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New Doom 64 (2020) port won't let you look up or down

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The new Doom 64 (2020) port releasing later today (bundled as a pre-order with Doom Eternal) is the first commercially licensed port of Doom 64 on PC.

Interestingly the Doom 64 (2020) port has full mouse support, but does not allow looking up or down, which is a feature most PC gamers might expect in a modern game. However the original Doom 64 (and also Doom and Doom II) never supported full vertical mouselook. The game would automatically send bullets and rockets up or down if the monster was above or below your gun.

Before this new Doom 64 (2020) port, PC gamers made do with the very polished unofficial port Doom 64 EX, which added support full vertical mouselook and has options like y-axis inversion and even the option to bind a key to 'jump'.

Purists might think that using vertical mouselook detracts from the way the game was designed to be experienced. By taking full vertical mouselook control, it makes the game somewhat easier to play for some modern gamers, but also harder to hit some vertical shots as your 'autoaim' is taken away. Furthermore modern features like jumping were never intended to be used by the game and map designers, potentially breaking aspects of the level design (in a different port)

This is a fascinating discussion about purism and modern quality of life fixes in PC gaming.  Early id Software games like Doom and Quake had notoriously poor default controls, which made it extremely hard to strafe and shoot at the same time. When WASD and mouselook became more commonplace, these games became substantially easier to play too - did a control scheme break the game?

It goes to show that one of the main strengths of PC gaming is that there are multiple wasy to experience the game (although one must note that Doom 64 EX requires the extra legally dubious step of acquiring the original Nintendo 64 ROM). No doubt some enterprising modder will add a jump and completely full mouselook support to Doom 64 (2020) and satisfy both sides of the argument.

What do you guys think - is it right not to include mouselook and jumping in Doom 64 (2020), or should it have been added as an option by the developer?

Doom 64 was originally developed by Midway Games rather than Doom developers id Software. It was released on Nintendo 64 in 1997, around the same time Quake was transforming first person shooters and online multiplayer on the PC. The new Doom 64 (2020) port was developed by Nightdive Studios in their Kex Engine.

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I saw it coming from an official port that began as Doom 64 EX, surely their intention was to retain the spirit of the original, and for that adding something like jumping or the ability to look up and down is something that didn't belong to the original. But let's be clear, that features was part of the Kex Engine.

It makes sense for older games like Blood, in which mouselook exists because the Build Engine supported it in the original game and thus was improved in the Fresh Supply port. Doom 64 on the other hand, didn't have that feature as well as jumping, and neither does the other Doom games before it. The GZDoom source port may have added it as a feature, but those willing and wanting a more authentic experience prefer having those limitations instead.

It was expected this could happen. I prefer to play the games the way they were meant to be played. And Doom 64 is one of those cases.

On the bright side, having an official port is better that looking for the rom of the N64 original.

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Character movement is more important than people give credit. Mid air control was a major contributing factor in the likes of Mario or Castlevania mechanically evolving into different franchises entirely. Donkey Kong 94 pokes fun at this. You get to play the arcade levels with Mario's new jumps and flips, and they're beatable in seconds!

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I prefer original controls. New features break game design, eg Icon of Sin with mouselook is beatable instantly.

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I would be fine with mouse look being disabled by default, as long as it at least was available as an option. The fact that it isn't, however, makes the game unplayable for me. It'll remain in my library untouched up until that time that I am able to get mouse look into the game.

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I with they added it, if so I would have gone for the steam port. With this news though I will probably play it on my switch since the mouse would feel too odd for me if up/down look didn't work

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Icon of Sin level I always thought was a very cheap way of structuring a final boss.

I am still really surprised no one has modded freelook into the game yet, it has been out for a while!

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On 3/20/2020 at 12:02 PM, Aemony said:

I would be fine with mouse look being disabled by default, as long as it at least was available as an option. The fact that it isn't, however, makes the game unplayable for me. It'll remain in my library untouched up until that time that I am able to get mouse look into the game.

Same here. At this point I don't see any reason to play this version over EX. The inaccuracies posted on their blog are stuff I wouldn't notice anyway so I don't care.

At least now it's possible to get the WAD legally I guess.

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