Our ultimate DOOM may be on the horizon, but here’s hoping id Software has been paying attention since their last foray into the hellish shooter franchise
Well, it’s finally official: Bethesda and id Software today confirmed the long-awaited DOOM reboot will be raising hell worldwide on May, 13 2016. While our inner 10-year-olds are anxious to dive back into the hellish Martian moon bases of Phobos and Deimos for some good, old-fashioned demonic ass-kicking, we certainly hope the team at id Software have learned a thing or two since DOOM 3 released over a decade ago.
The hype was certainly through the roof when DOOM 3 gibbed its way onto the PC (and later consoles) back in August of 2004. Sporting some truly impressive and moody visuals and an unprecedented attention to detail through advanced lighting effects and some stellar character modeling (DOOM 3 marked the first time I needed to drop 300 dollars on a video card just to play a damn game), it certainly looked the part of a grand resurgence for the series that had been credited for bringing the first-person shooter genre into the limelight in the early ’90s. However, for all of its devilishly good looks, DOOM 3 was largely a snooze-fest, bringing little more to the table mechanically than its earlier predecessors. A plodding campaign, generic monster closets and a stale arsenal of weapons certainly didn’t do the game any favors. In many ways, the title felt more like a tightly-scripted trip through a carnival haunted house than a proper rebirth for id’s white-knuckle shooter series. In fact, the more subdued pace of the game compared to earlier entries in the series, combined with the game’s incredibly shallow gunplay only further underscored just how little the DOOM brand had evolved since games like Valve’s Half-Life redefined the genre half a decade before DOOM 3‘s release.
Simply put, if id hopes to bring DOOM to the current generation, they better be taking notes from the folks at Uppsala, Sweden-based studio MachineGames, who managed to wonderfully reinvent the Wolfenstein series for the current generation with Wolfenstein: The New Order and its expansion, The Old Blood, which released less than two years ago on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. This pair of entries into the Nazi-blasting world of Wolfenstein worked well to reinvent and expand on the series’ occult-steeped narrative elements while creating a shooter that felt perfectly modern despite wearing its old school, over-the-top inspiration on its sleeve. The game’s masterful blend of intense storytelling, solid stealth mechanics and balls-out action came together wonderfully, creating one of 2014’s biggest surprise hits which let us forget about the game’s rather shoddy 2009 predecessor from Raven Software. DOOM can’t survive by simply resting on its blood-soaked laurels, and we really hope that id Software has worked hard to deliver a shooter that was worth the wait, rather than a technically impressive but mechanically shallow retread of a game we’ve played countless times over the past two decades.
In any case, it’ll be exciting to see where the id Software takes the series when the latest foray into the franchise releases in just a few short months. I may sound pessimistic, but I sincerely believe the studio has what it takes to do the series justice for the modern era, so long as they’re willing to forgo some of the series’ more dated mechanics and go all-in on creating a game that not only pleases fans of the classic series, but gives new players a compelling reason to to go to Hell.
So, what do you hope to see from DOOM when it releases on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on May 13, 2016? Do you think id Software has what it takes to bring the series to the current generation while pleasing both old fans a newcomers? Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section below.