The legendary Doom franchise returns with its fourth instalment. I am personally very excited to feel like a child again, to feel the thrill and vulnerability not often found in the cookie-cutter first-person-shooter world of today.
This being said, the glory of the first two titles must be translated into modern standards without losing their classic charm.
The return of the old enemies
Although Doom 3 did feature the enemies of the classics, they were reinvented and looked significantly different to their old-school counterparts.
What I would like to see from the new one is high-powered graphical representations of their primary skins.
The glimpse we got from the gameplay teaser showed a Skulking Revenant with shoulder-mounted energy guns.
The slightly-longer cinematic trailer voyeuristically panned across the mangled surface of the titanic and iconic ‘Cyberdemon’, sending chills down the spines of anyone who played the originals decades ago.
The whirring sound effect of the automatic door opening before the Cyberdemon would have brought a nostalgic smile to Doom veterans, as well as whisper of a return to basics.
These precious insights suggest that the game will be reintroducing the classic monsters of old, if not the entire mechanics and style that made the first game such a legend.
Prepare to regress.
Expansive and engrossing stages
The eerie, labyrinth-like stages which sprawled across hellish digital temples and futuristic urban blight were fantastic. A game like Bloodborne painted the essence of a dark gothic and victorian nightmare wonderfully.
The new Doom will hopefully deliver as well and further develop the intricate atmosphere of horror games. Prepare to experience the most well-developed version of hell before you actually get there.
One can expect vibrant visions of the underworld, fully fleshed out with satanic imagery and tortured victims hanging pitifully.
A desecrated planet Earth would also be great to see, with buildings and crowds of people being devastated in real-time by gnarly demons. Being swallowed by a pitiless, complex hell-zone is the zenith of environmental stimulation.
There will certainly be plenty of hazards littered around the stages, from acid to lava to hateful traps. And, of course, secret areas which will reward players with much-appreciated items, ammo and weapons.
A leaked image of Doom 4 developers claim has nothing to do with the game.
A return to the original Doom’s gameplay
Doom 3 was great. The storyline and characters were impressive and we felt compelled to save the world from being ravaged by the forces of hell.
Video games are becoming more and more complex in their decision-making mechanisms and believable humanity found in protagonists, NPCs and enemies.
However, what made Doom so special was its no-nonsense approach. Dashing about at high speeds, mowing down hordes of unholy, slimy abominations without some moral higher-power barking instructions at us in an ear-piece was completely liberating.
It was a debased release from the stress of life, something you knew your parents would snap in half if they found you playing.
This is something that true fans will wish for to return, the nostalgic approach to mindless cannon-fodder, free of politics.
Happily, this is what Doom’s developers appear to be returning to. Massive, over-the-top weapons that produce awesome light and sound, rendering the fearsome mechanical beasts to visceral splashes of blood and bits are fundamental to Doom.
Information surrounding the nature of the gunplay in this game describes a more hardcore approach, eliminating the simplicity and easiness of games like Call of Duty.
Apparently, there will be no aiming down sights, which makes sense. Lifting up a BFG to one’s eye, and pulling the trigger, would kick one’s face to the back of their head.
People lucky enough to attend the 2014 ‘QuakeCon’, where Doom 4 was initially revealed, got a taste of two levels in the game. Melee-combat was shown to play a major part in the game, and from what I’ve heard from interviews, it is completely savage.
The player will – with his bare hands – be able to tear apart enemies. This will balance the fast-paced shooting with more concentrated face-to-face executions. Something I delight in finding in a game.
I would love a return to this chaotic exhilaration
The previous Doom titles offered great co-op expansions in the first two titles and deathmatch-oriented multiplayer in the third, akin to arena games like Unreal Tournament or Quake Live.
Hopefully, both these versions of playing together will be incorporated into the new Doom, along with perhaps an original new twist on virtually murdering friends and strangers.
Games like Evolve and one my favourites, Vampire Slayer, offer players the chance to assume the role of the bad guys.
A multiplayer mode in which one fills the hooves of one of the various Cyberfiends would be incredible.
Ingenuity aside, ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. The standard deathmatch will always be fun and there is no feeling like dominating a friend or someone sitting in Ukraine.
For many players, however, Doom is meant to be a solo experience. It is meant to be the testing of individual reflexes and endurance, a baptism by fire into the world of hardcore gaming.
“1v1 me scrub ill wreck u.”