Id to Revive Little Known Franchise

By Kieron Gillen on May 7th, 2008 at 6:40 pm.

Official logo. No, really.

Id Software have announced they’re at work on a fourth version of Doom
. You may not be aware of Doom – it’s a relatively minor PC piece of obscura which is only rarely talked about, but it’s to Id’s credit that they’re willing to follow this very peripheral piece of PC history. Among its many unusual ideas, Doom is played from the first person perspective and allows you to shoot monsters. While claimed by aficionados to provide a more immersive experience, it’s never really caught on. Maybe it will now, eh? They’re currently recruiting staff for the project, including a Lead Designer, so it’s clearly early days. We wish Id the best of luck in the Sisyphean task of bringing this curio to a marketplace that often shies away from innovative thinking.

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83 Comments »

  1. Sideath says:

    Probably not a good idea – I mean, if Doom III was anything to go by, then Doom is probably one of those licenses which should not have been updated.

    Somehow, ever since Doom III, I can’t help but feel that my beloved id has gone downhill. I was looking forward to Quake Wars, but it ultimately disappointed. Maybe if the new Quake (the updated browser based Quake III) is good then I’ll actually follow Doom 4/IV(?) a little.

  2. Alec Meer says:

    Doom 3 sold a metric fuckton on Xbox, I hear, so this was probably a given, regardless of all the badmouthing from PC players.

  3. Cooper says:

    Where’s my Quake 4 expansion pack, clearly promised by the last scene of the game?

    I much prefered QuakeII and 4′s game world to Doom3′s.

  4. Sideath says:

    @Alec:

    Oh really? I didn’t know that. Hmm. Well in that case that means that Doom Four is going to one of those mindless console shooters then, surely.

    (PC Superiority Complex)

  5. Nick says:

    I liked Doom 3.

    I thought iD had given up on the PC though?

  6. Larington says:

    I can only say meh to this news, Doom III was atrocious, I know that whole hidden passage with monsters inside opening behind you thing was cool in the 18th century, but frankly I find that gameplay mechanic decidedly tiresome now. Heres hoping they genuinely innovate this time, otherwise I’ll be saving my pretty pennies by not buying this.

  7. Jim Rossignol says:

    I completed Doom 3. It was a fun time.

  8. James T says:

    Nick: ID’s console talk was, IIRC, just about them taking pains to make ‘IDTech 4′ (it was ’4′, right?) ‘console-friendly’ (whatever that means, I’m no dev), rather than actually eschewing PC at all.

    Meanwhile, Doom 3 was dull as fuck, and I cannot imagine why I’d want to play Doom 4.

  9. CrashT says:

    Id 1990 called, they’d like their stuff back.

  10. James T says:

    Commander Keen pls

  11. nihohit says:

    OMG YES! Commander keen in IDtech 4\5\trillion, please!

  12. Vinic says:

    Well now Valve has to get in gear on Half-Life 3.

  13. Acosta says:

    I think my sarcasm meter is broken from this.

  14. Oddbob says:

    Quite enjoyed Doom 3 myself. Weirdly mainly for the sound design. The first time you power up the teleport actually made me quite fearful of even stepping inside it due to the thunderous roar of machinery.

    Admittedly, my attention started to really trail off towards the end as there’s only so much monster in closet action one man can take.

    Definitely intrigued as to where iD will take it next, mind.

  15. Turin Turambar says:

    I played Doom 3 three times. Good game :).
    But still, i would prefer another Commander Keen! :P.

    Doom3 sold 1.6 millions on PC, and 1.4 millions on Xbox, or so i read some time ago.

  16. Fat Zombie says:

    I rather enjoyed Doom 3, even if it did scare the bejaisus out of me. Doom 4 was a given. Yay.

  17. Monkfish says:

    I enjoyed Doom 3. Am I normal?

  18. Alex says:

    Doom III bored my tits off. And I didn’t even have tits. Doom III gave me tits! And then took them away!

    Doom3 sold 1.6 millions on PC

    As we’ve learned from Crytek, that is NOT ENOUGH. NOT ENOUGH!!

  19. brog says:

    I quite liked the doom3 multiplayer. The campaign did trail off into tedium a bit, but I still finished it. The best part was a stretch where there’s no sudden monster attack for a few minutes, but you see creeping shadows out of the corner of your eye. It wasn’t a bad game, just not a pinnacle of greatity either.

  20. Gurrah says:

    I enjoyed Doom 3. Am I normal?

    So did I. It delivered what I was hoping for. There might have been a few too many zombies popping out of cyber-closets, but the atmosphere was brilliant and never have I seen so many gorgeous pieces of technical equipment in a game.

  21. Pace says:

    Here’s a debate I don’t remember seeing on RPS before. I loved Doom 3, and foo on all you kneebiters who say otherwise. It really was scary and intense, and you must be a heartless and cynical shrew to disagree. Id didn’t make Quake 4 or Quake Wars so I see no reason to doubt their abilities these days. Woohoo, Doom 4!!

  22. muteh says:

    Me and the people I was hanging round with back then must have had inferior critical faculties; we all thought 3 was ok…

    What the hell were people expecting it to be like?

  23. Noc says:

    This game is NOTHING compared to Half-Life 3!

  24. Lorc says:

    I really liked doom 3. It decided what it was going to do and then it did it well.

    About the worst I could say about it is that the Mars base sections go on a little too long, but the visuals of the hell levels make the wait worthwhile.

  25. Larington says:

    Larington being cynical shocker!

    I just really didn’t enjoy it, I liked the whole button pressing mechanic they had in it, but the combat was rather tedious… Maybe I’ve just moved on, having been spoiled by games like Deus Ex, Stalker, and story driven games like Beyond Good and Evil, Dreamfall, and such… My simple games desire is well sated by Peggle afterall.

    Wait, did I just compare Peggle to the likes of Doom 2, etc?

  26. Abe says:

    …id has designers?

  27. Theory says:

    What the hell were people expecting it to be like?

    Not mind-numbingly repetitive and unimaginative?

  28. Sam says:

    Frankly, I’d rather a sequel to the original Quake than a second attempt at a next-gen Doom. Not that I played Doom 3, but unless they’re going to make Doom 4 something totally different, this seems like even more of a retrograde step.

    Of course, if they do make something totally different, that’s only a good thing – I’d be amused if this became Deus Ex With Demons…

  29. Reverend Speed says:

    Doom III! Ahh, Doom III.

    The good:

    1) Proper light and shadow, integrated lighting across entities and world geometry. I grant you the lack of masking tape is a little silly. But the experience of seeing an imp COME THROUGH THE METAL STAIRS IN FRONT OF YOU followed by a panicked swap from torch to shotgun was worth the price of admission alone. I’d never seen that happen in a game before. Should be in every game.

    2) Per polygon collision detection. “But I clearly fired my shotgun inches to the side of that zombie’s head from close range! How could I have missed him?!” Per polygon collision detection. Should be in every game.

    3) Your fire button is your use button. Walking up to consoles converts your vision control into pointer control on the screen. Videos and vector animation integrated into in-world computer interfaces? Should be in every game.

    4) System Shock 2-style audio logs? Should be in every game. Especially if used to humorously justify chainsaws on Mars and produce “Over here…”-style vignettes.

    5) Soul Cube was an interesting idea for a weapon.

    6) Combat’s solid, with some interesting set-pieces. AI’s not great, but then these are DEMONS and ZOMBIES in an enclosed space. You didn’t buy an FPS set in a MENSA convention…

    The Bad:

    1) Trashing a perfectly serviceable (actually damn interesting) premise – at the pinnacle of human achievement (exploring the final frontier, indeed) we encounter demons and magic? What’s going on here? No, no, don’t explore that idea. Smash evil. That’ll do.

    2) Idiot idiot idiot vision of hell. Hell as, literally, Sunday school hell. There are giant skulls. And lava. Materialising into this mess, one expects a camp latino Devil to *poomph* into existence and obsequiously enquire as to whether one is scared, no?

    3) Betruger. What was his plan? Bring forth apocalypse, turn into flying thing, ???, profit? No sense. No. Sense. No sense at all. The guy’s obviously ageing – this was his retirement scheme?

    all standard Doom III & monster closet critiques.

    I really like playing Id’s games. And I think they actually have some IP with real potential for interesting narrative. And I know that due to their painfully efficient development process, so many of the more interesting ideas are going to get left on the cutting room floor and that breaks my heart.

    Go on, Mrs. Carmack! Dogs in Doom for mobile phones. That’s a start. Let’s see some narrative development.

    In other news, Doom bible-related news, any word on that new Tom Hall MMO? Anachronox was a wonderful place to live for a month or so. Can’t wait to see what he’s working on…

    Please. Don’t use Beyond Good & Evil, Deus Ex and Dreamfall as examples of good story in games. Just. Just don’t. They’re as involved as Doom 3 (well, alright, Deus Ex is a bit more involved). Anachronox. Metal Gear Solid. Vampire Bloodlines. The Last Express. HL2:EP2. Bioshock (the backstory, not what you do in the game).

    Call of Duty 4 DOES NOT COUNT. That’s STORYTELLING, not story.

    Oh, long time reader (disseminate information, etc), first time commenter, yada…

  30. SuperMatt says:

    I believe this must be the first time where id have been working on two games simultaneously. I’m not talking about the collaborations they have done with Raven, but the first time it’s all been in house.

    They couldn’t possibly be creating two techdemos, could they? Surely Doom 4 will have good gameplay?

  31. Theory says:

    2) Per polygon collision detection. “But I clearly fired my shotgun inches to the side of that zombie’s head from close range! How could I have missed him?!” Per polygon collision detection. Should be in every game.

    Unfortunately it relies on the ultra-low-poly models 1) requires for playable framerates.

  32. essell says:

    If they forgot 3 ever happened and made it a super sex update of 2, I would buy it several hundred times. Alas.

  33. Cargo Cult says:

    Doom-3-style lighting gives me a headache – my brain just can’t parse where the light-sources are supposed to be.

    Whatever the next engine is like, I hope it hasn’t the ultra-sharp shadow edges, limited range for light-sources and absolutely no bounced light, faked or otherwise…

  34. martin says:

    i liked doom3 and the expansion (more of the same, am i sick?). i do hope they include more story and interaction with other characters (maybe even coop).

  35. fluffy bunny says:

    “What the hell were people expecting it to be like?”

    I was hoping for something a bit like the earlier Doom-games. I.e. a bit like Serious Sam. Though I did enjoy Doom 3 for seven hours or so. After that it just became too repetitive.

  36. Sal says:

    Doom III made me sad…Doom 4 is suck

  37. KingMob says:

    Doom III was fun, looking forward to Doom IV with mild anticipation.

  38. DosFreak says:

    “I was hoping for something a bit like the earlier Doom-games. I.e. a bit like Serious Sam. Though I did enjoy Doom 3 for seven hours or so. After that it just became too repetitive.”

    Agreed. I played through Doom 3 and it was a struggle because it was so boring (Much like Painkiller). I still play Doom 1 and 2 to this day though…..MIDI music kicks ass.

  39. Sam says:

    The Reverend Speed makes a point about the potential interestingness of Id’s IP that I feel I have to express agreement with (if only because I thought I was the only person to believe in it). There’s a considerable amount of depth you could get out of the Doom, Quake and Quake 2 ip – of which only Quake 4 sort of tried to explore, ish.

    But then, I’m the guy who wanted Quake III to have factions… and who is now hallucinating XCOM-meets-Doom (or Quake, for my personal setting preference).

  40. Robin says:

    Doom 3 is/was nowhere near as bad as some people make it out to be. It’s a good ghost train FPS. But it came out at exactly the wrong moment to allow it to be, well, Doom. It also seemed a bit too preoccupied with the (idea of) narrative and less committed to the cause of pummelling hordes of demon spawn into crunchy puddles of goo.

    Hopefully this time around Id won’t be so preoccupied with building all-new tools and squeezing their engine onto rickety old hardware, and will have more breathing room to focus on the game.

  41. Not-a-bot says:

    I thought they were trying to get away from corridor shooters with their new engine. I suppose that could tie in well with a ‘hell on Earth’ fighting through open ruined cities setting?

  42. Turin Turambar says:

    I think all the people that said Doom3 was too repetitive should be ignored. Why, because you shoot at things while try to evade other things? It seems to me that they don’t really like the SHOOTER genre.

  43. James T says:

    Nota: I remember being a bit disappointed that Doom 2 wasn’t more ‘Earthlike’ (despite a nice city level or two); I really wanted to see these horrible things infesting the abandoned suburbs and wilderness and so on. Actually, I don’t remember if that was even technically feasible at the time, but if they do it in Doom 4, it could ratchet up the ‘scary’ rather nicely; I’d hate to fight a Revenant on Earthly streets at night!

    They’d still have to fix the ‘identikit corridor shooting gallery’ problem (could anyone tell the difference between Doom 3′s areas, Hell aside? “Wow, thank god I’m in Delta Labs, Alpha Labs were a real grind!”), but opening the world up a bit couldn’t hurt.

  44. MedO says:

    > I still play Doom 1 and 2 to this day though…..MIDI music kicks ass.

    It does indeed. I installed a 240MiB Soundfont and Timidity++ midi driver for this very purpose: Playing Doom ;)

  45. dhex says:

    i love fps games like someone who has serious emotional issues loves a celebrity they saw once on tv, and doom 3 left me kinda cold.

    AMAZING sound design, though. and hell was pretty good too.

  46. Lorc says:

    On a related note- anyone with Doom 3 that hasn’t played D3 classic yet really should. The first episode of Doom 1 (the shareware levels) recreated with a little artistic license in Doom 3.

    As you might expect it plays very differently to Doom 3; far more frantic and fightular. Even the weapons (and enemies iirc) have been modded to be truer to the original. Theres even an updated mp3 versions of the original doom’s midi soundtrack.

    Long story short, it’s the dog’s bollocks. And who knows, if you were disappointed in the real Doom 3 then this might be the game you were hoping for.

    http://www.moddb.com/mods/4323/classic-doom-3 is the best-looking link I can find at the moment. Not sure if it contains the music pack though.

    Disclaimer: I am totally unconnected with this mod – I just really like it.

  47. James T says:

    Turin, I love a good shooter, but even the simplest shooter of real quality — I’m thinking of Half-Life 2 and its episodes here — offers some variety of environment and, as such, playstyle (sniping, melee, siege/camp-assault, puzzles, enemies with specific weaknesses and strengths…). I recall Doom 3 as a very, very long blur of enclosed corridor (or hey, maybe a hub or two, oh boy), with occasional multi-minute diversions onto/into Martian rock, and a smidge of Hell towards the end. The monsters were distinct from each other only by hitpoints (and possession of projectiles, if that even merits mentioning), and the monster cupboards, blackouts and the like became a queasy chore, easily seen well ahead of time and prepared for, and as such, very ineffective as implements of atmosphere; once the procedure of these situations was established, I was no longer being ‘tormented by demons’, I was being harangued by developers. Every shooter comes down to point-and-click, but the good ones, even at their simplest, demand more of you than the old Warren Spector chestnut, “which gun am I going to kill you with?”

    Lorc: Hey, that actually sounds pretty neat, wish I still had D3, heh.

  48. RichPowers says:

    DOOM III was alright. Had I not snagged it in a bargain bin for $15, I might be sore about it. My biggest complaint: not enough slaughter. Traveling into the depths of hell as a space marine is one of the coolest premises in videogaming. But actually doing it in DOOM III is lackluster. More visceral monster slaughter this time.

  49. Inglorion says:

    As long as they don’t cap the framerate to 60hz, I’ll be happy.

    Anyone else want id to do another Quake with the dark, gritty, Lovecraft-esque Quake 1 setting?

  50. Itin says:

    Exactly what fluffy said: more Serious Sam carnage, please.
    Also: put co-op in the PC version! We have friends too.