Doom co-creator John Romero has marked the seminal FPS’ 30th anniversary by releasing his second unofficial campaign for the hell-shooter. Sigil 2 follows on from Romero’s previous expansion for the Doom engine – released in 2019 for its quarter-century celebrations – by adding nine new levels that you can go and grab for free right now.
Sigil 2 acts as a direct sequel to Sigil, which itself looked to extend the story of Doom beyond its climactic fight against the Spidermastermind in E4M8 – albeit as an unofficial fifth episode.
Both campaigns span nine levels created to run as a megawad in the original Doom engine, with Romero’s site suggesting GZDoom as an easy way to boot up the megawad – the format used by both Doom and Doom 2 for bundles of levels and other files. (You’ll need a copy of Doom to run GZDoom, too.) The levels also work as deathmatch maps if you run them in the multiplayer mode.
Following Sigil’s score by Buckethead, Sigil 2 has an original heavy metal soundtrack by THORR. The OST backs a set of levels that seem to be faithful to the original in their crushing difficulty. (“Welcome to Hell,” Romero replied to one player who called the episode “pretty brutal”.)
Even Duke Nukem co-creator George Broussard got in on the action from his fellow nineties FPS luminary, saying: “It’s brilliantly fun and hard. Would have been the “Dark Souls of FPS games” if it shipped in 1993!”
Happy 30th birthday, DOOM. I’m grateful to have been a part of this incredible team. Thank you for playing our games, and thank you for keeping DOOM alive, all these many years. pic.twitter.com/ZBzGqdXXBo
— John Romero 🤘🏽 (@romero) December 10, 2023
Also true to OG Doom are a number of secrets dotted throughout the levels, including a fireblu texture – a reference to a popular meme in the Doom community – hidden somewhere in every level that players will need to find and shoot to open a secret room and achieve 100% completion.
“Today’s tools are amazing,” Romero said in our recent look back at Doom’s 30 years. “It’s funny, because I believe that Doom level design has still not been exhausted. I’m still doing new things.”
Sigil 2 is free to download from Romero’s website, which also offers some fancy (and not free) physical editions with other goodies like artwork, a shotgun shell USB stick and even a signed floppy disk with the campaign on, if you’re after that 1993 nostalgia. Happy birthday, Doom.