Action DooM 2: Urban Brawl

By: Derek Yu

On: September 1st, 2008

Action DooM 2: Urban Brawl

Scuba Steve’s Action DooM is still somewhat of a rarity amongst Doom mods – a full-featured total conversion that genuinely tries some new things. With AD, Scuba and his team not only tried to emulate the linear gameplay of classic 2d shooters like Contra, they promoted it as a real retail product that you might buy when the genre was at the height of its popularity. Though as far as Contra-style FPS’s go, 8bit killer is a superior game, Action DooM gets credit for being the first. And for displaying the lasting potential of the Doom engine.

Four years later, Action DooM 2 is here! Whereas the original AD mixed Contra with Doom, AD2 is obviously inspired by beat ‘em up games like Final Fight. Even though there are guns available in the game, they are scarce – for the most part you’ll be using your fists, along with a slew of hand-to-hand weapons like knives, 2×4s, and chains. These items break quickly with use, but are strewn around each level fairly liberally.

The idea of picking up new weapons constantly is a good one, although combat is kind of hit-or-miss (pun intended). For the most part, there’s little strategy to beating up your opponents – just move in, hit, and then move away. It gets slightly repetitive, and I would have loved to have been able to throw weapons, or perhaps use different types of attacks. Throws? Combos? Chokes?

But overall, it’s hard to complain – Action DooM 2 is obviously a labor of love and there’s lots to like, from the awesome graphics (hand-pixelled by Steve) to the wonderfully overdone Sin City/Max Payne-style noir cutscenes (complete with voiceovers!). There’s also a really impressive amount of variety to the enemies and the environments. I enjoyed the various in-jokes (no way!) that can be found on the walls in the form of advertisements and graffiti.

AD2 (which can be played with or without Doom 2), definitely sets the bar high for creative Doom mods, and was a treat to play through. The full game is available for download, but if you really enjoy it, you can also buy a boxed version for $9.99 that comes with bonus maps.

TIGdb: Entry for Action DooM 2: Urban Brawl

(Thanks, JimmyBignuts!)

  • Derek

    Also, Happy Labor Day (to the Yanks)!

  • BeamSplashX

    Graffito? That sounds like a boss in Final Fantasy that would take 18 hours or more to beat.

    Just saying. Also YAY for DooM mods that I will force my friend to install on all the copies he has so we can LAN it.

  • Derek

    “Graffito” is the singular form of graffiti, but I actually meant graffiti!

    Also, you can play Urban Brawl without the Doom 2 wad… the part where I mentioned that got left off the post because of a typo.

    In other words, yay for games journalism! ;)

  • MDK

    How do I play this without Doom2?

  • Alert

    Uh… Iji is finished and available for download.

  • MDK

    I didn’t see it on, if that’s what you meant. Help please!

  • Sniper Joe

    If anyone is having trouble running it you need to run “Brawl.exe”, make sure to read the text documents in the DOCS folder too.

  • Lorne Whiting

    This game has some nice secrets so far :D.
    If you’re having trouble with the first level there’s a gun in a file cabinet in your house.

    Anyone found any explosives in the first level, though?
    You can jump from the garbage bin onto the stairwell of the red apartments right outside your house, and there’s a wall it implies you can blow up at the top.

  • MDK

    MY MISTAKE I downloaded Action Doom 1 not AD2. About to play!

  • Sniper Joe

    There are no explosives in the first level.

  • Lorne Whiting

    @Sniper Joe, then how do I break that dang ol’ wall?

  • Melly

    It was neat, but I agree that the combat was a bit too repetitive and frustrating. There’s also the problem with some ranged enemies later on that are difficult to evade with the cramped environments they appear in, or whose projectiles are difficult to see (like the knife throwing guy). Because of those things I didn’t find the urge to finish it.

    It looks awesome though. I imagine a game like this would be immensely successful back in the DooM days.

  • Exoduster

    I was kind of wondering why the developer thought it was a good idea to charge $10 for a boxed version of his free game, but then I played it, and damn, this is something special.

    Only thing, though. About halfway through, I could no longer see the cutscenes, only hear them. Which meant I couldn’t make choices.

  • Sniper Joe

    @Lorne Whiting

    Look around your apartment, the weapon you need is there.

  • Scott

    He’s charging for a mod? I didn’t even think people were allowed to do that.

  • Spkl

    I fought the god damn village people.
    I dont care what you say, this game wins.

  • MDK

    Ok, pretty simple gameplay.. wins on style though. With more interesting gameplay I’d give it 5/5

  • Sigvatr

    Misaligned textures in that screenshot.

    Sorry, I’m a Doom mapping nerd.

  • Eclipse

    cool if it uses PrBoom or ZDoom i could play it on the gp2x

  • zixinus&

    Using improvised melee weapons that you constantly need to pick up is hardly new: Condemned anyone?

  • Eclipse

    Have you ever played any beat ’em up?

  • PHeMoX

    Very cool game, definitely amongst my current favorites.

  • I really dig the visuals, reminds me of the ole’ ZPC/Normality ballsiness in a way… not because of the style itself, but because of the sheer cojones of it. I love the level design too, thumbs up…

  • magallanes

    Not for motion sick users, i played for around 30 minutes and im start to feel sick.

  • Eclipse

    very cool style, too bad there’s almost no shooting, brawling in first person and only with a single move sucks and get repetitive.
    Loved the level design

  • 0rel

    woha, very cool rendering style!

  • colorFool

    Got a split mind about this one. Graphics are nice, fighting a bit repetitive, but not too bad, so it would stop me from playing. But Leveldesign is partially a bit questioning. I might be wrong and just missed something, but this is how I experienced one part:

    I got to the old country house, could kill the dog, turn on the generator and find the shovel, but then it was about 20 minutes of running around not knowing what to do. When trying to break nailed doors, you need something more powerful.

    So at some point I got frustrated and read up in some forums what to do. Turns out you need the chainsaw that can only be found at a part you cannot go back to except load and find it in a secret area of a confusing forrest plastered with mines that sometimes are just impossible to spot. To qote Yahtzee: This is what you call a dickmove.

    Please tell me that I’m wrong – it would be a shame to let such a nice title be dropped because of such a design fault..

  • Sniper joe


    The shovel can be used to break a wall in the basement, just check the lit areas.

  • Manc

    Hopefully you all bound the SPECIAL alt fire key right off the bat. ZDoom has an altfire but in the menu for control configuration there’s an additional special alt fire for action doom 2. Binding this key will give you alternate ways you use weapons and alternate punching style with your fists.

    Plus, a slightly updated bug-fix version will be available REAL soon (in the next day or so from this writing) that puts this in a more noticeable spot in the control config.

    P.S. I’m the guy who did the player voice.

  • Exoduster


    You sir, get some sort of prize.

  • acme

    Sorry if I’m being picky here, but for me the style reminds me so much more of Ubisoft’s XIII, rather than Max Payne or Sin City.

  • Scuba Steve

    Say, could someone update the screenshots to not include the black bar at the bottom? The bugfix release removes the preset black bar (which can also be removed by pressing +). The update will also include subtitles for cutscenes.

    I wanted to stay true to the roots of Doom mods, and release the project for free, but I also wanted to have fun and make a neat case and sell it too. The game is totally free, but you can buy it and I’ll mail you a professional looking case, CD and insert with a few neat bonus maps included. If you don’t want to buy it, download it for free… it’s no skin off my back… my job pays for the bills :P

  • Mayor McCheese

    Great game. I also had a problem figuring out where to go in the farm house level, but the office building level more than made up for it. Easily one of the most epic things I’ve done in a long time.

  • sluzzuls

    i think i skipped a section or something. at one point i was dead after getting out of the train and walking into fight club and then suddenly i was in a forest -> sniper in a tree.. who wouldnt shoot at me and i had no weapons. bug? do i start over?

    instant day waster. this game grabs you on the first level.

  • garren

    how do you kill the sniper in the tree? It’s a big empty field and i can’t go anywhere from it because of the fence. I once even got below the sniper in the tree but can’t kill him because I have no weapons