– Tom Heath
DOOM (previously referred to as DOOM 4) was finally revealed to the rest of the world during Bethesda Softworks’ first ever E3 conference on Monday. Previously showcased to the few attendees of QuakeCon last year, id Software showed nearly 20 minutes of demon shooting action to those of us who weren’t invited last time (skip to 2:22 for the actual action to start):
In true DOOM fashion, the action began in a base on Mars, with demons climbing out of the woodwork (disclaimer: expression) to be shot in the face and dismembered by the player character. Speaking of, the dismemberment was particularly highlighted in the demo, featuring Mortal Kombat-esque takedowns involving legs being ripped off, heads being stomped and necks being snapped. The trailer also showed off some classic weaponry from the original series, namely the double barrel shotgun (dubbed the “super shotgun” in the game) and the chainsaw.
The action also moved on to the hell landscape of the game, where we got a good look at some of the bigger demon enemies as well as a massive tease of the revamped BFG before cutting frustratingly to black.
No specific release date was given other than an early 2016 release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, but the announcement also revealed “DOOM Snapmap”, which allows players to custom build their own maps and game-modes to share online with other players. Think LittleBigPlanet only with more violence.
Despite my hype for this game, I felt a little disappointed with this reveal. While it is clear id Software is taking DOOM back to its roots of non cover-based, onslaught style shooting (a genre that is rarely seen these days after the success of Call of Duty), I was hoping for a more DOOM 3 kind of sequel. Don’t get me wrong, I love the original DOOM games, but the horror/sci-fi FPS that was DOOM 3 blew me away when it came out a decade ago and I am yet to play a game like it since. First person horror these days take away the combat elements to instil a sense of vulnerability (which is awesomely terrifying!), but DOOM 3 managed to give me that sense of vulnerability and fear while still allowing me to shoot monsters in the face. The balance was just right.
Putting that aside, the action in the above trailer was just a bit…dull. I didn’t feel the punch of the shotgun blasts into the monsters; the scripted chainsaw take-downs felt too, well, scripted. I worry they’ve taken a step back from having a narrative and instead wanted to make a shooting gallery like the originals. Again, the originals were awesome, but I was just holding out hope they wouldn’t drop the DOOM 3 style of game.
I guess I’ll find out next year!
Given he recently built a new gaming PC, Tom discovered his 11 year old copy of DOOM 3 isn’t compatible with Windows 8.1. Maybe follow him on twitter and tell him your tales of backwards compatibility woes: @tomdheath. Or don’t, he’s not your mum. But do check out his podcast: Unnatural Selection.