Back in 2013, id Software invited us to all pay a visit to hell. With the original Doom scraping out what was to become the first person shooter genre, Bethesda Softworks is now extending the same offer.
While many reboots have failed miserably (Turok, Perfect Dark, and Duke Nukem to name a few), Doom is showing a lot of promise and people are taking notice. Have they found the secret sauce of breathing new life into a franchise? Not without initial failure.
Most reboots fall apart when stitched together with misunderstandings of what made the original so great, while others lose their luster after they are butchered to accommodate the current gamer demographics. Thus was the case of Doom 4, which was bashed as being too cinematic and scripted. Even the creative director and former co-owner of id had this to say:
Every game has a soul. Every game has a spirit. When you played Rage, you got the spirit. And [Doom 4] did not have the spirit, it did not have the soul, it didn't have a personality.
-Tim Willits (source)
Scrapping Doom 4 and going back to the drawing board, they were ready to face the challenges ahead. Rebooting Doom isn't without it's own hurdles, though. The younger audience of gamers aren't as privy to Doom as the older generation, and FPS fans have had their hands full with games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield. It's a tough balancing act of nostalgia and newness that has to be perfect - something Bethesda has some experience with considering the jump from Fallout 2 to Fallout 3 as well as their revival of Wolfenstein.
With the lessons of past failure with Doom 4 and experience of rebooting through Bethesda, all the ingredients are there for a great game despite the pitfalls.
We'll be greeted with a 13+ hour single player campaign, as tweeted out by the official Doom twitter account. By comparison, Black Ops 3 reflects between 8.5 and 10 hours for an average story mode completion.
Expect to rip off limbs to gain access to bio-metric scanner protected areas, execute some pretty insane finishing attacks, scavenge powerful weaponry, discover secrets, and much more.
While I'm super excited to see more thought being put into the single player aspect of games these days, I'd be lying if I said I'm not more interested in the multiplayer.
We can expect six combat modes across nine unique maps. The combat modes are plenty for a launch title, ranging from staples such as team death match to a mode where you can play as the demons themselves. Footage of the game indicates fast paced motion and gunfights with the return of a few favorites such as the super shotgun and rocket launcher.
|Soul Harvest||Kill enemies to harvest souls|
|Freeze Tag||Freeze enemies and thaw allies|
|Warpath||Capture the moving zone|
|Clan Arena||Go head to head against other clans|
|Domination||Capture control points|
|Team Death Match||Classic team game mode|
The maps are promised to be varied and unique from a mechanical perspective, though a few of them share some thematic traits. We can expect to see secrets littered throughout, but not the kind that would lead to exploitative sniping positions. It's also been indicated that the levels are in fact multi-tiered, so staying aware of your surroundings is going to be vital.
|Disposal||Disposal facility full of green waste|
|Chasm||Tech facility within a chasm|
|Beneath||Underground tech facility|
|Perdition||Hell inspired with hellish overgrowth|
|Heat Wave||Tech facility around lava|
|Sacrilegious||Hell inspired with cultist overtones|
If you were one of the individuals that pre-ordered Wolfenstein: The New Order, you can get your hands on a pre-release multiplayer this month. Register your CD key here, or if you are a Steam user simply await the game to appear in your library.
Aside from the above mentioned game modes, Bethesda also teased a mode reminiscent of Killing Floor - where you fight waves of zombies for money which is then used to upgrade your gear before the next wave. This was shown during the 2015 E3 preview of the SnapMap tool, which offers non-developers a way to create not only new maps but entirely new and original game modes as well.
Doom is slated for release May 13, 2016. It will be simultaneously available for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. As listed on their official store page, the collector's edition will cost $120 and come with the following perks:
Will history be doomed to repeat itself, or have the developers found a way to revive the soul of this beloved franchise? If things go as well as they look, I'll see you all in hell come May 13th!