentioned.

EDIT: Minor judder mention. I wouldn't call it minor! Annoyed the hell out of me, you can see a stutter (like a framedrop) every couple hundred milliseconds. Probably isn't so obvious on a LCD.
I mean, I only played it on OLED and using HDMI to VGA on a CRT. The issue you're talking about is not present on PS4 and Switch outside of the slowdown in Sigil.

If you're getting a regular hitch that's super bizarre. :\
 

Extra Sauce

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,507
Here are a couple.

thanks! as I said in that other thread, Ion Fury looks awesome and I am delighted to read that console ports are in the works.