KEY POINTS

  • "Doom" and "Doom II: Hell on Earth" is receiving some updates, the most significant of which is probably a 16:9 widescreen view
  • This update allows a wider perspective for players for the first time since these games were released in 1993 and 1994
  • An optional crosshair overlay and more motion-control assisted aiming, a millisecond timer for minimaps and other improvements are part of the update

The original “Doom” and “Doom II: Hell on Earth” have just received some impressive updates, perhaps the most significant of which is 16:9 widescreen support.

Polygon reports that the update includes an optional crosshair overlay and more motion-control assisted aiming for “Doom” and “Doom II: Hell on Earth” players on the Nintendo Switch and platforms that are using a DualShock 4 controller, not just the PlayStation 4.

The update arrived this past Thursday and includes several optimizations and quality-of-life features. As an example, a millisecond timer was added to the minimap and the end-of-level intermission to help speedrunners.

For the longest time, both “Doom” and “Doom II: Hell on Earth” have been played with letterboxing to preserve the original aspect ratio of the games released in 1993 and 1994 respectively. This update means the original renderer will not produce a 16:9 image to modernize the game for more contemporary monitors and screens.

“The [field of view] has been increased to reveal more image on the side, instead of chopping off the top and bottom,” id Software added in the update notes. “Many of our Add-Ons have also had widescreen support added, so download the latest version from the Add-Ons listing to check it out.”

PC players who own “The Ultimate Doom” or “Doom II: Hell on Earth” on Steam will now find the new re-releases in their libraries, with the original DOS versions of the game still available as a launch option.

In addition, the “Doom” engine can now load patches from DeHackEd, one of the first modding tools for the original release. “Add-Ons can now use new weapons, change enemy behavior, and more,” id said.

For those who have been typing iddqd or idclev19 since 1993, you will now get to enter cheat codes via keyboard. Ultra-Violence+ is a new skill level that is being introduced via this update, as well as a change to multiplayer split-screen that supposedly turns it into something called “Deathmatch 3.0.”

Originally a first-person shooter developed by id Software for MS-DOS in 1993, “Doom” helped define the FPS genre and in turn inspired numerous similar games. Often cited as one of the most significant video games in history, “Doom” pioneered online distribution and technology like 3D graphics.

In July 2019, “Doom,” “Doom II: Hell on Earth,” and 2004’s “Doom 3” was ported over to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and mobile platforms. Since that launch, the first two games have gotten solid post-launch support.

A January patch ramped up the frame rate to 60 fps from 35, added a quick save option, and other quality-of-life upgrades. An expansion for "Doom Eternal" is scheduled for an October release.

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Screenshot from 1993's "Doom." Courtesy/id Software
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