Video game industry icon and legend John Romero continues to keep relevant by touching on some of the more nostalgic elements of game design. For instance, his latest project isn’t some big, flashy AAA title or a crowdfunded piece designed to push the industry into the next technological revolution. Nope, it’s actually a spiritual successor to Doom.
Romero announced that he’s been working on the unofficial spiritual successor to Ultimate Doom’s fourth episode via a post on Twitter.
Over on his blog, he explains that the game project is called SIGIL and it’s a free megawad for the 1993 version of Doom. For those of you who don’t know what a megawad is, they contained mods, graphics, and levels for Doom. You could make all new content for the game and pack it into the wad files. When a wad was loaded into the game, you could then play through the content from the wad. Megawads were oftentimes mods or expansion packs for Doom that contained multiple levels, all new graphics, and sometimes new enemies or alternate gameplay mechanics.
John Romero explained on his site that the SIGIL successor will be available starting at some point in the middle of February of 2019 next year. You will need an officially registered version of Doom if you want to play it, similar to how you need a legitimate copy of the game in order to play total-conversion projects like Brutal Doom.
What’s pretty cool is that SIGIL isn’t just some random megawad. It’s basically a non-licensed canonical continuation of where Doom left off after the fourth episode of the game. The story takes place between the original Doom and Doom 2: Hell on Earth. The Doom Guy is transported into an even darker pocket of hell where he must fight the harbingers of Satan before returning to Earth to save it from the demon invasion.
We don’t get a lot of media info about the project, but since it’s going to be released for free in February, it’s not like you’re going to be losing anything other than a few megabytes and some time to play the game.
However, if you did want to collect the game as a boxed copy, there will be a physical edition available in a big box reminiscent of the old game boxes id Software used for classic PC game releases back in the 1990s featuring artwork from Christopher Lovell.
The megawad will come on a 3 and 1/2-inch floppy-disk themed 16GB USB stick. There will also be a two-disc booklet case with the megawad data and the full soundtrack from Buckethead, along some behind-the-scenes information on developing the megawad.
Pre-orders for the big boxed edition of the game are currently available right now and will be available up until December 24th, 2018 at the end of the month from the Limited Run Games website.
John Romero mentions on the site that this whole project was a labor of love and he worked on it off and on as a part-time hobby as part of the 25th anniversary for Doom. This has nothing to do with the upcoming Doom: Eternal from id Software and Bethesda, but if you wanted to indulge in a little classic FPS shooting, you can do so in mid-February.