The resurgence of Age of Empires over the past several years has filled a gap in the real-time strategy genre absent since Age of Empires Online took the franchise in a different direction ten years ago. Now that Age of Empires is back, not only with multiple Definitive Edition re-releases and a sequel, it’s starting to get a little weird. Take for example a recently found mod for Age of Empires 2 that recreates the entirety of the original Doom as a tactical shooter.
The mod is named Age of Doom and it was first released on September 1. As promised, it delivers an experience based on the original Doom, only as an Age of Empires 2 campaign. Instead of building a town and growing a civilization through the ages, players will take control of the Doomguy protagonist and fight through hordes as Hell invades all over again. Naturally, the Doom campaign is experienced entirely through the isometric perspective.
When the description of the Age of Empire 2 mod describes it as a shooter, it’s not joking. Much like the original Doom, players will have to dodge projectiles fired by a diverse army of demon enemies. The Doomguy will walk into a room, only for demons to spawn from every direction. Custom-made Imps, Pinkies, Cacodemons and more fill the mod’s corridors, all authentic to their original designs in Doom. It’s shocking how much effort had to go into recreating the Doom experience.
That said, the limitations of an isometric Doom campaign are obvious. The result is that Age of Doom‘s story is unique to itself, drawing inspiration from the original Doom as well as Doom 3. Four total episodes are included in the mod, taking players across Mars and its two satellites, Phobos and Deimos. There’s also a fifth episode planned that will take players into Hell itself. Unfortunately, it’s as yet unfinished, so fans should expect an update later on.
For those interested in checking out the Age of Doom mod, it’s available to download for free. Creator HELLKNIGHT61 says that Age of Doom is compatible with “all Age of Empires games,” including Definitive Editions, due to an included compatibility patch. Exactly how accurate that is isn’t clear, but it’s worth putting to the test.
This just goes to show that the ingenuity of Age of Empires modders continues to have no bounds. A custom Doom campaign for the Age of Empires 2 engine isn’t something anyone expected to happen, but Age of Doom happened nonetheless. Hopefully, HELLKNIGHT61 is able to continue expanding the mod in exciting new directions.