Who Else Wants an Amazing DOOM 4?

written by JMatula on May 1, 2013 in Special Feature

Doom-4

In case you haven’t heard, recently screenshots surfaced that were allegedly from DOOM 4, accompanied by stories of troubled development for the game. You can read about it in full right here, but the gist is this: perhaps caught under the crushing weight of expectation, iD couldn’t agree on a direction to take the game, which eventually resulted in a complete reboot of their work on the game, scrapping three years of work.  While the game is still in the works, nobody knows what the final product will be like.

The FPS genre has changed drastically even since DOOM 3; games like BioShock Infinite with its beautiful world and compelling story show us what the genre is capable of. Series creator John Carmack has been reported as telling his staff, “DOOM means two things: demons and shotguns.” That leaves the window of possibilities wide open. Since we don’t know anything about DOOM 4, we thought it would be fun to talk about what we want to see in the game.

Disclaimer: We have no affiliation with the development of this game, nor do we have any more information at this time than you. This is simply speculation and discussion of great ideas for the future of this beloved franchise.

Large, Open Environments

Up to this point DOOM has been a corridor shooter. Even DOOM 3 used this formula, though they were able to use it in a way that added extra tension and claustrophobia to the environment. Gameplay in corridors originally sprang from technical limitations, but now this is no longer a factor.  Let’s see vast hellish environments that we can fully explore. Some corridors are fine and expected as a hallmark of the series, but let us be overwhelmed by a large horrifying world, not just 5 feet in front of us. 

Be DOOM, Not COD

Apparently at one point in development the game resembled Call of Duty in gameplay, just substituting demons for soldiers. If people want that type of gameplay they’ll play COD. People who play DOOM want frenzied action, mowing down large rooms of demons and not cover-based warfare. Don’t treat it like war strategy; treat it like a righteous slaughter of all that is evil.

Can't you imagine the cover-based shooting? Glad this didn't happen.

Can’t you imagine the cover-based shooting? Glad this didn’t happen.

Bold New Direction

We’ve played countless times as the nameless grunt soldier in a base on Earth or Mars where the enemies and levels ramp up progressively. Why not change it up and drop us directly into Hell? Give us horrible sights and demons to fight from the get-go, not drab military bases and labs.  One could argue starting like this means there’s nowhere left to go, but if taken in a Dante’s Inferno type direction, there are multiple levels/circles of Hell, with their own unique horrors to ratchet up tension and difficulty.

Our grunt could even have special abilities that function like in BioShock. But these abilities are due to possession by demons; using these abilities too often depletes your soul until you’re a demonic zombie unable to complete your mission. Maybe at that point if you’ve become a soulless zombie, your objectives could change to eliminating the human element (with a shotgun, of course) or coordinating demon attacks to wipe out humans. This direction has so many possibilities.

Or, how about completely flipping the script, and playing as a demon? You could be a demon trying to escape Hell. Satan tries to stop you from usurping his plans, so you fight other demons with your demonic abilities…and a shotgun. If you manage to escape Hell, the fight’s not over! Then you must find the best way to destroy and possess a military base, using it as a starting point for waging your war on humanity. That last part might be a little too strategy oriented, but you get the picture: playing as a demon has so many possibilities and could be a great new direction for DOOM.

Imagine the terror of seeing this with today's graphics.

Imagine the terror of seeing this with today’s graphics.

Back to Basics

If they don’t decide to do a bold, innovative new direction, then perhaps they should just do a back to basics game. Don’t try to be a “blockbuster” with an epic story and tons of cut scenes. Instead just have a simple story with fast-paced gunplay, mowing down demons in maze-like corridors, eventually ending up in Hell blasting hordes of the damned. Throw in great weapons, fantastic multiplayer and modding options. iD will have a certifiable hit without the overblown “blockbuster” trappings.

Multiplayer & Modding

CyberdemonIt was said in the last paragraph, but it bears repeating: the game needs multiplayer and modding, no matter what the final product turns out to be. Even a fairly bland single player campaign can be forgiven if it’s got great multiplayer. After all, these two features are what originally gave the series so much success. A whole generation cut their FPS teeth in DOOM deathmatches. Both the DOOM and Quake communities are famous for their longevity and dedication, so making this a major component of the experience seems like a no-brainer. iD could even allow players to download iD-approved, fan-created maps directly from the game menu where new ones could be added daily or even reviewed by peers. This would keep the fans playing the game for years to come since they would feel part ownership in the experience.

A Brutal Metal Soundtrack

If there’s one thing that inspires you to frag demons, it’s the crunching guitars of metal music. This could be a mix of new compositions as well as full band reworkings of original DOOM songs. Bands that could create the right music for the game include Mastodon, Ghost BC, and Deftones. These bands aren’t just shred-heads—they’re artists capable of creating both atmosphere AND crushing riffs.

All of this only scratches the surface of what the possibilities for DOOM 4 could be. I’d rather see them give it one last shot than pack it up and solely develop game engines. But they’ve got to strike soon, or risk falling into the Duke Nukem Forever trap: take so long that expectations become impossibly high to meet, even if it is a great game. If you’re listening iD, I’m available to help as a Creative Director for the series. ;)

What do YOU want to see in DOOM 4? Tell us in the comments!