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DOOM has quickly become the FPS of choice for some hardcore gamers thanks to its undeniably challenging campaign mode and less-than-linear approach to advancing through levels. This has made it prime bait for speedrunners who have already broken records with the game.
Eurogamer is reporting that YouTuber DraQu has already managed to blast through the game on several difficulty settings, including “I'm Too Young To Die” and moving all the way up to “Nightmare”. According to the article, DraQu managed to beat the easiest game mode in just 89 minutes and 58 seconds, which is approximately a minute shy of the previous world record, which was 90 minutes and 54 seconds... also held by DraQu.
Most impressive, though, was his conquering of Nightmare mode in just 101 minutes and 45 seconds. That is really something given that it's just 12 minutes more time than what it took him to beat the easiest difficulty setting. For a lot of players that would have added hours upon hours of play time to their session. You can see exactly how DraQu managed to beat DOOM in just over an hour and a half with the world record-setting Nightmare run captured in the video below.
The article does note that there were a few hiccups along the way that ended up extending the run, particularly with an issue in the Titan realm, as well as dying to one of the bosses. Eurogamer quips that the single death means that DraQu could be ready for the big time, attempting to break a record with Ultra Nightmare mode, which is a difficulty reserved only for the bravest and most hardcore DOOM players.
What makes Ultra Nightmare so hard? Well, aside from the monsters taking absolutely no prisoners and being hard as an immovable concrete block, there is no checkpoint marker and no do-overs. If you die during Ultra Nightmare mode, your game will end due to the permadeath feature. It's only possible to save the game in between each mission, but after that you're on your own.
The mode is so hard, in fact, that there's actually a warning before you do it asking you if you really want to put yourself through the trials and tribulations of Ultra Nightmare. However, some gamers have actually suffered through the spirit-breaking difficulty setting. YouTuber ZeroMaster managed to beat the mod in a speedrun of just four hours and 47 minutes. DraQu did attempt a Ultra Nightmare run in DOOM but it took him nearly five and a half hours to complete, which was no where near as fast as ZeroMaster's run.
According to the Eurogamer article, part of the trick is finding exploits within the levels to help blast through certain segments. A lot of speedrunners find level glitches, exploitable walls or platforms that aren't supposed to be reached as a way to shimmy through a level a lot quicker than doing it the normal way. There's literally a whole speedrunner culture centered around this very thing, especially with annual events like SGDQ.
It's impressive to see that so quickly after launching that some gamers are already breaking speedrunning records in DOOM and still trying to one-up themselves. If for nothing else, at least id Software has managed to capture the enthrallment from the speedrunning community.