Doom is inarguably one of the granddaddies of FPS games, with the first Doom (proceeding Wolfenstein 3D) pushing the genre into mainstream success. Inspired, many developers over the years have followed suit with a long list of games like Doom. But you can never hold a true classic down. Louder, faster, and more brutal than ever, the recent Doom reboot will have you destroying demons with heavy-metal infused mayhem. The game sits right at home with the retro old-skool vibe of the original games with some modern elements tossed in.
If you’ve already completed the new release several times over, these 10 alternative FPS games like Doom released in recent years will most definitely feed your cravings for retro-style cathartic chaos.
Selection Criteria of Our List of Games Like Doom
- Each game must be a first-person shooter like Doom
- Must have hordes of enemies to blast through. Cannon fodder welcomed!
- An insane arsenal of powerful weapons.
- Does not take itself too seriously (e.g. intentionally cheesy story, self-aware of its ridiculousness, tongue-in-cheek, etc.)
- Preference for newer franchises and (semi-)recently rebooted / remastered games or fresh installments. Older classics yet to receive a modern update have been included in the Honorable Mentions section.
- Selections are in no particular order.
To be clear, you won’t find any of these retro-style FPS games to be exact analogues to Doom. However, you’ll still surely enjoy many of the classic Doom-ish gameplay elements contained in these nostalgia-inducing shooters.
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Why it’s similar to Doom: Bulletstorm feeds you pure over-the-top carnage. The game lets you dish out plenty of creative slaughters similar to Doom’s glory kills. Enemies fill your screen and you’re given a wonderful array of a$$-kickin’ weapons to blast bloody holes into heads. Like the new Doom, Bulletstorm rewards you with upgrades for performing certain moves. The game also oozes one-man-hero machismo by the bucketloads.
Why it’s different: Unlike Doom, Bulletstorm uses a more modern FPS health system. Thus, your life-bar will automatically regenerate without the need to pick up medikits. The game also features a more fleshed out plot than Doom, albeit still served with the right amount of cheese. Most enemies are mutants rather than demons. Additionally, Bulletstorm is also much more aesthetically cartoony compared to the tech-metallic sheens of Doom. There’s also plenty of childish dick jokes, just for kicks.
Overall: Bulletstorm was sadly a commercial failure. But don’t be mistaken! This wicked game is guaranteed to satisfy you with its visceral thrills and spills similar to most retro-style FPS games like Doom. A true ‘new old-skool’ gem.
2. Shadow Warrior [reboot]
Why it’s similar: Similar to Doomguy, you’ll be ripping through hordes of demons in an effort to save the world from complete destruction. The game is also split into different loaded stages just like Doom. Shadow Warrior’s demons also come in many sizes, strengths, and abilities. This encourages you to be strategic in how you approach them. Like Doom, there’s a good variety of projectile weapons with lots of gore to be spilled.
Why it’s different: Unlike Doom’s straight-up run-and-gunning, Shadow Warrior lets you approach some situations in varied ways. There are a few hidden areas that’ll actually let you sneak behind baddies for a quick takedown. In addition to a slew of firearms, the game also arms you with a powerful katana for immensely satisfying close combat kills. Yes, everything is just as over-the-top like Doom, However, Shadow Warrior’s story does have a surprising level of depth beneath its cheesy surface.
Overall: This reboot is a must-buy for anyone wanting to experience more old-skool FPS games like Doom. Killing demons has never been more satisfying.
EDIT: Shadow Warrior 2 is now out and has received overall positive reviews. You’ll do well to check it out!
3. Hard Reset
Why it’s similar: Hard Reset’s focuses on classic fast-paced action often seen in retro-style FPS games like Doom. Similar to Doom, the game uses a traditional medkit pickup system instead of modern health regeneration. The story here is equally bareboned, set in a charmingly over-the-top gameworld. There’s also a huge army of enemies to cut through using futuristic weaponry and exploding barrels.
Why it’s different: Hard Reset takes a lot of inspiration from games like Doom. However, you’ll find a unique twist in its hyper-futuristic cyberpunk setting full of evil robots and fancy gadgets (e.g. the Enemy Scanner, Deflector Shields, etc.). Technically, the game only has two weapons, though these can be easily enhanced with a slew of upgrades to create new hybrid killing tools.
Overall: Hard Reset does something many FPS games fail at. It successfully mixes retro shooter gameplay with a touch of modern flair. Of course, the game isn’t perfect (e.g. some deaths feel cheap) but is overall a worthy inclusion in our list of games like Doom.
4. Serious Sam 3: BFE
Why it’s similar: Like Doom, you’ll be tearing through waves of incoming enemies (i.e. aliens) in an effort to save the world. Serious Sam 3 also features a similar game design to Doom. This includes large levels, traditional health and armour pickups, no limits to your inventory, and a generous dose of weapon choices. In addition, you’ll need to learn different kill strategies in order to best takedown various enemy types.
Why it’s different: Compared to Doom, Serious Sam 3 places a slightly greater (but not overbearing) emphasis on long-range attack with the inclusion of sniper rifles. The story is also a bit more actualized than Doom, with some basic plot twists and simplistic character development thrown in (not that much). Additionally, while Doom’s run-and-gun action starts instantly, Serious Sam 3’s initial stages feel more akin to some slower-paced modern shooters. However, the action kicks into overdrive after the first thirty minutes or so, falling in line with other retro-style FPS games like Doom..
Overall: Like the best FPSs of yesteryear, Serious Sam 3 does not take itself too… seriously. This latest installment sticks to what the series has always done best: toss in lots of enemies, equip you with tools of destruction, and sets you on your merry way.
5. Painkiller: Hell & Damnation
Why it’s similar: A modern remark of FPS classics Painkiller and Battle Out of Hell, Painkiller: Hell & Damnation mirrors Doom in many ways. The game is set in Purgatory where hordes of bloodlusting demons are just waiting to be slaughtered by you across a range of levels. Like Doom, the demons in the game are varied and come in a range of forms with their own unique abilities. You’ll also be armed to the teeth with incredibly powerful weapons that are mostly no-reload and are equipped with devastating alternate fires.
Why it’s different: Collecting tarot cards by completing tasks can provide some interesting bonuses and abilities such as putting the game in slow motion, which can lead to some pretty epic kills. The story is also a bit more personal than Doom, with protagonist Daniel vanquishing demons in his quest to be reunited with his dead wife. At times, Painkiller does feel a bit more repetitive than Doom – though this is offset by a generous dosage of murderous bedlam.
Overall: Some fans have not taken to this new remake, outcrying the absence of a few original levels. Nonetheless, Painkiller: Hell & Damnation is guaranteed to satisfy if you’re looking for good old fashioned retro-style FPS games like Doom,
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