Doom (2016)

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The newest "Doom" logo revealed in May 2015, sporting a more gritty look.
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Doom (previously titled Doom 4) is a work-in-progress game anticipated to become the next release from id Software and their third game published by Bethesda after Rage and Doom 3: BFG Edition. Early planning and development began in August, 2007, and is currently ongoing. The game will be a reboot of the series, featuring a story detailing the invasion of the UAC Argent facility on Mars by the forces of Hell.

The new Doom is being built on a successor to id Software's id Tech 5 game engine which id Software is calling id Tech 6. Gameplay-wise the game is set to resemble the action-oriented nature of the classic Doom games much more than the horror style of Doom 3,[1] with a heavy emphasis on strong weapons, fast and agile player movement, and quickly paced encounters with large groups of foes. From a graphic and architectural point of view, its advanced designs are aesthetically closer to Doom 3 in some regards, but with many deliberate nods to the original series, particularly with respect to its new enemy designs.

The game has been set for release in spring 2016 as of the E3 2015 reveal on June 14.

E3 2015 reveal[edit]

Doom - E3 2015 Trailer

Bethesda announced on May 18, 2015, that a public reveal of the new Doom game was scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 14th, at 7:00 PM Pacific time, at the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo. The announcement was accompanied by a photo of various characters from Bethesda franchises having reserved seats in an auditorium; amongst these were the demon from the 2014 teaser video, now confirmed to be the new incarnation of the cyberdemon, and a picture of the new revenant. Also released was an 11-second long teaser video, showing a stylish super shotgun being breach-loaded, followed by the approach of a jet-pack-wielding, screaming revenant rapidly firing missiles at an off-camera target as multiple projectiles fly by it in the background.

The reveal took place as promised, beginning with an introduction by Marty Stratton, and followed by a video similar to the gameplay previously demonstrated at QuakeCon 2014. The protagonist can be seen putting on an F-90 helmet, similar in design to that of the original Doom marine; after putting it on, the outline of the helmet itself fades away and leaves only transparent HUD elements, with some being persistent and others appearing only when in context. The protagonist equips a combat shotgun and cautiously proceeds into an industrial area of the base where molten metal is pouring like waterfalls into vast forges. Various elements of the environment are seen to be interactive, requiring actions like prying a door open with the marine's exoskeleton-enhanced hands.

He is attacked by imps, who are very fast, with some acrobatic movements similar to their Doom 3 counterparts but with a projectile attack similar to the original game, and heavily armored zombies with laser weapons. A translucent weapon wheel interface can be used to change weapons, during which the game seems to enter a bullet-time-like slowdown. Fatalities are demonstrated as being implemented as swift, decisive motions which do not interrupt the constant, relentless flow of the combat, with the marine closing range to rip off an enemy's body parts or to crush a downed monster's skull. Exploding barrels are seen to return and are frequently placed through the base levels. A machine gun is also found, shortly before the protagonist is stopped by a hand scanner to which he does not have access.

Activating a holographic projection unit which recorded earlier events, he observes a Hell knight dragging away a human and brutally killing him, leaving his corpse where the recording stops. Tearing off the corpse's hand, the marine uses it to bypass the scanner. He then finds a chainsaw, with which he begins sawing into imps, severing limbs, cutting off heads, and splitting monsters in half. A revenant appears from beneath a ledge, however, flying with its jet packs, and swoops down onto the marine. Being savagely ripped to shreds, the protagonist dies as the monster beats him to death with his own limbs and brutal punches.

It was then subsequently revealed that the new Doom will include a fully integrated and vastly simplified yet powerful editing system called "Doom SnapMap," which will integrate with the upcoming Bethesda.net system to encourage modding. Prefab objects from the stock game will be able to be seamlessly combined with new creations, including fully customizable game logic.

Multiplayer was also covered in brief, with mentions of multiple modes to be included such as Domination, Freeze Tag, Team Arena, and straight-up deathmatch. Shots were shown of players battling with the plasma rifle and other weapons and items, including a demonic pentagram-shaped power-up later referred to as a "demon rune," which corrupts the player into a demon and allows attacking with spreading waves of fire.

Another sequence of gameplay was then demonstrated which showed the new game's vision of Hell, a barren wasteland of jagged rocks, fire, towering stone obelisks, and deep rifts. Cacodemons can be seen floating through the air. The player is seen to be able to take large falls without suffering damage via his advanced exoskeleton's "impact compensation" system. The enormous mancubus is revealed, alternately firing green plasma and attacking with a flamethrower. The player rips the heart out of one of the creatures and shoves it down its throat, causing it to violently explode after momentarily staggering about. Hell knight-like monsters with a skull for a head and a spectre-like translucent creature attack before more revenants emerge, rapidly firing missiles and using a laser tracking system to attempt to home in their attacks on the player.

Finally, a cyberdemon teleports in behind the player, and he is seen to pull out and begin charging the BFG, finally confirming the weapon's return.

Game elements[edit]

As the new Doom is still in development, details may rapidly emerge and could likely change without warning. However, the following articles summarize what is currently known in the corresponding subject areas and will be updated when new information becomes available.

Monsters[edit]

Weapons[edit]

Detailed history[edit]

Speculative Doom 4 logo previously found on idsoftware.com

Early development[edit]

John Carmack confirmed in August 2007 that Doom 4 was in the future plans of id Software.[2] On May 7th, 2008, id announced that the development of Doom 4 had begun.[3]

In 2008, John Carmack stated that the game would have better graphics than Rage, but would be targeted to run at a lower framerate of 30 frames per second.[4] id Software also intended to make Doom 4's multiplayer mode better than Doom 3's.[5]

Graham Joyce was slated to write the Doom 4 storyline as of January, 2009.[6]

On April 10, 2009 GameSpot published an interview with id Software's CEO Todd Hollenshead in which he revealed that Doom 4 is "deep in development." He stated however that the game was "not [in] pre-production". The development team was "relatively new" and id was "still actually hiring people" onto the Doom 4 team. GameSpot asked Hollenshead if Doom 4 is "a sequel? A reboot? A prequel?" and his response was "Gosh, that's actually an excellent question. It's not a sequel to Doom 3, but it's not a reboot either. Doom 3 was sort of a reboot. It's a little bit different than those."

On June 23, 2009, ZeniMax Media, best known for Bethesda Softworks, acquired id Software and announced that all future id Software games will be published by Bethesda Softworks, Doom 4 being one (in addition to Rage and future Quake titles).

During QuakeCon 2009, Todd Hollenshead mentioned that id Software would reveal new Doom 4 information at QuakeCon 2010, between 12-15 August.[7] However, during the event it was announced that there would be no news until the next year, as the development team was not ready to give a demonstration. Tim Willits did however talk to the press in May 2010 to boast: "it'll be even more awesome than Rage."

id Software technical guru John Carmack told OPM UK that anyone expecting to wait a long time for Doom 4 would have a shorter wait than first thought. Carmack told the mag the shooter should not take as long to get out the door, unlike Rage, which was announced in 2007 at QuakeCon, and would not be out until next year. Producer Tim Willits told VG247 the following in May: "Well we’ve got Doom 4 going on right now below our feet here. The Doom team are all sped up and working on this technology base – I’m not really at liberty to discuss much about it, but it’s going full steam ahead right now." He also added: "It shouldn’t take as long to ship as Rage. It’s already in the pipeline and we feel good about it."

On August 16, 2010, id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead apologized to Stephen Totilo of Kotaku for the game not appearing at QuakeCon in 2010, before mentioning that the game would be targeted for a simultaneous release on Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, saying "That's absolutely what we're thinking."

At Quakecon 2011, prior to the release of Rage, John Carmack stated that once Rage shipped, the id Software development team would move to Doom 4 to speed up the project. Since then, Rage had indeed been released, although no further information on Doom 4's development became available.

On 28 February 2012, some alleged screenshots were released on Official Xbox Magazine UK's website,[8] but the images were discredited by id Software's creative director Matthew Hooper via Twitter by saying, "Those images have nothing to do with what you're gonna see in Doom 4. When we officially show things, you'll see awesome."

2013 Kotaku article[edit]

In April of 2013, Kotaku published an article describing Doom 4 as trapped in "development hell". Citing connections to id, the article claims that Doom 4 has suffered under mismanagement, and that development was completely restarted in 2011. Inside sources described the pre-2011 version, which was to portray the uprising of Hell on Earth, as heavily scripted and cinematic, comparing it to the Call of Duty franchise. The pre-2011 version was criticized as mediocre, but the sources also described the new version as "lame" and a "mess". [9]

2013 Staff departures[edit]

Starting in June 26 with the abrupt resignation of Todd Hollenshead as company president and accompanying resignation from the ZeniMax Media board of directors, incumbent id Software staff began to depart the company at an increasing rate. By November, John Carmack, who had earlier reduced his role to technical advisor, departed the company entirely to focus on work at Oculus VR as its Chief Technical Officer. The majority of the id Tech engine team is believed to have followed him, based on statements made by departing employees and allegations leveled against Oculus by ZeniMax Media in their lawsuit filed later in 2014.

Logo used to promote pre-order beta access.

2014 Beta testing[edit]

In late February of 2014, Bethesda offered advance beta testing access to a product they are currently simply calling "DOOM", using a flat-shaded variant of the familiar logo, along with pre-orders of Wolfenstein: The New Order. The offer is explicit in mentioning that the product is not yet ready for testing and that those taking part in the promotion will be contacted later when the testing begins. It was eventually clarified that the beta access is per platform (ie., the version of Doom to be tested will be for the same platform on which Wolfenstein was purchased), and that the platforms currently targeted for release now include Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

Further details or information have yet to leak from anyone participating.

E3 Teaser[edit]

Bethesda and id unveiled a "Doom" teaser at E3 in June, 2014, containing footage of a monster later confirmed to be the newest incarnation of the cyberdemon gearing up for battle as a female narrator laments the corruption of a promising new technology (likely teleportation) into a gateway for the demons. No actual gameplay footage is featured in the teaser, however. This was accompanied by the launch of a new official website at doom.com, and the promise of a more detailed reveal at the 2014 QuakeCon.[10]

As of July 2, 2014, Bethesda amended their previous press release to "clarify" that the reveal would be exclusive to QuakeCon attendees, and would not be broadcast or allowed to be recorded for outside exposure.[11] The reveal took place on July 17, at which time the convention's Twitch stream was shut down. A live game play demonstration followed, which was reported on in detail by convention attendees.

QuakeCon reveal[edit]

Doom logo as featured in the June, 2014 teaser video.

QuakeCon 2014 finally saw a release of concrete information on the game after seven years of planning and development. While the actual live gameplay footage was restricted to QuakeCon attendees, various gaming press and individuals have made the following points of information available:

Gaming press[edit]

  • According to executive producer Marty Stratton, who confirmed the game will be called "Doom" and is a franchise reboot, Doom will be "an origin game," and will feature "fast, FAST paced combat" that focuses on "amazing guns and blood and gore and gibs".[12]
  • There will be "unbelievable mechanical demons built through corrupt UAC experiments."
  • id Software has apparently taken inspiration from Brutal Doom, adding the ability to stun and then viciously attack monsters in melee combat, even up to performing fatalities. In a page taken from the Doom Bible, the Doomguy is seen to rip an arm off a dead corpse in order to use its hand for biometric scanning purposes. Gun blasts and chainsaw attacks are capable of fully dismembering enemies.
  • The game is now slated to target 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second.

PC Gamer tweets[edit]

  • "First combat mechanic: demons. Mechanical, corrupt, hell knights."[13]
  • "Second mechanic: guns. Conventional guns, 'Big' guns..."
  • "A key feature will be stunning enemies with a shot, then smashing their face with your boots."
  • "Doesn't look like health regenerates. Enemies drop health when you squish them."

Attendee information[edit]

  • In a manner similar to the alphas, information is displayed on the Doomguy's visor, replacing game-style HUDs. Monsters and items may be highlighted in real time.[14]
  • The player is acrobatic, able to effortlessly jump and perform parkour-like movements.
  • Besides the chainsaw, the shotgun, super shotgun, rocket launcher, and plasma rifle are confirmed to return, in addition to the Doomguy's devastating kicks and punches. Like most of their classic counterparts, the weapons do not require reloading animations.
  • Monsters have been shown resembling the previous series' zombie, imp, revenant, and mancubus.

PC Gamer article on the reveal's purpose[edit]

According to Bethesda's vice president of press relations and marketing Pete Hines, Doom was not originally planned to be revealed until 2015, but citing an increasingly negative perception of id Software, they had decided to demonstrate what has so far been accomplished, to quell any doubts cast over the effectiveness of the id Software team and possibly detract claims of vaporware. The game will continue to undergo major development and changes, and a public reveal of the game is planned for 2015. [15]

Post-QuakeCon 2014[edit]

On July 19, it was announced that Tiago Sousa, head R&D graphics engineer at Crytek was leaving that company to join the idTech 6 engine team.[16]

The official Doom Twitter account plugged Brutal Doom on July 22, seemingly confirming its influence on some of the creative decisions being made with respect to gore, fatalities, and melee combat.[17] Two days later, a post appeared on the official id Software Twitter stating, "The 1996 Doom Comic, inspiring the next evolution in Doom." [18] Whether or not this is meant in jest or suggests a serious influence remains to be seen.

A pre-order page listed by Bethesda quietly appeared for the game on Amazon.com some time around September 29, 2014, sporting a tentative release date of December 31, 2015. The game was later pushed up to first quarter 2016 as of the E3 2015 reveal.

Prior speculation[edit]

It was at one time possible that Doom 4 would be a remake of Doom II, or would otherwise be set on Earth. Todd Hollenshead made a statement which arguably supported this speculation at the time. The comment was as follows: "Doom is part of the id Software DNA and demands the greatest talent and brightest minds in the industry to bring the next installment of our flagship franchise to Earth".[19]

A series of concept screenshots of the game were leaked by a former employee as part of a portfolio which seemed to confirm the "Hell on Earth" theme. While Bethesda eventually acknowledged that these were indeed screenshots of what was then Doom 4, they were also quick to add that they were from an earlier stage of development and no longer represented the current state of the project. Information made available at QuakeCon 2014 seemed to put this rumor to rest, as Earth-like environments have been shunned in favor of Martian bases.

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. The Escapist: John Carmack Sheds Some Light On Doom 4 on August 6, 2008
  2. Game Informer: John Carmack Talks Rage, id Tech 5 And More on August 3, 2007
  3. Shacknews: Doom 4 announced on May 7, 2008
  4. Shacknews: Doom 4 Sports Better Graphics Than Rage; Uses id Tech 5, Lower Frame Rate on July 16, 2008
  5. Shacknews: Doom 4 Multiplayer to Beat Doom 3's Modes on July 31, 2008
  6. Doomworld: Doom 4 Writer Revealed on January 16, 2009
  7. Shacknews: id Promises Doom 4 News at QuakeCon 2010 on August 13, 2009
  8. http://www.oxm.co.uk/39252/rumour-doom-4-cancelled-first-screenshots-leak/?cid=OTC-RSS&attr=OXM-General-RSS Doom 4 cancelled, first screenshots leak - Xbox 360 - The Official Magazine
  9. http://kotaku.com/five-years-and-nothing-to-show-how-doom-4-got-off-trac-468097062
  10. http://www.doomworld.com/vb/doomworld-news/68946-doom-revealed/
  11. Dodd, Adam (2 July 2014). "I Hope You Weren’t Excited for That ‘Doom 4′ Reveal." Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  12. Papadopoulos, John (17 July 2014). "Here Are The First Details For The New Doom Game, Straight From QuakeCon 2014". Dark Side of Gaming. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  13. Plunkett, Luke (17 July 2014). "Doom 4 Is A Reboot. And It's Not Called Doom 4". Kotaku. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  14. GoatLord (17 July 2014). "Doom reveal first impressions". Doomworld Forums. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  15. Wilde, Tyler (18 July 2014). "Doom was revealed to counter fears of trouble at id Software, public reveal unlikely this year". PC Gamer. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  16. Papadopoulos, John (2014-07-19). "Signs Of The Times – Crytek’s Lead R&D Graphics Engineer Moves To id Software, Will Work On New Doom." DSOGaming.
  17. id Software (22 July 2014). "Have you tried Brutal DOOM v20?." Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  18. id Software (24 July 2014). https://twitter.com/idsoftware/status/492359373063471104. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  19. Joystiq: Doom 4 announced, id Software hiring on May 7, 2008