DOOM will ship on May 13 with various difficulty settings for players to test their skills in. We'll have our standard easy, normal, and hard but there are more grueling challenges ahead for those who enjoy a bit of good old fashioned masochism.
DOOM features a Nightmare mode in which you'll encounter enemies with more health, you'll die much easier and I imagine the whole thing is fairly taxing. But once you've completed next month's shooter, you'll unlock the Ultra-Nightmare setting. This is where you truly enter hell.
Ultra Nightmare: No One Has Beaten DOOM On Its Hardest Difficulty Setting
Executive Producer Marty Stratton and Creative Director Hugo Martin mentioned to IGN that no one within their ranks has managed to beat DOOM on the Ultimate difficulty setting. The offices have even started a competition to see if it's actually possible. No dice so far.
You see, Ultra Nightmare features a little permadeath twist. If you die over the course of the campaign, that's it, you'll have to start the entire game from the beginning. If you happen to get back to where you last died you'll actually see your helmet lying on the ground - a nice little way of letting you know how well you're progressing (or how shit you are).
The game is exactly the same in Nightmare and Ultra Nightmare mode, so id Software have said that this is the perfect way for players to practice and eventually overcome the odds in Ultra. This all reminds me of the guy that actually destroyed the impossible indie strafe-em-up Devil Daggers.