Dying Of The Light: Doom 4 & Rage 2′s Alleged Woes

By Alec Meer on April 3rd, 2013 at 6:00 pm.

The now Zenimax/Bethesda-owned id have been eerily quiet since Rage met a mixed reception and underwhelming sales. I quite liked it, non-ending aside – it might have nothing on BioShock Infinite’s visual majesty, but the people-filled non-combat hubs between its more tunnelish combat were more convincingly alive than Columbia’s Auton population. In any case, Rage wasn’t the combeback Carmack and co needed, leaving us hoping that the in theory forthcoming Doom 4 would be. Half a decade on, there’s neither hide nor hair of it to be seen, and alleged sources close to the project have told Kotaku why that could be. Clearly there’s something in it, as it prompted Bethesda’s Pete Hines to acknowledge that id had indeed switched to making “a new version” of Doom 4 after an earlier one “did not exhibit the quality and excitement that Id and Bethesda intend to deliver.”

Here’s Hines’ full statement: “An earlier version of Doom 4 did not exhibit the quality and excitement that Id and Bethesda intend to deliver and that Doom fans worldwide expect,” Bethesda’s vice president of marketing and public relations Pete Hines said in a statement to Kotaku. “As a result, Id refocused its efforts on a new version of Doom 4 that promises to meet the very high expectations everyone has for this game and this franchise. When we’re ready to talk about the Doom 4 Id is making, we will let folks know.”

As for Kotaku’s sources, you need to the full piece over at the big K, but crucial quotes are perhaps “There were jokes like, ‘Oh, it’s Call of Doom.’ They referenced it because of the amount it was scripted —there were a lot of scripted set pieces” and “The coolest part… were the horror and shock elements, unfortunately bookended by somewhat pointless and contrived shooting galleries of hoards of uninteresting enemies.” This was despite the inspiration for the project being the legendarily ridiculous Doom II.

Wuh-oh. Still, whatever you might think of Bethesda’s recent output, they currently seem fairly resolute to bring about infrequent, big, high-ambition projects which scoop up at least some critical acclaim, rather than pursue the Activision or EA business model of relying on churned-out glossy clone-shooters. If they ordered a change of focus on Doom 4, I don’t doubt that it was because they didn’t feel the project was up to scratch. The question is really what the game’s now like, having changed direction in 2011.

Kotaku’s sources allege there were problems with the project even after that, including that “mediocrity” remained an issue, and ultimately that there was an “exodus of talent leaving ever since.” The report cites a lot of internal strife at the studio, and that there’s no danger of the new version of Doom 4 arriving any time soon. Next-gen consoles are apparently the target, but then that’s a given for anything not coming out within the next six months.

Also claimed is that plans for Rage 2 were abandoned on Zenimax’s orders, but that too isn’t any kind of surprise. Who knows what’s true, but in any case the upshot is that we can’t expect Doom’s attempt at redemption any time soon. ‘Done when it’s done’ isn’t the reassurance it used to be, eh? The good news, of a sort, is that a Doom 4 still seems to be happening.

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116 Comments »

  1. WoundedBum says:

    So what do you guys think would make a good Doom 4 then? I’m sort of torn as what I’d like to see. That said if the shooting feels as good as it did in RAGE, that’d be a plus, I thought that was the game’s strong point.

    • yhalothar says:

      I’d basically want to be put in a nonlinear map, where I would need to seek out some kind of key or other device to open a closed door that impedes my progress to other parts of the map, shooting numerous enemies in the process, ultimately arriving at the exit leading to the next level. There may be variations on that theme. Perhaps when backtracking, new paths or niches with monsters – lets call them closets – can be opened up, so the way back is not as safe as the player would expect. An upbeat trash metal music would play throughout the game.

      But seriously, just do exactly what DooM did, then expand on it, add some skill-based, optional rewards (i.e. allow rocketjumping to a secret location), and add nice Ragelike graphics. And a multiplayer mode.

      And the game market would crash because nobody would ever buy any other game ever again.

      • FakeAssName says:

        But how would Bethshitia swing Xbox preferrancial DLC & shoddy PC support with a format like that?

        • DrollRemark says:

          I see what you did there! You managed to work a swear word into the name Bethesda in order to convey how much you dislike them as a company! You shining wit, you.

          • FakeAssName says:

            I honestly can’t remember how to spell it correctly …

          • Radiant says:

            shining wit or winning shit?

          • amorpheous says:

            Whining shit, surely… (sorry, didn’t mean any offence; just a play on words :P)

            Anyway, I thought RAGE was complete bollocks. It was the most boring AAA game I’ve had the misfortune of buying and attempting to play this decade and probably last decade too. It looked amazing, but that’s all it had going for it. id screwed up big time with what could have been something great and I’m not surprised Zenimax has shut down that franchise already. If there’s something I know about Bethesda they do not deal with mediocrity. Skyrim was amazing, Dishonored was amazing and I have high high hopes for Prey 2 (lets pretend TES Online doesn’t exist. MMOs don’t count as games in my books). I, for one am glad that Zenimax are putting their foot down and telling id to get their shit together.

    • Necroscope says:

      More of the legendarily ridiculous Doom II in the RAGE engine!!! Make it fast movement, violent, evil dead, and aliens inspired, secret areas, return of the spider mastermind!, hordes of enemies on screen simultaneously. Importantly, I think ID have to move away from the plodding pace of many of their shooters like Q4, D3, Rage. No monster closets and ultimately boring repetitive game play sequences. If soulcube or similar device give to player early on for maximum game play.

    • BTAxis says:

      The first two Doom games were about slaughtering hordes of stupid, slow-moving, grotesque demons. And to me this is the essence of it. In recent FPSes I have seen a trend of fighting maybe three or four enemies simultaneously, tops, and the enemies are often made to be somewhat hard to kill by jumping, dodging and ducking unpredictably (RAGE did this in fact). This to me is not Doom. Doom is carnage, not twitch reflexes.

      • x3m157 says:

        ^^ This. DooM is not really survival horror, it’s best at absolute carnage. Make it more like the original DooM and less like Skyrim.

        • Baines says:

          Classic Doom is an old school arcade overhead shooter, played from a first-person view.

          Modern Doom is designed as a generic FPS trying to be a generic horror game, with the only things (mis)remembered from classic Doom being the wrong lessons.

      • b0rsuk says:

        The enemies in DooM are of course stupid. But they were designed – especially the one sin D2 – to be very dangerous anyway. Arch-ville would ALWAYS hit you in open, revenant is fast and has homing missiles, mancubus spams missiles like there’s no tomorrow, pain elemental creates new skulls… DooM 2 is still a tough game, and judging by custom levels made by the fanbase – difficult levels are valued. My favorite level pack is Alien Vendetta.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      What to do with the single player is a very good question, but it should have multiplayer that is similar to Quake III. There’s currently nothing recent out there like that, and it’s a shame.

    • Prime says:

      The shooting was alright. The bullet-sponge enemies very nearly ruined it. It shouldn’t be required to empty an entire clip from an automatic rifle into the head of a man wearing an animal skull before he’ll consider dying, nor for said skull-wearer to be more resistant to bullets than the men wearing the METAL battlesuits from the previous encampment.

      The were some nifty weapons by that point but they weren’t enough to mitigate the bland, formulaic game design. That was the end of my association with Rage before it got permanently uninstalled.

      • Reapy says:

        I actually think we could use some more bullet sponges in our shooters. Would like to see hordes of monsters on screen, and when they are bullet sponges they would be extremely reactive to your shots and would ‘break down’ as they take damage, preferably in the areas you were shooting.

        EG baron of hell, you dump rounds into his head and horns blow off, teeth fly, skin is ripped an torn, skulls are fractures, all the while it is scraping at its face or its vision becomes disoriented and it fires wildy. Or you pour ammo int its legs and slowly watch as chunks fly off and it starts limping as it walks etc.

        I think that would be the wow factor a doom 4 is looking for, lots on screen, extremely reactive bullet sponges.

        • Triplanetary says:

          You can have hordes of enemies, or you can have fewer enemies with more detailed damage/injury modeling. I’d say it’s unlikely that you can have both, for performance reasons.

          • MichaelPalin says:

            If next gen still couldn’t do something like that it would be fucking depressing. Painkiller already had tons of enemies nearly a decade ago and making various enemies on screen that feature breakable parts should not be that difficult.

        • Thiefsie says:

          Binary Domain does the multiple bullet sponges that break down and degrade pretty well…

    • Kein says:

      Demons and shotguns

    • thecat17 says:

      I would be quite happy indeed, if the shooting in Doom 4 was as great as it is in RAGE. I honestly think the sheer visceralness that RAGE offered in that department made it stand above any other FPS released around that time. And still, to this day even, not many FPSes manage to get it right, even critically-acclaimed-to-high-heavens ones (looking at you, Borderlands 2). I also thought the art style, characters and setting had a lot of soul, completely the opposite of “creatively bankrupt” as some dickhead reviewer called it once.

      To be honest, I still don’t quite understand the cascade of hate that the mere mention of id software has gotten. And probably still does.

      Anyway. Doom 4.

      If id took the excellent Hell levels from Doom 3, and made the spirit of those the bulk of the game, with the unreal shifting geometry infecting the Earth setting gradually in the beginning, and then unfolding into pure bonkers evil once the player(s) reach The Land of the Damned and Lots of Fire later on, I think id would have something worthy of the Doom name. Maps that change almost entirely from beginning to end as the terror infects everything in thicker amounts. Perhaps the maps themselves even turning against the player(s), forcing them to destroy entire parts while having the game show off some impressively cutting edge destructible environment tech. With hordes of Hell’s finest minions, in more than Left 4 Dead amounts, to mow down (the polar opposite of how Doom 3 managed things, basically, and more the way of Doom and Doom 2). Mixed in with some that are willing to hunt the player down over a longer period of time powered by evil cunning. Background art in every direction that will seriously disturb any man of faith, and which might might make Doom once again THE game blamed for corrupting the youth and perhaps get physical copies burned by the stackloads in middle America or the Bible Belt.

      Maybe id should even bring John Romero back, in order to make something that will truly further the series’ legacy. He still remains one of Doom’s fathers, after all.

      • Ruffian says:

        I’m with you on this. the games are about HELL, unless the art direction is suitably dark then things just start to get hokey and bland.

    • Bart Stewart says:

      One of the best parts of Doom 1 & 2 for me was executing well-timed dance steps to get the monsters to turn on each other. (Why that one feature hasn’t been given a game of its own is beyond me.)

      D3 seemed to forget that mode in favor of console-friendly Shiny Walls and monster closets that favored melee scares. There weren’t nearly enough open spaces to create opportunities for packs of howling-and-growling monsters to rip each other apart because I strafed at exactly the right moment.

      Maybe the new consoles will allow open spaces as 2000-era PC games like Deus Ex and Jedi Knight were doing. If so, I will hope that D4′s designers use that to once again support letting-the-monsters-kill-each-other as an occasionally viable style of playing Doom.

    • Sic says:

      What made the original Doom was precisely that shooting the monsters felt good. The shotgun in Doom still stands as one of the best weapons in any FPS. It just feels good shooting with it.

      I still play Doom from time to time (I played it yesterday, in fact). It still feels good roaming around in the environment shooting things with the shotgun.

      For me, it’s simply getting those things right, the tactile stuff. Engine physics, weapon physics, squishy enemies that is fun shooting. Basic stuff.

  2. Brun says:

    There were jokes like, ‘Oh, it’s Call of Doom.’ They referenced it because of the amount it was scripted —there were a lot of scripted set pieces

    Well at least some developers publishers (!) are now recognizing that this is a bad thing.

    • b0rsuk says:

      I agree – it’s my favorite part of the article. I anticipated D4 like this, and there’s a tiny speck of hope it will draw inspiration from DooM 2 rather than DooM 3.

  3. Metalfish says:

    That exodus line should be the most worrying. Studios /are/ their talent, otherwise they’re just a name [/end trite statement].

  4. PeteC says:

    Shame about RAGE 2. I was looking forward to that more than the new Doom. RAGE wasn’t perfect but there was enough good stuff in there for them to build on in any future sequel. Some of the best weapons in a game for some time too.

    • Whosi says:

      This is the way I feel, much rather see another Rage over another Doom.

      • Lagwolf says:

        I never got all the hate for Rage. Yes the multiplayer sucked and the launch didn’t got well for many. It ran fine for me (on a below spec machine bizarrely) and I rather enjoyed it esp. once I got the exploding crossbow bolts.

        • Syra says:

          The multiplayer was basically a mediocre karting game for some reason.

          I loved the coop and frankly RAGE was one of the prettiest and best gun games I’ve played, and the npcs actually act like and feel like real people not just space fillers. It even had a couple of great inventive levels like the city being taken over by that organic crap with the giant and all that. Oh and the gadgets though basically redundant when shooting started were fantastic fun to mess around with. It wa a game with great elements badly strung together I guess?

          More RAGE please!

    • F3ck says:

      Rage was a terrible game…I wanted to love it, but it was shit in every single way…

      - Most forgettable story in years…taken absolutely nowhere. Couldn’t have been less interesting.

      - We get a glimpse of this beautiful game world but quickly learn that it is behind glass…a museum exhibit to be ushered past w/o touching…

      -Invisible walls abound, areas/maps without any logic or sense to them (ascend these steps…wait, there’s one step missing – trapped!).

      - Good shooting? Maybe for a minute…but leveling up did nothing. Different ammo made almost no difference. New armor? No difference. Pointless RPG elements tacked on to a shitty short game.

      - Speaking of which…anyone else feel like you were in training for some huge impending battle – only to have this luke-warm story suddenly run out of pages? What was in that 30gb download? Wasn’t story.

      - Travel hubs in a linear shooter? What the fuck? Where am I supposed to travel to…that shit-hole with nothing left to do in it?

      - Borderlands (and its wonderful sequel) was superior in every single way…and comparing Rage to Infinite Mr. Meer…well, it’s like saying “yeah, The Godfather was probably better than American Pie 3…but AP3 had better lighting”…is there really any comparison to be made at all?
      No. That’s the answer.

      [edit] As important as it is that a game like Infinite gets called out for not being a “perfect game” (even if it is close) it is more important that half-assed, empty games like Rage are not tolerated or purchased by anyone ever.

      • Ruffian says:

        I’m not trying to say that the opinions of the people who liked it are wrong or invalid, ofc, but I’m pretty much in the same boat as you. I really really (pre-ordered) wanted to like it but the best part of the game for me ended up being John Goodman’s voicework by a pretty wide margin. The story felt like it went nowhere, and the shooting was solid but repetitive. The individual people may have seemed more alive and been better designed than those in B I but B I did a much better job of using it’s automatons in ways that serve the overall narrative and atmosphere, imo, anyway.

      • TheDON3k says:

        Thank you!

        The whole game was a case of the ‘Fifty Foot Fox’ – Everything looked great, until you walked up to it – that is, when the megatextures actually loaded without a delay.

        Who cares about nice set pieces found throughout the wasteland when you literally couldn’t walk up to half of them, or they were surrounded by a low metal railing that couldn’t be jumped, or as you mentioned, a flat-out invisible wall.

        But even worse, since it was found literally everywhere, the low-quality textures used. The textures used in the game were flat-out embarrassing! Horrible quality low-resolution textures found on every surface, except on the NPCs, it seemed. Up close, everything looked as dated as the Source engine.

        Let’s not forget the disaster of a launch, too, for both nVidia and AMD owners, which id quickly indicated in the following days, needed to use Beta drivers – drivers which were NOT even released at the game’s launch – leading me to seriously question id’s pre-release QA and testing. How can you test a variety of configurations when the drivers needed to allow gameplay were not available even to id until two days after launch? And, as most found, even with the beta drivers, plenty of people had to go to using custom config files to get their game to run decently, if at all.

        id’s ‘focus on gaming console’ will be their downfall, and the Tech5 engine is an embarrassment. Since, from what I recall, DOOM4 was going to use the Tech5 engine as well, I only expected more of the same as I saw with RAGE. I knew that I would not make the mistake of preordering a title from id again. With RAGE, I figured that id couldn’t possibly make a clunker, but RAGE taught me that id is no longer a AAA developer. They’re looking to crank out console-quality titles for casual gamers only. I think they’ve set their sights on the 12-16 year old end-user console market, and will port-over lackluster titles to the PC, and only then as a secondary consideration.

        I’m sure the XBOX720 and PS4 is id’s end-all-be-all focus for the future, not PC gamers.

    • Arkh says:

      The end ruined it all. In the end, RAGE made me RAGE a lot.

    • GreatGreyBeast says:

      My thoughts too. I felt Rage was very much like Mirror’s Edge, in that it just needs a chance to learn from its mistakes in a sequel than can unlock the original’s full potential. Doom has been done as well as it ever will be done. Rage still has more to offer.

      Potential solution: The Rage scenario is basically “hell on earth,” right? So make Rage 2, add imps and cacodemons, and call it Doom 4. Everyone wins!

  5. Low Life says:

    Still, whatever you might think of Bethesda’s recent output, they currently seem fairly resolute to bring about infrequent, big, high-ambition projects which scoop up at least some critical acclaim, rather than pursue the Activision or EA business model of relying on churned-out glossy clone-shooters.

    Unfortunately, it seems like that’s not the way to handle things if you’re attempting to stay in the business.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Er… have you not seen how much EA’s stock has tanked? Churning out CoD works for Activision because it’s CoD, and people still buy that by the droves (for some reason). However, it hasn’t worked out well for EA.

  6. FakeAssName says:

    Carmac says “fuck it, I’m gonna go build space rockets and VR” in:

    5 … 4 … 3 … 2 …

    • Hoaxfish says:

      blast off!

    • solidsquid says:

      There’s your plot for Doom 4, Carmac builds a space shuttle and heads to Mars so he can be the first one there, accidentally releases the minions of hell. Now he has to MacGyver together weapons from his space shuttle which will let him fight off the demonic hordes and close the gate

  7. aliksy says:

    From what I recall, the original Doom had some good level design and good weapon balance. Do that, in whatever engine you want, and I’d enjoy it.

    I don’t want a lot of story. I don’t want NPCs getting in the way. I certainly don’t want quick time events or scripted bullshit.

    I think everyone’s see this one already:
    http://i.minus.com/i1BagpzANhd8I.gif

    • b0rsuk says:

      I’ll give you level design, but weapon balance ? No way !! Experienced players very rarely use regular Shotgun once they get Super Shotgun. The thing uses 2x more ammo, but deals 3x damage. It’s similar with Plasma Gun and BFG9000.

      And multiplayer… it’s basically SSG, SSG, SSG, RL, BFG. Some maps even make players spawn with SSG.

  8. Meat Circus says:

    Beth realizing what everyone else realized a long time ago: ID are astoundingly good game engine builders, but a mediocre designer of games.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      What was good about idTech 5? I’ve still yet to see a satisfying answer to this question. It’s difficult to develop for, it has poor lighting features, the textures are huge in file size and look awful, there are still major pop-in issues, and overall it just looks several years behind the other big AAA engines.

    • biz says:

      well… there isn’t a multiplayer game (any genre) anywhere close to the quality of quake 3 or a singleplayer FPS better than doom

      maybe it’s not the same id, but the game development quality was there, regardless of what the market trends may indicate

      • Shazbut says:

        I would argue that there are better singleplayer FPS games than Doom

        • The Random One says:

          There are some single player FPS’s that are better games than Doom, but none that are better FPS’s than Doom.

    • Ysellian says:

      Id were great game designers, even after Romero left there was enough talent to produce Quake 3. What has happened since, I don’t know.

  9. Stevostin says:

    No matter the games, Rage is a much more interesting IP than Doom.

    If Zenimax could see the light, they should make a fallout with Rage’s engine.

    • engion3 says:

      This. Skyrim was originally announced to use the idtech5 engine and I was insanely excited for it. I loved Rage and it’s engine once you got it to work correctly.

    • Cytrom says:

      Yeah.. so they could work on it for 8 years and they’d need to sell it on 5 blueray disks or a hdd or make people dowload half the internet. id tech 5 is an evolutionary dead end.

  10. The First Door says:

    I genuinely loved Rage, despite the flaws it obviously had. First off, as Alec said, the locations felt really alive. Hagar Settlement and Wellspring were lovely places which I really enjoyed defending from random threats. Beyond that the shooting felt much more meaty and satisfying than any other game I’ve played recently!

  11. zeroskill says:

    Call of Doom? Oh boy oh boy oh boy. What happened to you ID. You dropped your balls?

    Is it really that hard to grasp? People want Doom back. People love Doom. Yes it was fast and simplistic and gory. And people loved it. How about you remake it. Yes, you make it bloody. Fox news and soccer moms will go ape nuts. So what? I thought you were ID Software, remember? You made Doom 1, Doom 2 and the Quake games. Those were great. Those were the best. And now this? Hell, people still play Doom to this day, with mods like Zdoom. I still have a Quake 2 playlist in my music player. How about you give Sonic Mayhem a call.

    What happened to you ID? You used to have balls.

    What a shame.

    • thecat17 says:

      You do seem to genuinely care about the game in question and probably didn’t mean to shitpost, but… if you’re not going to click through to the Kotaku article, you really should at least read the rest of Alec’s article other than the third paragraph before you had commented.

    • Shuck says:

      “People want Doom back. People love Doom.”
      Well, you know, they’ve already got Doom. Several of them, in fact. What you mean is: “capture everything that was good* about Doom while updating it (i.e. completely changing it) for the modern tech and design advancements,” which is a far trickier goal.

      *That is, what I thought was good about Doom – this is likely different from what other people thought was good about Doom, which shouldn’t be part of the new game.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        I’d be willing to bet that if they simply rereleased Doom with today’s high-poly models, vibrant textures, snazzy lighting effects, and other modern niceties, it would sell like crazy.

        • Shuck says:

          Honestly, I doubt it. People expect so much more from games now. There’s probably more than one indie game that essentially are graphically updated Dooms, right now, but we’ve not even heard about them because they’re too niche.

          • zeroskill says:

            Yes yes, people said that too about space sim’s and classic cRPG’s. People don’t want to play that anymore they say. The market has moved on they say. Bla bla bla. Yet somehow there is enough people that are willing to throw high amounts of money at basically nothing other then a couple of promotion videos of high quality space sim’s and cRPG’s in the making on Kickstarter.

            Or maybe, it’s just that you can’t sell space sims, cRPG’s or even classic PC centric, fast paced shooters, on consoles.

  12. Dowr says:

    My advice to Id: stop making shooters.

    Shooters fail financially most of the time; it’s rare to find a new one that isn’t an established intellectual property do well. Also, they (ID) have been spiting out shooters for over a decade now, I think it’s time to have a change of pace.

    Please Id, we still care about you.

    • hypercrisis says:

      Pretty much this, though I might even go further to say stop making games at all. Their glory days were fuelled by brash youthful excitement, now its just uninspired trash and moldy IPs.

    • Cytrom says:

      The fps genre is capable of giving us more amazing games, its not the genre’s fault that a bunch of greedy publishers deystroyed its variety and creativity in the past few years with shitty copy pasted military trash with zero imagination behind them. Although its equally the fault of all the drones who still buy cod and its clones in the millions.

      Games like Bioshock Infinite at least show a glimpse of hope.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      [citation needed]

  13. reggiep says:

    I’m not even a little disappointed at this, and I agree that it’s nice to see a publisher demand a little quality from their projects instead of shoveling them out the door like EA and Activision.

    Honestly, I think the old Doom model of FPSs is dead to me. I didn’t give a damn about Serious Sam, and I thought Doom 3 was boring and very frustrating with respect to the design decision. FPSs I like now are the Bioshocks, the Dishonoreds and the Deus Exes of the world. For run-and-gun, which is where Doom really falls, I prefer Halo to Call of Duty.

    As far as RAGE, oh well. Good riddance. While that game did some things exceptionally well, it was a very terrible experience overall IMO.

    • thecat17 says:

      For run-and-gun, which is where Doom really falls, I prefer Halo to Call of Duty.

      I would just like to remind everybody that the Halo games released for the PC have not had keys dedicated to running/sprinting. Unlike any of the Doom games.

  14. maximiZe says:

    Bethesda has standards now?

  15. Prime says:

    Doom 4 needs to return to what made 1 and 2 so good. If it’s in any way like D3 or Rage it’ll bomb hard. Rage was out-classed in every way by Borderlands.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Except the graphics, shooting, environment design, character design, sound design and the engine.

      • Prime says:

        I…see. Pistols at dawn, good sir?

      • TheDON3k says:

        For the style it chose, Borderlands did it very well. For the style id chose for RAGE, it was a flop.

    • Dowr says:

      Doom 4 will flop anyway if it respects it’s heritage in the post-90′s console oriented world.

      Unless it’s given a fraction of the budget modern shooters use and is only released on PC, but that will never happen.

  16. SirKicksalot says:

    The former design director of Doom 4, John Mulkey, joined Gearbox in late 2011 and shat out Aliens: Colonial Marines. He was also lead game designer on Project Origin (and level designer on the previous Monolith games).
    There’s nothing wrong with linear and scripted games but I’d rather have a Doom 4 reboot than play what this villain designed.

    • deadly.by.design says:

      I don’t recall Project Origin (FEAR 2) being all that terrible. Well, at least not terrible on the scale of what Colonial Marines is reported to be. Then again, while the responsibility for release standards falls on Gearbox’s shoulders, how much of that is also Timegate’s fault? (tho I’ve seen very little ire directed at TG)

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        Seems he has a decidedly mixed record. There is some gold in there though:

        (from his linkedin)

        “I worked as the lead level designer on:

        - No One Lives Forever
        - No One Lives Forever 2
        - Contract J.A.C.K.
        - F.E.A.R.”

  17. mehteh says:

    Rage wasnt amazing by any means, but to me it felt fresh because it was first and foremost made for PC controls and its audience. Controls felt smooth and precise like a classic twitch shooter.

    I hope Doom 4 is much like the classics Doom 1 and 2. I hope it isnt going to feel and play like all the other console focus shooters these days aka boring, slow, and unchallenging.

  18. Cytrom says:

    I genuinely have no idea what keeps id afloat theese days… they release games even more rarely than blizzard, or valve, while they dont have steam, they dont have sellable game engines, they don’t have esports anymore.

    A lot of people had negative feelings about the zenimax/bethesda acquisition, but i think it is purely their support, that keeps id within this realm of existence.

    I used to LOVE their games back in the day, but they just haven’t done anything worthy of their reputation in a VERY long time. Such a shame.

    It may be a bit naive assumption of mine, but I don’t think making a decent doom sequel is such a demanding task:
    -Make a bunch of creative, destructive sci-fi weapons that feel good, and are balanced for different situations so you dont just use 1 or 2 all the time (and DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT A RETARDED 2 WEAPON LIMIT)
    -Monsters that require different tactics and weapons to kill
    -make maps non-linear with vertical depth, exploration and secrets (NO REGNERATING HEALTH FFS), and I’d be totally fine with just searching for keys to unlock doors, but in any case simple objectives would be just fine.. no need for “epic” scripting or quicktime events
    -make the maps at least partially DESTRUCTABLE, we’re in 2013, it is possible to do now, and would dramatically enhance the carnage.
    -make it look pretty, and varied
    -PACING. Doom is not serious sam, it should have all out arenas with tons of enemies with different kinds of enemies, but it should also have quieter scarier parts. Exploring a bit of Mars’ surface would be a nice departure.
    -SMART BOSS FIGHTS: bosses hard as nails, requiring some unique smart tactics (and a lot of shooting), and absolutely zero quicktime events.
    -Blood & gore + exaggerated ragdoll physics
    -Metal… or at least some music that gets you pumped… or just rip off painkiller’s music.

    Thats pretty much what the original dooms did 20 something years ago, so it cannot THAT hard, they really just need to make it with better tech, larger scale, more destruction and employ enviromental artists / level designers worth a damn.

    • ThetaReactor says:

      Doom 64 went in an interesting direction. A bit more emphasis on puzzles, and music that was haunting and atmospheric rather than the classic demon-metal buttrock. I think it worked, and added some depth to Doom that could help it hang with the new guys without losing the classic feel.

  19. ZIGS says:

    I guess you could say…

    *puts on sunglasses*

    The game is doomed

    YEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    • engion3 says:

      iD have to agree

      • BooleanBob says:

        A hexen you both for these terrible puns.

        • Thiefsie says:

          All ye Heretics against pun threads…

          • oldfart says:

            IMHO, DooM 1 and 2 are games that don’t take themselves too seriously: they are all about having fun shooting hordes of dumb monsters, unrealistic (but brilliant from a gameplay perspective) level design. DooM 3 tried to take itself too serious (conspiracy! dialogues! mystery! cutscenes!) and failed. Maybe not in sales (I remember reading it actually was quite rentable), but it failed to the fan base.

            Problem is: the DooM formula won’t appeal to the console audience. They’re too used to a whole different gameplay style, slower, less weapons, cover and regen, cutscenes, etc. And id know this, and they tried in Rage (and in a lesser extent in Doom 3, too) to conciliate things. They failed in both cases.

            So, my advice to id is: accept you can’t please everyone, and try to convince Bethesda to make DooM for PC only. Yeah, yeah, money is on console, blah, blah, blah. Forget it. DooM formula won’t never work for consoles. So, make a game for PC. Once this set, go back to the roots: for start, screw realism, screw dialogues. Instead, we want secret rooms with ammo and weapons stashes, we want architecture with absurd angles, red skies, HUGE outside areas where hordes of beasts are roaming and awaiting to be mowed down by one of the 39 different weapons I carry while I running at MACH 1.3, and after I kill every SOB a cyberdemon appears on the corner popping a dozen rockets in my direction. This is DooM, id: anything else is YOUR doom.

  20. Vagrant says:

    Id should stop trying to make AAA games. The atmosphere & dynamics they spend way too long producing tend to feel bland and fall flat, but could make for fantastic middle-tier games with solid visuals.

    Alternately, become an engine studio again. But you’ll probably need a headliner game still. Maybe work more in the mobile space, we know Carmack likes it.

  21. Rao Dao Zao says:

    No, id, you are the DooMs.

  22. DickSocrates says:

    Check out the mod Brutal Doom for Doom 1/2. That’s kind of what Doom 4 should be like. Also, rehire Romero or at least study his design intent. He did a Doom talk as GDC(?) a few years ago where he explained why the levels looked the way they did. It was all about atmosphere. Impossibly high off the ground computer terminals and all that.

    Don’t make it too funny, Doom is not Serious Sam (thank God).

    Make is Satantic. I want pentagrams everywhere.

    Keys and locked doors! People who don’t know what they’re talking about claim this was a bad thing. It wasn’t. They keys and doors were NEVER hidden in Doom maps, the point was not to puzzle people, but to control flow through the level and it worked perfectly.

    No mid-mission cutscenes. Or if they absolutely must, very quick. Doom is ifnitely replayable because it’s so abstract, there’s no boring conversation to listen to a million times, you are the guy in the place and you get to the end. Simple.

    NEVER leave first person. One of the few things Half Life got right (I hate Half Life. 1 and 2.)

    Bloody, vile, guts, chainsaws.

    Intense attention paid to AI controlled monster encounters. NO scripting, it ruins immersion when you know they just told that Imp to do that. Or at least very limited.

    Story should, if possible in today’s age, be thin and cryptic. Part of why I like Doom is because the story is so basic and there are no named people or other marines. They could improve on this, it needn’t be so sparse, but the second story becomes the driving factor in Doom you’ve lost the point. Same with Quake 1. The atmosphere and lack of explanation about almost anything is why it sticks with me. Bizarre stuff, cryptic and evocative level names. Enemies you can’t work out why they exist at all.

    • xaphoo says:

      You are reading my mind. We need a game that is a kind of obscure monument to cthonic dark gods the way Doom 1+2 and Quake 1 were. The games of id’s golden age had a mysterious, kind of a seance feel, where the more you played the deeper you went into a universe you could not understand. Evil sort of seeped out of the computer onto your fingers, which responded by shooting a rocket launcher and frying a guy.

      Please make a game with this kind of oppressive early-90′s heavy metal pulp feel that no one has attempted since id’s heyday.

      I do think they should get back in touch with John Romero. Blowing up his disembodied head which was hidden in a corridor behind the brain of Satan was a highlight of my gaming life.

      • musurca. says:

        But that’s the problem: Doom hit on that grungy, Lovecraft-meets-garage-metal sensibility that was floating around in the early 90′s zeitgeist. It didn’t last, and honestly by the time Quake came around that sensibility was already feeling somewhat irrelevant.

        Lest anyone here forget: that was almost 20 years ago. We are old. And in my opinion the more we try to recapture those feelings from childhood through the things we remember — see X-Com, Transformers, GI Joe, etc. etc. — the sadder we’ll feel.

  23. Michael Fogg says:

    Reportedly Carmack said during a meeting with a team, ‘Doom means demons and shotguns’. That’s the level of analysisand leadership we would expect from the visionary mastermind that he is.

    • FakeAssName says:

      Sounds brilliant to me: uglies with no redeeming qualities + the best gun is only effective at nearly point blank range.

    • dgz says:

      He said that at QuakeCon lol. Isn’t it what Doom is all about, though? You shoot them, you have fun.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      Please explain to us what else Doom is about? Because it certainly wasn’t about emotional storytelling.

      It was about running around open maps blowing demons away. Carmack’s comment is the best thing about that article, and it’s really sad that you can’t see that.

      • xaphoo says:

        It was also about atmosphere. Maybe Carmack didn’t care about that at the time but the rest of us did.

  24. Yosharian says:

    It’s truly amazing that people think more crap like Rage is the solution to this studio’s problems. id just needs to shut down and be done with it. The Doom era is gone, and they missed their chance to resurrect it. Reading about this Doom 4 mess just makes me sick.

  25. Jabberslops says:

    I honestly don’t care that RAGE 2 was canceled I bought RAGE for $6 during a Steam sale and it runs like crap on my i7 2600k and SLI 560TIs. The issue being that the game stutters so badly and has so much texture pop in, that I can’t shoot or drive cars worth a damn. To make the game not look ugly you have to turn the graphic settings up in a configuration file. Higher settings cause even worse lag and stutter.

    In the Nvidia Settings I have to set RAGE to use only 1 video card just to enable the GPU Transcode whatsit. Transcode also doesn’t help with the stuttering and actually makes the game either run the same or worse. My friend said using an SSD was the only real possible solution to fix the stuttering that he discovered. I need an SSD, but I am not buying one for just one game that is honestly pretty mediocre.

    I don’t want Bethesda to make any Elder Scrolls or Fallout games using ID Tech 5. That would kill those series for me and that would make me extremely sad. I don’t want any development studio to use Id Tech 5 for any game. There are better game engines out there that actually function on PC.

    • MattM says:

      Hmm, I have an SSD and i7920/570SLI. RAGE runs at a locked 60fps, low gpu usage, and with no stuttering for me, so the SSD might be the key difference. Not to say that id should expect people to buy SSDs for acceptable performance.
      I can’t play the game for a different reason. When RAGE first launched it was bugged and always used the lowest possible settings every texture more than 3 feet away looked like a mud puddle and turning around unloaded every texture. Eventually they issued a patch that allows the user to set the correct settings but locked the CVARS that allow the user to disable headbob. RAGE has the most awful headbob ever made. It induces a massive headache after 10 minutes of play. They promised to issue another patch to unlock the CVARS but never did.
      I preordered two games in the past 10 years, Portal 2 and RAGE. Portal 2 turned out pretty good and I still haven been able to play RAGE.

    • TheDON3k says:

      RAGE/Tech5 is one of those rare instances where I really think that it’s a complete crap-shoot as to who gets the game to run, and who doesn’t, regardless of the hardware specs. Like a random spin of the wheel that happens in the cosmos when you make your purchase. It seems that people with the perfect hardware specs can’t hardly get the thing to play, while a guy with a Core2 and 4 GB of ram with an nVidia 460GTX running drivers from two years ago can play the damn thing flawlessly. It has no rhyme nor reason – it is Tech 5. Sh*tty, sh*tty Tech5

  26. wodin says:

    It’s all doom and gloom these days.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I’m not really keen on this turn of events either. If I worked at id, I would be quaking in my boots right now.

      • Runty McTall says:

        Oh I don’t know, some of them still seem quite Keen.

  27. Radiant says:

    What stood Doom against the test of time [and to a lesser extent Quake 1-2] was that the combat was, and still is, so ridiculously good to play.

    The side shift to avoid a fireball with a shotgun reply.
    The circle strafing with a chaingun.
    The timing needed to hit a far away beast with a rocket.
    Avoidance skills.

    None of this goodness and tightness of combat was displayed in Doom 3 or Quake 4.
    On Rage it was kind of a by-product of good level design.

    Frankly, looking at their staffing, I don’t think they have a combat specialist in the building.
    They have good project managers and creative managers; good art staff and a solid technical team but no one person or department really looking at the combat systems.

    Which is fucking ludicrous when you think about it.

  28. b0rsuk says:

    I think John Carmack may be what’s wrong with id Software:
    - he is brilliant, but he’s just 1 person. If id has been relying on him too much, they must have scaling problems now. There’s only so much work 1 person can do.
    - JC is very conservative when it comes to game design. He is happy making a new DooM game, and considers Quake 3 the best pure game he worked on. I don’t have anytihng against old-school games, but he’s making the *same* *game* all the time. Counterstrike and DooM are both FPS games, but it’s hard to imagine id coming up with CS.

    The way I see it, if id is going to have a come back, JC is going to learn some humility. id needs new gameplay ideas. Maybe try making a game that’s not an FPS ?

    I think id sorely needs a good, creative designer.

  29. dgz says:

    Even though Viktor Antonov, the guy who allegedly made HL2, is head of creative at Zenimax, I believe Doom 4 is doomed now. Sounds like they are gimping the game in order to satisfy the newfag masses, to make it modern in terms of gameplay :(

    It won’t be an id game then.

    • Cytrom says:

      From what I read, they scrapped the last version of doom 4 precisely because it felt too much like a generic cod clone without much direction or original idea, not to make it more generic.

      I don’t know why people have such malignant prejudice against bethesda… they don’t make or publish annual trash games with a shitload of dlc and obvious ripoffs, and afaik they havent ruined legendary game developers like EA or activision did. Quite the contrary, the majority of games they published so far were put together in years with lots of effort put in to them, with little to no EA-scam tactics. They are closer to the decent publishers like 2k, “sqenixidos” than scum like EA, activison and ubishit.

      The fact that id can’t put together a game in a decade is their own fault. It’s 3drealms allover again.

      (Oh yeah, bethesda also supports modding ffs)

      • dgz says:

        The majority of games published by Bethesda are mass market RPGs of some type. This is the last thing Doom 4 needs.

        id makes old school shooters ffs, The notion that id needs to pull of a Bioshock or Far Cry from is what is killing the studio. They need to give up AAA and do their own thing.

        You know what is generic? QTEs, character development and lots of pointless talking, overall “big budget” cinematic crap. Every major game is filled with those. Doom 4 is lost to me if they indeed decided to go for this block buster bullshit.

      • Arglebargle says:

        Uh, modding on Bethesda titles actually allows the games to be playable….for me, anyway.

        IIRC, there were game breaking bugs in Morrowind that were fixed by modders. Unless you had the Xbox version. There was the whole frozen fire/doors long term play bug that showed up on Oblivion, that modders figured out was related to some counter in the code. They jury-rigged a solution. A year later Bethesda had still not even acknowledged there was a problem. I remember Howard blathering on about how the Raidiant AI was going to be this amazing new breakthrough in NPC behavior. Yeah, sure, Todd. Crappy PC UI in Skyrim? Wasn’t fixed by Bethesda. Etc.

        Without modding improvements, their games wouldn’t be worth getting….for me, anyway.

        As for the Doom thing…it never appealed to me then, I was a 4X gamer at the time. So no fond memories atall. Rage? It would have been nice to try, if it would’ve worked on my AMD video card.

      • kud13 says:

        Oh, it’s quite simple. People read “Bethesda” and think “Todd Howard” and the rest of the Bethesda Softworks crew.

        Zenimax isn’t really recognized as a publisher in people’s minds yet. Elder Scrolls is a “Bethesda Brand”, but that’s it.
        THe fact that Zenimax tries to cash in on the existing goodwill towards BEthesda name and then releases things like Hunted, and Brink (which received a pretty cold response), Rage (which was mostly underwhelming), don’t help. Sure, they also published Dishonored, which gets them A LOT of credit, but then there’s the TES MMO debacle, as well the Human Head thing about Prey 2.

        At the very least, Zenimax are inconsistent as a publisher. They certainly aren’t as bad as EA/Activision/Ubisoft, but they are also nowhere near the status of such perceived paragons as CD Project or Valve

        If anything, I think Zenimax’s reputation as a publisher is akin to that of Kalypso.

  30. soldant says:

    Step 1: Take Doom
    Step 2: Update level design for true 3D geometry
    Step 3: Graphics
    Step 4: Sell it

    Really, that’s all they need to do. We’re saturated with Call of Honour Duty games that a graphical update with similar core gameplay would be fine. It just needs to be adequately paced – Doom wasn’t carnage every 20 seconds, there were also periods where the abstract level design could be admired (particularly in Doom 2, and those were the better maps).

    Also Doom’s level design is not non-linear – you’re walled off by keys and switches forcing you down a very specific path regardless. Backtracking should not be mistaken for non-linearity. It’s less linear than CoD which forces you forward all the time, but it’s still a linear game.

  31. buxcador says:

    I genuinely hated Rage. It was so short, that it gave not much opportunities to use each weapon; it annoyed me with a half cooked race games which I hated -I bought a FPS, not a childish car game- and strategically, it gave little.

    On Doom 4 I would expect more artsy horror. For example some undefeatable enemies -a la Lovercraft-, which should be avoided or they will bring instant death. Think of hiding, silently killing some enemies, and grabbing them out of sight.

    I want to be able to take advantage of tactics and strategy. For example, at some point the player gets only one grenade, and limited bullets. So, it should wait for the enemies to gather so the grenade kills or damage a lot of them, allowing to take all the monsters with the limited ammo.

    I would like to have more traps, which can be strategically set on some corridors to protect my back, or slowing enemies. Think of Bioshock electric wires, which were more efficient over water.
    Think of some tower defense elements. Think of setting traps before opening a door, so the lurking monsters behind the door jump right into the trap.
    Think on flankers enemies falling into a bomb trap, or finding that the player is not on the starting shooting place, and by the way of hunting the player, getting themselves on vulnerable locations.

    Some game modes should only get trap weapons, and other game modes should only get shooter weapons. That would increase the replay value. Some places should only be accessible on high difficulty, or only after taking the choice of beating hard monsters. Think of getting a really powerful weapon, and going back many levels to kill a previously unbeatable monster, which unlocks an entire new level because a monster’s piece unlocks some doors.

    In Dead Space, some weapons should be used in certain ways. For example, shooting legs slow enemies advances, but carelessly shooting other enemies allows them to release new monsters. I miss that on Doom.

    On Doom 3, I missed monsters taking revenge and fighting other monsters. That created fun tactic opportunities on older Dooms.

  32. GenBanks says:

    I loved Rage… Thought the characters were great, the story good, the art style excellent. I felt involved and I completed it (which I don’t always do).

  33. bill says:

    I think one big problem with reviving Doom is that people can’t even agree on what made it great. People say fear or horror or violence and I think they must have been playing a different game.

    For me it was all about movement and evasion and timing. It was basically a top down shooter where most of the skill was avoiding projectiles.

    Of course it also had mind blowing environments. But I’m not sure that feeling can ever be recaptured.

    Serious Sam was closest in feel. But I don’t get why we can have that gameplay OR decent story but not both.

  34. gebrps says:

    My take on how Doom 4 should be:

    1) Put a huge portal from hell like the one in Mortal Kombat 3 and a huge sinister living building on the center of the world of the game.
    2) Make DoomGuy more badass and older from the one of Doom3, and his face similar to the tiny face in Doom and Doom 2 (his hair is almost gray now because all he got through).
    3) Place DoomGuy on a military facility, where he is isolated because the things he knows about UAC, and his mental state.
    4) Make Dr. Elizabeth McNeil try to contact him from a secret bunker that she escaped to when hell got to earth.
    5) Give missions and situations to be getting the classic arsenal at our disposal, plus new secret weapons. Classic maps, unlocking places, items and secrets can be alternated with corridor missions. Getting the BFG should be something spectacular and a f.king hard level.
    6) Increase the invasion, the quantity and types of enemies and make the world react to this by getting from a city-like to hell-like.
    7) You finally discover that the sinister building is in fact “The Icon of Sin” (Doom 2 final boss), your final enemy and source of the huge hell-portal.
    8) One big final weapon is the ultimate secret to destroy the building. It’s on a UAC secret facility.
    9) The entire final level is fighting to this living building with previous HUGE bosses as gatekeepers like a giant super Spider Mastermind. The fight with the building could be similar as fighting SkyNet on the Terminator 2 arcade FPS, but with hellish things of course.
    10) You can add to all this an optional co-op campaign using as the second player the DoomGuy from “Resurrection of Evil”. In the solo campaign he can appear sometimes without interrupting your lonely-wolf play. Some missions could be rescuing McNeil or other people (former employees of UAC) that help you to discover secrets, guns, special armors, etc.
    11) Don’t use mails and videos (I loved them in Doom 3 by the way) because kids nowadays don’t pay attention to them, so you loose public. Make all the scenes and things that happen interactive, or with short cinematics that don’t disturb our game.

    Boom!

    Doom 4.

    (sorry for my english, is not my native language)