Mein Gott: Wolfenstein Preorders Secure DOOM Beta Access

By Adam Smith on February 19th, 2014 at 3:16 pm.

DOOM is coming but it might well not be called DOOM 4 anymore. I think DOOM 3 was a reboot but perhaps it’s not too early for another. Bethesda send word that preordering the new and spectacularly ridiculous Wolfenstein game will secure access to the beta for the next game in id’s aged series. Presumably that’s DOOM 4, or the artist formerly known as Doom 4. It’s a game that has been far more clandestine than its title suggests would be possible. But, yes, this means that DOOM is happening and presumably happening at some point in the near(ish) future. There’s no word on when the beta will open up but Wolfenstein: The New Order comes out on May 20th/23rd, depending on which side of the Pond you live on. There’s a new trailer below. It made me feel a bit queasy.

BOOM BOOM indeed.

It was back in April of last year that the turbulence of Doom 4′s development (kind of) came to light. Like an imp from a monster closet, it sort of surprised me but mostly just disappointed me. Later, Tim Willits suggested that the version of DOOM that had been constructed lacked a quintessential DOOMiness. Perhaps that’s why the ’4′ is gone and we’re back to plain old ‘DOOM’. I would have added an extra couple of ‘O’s and an exclamation mark but, hey, why mess with a classic?

Beta access makes me think multiplayer and bundling with Wolfenstein makes me think of Zone of the Enders having a Metal Gear Solid demo as an attractive piece of plumage. How many people who preorder will be doing so for the DOOM beta rather than the Nazi-chainsawing? Hard to tell, I guess. There’s probably a lot of crossover appeal.

Hopefully this means we’ll have more information about DOOM in the near future. Announcing beta access for a game that lacked ‘spirit’, ‘soul’ and ‘personality’* less than a year ago, by the studio head’s admission, shouldn’t be exciting but for many people of a certain age, those four letters contain a sort of magic.

Say it with me – DOOM DOOM DOOM.

*incidentally, I think the now-departed Carmack was possibly DOOM’s brain rather than its soul, spirit or personality

, , , , .

115 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    Video is blocked?

  2. Love Albatross says:

    There are complaints (rightfully) when women in games are portrayed wearing ridiculous bikini armour and the like, but look at Doom marine guy up there. That is not practical wear for a man tackling demons on Mars. He’s wearing a full face mask that suggests he is going to be encountering tricky environmental conditions, yet his arms aren’t covered and his stomach is exposed to show off those sculpted abs.

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      Maybe his abs are augmented.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Perhaps all the male sets of marine armour were gone by the time he reached the locker room.

      (Also, there’s a new, new Wolfenstein? I thought we’d already had a new Wolfenstein that sucked, and I don’t mean RTCW. This is getting worse than Prince of Persia.)

      • DatonKallandor says:

        The last Wolfenstein was incredibly good. A classic Raven Software effort – contract work on an existing IP and knocking it out of the park with fantastic weapon design and solid mechanics.
        Anyone who thinks their Wolfenstein was a bad shooter simply doesn’t understand the genre. It is factually a great FPS.

        • Radiant says:

          Tell me again how not liking a game means I don’t understand a genre.

          • DatonKallandor says:

            Because you didn’t say you didn’t like it. You said it sucked. That’s a statement of fact. An incorrect one at that.
            If you’re saying you didn’t like it that’s a whole different business – a subjective judgement that people can disagree or agree with.

          • Radiant says:

            If you love wolfenstien so much why dont you marry it?

          • DatonKallandor says:

            Not legalized (yet?).

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            Backpedalling: Bronze medal

        • Renevent says:

          I agree, thought the last Wolfenstein was excellent.

        • Ultra Superior says:

          I agree, it was a good shooty fun.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Yah, eet vass fuhn!

    • Premium User Badge

      Anthile says:

      You obviously never read a comic book in the 90s.

      • Love Albatross says:

        Rob Liefeld is my favourite! His heaving chests and unnecessary pouches get me all excited.

        • Adam Smith says:

          Try to find the feet – they’re either TINY OR NON-EXISTENT. This is the Liefeld way.

        • Premium User Badge

          phuzz says:

          I had no idea who he was until recently when someone linked me to this.
          I have no idea how that man was paid money to draw comics.

          • Premium User Badge

            Jalan says:

            He still gets paid, the bigger issue at hand though is whether he stays to finish out his contract. If ever there was a prima donna in the comics industry, Liefeld would be it.

          • dethtoll says:

            There’s a few artists (and writers) today who I’m convinced have some sort of blackmail material on their bosses because they keep getting work. I wasn’t expecting the new 52 Catwoman to be very good, but Ann Nocenti has a lot to answer for.

          • Baines says:

            Liefeld was one of the “superstar” artists during the superstar artist period of the comics collection boom. He even landed a Levis jeans commercial. It wasn’t about the quality of your art, but the “feeling”, hype, and other non-art-related elements.

            I’ve heard some say that they liked Liefeld because he was a kid who broke big. Some went further, saying that Liefeld’s bad art was actually a positive, because he made it look like any kid could become a superstar artist even if they weren’t necessarily a good artist. Others said it was that Liefeld’s art had a dynamic feeling that the average artist lacked. (Compare it particularly to modern artists who overuse lightboxing of photos, where you get something that is technically rather accurate but has all the life of posed mannequins.) People have given all sorts of reasons why someone as lacking as Liefeld was one of their favorite artists.

          • Premium User Badge

            Jalan says:

            All that said, it’s hard to be objective about the guy. His exploits at Image alone are like the elements used in a story to steer delinquent youths back onto the right path in their lives.

    • aoanla says:

      If you look at the full image, it’s actually not as bad – one of the demons has just ripped off a conveniently symmetrical and abs-shaped lump of armour from his front. The arms are still silly, though, but then Doomguy is a manly man/psychopathic killer, so presumably he doesn’t mind too much.

    • d3vilsadvocate says:

      It was torn off by the bad guys. Look at the marine in the background, his abs were covered properly.

      • Love Albatross says:

        But look at the edge of the part covering his chest. That suggests fairly sturdy armour covering his upper chest, with only a flimsy layer of fabric over his stomach. And you know why? So it can be ripped open by a slobbering demon allowing us all a good gawp at his muscles!

        • Volcanu says:

          Was this demon saying “RIP AND TEAR YOUR GUTS…YOU ARE NORMAL SIZE! THAT MEANS YOU HAVE NORMAL SIZE GUTS” perchance?

          • The Random One says:

            He would say “YOU ARE TINY! THAT MEANS YOU HAVE TINY GUTS!”, you racist.

    • Shooop says:

      It was the 80s-early 90s. No one got away from them unscathed.

    • dethtoll says:

      I’m pretty sure you’re not entirely serious, but just for the rest of the class I’ll explain that that’s a false equivalence. Big muscly dudes with their shirts ripped off is as much a male fantasy as scantily-clad ladies. The only difference is that one is a power fantasy and the other’s just a fantasy. Dudes who like chicks tend to like scantily clad women, and they like thinking of themselves as the buff manly superhero. It has very little to do with what women find attractive.

      • HadToLogin says:

        Well, typical “romance-book cover dude” looks quite similar to Doom dude.

        But yeah, this one isn’t made to get girls attention, it’s about getting boys attention: “look, he’s muscular, and he’s also wounded and doesn’t cry, tell me you don’t want to be him”.

        Still, funny you can show even nearly-naked men to sell something to women, but do vice-versa and you’re most evil person :) .

  3. WarderDragon says:

    Well that trailer had maybe 10 seconds of gameplay, so I suppose “gameplay trailer” is technically correct…

    • Tendentieus says:

      If it is any indication, I’ll be holding onto my money. RTCW was good but afterwards it has taken a nose dive and I rather stay out of it’s impact blast radius.

      I’m an incredibly Doom Fan (The classics of cource) with a cacodemon plush to top it off, but I am stingy on my cash. Both the new Wolfenstein and Doom 4 have so far shown nothing trustworthy and I have no intention to invest any more cash into these projects until I can reasonably judge them.

    • LifeSuport says:

      Dear fellows, be you rock, paper, or shotgun I present reasons to not pre-order:

      T. The trailer reminded me of a movie trailer for a movie that has so few cool moments that it has to show them all and expose the plot in the process just to be long enough and good enough to draw attention.

      VR. Bethesda essentially said fuck you PC people by blocking VR editions. I opinionate the reason is to prevent console versions from looking grossly outdated, which come VR they will be.

      RIPiD. By blocking VR version they pushed out the last original spirit of these games. While Carmack isn’t noted as a design guy he was also responsible for pushing for a lot of the straight forward action which is now replaced by quick-time events and cut-scenes through-out the FPS genre.

      EA. Games with the goods who want early access to our money offer early access to their game, those that don’t sell pre-orders.

      WID. A hand wavy promise of access to a DOOM beta that has a date of “when it’s done” isn’t much of a carrot given all the sticks involved. When will you get your prized beta, a year from now, two, ten? There is a good chance you’ll see Half-Life 3 first.

      Please give your money to those creating quality games.

  4. Renevent says:

    I don’t get the derision around this game…personally looking forward to Wolfenstein. The gunplay looks absolutely fantastic and to me that’s one of the most important features in a FPS. Basically same reason I thought the last Wolfenstein game was great. The weapons all felt great to use, and the way enemies reacted to getting hit was superb. I also enjoyed the quasi-open world design. That was a feature that got a lot of flak but to me it was really cool. A nice open hub-world that interconnected missions and allowed for some exploration and finding secrets…what’s not to like?

    • N'Al says:

      I liked the 2009 version AND I’m looking forward to this too. So, uh… you’re not alone, yay!

    • Godwhacker says:

      Come for the gratuitous torture, stay for the turret section- or is it the other way around? It looks both tedious and unpleasant, sort of like Roy Chubby Brown.

    • ceriphim says:

      Okay, having never played the newer version(s?) of Wolfenstein, and with the original Wolf 3-D being the FIRST game I remember playing on my dad’s PC, here’s my stab at it-

      There is nothing in this that resembles Wolfenstein. It was primarily corridor-based, inside castles or underground. I understand much of that was due to the limitations of the engine, but after watching that trailer, I see nothing of Wolf 3-D in it. No tension, no fearfully scouting through corridors, looking for secret rooms.

      Most fundamentally, no sense of a unique experience. As someone whom has played all the CoDs released on PC, I can tell you that the only game that came to mind from watching that trailer is a prettier, emptier CoD-manshoot-Michael-Bay-bullshit-fest-channeling-Quentin-Tarantino-to-be-hip.

      Unfortunate, I really wanted this to be a great and unique id release, but I suppose those are in the past. Also, to me it really signifies their lack of confidence in Wolfenstein that they’re tying it to the DOOM beta, but YMMV.

      (Edited for typos)

      • gummybearsliveonthemoon says:

        You missed out on RTCW. That redefined Wolfenstein. Every game thereafter will follow the RTCW model, not a corridor shooter. And RTCW had secret rooms.

    • foop says:

      I’m fairly sure I spotted a “get captured and have all your weapons taken away” bit in the gameplay.

      Woohoo. I always love that bit in a FPS.

  5. ran93r says:

    That does look ridiculous, well the snippets of actual gameplay we saw.
    Up me alley as it were but will wait until it’s fuppence in a sale or something.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Same, this looks like a ridiculously over the top game that i’ll have a great time with for about £5 but if I payed full price I’d probably feel ripped off.

  6. Premium User Badge

    tumbleworld says:

    Looks like a load of old CODBLOPS.

  7. LionsPhil says:

    If they’re having to dangle a big name like DOOM as a pre-order bonus, they can’t have much confidence in this one.

  8. PopeRatzo says:

    Oh thank the Lord. I was worried that there would never be another decent game released on PC.

    And you gotta give it to Bethesda, they always have the best music in their games set in the 20th century onward.

    • Premium User Badge

      Cinek says:

      I was worried that there would never be another decent game released on PC.

      And then you woke up in 2014.

  9. Chubzdoomer says:

    Why would you want players to beta test a SINGLEPLAYER game like DOOM? Wouldn’t you want to wait until, I don’t know, the game was FINISHED, that way it would not only be fresh but also deliver the best possible experience as opposed to an inevitably bug-ridden, feature-less beta? This promotion makes no sense to me, and just seems like a really bad move all-together.

    • Urthman says:

      iD used to be able to design shooters that were fun to play over and over an over.

      • Janichsan says:

        I notice you use the past tense.

        • XhomeB says:

          Yep, that’s because RAGE happened.
          Doom 3 I kind of liked, RAGE had great art direction, but the gameplay… let’s just say id forgot how to design levels and decided to rip off CoD instead.

    • Baines says:

      So you are saying the shareware model would never work for a game like DOOM?

      More seriously, that is kind of what “beta” has turned into. It is half demo, half shareware, and half “Don’t worry, the final game will be better (even if it won’t)”.

    • Potunka says:

      Doom 4: Arena?

    • Shooop says:

      “Beta” means “demo” these days.

  10. aoanla says:

    I’d still rather see a Quake (1) remake with a modern engine than another attempt at Doom. There’ve been several modern shooters with a “retroFPS” sensibility harking back to Doom and Duke 3d (the Serious Sam games and the Painkiller games for a start), but not a lot with the wierdness of Quake.

    • Jac says:

      Don’t really remember quake being weird. Mainly brown.

      • aoanla says:

        That’s also a little unfair: while most Quake levels didn’t have a huge amount of hue variance, they weren’t all brown (the E4 levels are a kind of dark blue, as far as I recall), and lava shows up as a very bright and vivid set of flame hues, which work better for the reduced hue range in the rest of the textures.

        (The mission packs have a little more hue variance, but unfortunately mostly in the Egyptian themed maps which really didn’t work for me…)

    • AbigailBuccaneer says:

      …Quake was weird?

      • Premium User Badge

        Cinek says:

        I guess he confused it with Unreal.
        That one was weird.

        • aoanla says:

          As misterTOAST noted, Quake has a very mixed up setting which was pretty weird for the time. (Unreal also played up oddness and a contrast between low-tech “fantasy” and high-tech settings mixed in the same world, but Quake did it first). Now, it wasn’t planned that way, but the result is still more unique than most games before and after.

          I’d be interested to see what a conscious decision to work with the same juxtaposition of Lovecraft-lite, Medieval and near-future SF would produce with a modern engine.

      • misterT0AST says:

        Quake was pretty weird. The mix of futuristic and medieval assets (from the scrapped fantasy game that got turned into Quake) plus the soundtrack and the moody atmosphere made it feel over the top in a pretty unique way. It’s the most grimdark you can get without being Warhammer.

    • ceriphim says:

      I would KILL for a quality, thoughtful remake of Quake.

      To those below – Yes, Quake was weeeeeeird. The setting, monsters, story, weapons, levels, it was ODD. Maybe it had something to do with Trent Reznor being attached (for the sound track, IIRC?). In its own way, it was almost as unique as Wolf3D was back in the day. Wolf3D, DOOM, and Quake are the triumvirate of ultimate old-school PC gaming for me. I’ve yet to see a remake/sequel/reboot of any of those that even comes close to matching them in their original vision or qualities. Please id make this happen before I’m too old to care.

  11. Urthman says:

    They can either make a bunch of lame cutscenes that try to convince me that B.J. Blazkowicz is a Nazi-murdering badass or iD can do what they used to do, design a challenging shooter that, when I master it it, makes me feel like a Nazi/demon-murdering badass.

    Probably not both.

    • Chubzdoomer says:

      This is the greatest thing I’ve read so far this year. Much respect, from one oldschool id shooter fan to another. :-)

    • XhomeB says:

      *Clap clap clap*
      Well said, sir. I honestly hope that those cutscenes are there to spice up the gameplay as opposed to being main content with short, linear, scripted, CoD-like crappy gameplay in between…

      As for the next DOOM, I’m not sure I trust id to do this right anymore. Rage had some abysmal level design, and most of id staff left the company a while ago if I recall correctly…

    • ceriphim says:

      F**k. This is exactly what I’ve been trying to express. Thank you.

      What’s the old saying, “Show, don’t tell?”. There’s waaaay too much telling via cutscenes and not showing through thoughtful UX, design, and pacing. I get that those are hard to show in a trailer, but taking the easy way out (explosion-fests & rapid cuts) is telling.

  12. Syphus says:

    Will I still play this game? Yea I will. However, they really could use some better writers, none of these characters feel anything beyond very 2D.

  13. AbigailBuccaneer says:

    This looks fun. Was the new-ish Wolfenstein game any good?

  14. Urthman says:

    The law will also state that any game featuring Nazis – which is every game in my proposed Israel for gamers, Liberia – should have Hitler as the final boss. Because, seriously, making a game about Nazis and not having you somehow fight Hitler – whether he lives in a robot suit or flies around in a jet or maybe he’s an armored dracula now or whatever – is [redacted]. If a game doesn’t let you fight some form of Hitler – for instance, a giant Hitler – then that game will receive a warning sticker, in much the same way that the U.S. Goverment currently requires awful games to display on their box the universally understood symbol for unnacceptable quality, “Anne McCaffrey’s”.

    http://www.oldmanmurray.com/news/324.html

  15. Runty McTall says:

    Pretty sure it’s “id”.

    Sorry, for some reason this bugs me every time.

    • Adam Smith says:

      Oops. And I tend to do it every time. My memory has capitalised the ‘d’ in the logo for some reason. Fixed!

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I don’t know why people calling them “iD” bothers me so much more than if they called them “Id.” I think it’s because they bothered to capitalize one letter to stay stylistically true to the logo, but they picked the wrong one. Even in the screenshots below, they are “ID.”

      Anyway, none of this matters much, it’s just the slightest annoyance possible.

  16. Turkey says:

    I like that alternative history just means batshit steampunk crap all over the place now. At least there doesn’t appear to be an undead German prince that looks like Lobo in this one.

  17. stoner says:

    You young kids with your fancy 3D graphics and audio cards to play Wolfstein. I still have the first Castle Wolfstein on 5-1/4 inch floppy disk. A side-scroller with Germans grunting commands through the built-in speaker. AND WE LOVED IT!!!

    Get off my lawn…

  18. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    Oh goody, torture porn.

    So who in the resistance will be the inevitable traitor do you think? My bet is on the not-hot woman.

  19. harcalion says:

    I have done this before: what I thought was going to be a crappy game (Borderlands GOTY) came with early access to what I KNEW was going to be a crappy game (Duke Nukem Forever). So it is clear that Bethesda/id must shut up and take my money!

  20. Smion says:

    I just hope the soundtrack is going to be mostly comprised of terrible german versions of sixties popular music

    Edit: Additionally and weirdly, it kinda bothers me that Deathshead seems to have his character changed since the previous games: now seeming much more sadistic and less a ruthless devotee to mad science.

  21. ResonanceCascade says:

    It doesn’t look good, but it’s being made by a lot of the key people from Butcher Bay, so how bad could it be? Right? RIGHT!?

    I’ll probably give it a shot on that pedigree alone. Plus, I love a good bad first person shooter.

  22. Nate says:

    No, John Carmack wasn’t iD’s soul, Romero was. At least, if you judge by their releases.

    • ceriphim says:

      And I thought Romero’s power came from his long, luscious mane of silken chestnut locks (ala Samson)?

    • Stupoider says:

      Carmack and Romero formed a whole, without either of them I don’t have much faith in anything id does in the future.

  23. Golden Pantaloons says:

    “They took our freedom!”

    I like the alternate future nazi thing though, but really not planning on paying full price for this. Looks too silly.

  24. AlienMind says:

    Reboot: The practice of releasing a shitty sequel by the same name than the original title, which is addressed with the year in parenthesis by anyone, anyways.

  25. Jimanzium The King says:

    I hope there’s no story in the actual levels, I’d hoped there wouldn’t be any so a shame there.

  26. Premium User Badge

    JamesTheNumberless says:

    If this can’t be played with arrow keys, Ctrl, Shift, <, and > then I’m not interested.

  27. Shooop says:

    Somebody tell John Romero we forgive him for Daikatana and get him to do level design please. We need him if Doom is ever going to be successfully revived.

  28. porps says:

    I’m old enough to remember when id software made good games. Been a long time since quake 3, and much as it saddens me, i think they are no longer capable of making a decent game.

    • Widthwood says:

      They do make decent games though. Rage – 7/10 easily.

      It is just that the end result of their work used to set high standard for others, but now they are simply one of many and largely irrelevant..

    • DThor says:

      I’ve always felt it was less about ID making good games and more about their place in gaming history. They don’t know story to save their life, and I doubt they ever will, and I think that despite cracks about just wanting arrow keys and the space bar for a controller, really, seriously we expect more from games nowadays. Look at that awesome hat simulator, TF2. It’s all tactics, but you’re smiling all the time. Why? Because they’ve not only made a really wonderful combat game (depending on taste), but they placed it in a world with very specific characters with their own traits and foibles, which maps to their skills and weaknesses. Ok, perhaps not story, but certainly one of the primary building blocks. ID never stopped relying on your wistful nostalgia to engage you, otherwise with Carmack there was waaay too much focus on the engine. ID has been dead to me for ages.

  29. thecat17 says:

    At this particular moment in time I don’t believe I have a healthier or more deeply-felt respect for any website in the universe than this here Rock, Paper, Shotgun…

  30. Iskariot says:

    This will be quite a feat if they pull it off.
    Obviously the Doom IP is used because of its money generating potential, but a new Doom game cannot just recycle old Doom gameplay. We are used to so much more than that in these days.

    I already felt that Doom 3 was a failure as a game. It did look good, but the gameplay felt stale and uninspiring. It had a boring AI and terrible predictable enemy spawn techniques that were repeated over and over.

    It was very disappointing as a game, to say the least.
    Doom 4 will have to be a lot better than that. I think they should try to break with the old outdated Doom gameplay concept.

    It would be great if they could create a game with a unique and awe inspiring enemy A.I. this time. I would like that more than just some new visual FX.

    I also would like to have more choices in my approach of levels. Perhaps much more open levels or even a more open world.

    • HadToLogin says:

      And I want Doom. No open levels (by that I don’t mean CoD corridors). No many approaches. No enemies spawning behind you in every room that was empty when I got there.

      I want Double-barreled Shotgun and 50 Imps to kill.

      That’s what’s Doom about. That’s what FPS should be about. Sadly it’s about crouching behind crates waiting for life to regenerate and then stand up for second, shoot few bullets and hide again.

      • soldant says:

        The majority of the time in Doom, you were facing maybe 4 or 5 enemies at once – not 50, that was uncommon. A lot of people seem to forget that what made Doom great was the fact that it actually had appropriate pacing, but you could speed it up if you really wanted to by running around and alerting everything nearby.

        That’s why games like Serious Sam aren’t true successors – Serious Sam is all about fighting waves of enemies in an arena, and that’s it. Doom only pulled that trick in specific parts of levels and otherwise had things placed in a measured trail to give you an occasional break, and to guide you along the path to finishing the level.

        • Premium User Badge

          JamesTheNumberless says:

          I have to agree. Cover was actually really important in Doom, and the mechanics for it (put a wall in between yourself and the thing firing at you) were so much more satisfying than in modern shooters. People for some reason remember the “monster cupboards” but most of the gameplay was about you skillfully ambushing the enemies, hitting them fast before they could hit you back. Doom managed to be about precision without being about fiddly aiming.

  31. Wedge says:

    What can a new Doom game ever really be other than a reboot? It’s not like there’s a lot of progression for the “plot” to go through, other than you could just make the same thing happen again x amount of years later or whatever.

  32. The Random One says:

    That headline made me feel like the nineties themselves had had a gritty reboot.

  33. gummybearsliveonthemoon says:

    I am completely waiting for this. I might have to upgrade my rig for it, but I want it. I am totally into this idea.

  34. clairsat says:

    I was the nameless DOOM marine. I went to hell and killed waves upon waves of cyberdemons. I defeated the Icon of Sin and the Baphemet. The gatekeeper did not stop me. And at not one point in my onslaught was i showerd in six packs and greased up arm legs.

    Now they want me to play Man Blaztkowicz otherwise I might get confused about my priorities and sexual preferences. Now I have to play a Man who did not go to hell, a man whos lobster abs choked no demon and nursed no pinky scars. Man Blastzkowics.

    So much fail.

  35. cunningmunki says:

    I’m looking forward to “DOOM!” the musical.

  36. edwardh says:

    If you don’t believe in souls and spirits but instead that the personality of someone is defined by what’s going on in their brain (which is the only sane way too look at human life at least in my opinion), you’re saying that John Carmack WAS pretty much DOOM.