Doom 4: id Software’s Last Shot?

Speaking with a number of devs attached to the project, Kotaku learned that Doom 4 was very much on the back burner while id focused on Rage, and when Rage finally shipped in 2011, the studio realized that what had been created over five years of Doom 4 development was a mess. So much of a mess, in fact, that Zenimax Media stepped in and told id to go back to the drawing board. Yes, Doom 4 is still in development, but that development cycle basically started all over again less than two years ago. Here’s the official statement from Zenimax on the matter:

“An earlier version of Doom 4 did not exhibit the quality and excitement that Id and Bethesda intend to deliver and that Doom fans worldwide expect. As a result, Id refocused its efforts on a new version of Doom 4 that promises to meet the very high expectations everyone has for this game and this franchise.”

While that might sound like a nail in id’s coffin, it could also be the slap in the face id needed. Visual presentation is no longer enough – the studio actually has to make a great game. That means a complete, original narrative with a real story arc, compelling characters, shooting mechanics that don’t feel like they were created when Bill Clinton was president, and a world that, even if it’s not open, provides options and doesn’t feel so confined and linear.

Now, even if, against the odds, id manages to accomplish all that, if it truly wants to once again earn the title The Masters of Doom, it will have to do something it has seemed to shy away from in recent years: innovate. Thankfully, it appears that John Carmack himself already knows the way to do that with Doom 4, something the studio has already toyed with in its recent BFG Edition of Doom 3. It’s called Oculus Rift, and the 3D VR headset, which is now in the hands of developers, finally delivers on the promise and potential gamers have been looking for in virtual reality for nearly 20 years.

Courtesy of the folks at Eve Online studio CCP, I was able to sample Oculus Rift first hand in the space combat sim prototype, Eve VR, at E3 and I was absolutely floored. So much so that I’m now convinced the future of gaming is in virtual reality. And if there is one way id can once again step to the forefront of the developer community, it’s to create a Doom 4 experience designed from the ground up to be used with the Oculus Rift, with gameplay mechanics and features that take full advantage of a virtual environment.

It’s actually kind of perfect when you think about it –- the studio that created the first-person shooter creates the virtual reality shooter. Doom 4 shouldn’t just be an FPS, it should be a VRS. You can have that one for free, id, the rest is up to you. Hopefully you’ll finally let us in on what you’re actually working on next week at QuakeCon. And hopefully, for your sake, it will have been worth the wait.


Mike Sharkey is a former GameSpy (RIP!) editor. He’s currently contributing to IGN and Game Front while constructing a massive robot designed to save the world. Follow @mjsharkey on Twitter.

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13 Comments on Doom 4: id Software’s Last Shot?

bob

On July 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm

i read this article and though the poster is either a liar or a joker cant figure it out

Wesker1984

On July 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Obvious troll is obvious, bob. Try harder or fuᴄk off you sad ᴄunt.

gasmaskangel

On July 27, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I’m getting a little sick of developers holding huge licences like Doom or Half Life not only taking forever to do anything with them, but also actively refusing to even talk about them. Something like “hey guys we are actually working on Doom 4, have some concept art!” would be nice. or get off the pot guys, “when its done” only works as a delaying tactic for so long before people just sort of stop caring.

Jackson

On July 27, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I agree with Bob it seems to be full of

1r0

On July 28, 2013 at 9:12 am

after reading this unearthly facade of journalism, I was forced to post this comment.

I do not even want discuss the description of RAGE with it’s supposed “flaws”, considering that “innovation” in RAGE gameplay is obvious and well accepted: considering that “crafting system” and multi-ammo management are pretty much GLORIFIED in other games who use them much less or the new animation system that they use to move the characters in fights…
or the mega-texture concept who is the BIGGEST innovation in rendering since full 3d engine rendering or real-time light volumes rendering… both innovations from id software…
the “journalist” here attacks a developer that have still much to show, for no apparent reason other than show himself “educated” in VG culture…failing.

because if anything, DooM3 game-play would (and is not) be straight out Quake 2…

the IGN is strong in this one.

Cohort

On July 28, 2013 at 10:35 am

The author of this article has a very different perspective from most id fans. I love 1990′s style shooters. Quake and Doom after to this day highly entertaining, but beautifully simplistic combat that has a (potential) challenging but fundamentally simple style that modern games lack. I loved RAGE but agree that it was a tease of what it could have been. I played through its story only twice, the second time on nightmare difficulty. It has plenty of “you CAN do this complicated extra feature” or you can just play through it with the slash and burn attitude you would approach Doom with. I honestly hope that Doom 4 is everything RAGE was, with the scope Doom had, plus everything id tech 5 can deliver. Its a lot to demand from id, but if there is anything id is good at, its doing the impossible.

john carmack

On July 28, 2013 at 10:57 pm

to the author : you are a ing retard for thinking that doom 3 is awful if not for its graphics. the gameplay was great in doom 3. it was action filled, and just straight up fun. the levels weren’t linear at all, it involves going through various areas and doing various objectives. just because it isn’t a ing open world, doesn’t make it linear (which all you critique gots seem to think), and worst of all you said its shooting mechanics were pulled from doom 2. first off, doom 2 and doom 1 have the EXACT SAME shooting mechanics, second of all if you think that the guns in doom 1 & 2 are even remotely anything like the guns in doom 3, you should just straight up off yourself. please stop writing articles you hipster got, get a life.

Electr0Jesus

On July 29, 2013 at 8:12 am

Poor journalism is poor. Rage and Doom 3 both shipped with rendering techniques that were both innovative and widely used (post-release). To say you didn’t like the gameplay is one thing, but the programming was more impressive and innovative than anything id had shipped since Quake. To say, like a fact, that Doom 3 isn’t a great game is also a show of your IGNorance. Again, to dislike it is pure opinion, and it’s fine if you state it as such, but Doom 3 has much about it that makes the gameplay interesting and unique, and IN MY OPINION you’re an idiot for ignoring that.

Ron

On July 29, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Well, i think that it wouldn’t hurt to bring John Romero back in. Also, coupling realistic fighting mechanics(realistic ammo and weapon carrying capacity with more diverse fighting moves and other realistic bits in terms of fighting and physics) with LOADS of demon punishing would be pretty good and innovative. Maybe some cool fatalities would be good too.
Actually, ID could pretty much look up to Brutal Doom and add MORE realism in terms of fighting and physics, and MAYBE a little bit of tactics to that(like the ability to take cover) and then DOOM 4 will be great.

Ron Whitaker

On July 30, 2013 at 6:28 am

@Electr0Jesus: I really don’t think anyone is questioning the technical chops of id Software. In the article above, Mike points out that, “There are even reports that suggest Zenimax will transform id into purely a technology studio if its next game is a flop.” id’s tech is legendary, and no one is going to question their coding chops.

Unfortunately, the game play in Rage and Doom 3 was lacking. Not even the nostalgia of Doom and Doom 2, pioneering games in the genre, could make up for the fact that Doom 3 was, for lack of a better term, generic. Rage was a poorly realized Fallout knockoff that looked amazing (when you get the mega textures to work right).

I grew up on id Software titles. Not only the Doom games, but Hexen, Heretic, and the like. I’d love to see them rise from the ashes of a once-great company to release another blockbuster, but I fear that the reality is that they’ll end up making engines for Bethesda’s games. Maybe that collaboration will cut down on the bugs in the next Fallout, eh?

Kev

On August 1, 2013 at 5:14 pm

There was nothing generic about Doom 3, look at a list of even just fps’s in 2004 and honestly tell me one title who’s shooting felt like Doom’s.

mook

On August 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm

This is total bollocks: ‘prophecy’ game journalism at it’s worst. The author is trying to make his subjective judgments on past games the evidence for ids future failure. Protracted development cycles don’t mean a game is going to turn out badly. Plenty of other potentially great games struggle because they are pushing new frontiers: The Last Guardian, Prey 2, Half Life 3 etc Alot of people love id’s output thus far and there is nothing to suggest at this stage that Doom 4 will be anything less than stellar and worth the wait.

William

On January 9, 2014 at 3:00 pm

This guy who reviewed doom3 is stupid ,why I say this is because I loved doom 3 can’t wait for doom 4 I agree rage might have fell short of mark.