Doom Goes Back to Its Roots: More Gore and Spine-Ripping Action
It has been more than 20 years since id Software put out the original Doom with a space marine on Mars fighting hordes of minions from Hell. Id and publisher Bethesda have wanted to create Doom 4, but as late as April of last year, the direction of the game shifted radically to become more of a reboot instead of a sequel and to make it more “exciting”. We got a glimpse of the future of the franchise last night at the start of QuakeCon 2014, and if the fanboy audience is any indication, the game is going to be a smashing success.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Redubbed Doom instead of Doom 4 to reflect the reimagining of the series as an “origin story,” id’s Marty Stratton walked the audience through two different areas of the UAC Mars base teeming with demons. Using id tech 6 — or id tech 666 as programmer Robert Duffy prefers to call it — the game is being designed for high end PCs, as well as Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The fidelity was evident as the monsters and weapons all looked incredibly refined. Stratton said the game will be in high quality 1080p resolution with a fluid 60 fps even during the most frenetic of encounters. Of course, it will be a bonus if it actually materializes that way.
Stratton said that the team was looking to keep many of the core values from the original game in the reboot, namely demons, weapons and fast paced movement. To illustrate, The demo took us through two separate levels of the abandoned UAC base. As in the original, weapons and ammo were plentiful, as were the demons. Rarely stopping, the demo plunged headlong into masses of monsters using old standbys such as the shotgun, the double-barreled shotgun, rocket launcher and the plasma rifle. But one thing was definitely different, and that was the up close and personal nature of kills now allowed in the game. Our marine can drop onto demons, smashing boots into skulls to leave a bloody mess on the floor. Finishing moves can have you use you bare hands to rip open a demon’s skull or just plant a weapon firmly in its chest and pull the trigger. With the improved graphics, Doom is reaching new heights of blood and gratuitous violence. And there will still be exploding toxic barrels to use to strategic advantage.
And if you do like the personal in-your-face killing, just grab the chainsaw. You can carve up dozens of demons like Thanksgiving turkeys and save you ammo for the bigger baddies. The finishing moves are so over the top that one particularly tough demon had its heart ripped out and shoved down its own throat, before exploding into hundreds of gooey gibs.
“You are a fast, improvisational combat machine,” Stratton said. “Nothing can stand in your way.”
Well, at least until a jet-pack wearing revenant dropped down and graphically tore your arms from your sockets and punched in the glass on your facemask to eat your face. And just a word of warning: If the thump-thump-thump of an incoming cyber demon always made you cringe, then the new version will definitely force you to change your pants. It is more than twice your size and likes to scream in your face before pounding you into a bloody pulp.
The demo was incredibly impressive, so much so that id fans in the audience were screaming “Shut up and take my money” at various points throughout the showing. The crowd cheered even louder when id studio director Tim Willits promised a multiplayer reveal further down the road, although he did say after the presentation that multiplayer is already a staple in the office and that the team has been having a lot of fun with it.
The game is definitely going back to its roots, and the best that can be said is that it looks and feels like Doom with a better presentation, and with a lot more gore. But don’t expect to see the QuakeCon presentation in video or pictures any time soon, as this was just for the fans. Bethesda’s Pete Hines said that the company wanted to reward the loyal fanbase with this demo, and lay to rest the silly rumors that id was in trouble or that Doom had actually been cancelled. However, don’t expect anything more for awhile, he added. The next time we will see the game is expected to be E3 of next year.
Here’s hoping we get more of what we saw in the demo without any cut corners when it is released. It will be fun to paint Mars again in a different shade of red.