Update: It’s over. You can read all about it below, though. The short version: it’s Doom, but with ludicrously violent, ultra-fast melee finishers. Not even sure if Bulletstorm was on this level in that respect. Otherwise? It looks ok. Fast combat, linear levels, emphasis on madcap action over scares.
Original: It’s QuakeCon O’ Year again, and you know what that means: Doooooooooom. No, seriously. Despite a Carmack-shaped hole in its heart, developer id Software has promised a big reveal. Apparently it’s for attendees’ eyes only, but I will do my best to convey the big moment with the mightiest BFG of them all: language. Join me below as I semi-liveblog the event from my phone, because there’s no WiFi here and QuakeCon is really weird this year, you guys.
Update 1: I am currently sitting in a big conference room waiting for the presentation to start. There is crazy Celtic rock playing, and I can only hope this means Doom includes a revolutionary jig-dancing mechanic.
Update 2: The event was supposed to start almost 30 mins ago. A friend just astutely observed that it’s been delayed as much as Doom.
Update 3: It’s gonna be weird without John Carmack talking for upwards of four hours this year. It’s QuakeCon tradition, like hearing winding, ever-so-slightly racist tales from your weird uncle every time you go home to visit your family. Carmack’s talks really are a thing of legend, though. All at once indecipherable and utterly fascinating. He is missed.
Update 4: Tim Willits just took the stage. He’s going through the usual pleasantries. 19 years of QuakeCon! It’s old enough to drive. And be convicted of a felony.
Update 5: There will be eSports at QuakeCon. For money! Money from playing videogames? Now I’ve heard everything.
Update 6: The Evil Within. Case mod competitions. Tournaments for everyone. Doom will happen eventually, folks, but first there are Matters of Business to attend to.
Update 7: “Doom!” someone in the crowd bellowed. “No, no, no, it’s not time for that yet,” Willits replied. Yep.
Update 8: People are clapping about Battlecry. You know, the multiplayer thing? Oh, and The Evil Within is coming out a week early, on October 14th, now.
Update 9: Pete Hines, Bethesda’s head of PR and marketing, is on stage doing PR and marketing. Buy shirts! Buy Wolfenstein! “Yep, I get to be the guy between you and Doom. This should be fun.” At least he acknowledged it.
Update 10: The annual giant Bethesda Steam package is up. All their games for $99.
Update 11: Quake Live is coming to Steam.
Update 12: Willits is back. “I have a little more!” Audience has now been driven to cheer for AT&T. No one has ever cheered for AT&T. This crowd will whoop for anything.
Update 13: Willits says bye to people watching the stream. Doom time.
Update 666: Trailer of monsters, “unholy fusion of flesh and metal.” They look pretty Pacific Rim like, which makes sense given that they have one of the movie’s main artists on it.
Trailer ends with a shotgun loading sound. Pretty insubstantial. There will be slimy, ugly monsters. Not even sure if that was in-engine.
Update 667: Oh, now it’s time for the real details. Game is just called Doom, not Doom 4. Origin story, reimagining. Takes place on Mars.
Update 668: And then I lost connection for the entire demo. Took notes, though. Here you go:
Doom created to be fast, brutal. Not waiting around for health to recharge. Showed quick animatics of enemies getting gibbed. Looks OK.
There will be fast-paced competitive multiplayer. Will run on a new evolution of their tech, Id Tech 6.
Game will be on PC and next-gen consoles.
Demo time. Marine puts on helmet. Walks through corridors I’m big facility. Tons of lava below. Finds a trail of blood. Graphics look nice, but nothing insane. Level design seems very linear.
Demons appear. Super quick movement. Shooting followed by tearing into demons and ripping out organs, all in one quick movement. Just slide forward and finish them, sometimes with a trip that leads into a thunderous slam. Enemies break apart like moldy bread. Literally tearing them in half sometimes. Almost God of War esque in that respect. Hyper violent. Very fast.
Need a hand to use a key scanner. Go rip the arm off a corpse and push it against the scanner. This is ridiculous.
Go upstairs. Surrounded by demons. Shotgun them, stun, and move in for the finish. Crushing heads, chunks flying everywhere.
Lots of walkways and rails. Demon gets shot and falls in half. Demons are pretty basic. Humanoid. Long-range spell attacks and up close clawing.
Finds beam assault rifle. Mowing everything down with it. Lots of explosions now. Leaping on top of crates and rails and slamming down on enemies.
Encounter hologram of someone saying they’ve “lost containment.” That’s an understatement.
Update 669: First demo ends with a demon ripping the player’s arms off and beating him to death with them. Seriously.
Second demo. Walk through quiet, less lava-filled warehouse area. Then demons. Player finds the chainsaw, which peels enemies in half like rotten banana peels. They get all floppy and everything. Ewwwwww.
There’s a radial menu you can pop up to switch weapons. It briefly slows down time.
Bigger demons show up in slightly more open room full of crates. Tough, mobile. Can climb stuff. They are mean, but they explode into sinew confetti like everything else.
Then a big fat demon. Super slow, but has multiple projectile attacks. Kill it by ripping out the pustule in its stomach and shoving it down its own mouth, causing it to explode into a pile of lard and entrails. Somewhere, the concept of pacifism weeps.
Open a door. Cyberdemon towers over player, roars. Then the demo ends.
The game looks… interesting. The emphasis on melee definitely changes the flow of combat, and double-jumping mixed with light parkour antics mean there’s a little verticality to the proceedings. Also it is insanely, ludicrously violent. I liked the part where the man who was beating everyone to death with their own arms got beat to death with his own arms. That’s basically fucking poetry.
Don’t get me wrong: this is still very Doom. Shooty blams out the wazoo. The weapons didn’t quite feel amazing yet, but they already packed punch.
Is it madly different? Clearly not. Before you could only shoot the demons, but now you can punch them too. Maybe next you’ll be able to talk to them, but not yet. Sorry, Ian.
That’s it for now. More QuakeCon coverage soon, though.