RPS Asks: What Do you Want From Doom 4?

Some doom, yesterday.
So, if the (reportedly false) rumours are to be believed (update: and apparently they’re not. Hooray!), the future of Doom 4 might be in doubt. Which raises a question: what do we want from a fourth Doom game anyway? Should the next Doom game keep it old skool with a key-collecting run-and-gun? Or should it up updated to compete with the contemporary manshoots? Do we still want demons on Mars? And should it showcase the next generation of graphics, or do something new with the way shooters work? If you were in charge, what would you do?

Personally I quite like the idea of re-releasing a blow-by-blow remake the original game in an astonishing modern engine, with the only gameplay concessions to modern design being mouse-look and so on. Failing that, a single-button iPhone game, like Canabalt with cacodemons. (Not really. Likely.)


  1. Jackablade says:

    I think the most important thing is to keep the design lean and simple.
    It needs to be fast paced.
    It needs to be able to throw large numbers of enemies at you at once.
    The weapons need to feel meaty – there still aren’t many games that have that visceral satisfation that comes from the Doom 2 double barelled shotgun.
    The levels need to flow and be paced well. It doesn’t matter if they’re completely arbitrary arangements of architecture as long as they’re fun to play with.

    Actually, that there is probably all you really need – Doom 4 needs to be fun. It’s surprising how many game developers forget that little element.

  2. Hexidecimal says:

    A level by level remake of Doom II on Tech 5. Then whatever else they want to do after that I don’t care.

  3. zeroskill says:

    Some of the comments here just make me epically facepalm. Its amazing how many seem to have no idea what the word Doom used to stand for. Astonishing quite frankly.

    “Personally I quite like the idea of re-releasing a blow-by-blow remake the original game in an astonishing modern engine, with the only gameplay concessions to modern design being mouse-look and so on.”
    Im with you on this Jim. This exactly and a lot of gore, violence and blood. Demons head exploding into a pile of goo and eyeballs flying across the room. Im not usually one to promote strong violence, but that is was Doom was. Violent, loud and nasty. Censors have to be handed out by Germany and Australia and moms everywhere have to scream in terror only by the mentioning of the name Doom.

    If you dont have the balls to do a proper Doom, ID, then, please, just dont do it at all.

  4. tomovo says:

    No storyline. None. You just appear in a Mars base and go for it.

    No inventory management. Pick up a gun, use it. Pick up ammo, pick up med kits, that’s it. If there’s an inventory screen, I’m not interested.

    Dozens of monsters appear all at once through a teleport, you mow them down with a machine gun and move to the next room.

    Lots and lots of blood. Corpses don’t disappear instantly.

    Three barrel shotgun.

    An easy to use level editor (ala Quake3) and modding tools that only require Visual Studio Express.

  5. bildo says:

    I want a classic corridor shooter. Get rid of the exposition, dialog and most modern gaming conventions. Give us graphics that will melt out faces off, monsters that are as demonic as possible and music that we can rock out too while blowing things up. Doom 4 should be nothing more than what the original was aside from an amazing sound track and superior graphics.

    Everybody gets mad when this is suggested. However, when Croteam talk Serious Sam, most people seem appeased. Why? Are the concepts of Doom and Serious Sam that much different? They are both run and gun, shoot first think later titles while the latter doesn’t have an ounce of interesting music to listen to while playing. Sure, Serious Sam has this non linear type of open area map, but so did Doom (think Doom 2 city levels).

    TL;DR Give us the classic concept of Doom, high fidelity graphics and a great hard rock sound track; Serious Sam and Doom are nearly the same style of game so don’t be upset if this were to ever happen.

    • Dervish says:

      Serious Sam has this non linear type of open area map

      I’ve only played The First Encounter, but I certainly wouldn’t call the maps “nonlinear” just because the individual arenas are huge. I enjoyed the game, but your progress is heavily constrained, especially since you get temporarily locked inside every other room.

    • bildo says:

      Non linear in the sense that there is no set path to the goal. There are plenty of maps where you have multiple paths to a door you go through in order to move forward with the game.

  6. Iskariot says:

    I’d like a good AI for once.

    Doom 3 did look good, but gameplay wise it had nothing at all to offer:
    I don’t want the boring ambush style with predictable enemy spawns, spawning predictably behind you, and predictable doors opening with predictable enemies standing behind it, dying predictably etc. etc. Doom3 was so booooooooooring in that way.

    I’d like to see a real open sprawling city world this time.

    a good and surprising story with some nice sub plots would be fine.
    Not the same ‘all monsters are bad and want to steal your soul and rule the world and you are the only one that can safe humanity’ kind of shit

    I have a lot of ideas, but I am sure ID is the wrong company to ask to implement them.
    I put all my money on a very predictable Doom 4.
    But I am sure the engine will be newer and better and the best engine ever etc etc.

  7. mbp says:

    You screen shot gave me a massive bout of nostalgia for the sound effects of the original Doom. To my mind the short but perfectly judged sound samples added greatly to the atmosphere of the game. I can still recall one level where you spawned inside a closed door and all you could hear was the growling of many imps outside. Terrifying.

    Would it be possible or pointless to implement the same sound effects in a modern game?

  8. doublethink says:

    If Carmack comes through on his promise to Open Source IDTech4 you are going to see some very interesting things in the indie community.

    A good portion of the original Doom’s levels were done as a mod already for doom3:

    link to moddb.com

  9. Gary W says:

    More secrets than Doom & Doom II combined. And not the “press space near the wall” variety. The sort of fiendish stuff that you only find after your 35th playthrough of a level.

  10. Git says:

    I don’t think there’s much more that iD can do with Doom. I would rather they made Quake V instead, and go back to the roots of the original. I’d rather battle Lovecraftian trans-dimensional monstrosities than just ‘DUUR EVUL ALIENS!!!’ The logo for it could be a Quake style Q with a big V in the middle.

    Actually, fuck all that. I want another Commander Keen.

  11. AgamemnonV2 says:

    You know what the problem to nostalgia is? All it does is reminds us of a time when we were more easily amused and enjoyed what we considered the best standard of our time. An FPS that mirrors exactly what Doom 95 was would be horrible and anyone that can get over their worthless nostalgia would see that. A-list shooters these days, at the least, offer some degree of realism and, at least, a shred of a story.

    “But that’s linear thinking and we don’t need that for a game to be great!” No, we don’t. But this isn’t some indie title made by someone in their basement. Well, not anymore it’s not. The trouble with Doom 3 wasn’t that “they tried to do something different;” the trouble is that they tried to do something different and failed horrendously at it. Playing as Ray Charles is frustratingly boring and giving the axe to details that would’ve added to the environment (enemy bodies, blood n’ gut decals, etc.) pretty much made it into a game where you used a flashlight to get around with periodic shooting.

    Doom needs some of its original elements (like that 80s flavor where gore everywhere was pretty much an expected thing) and then it can combine it with some modern elements (two or three-weapon system, squad combat, ‘here comes the cavalry’ moments, etc.). Bring back the traps and environmental hazards. And then top it off with something that has a twist from the old game but transposed into a new idea (having a ‘berserk’ meter and as it raises you can rip off the arms of your enemies and use them as a weapon or something).

    Of course that’s not going to happen. It’ll just be some meager shooter with no real plot that has you shining your flashlight around while 80% of the production is focused on multiplayer.

    And if you’re really vehement about thinking the nostalgia angle would actually do anything but have id lose money on the project, then here you go:

    • Mman says:

      “two or three-weapon system”

      I almost thought you were serious up until this.

    • Prime says:

      You know what they did wrong in that Doom 3 engine version of Doom 1’s gameplay? Left the character’s movement speed at Doom 3 levels. He needs to be about three times faster for it to work – you can see that most painfully when he tries to get the armour power-up in the secret area, burning himself each time crossing over half the acid pit. Boost that and you’ve got yourself a conversion. :)

    • Dominic White says:

      “You know what the problem to nostalgia is? All it does is reminds us of a time when we were more easily amused and enjoyed what we considered the best standard of our time. An FPS that mirrors exactly what Doom 95 was would be horrible and anyone that can get over their worthless nostalgia would see that.”

      Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

      Also, OBJECTION!

      And this is why:
      link to youtube.com
      It’s faster, move violent and louder than any FPS to be released in the past ten years. It also has a great many enemy types packed into a single 5-minute level, and infinitely more variety than ‘Man With Hitscan Gun’, which makes up 90% of enemies today. Doom hasn’t just aged well – it makes a lot of todays shooters look dull.

    • AgamemnonV2 says:

      “I almost thought you were serious up until this.”

      Yes, because in a game where weapons are overburdened on a character to simply just collect ammo for all weapons and then easily switch over to another when you’re out of ammo on one of them is simply the pinnacle to a challenging mechanic. I know it’s hipster to boo modern shooters that do this but I’m glad I no longer have to streak the line of numbers on my keyboard every time I needed a weapon that one enemy was particularly weak to.

      “It’s faster, move violent and louder than any FPS to be released in the past ten years. It also has a great many enemy types packed into a single 5-minute level, and infinitely more variety than ‘Man With Hitscan Gun’, which makes up 90% of enemies today. Doom hasn’t just aged well – it makes a lot of todays shooters look dull.”

      So you want a five minute game you can play while you’re on Speed? No thanks. Best of luck to you and your ADD.

    • Dominic White says:

      Well, now you’re just blatantly trolling. And incoherently, too.

  12. diebroken says:

    For the old id Software to reunite to make it, so John Carmack, John Romero, Adrian Carmack, Tom Hall, …

  13. Necroscope says:

    My number 1 want for Doom 4 is to bring back the spider mastermind!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Fast brutal addictive gameplay, guns from 1 to 0 on my keyboard, thrash metal soundtrack like this link to youtube.com ,shit scary enemies, tons of enemies on screen, dark areas only to link together fuck off huge areas full of demons, MASSIVE fun.

  14. Shooop says:

    Some open exploration inter-cut with the corridors. It is Doom, and the claustrophobia is essential to most of its level design. But some optional free roaming with rewards for doing so would be a nice way to change up the pace and keep modern players interested. Seeing parts of a colonized Mars complete with plant life and lived-in cities being turned into hell under your feet would be excellent.

    Going to Earth would be even more ridiculously awesome.

    No more ridiculous monster spawns. The Sideshow Bob and the rakes thing do not apply to monster spawns – it does not become surprising or fun again after the first 3-4 times no matter what. We’re interacting with it, not just watching.

    Intelligent use of shadows. Yes they create atmosphere and tension, but DO NOT use them in rooms full of monsters. Having “things” making sounds in the dark can be pants-shittingly terrifying because of the power of suggestion. But gun battles in the dark are retarded.

    Bring back some of the old-school feeling of power by making the basic enemies weaker and making them more numerous.

    Keep the sound logs. Being able to listen to the story while navigating the game instead of being trapped in cutscenes was brilliant.

    Creative and darkly humorous NPC deaths.

    Blood. Enemies didn’t flash and disappear, they exploded into blood pudding. And we loved it. The Brutal Doom mod proves this can easily be applied with location-based damage even on a engine made in 1993. Solider of Fortune 1 and 2 went by without everyone turning into serial killers, so what excuse could there be for not bringing back the old ultraviolence iD?

  15. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    For a far better developer to make the game, one with experience in horror-action titles like the makers of the infinitely-better-than-anything-Id-has-done-since-… well Doom was pretty revolutionar- oh wait, Ultima Underworld was far more technically amazing, being able to look up and down, have objects, diagonal walls, floor and ground textures and physics before Doom? Okay so the revolutionary-for-shooters Doom. Anyway, the developers of the excellent and fun Dead Space 2 or Valve using a great engine that doesn’t use horribly inefficient and blurry megatextures.

    I would like it for the gameplay to be diverse… have massive up to 200 against one, L4D-esque moments where you must tear down dozens upon dozens of demons with rockets in cavernous bio-domes, but also parts which are emergent stealth-or-action moments where you’re fighting against corrupt UAC soldiers and mercenaries, slower paced moments which show monstrosity can especially human… but especially 200 FUCKING DEMONS on screen at once with destructible environments with parts can electrocute, detonate, catch-fire or cause a limited vacuum.

    Also in both parts of the game there should be dynamic civilians, semi-scripted NPCs which interplay with both the soldiers and demon-spawn, getting possessed, being innocent bystanders forcing you to do horrible things due to the blast-radius of your weapons, acting as distractions, possible allies, adding atmosphere in their insanity or direct aid.

    The levels must be non-linear, complex and there should actually be a good story because this isn’t 1993. Obviously outside of the larger demon-invasion there should be a personal story, something where you have a stake in losing your humanity because you once had it.

    Importantly; tonnes of weapons of weapons. Moddable to the extreme (like Call of Pripyat meets Deus Ex: Human Revolution) and with sounds and looks as satisfying as post-coital cannabis.

    Finally; Hell, Hellspawn and Hellish features must be surrealistic, we’re not just talking grand Heironymous Bosch artworks, how about Dali experiencing a nervous breakdown? No generic fire and brimstone bullshit, cool blues, purples, greens, blacks, weird under-water like alien features which are as mesmerising as they are deadly parts of the environment.

    At the end the main character goes crazy from everything he’s seen and done and imagines he’s in a Giorgio De Chirco landscape… the player walks around for a bit and as soon as they realise there’s nothing to do, they press escape and there’s a line of text you’re in a UAC mental institution set up for the survivors of this.

    TL;DR: A mind fuck with up to 200 zombies on screen, action-or-stealth elements for diversity against UAC soldiers, tonnes of moddable weapons, non-linear, surrealistic environments and dynamic NPC interplay.

    • Dervish says:

      Ultima Underworld was far more technically amazing

      When did this sort of looking-down-the-nose at Doom in favor of Ultima Underworld become popular? I’ve seen it quite a lot recently.

      Yes, Ultima Underworld was technically very impressive and a great game to boot. This does not diminish Doom’s technical accomplishments (of which there were many) in the slightest. This kind of sneering “Doom was no big deal” attitude is completely unwarranted and I’m frankly confused as to where it’s been coming from, other than historical or technical ignorance.

    • scatterbrainless says:

      I would play the s**t out of that

  16. aircool says:

    The most taxing thing I want my brain to put up with when playing a Doom game is finding one of three coloured keycards.

    What made the orginal doom so great was the amount of bad guys you had to take on at one time. Anyone remember that room where you opened the door and were confronted by about a zillion Imps (or pac men if you had the ‘mod’).

    I like games with a lot of depth, but from time to time it’s nice to have a game that’s just shooting followed by more shooting without having to listen to audiologs and NPC’s etc…

  17. Tom Walker says:

    FAST gameplay. That’s what was so great about the first two. I don’t want the best tactic to be peering around corners wondering whether it’s safe. I want a game where you have to run around at Olympic sprinter speeds and don’t stop firing for five minutes at a time.

    Make more DOOM.

  18. ssbowers says:

    Let Valve make it.

    • Gary W says:

      Give Petersen/McGee/Romero the level design duties, with Treasure or Cave programming the graphics engine and effects. Meanwhile, EA/Bethesda does all the PR & marketing.

      Carmack can gather wool racing his Ferraris and building spaceships.

      Oh, did I mention secrets?

  19. Potunka says:

    I would turn Doom 4 into Mass Effect 4 and join the (modern) wave of 4-player co-op. Along with adding elements of weapon/item/loadout unlocks and perhaps some stat tweaking to add a metagame to some sort of persistent co-op.

    Doom too simple.

    Stupid to not include co-op in 3.

  20. shoptroll says:

    No regenerating health for starters. Or waist high walls / cover systems.

  21. lijenstina says:

    5 Flashlights on the Flashlight gun

  22. chargen says:

    Hopefully it will have Cover System, Health Regen, 2 Weapon Limits, Iron Sights, Epic Romances, Open World, New Paradigm, Synergy Building, Welcoming Difficulty, Evolving the Genre, Maturing the Medium, and Not Stuck in the Past Things Have Changed. Then it will be Just Like Everything Else. And I will be So Happy.

  23. akiro says:

    I want ID to realize they are not good with creativity. They need to get a better vision.

    Ever since the crushing disappointment of Quake (for me), I feel their games are nothing more than brown-hued adventures in generic apocalypticVille. Remember Quake’s original story? Norse gods fighting with hammers! That was going to be great. Instead we got a generic doom with a crappy, barely referenced villain.

    Doom was original. It did well because it was alone in the industry, but also because it told a story. Its levels had elements of rust & fire (that apocalyptic crap), but it also had brightly lit labs, warehouses, open skies with mountains. Both were used appropriately to get the player into the story.

    Quake & Doom 4 were nothing more than tech-demos to me … a complete letdown in terms of story. “lets imagine a future with no lights”. I can’t remember more than 2 scenes in Doom 4. On the other hand, I know every inch of Doom 1. Sure, I played it a thousand times, but I can also immediately remember the feeling-state, the music, the lighting and the monsters. Doom was like Bioshock to me – an experience unique and creative. I didn’t even bother picking up Rage – generic.

    Id needs to get a story worthy of their engine.

  24. rocketman71 says:

    More Doom 2, less Doom 3.

    But after seeing Rage, I seriously doubt id’s capacity.

  25. Yosharian says:

    It says volumes about the state of the industry that a heavyweight like id literally does not know what they are doing.

    What I want from Doom 4: a good game. They’re the fucking games developers; they need to pull their heads out of their asses and make a good game.

    Whether it’s old-school, innovative, simple or complex, just make it fucking good.

  26. Rane2k says:

    Oh, another thing I would want from DooM IIII

    A story that you can sum up in about 3 lines.
    DooM II´s story basically was:
    “Demons from Hell come to earth.
    Space Marine guy fights them for 30 levels.”
    That´s all I need.

    Gameplaywise pretty much the same.
    DooM II starts with you looking at (and killing) the first 2 enemies, and it ends right when the final boss explodes.
    Basically a “no fat” shooter, consisting only of fighting monster and navigating the levels, but these two bits must be VERY good. :-)

    (Yes, they are allowed to skip some of the frustrating key searching)

  27. Baytor says:


  28. n3burgener says:

    What I’d really like with Doom 4 is to be able to play it on my aging laptop.

  29. Sinkytown says:

    Spacious level design, an unending horde of hostile and cruelly positioned enemies, guns with perfect doomshotgun-esque friction that never need to be reloaded, instrumental thrash soundtrack provided by Slayer and a constant, driving sense of crunch and momentum. Hell-on-mars setting played to a juvenile and awesome extreme.

  30. Hoaxfish says:

    Has anyone made a Metroidvania in the style of an FPS?

    • Rane2k says:

      I can´t think of one at the moment, but a game like Heretic or Hexen with it´s hub-styled level structure would work I guess. Just have the player unlock new and interesting powers that allow him access to other parts of the map.

      Come to think of it, Crysis would be a good candidate for something like this, hadn´t they decided to go linear corridor shooter instead.

      … great, now I want a game like that and can´t have it. :-)

    • Nick says:

      Uh.. Metroid Prime series? =)

    • Rane2k says:

      Oops. :-)

      (tough it´s not on PC)

  31. alundra says:

    Kotaku reports it’s been put on hold by zenimax media.

  32. Hatsworth says:

    Fast past skill based deathmatch multiplayer.

  33. scatterbrainless says:

    Use the Doom 4 name, guaranteeing that you will sell a gazillion copies, then secretly develop a smart, innovative first person simulation, set in a giant open world, with amazing writing, and voice-acting, solid shooter mechanics, a tense stealth system, plenty of inventory management and crafting, a focus upon emergent gameplay, a non-binary morality system that integrates gameplay and choice, and a mise en scene approaching Stalker-like immersion. Or something like.

  34. BoZo says:

    They should borrow some mindfuckery from the Prey game. Walking on walls, shrinking, etc.

  35. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    Have anyone mentioned that Painkiller is the real Doom 3 yet?

  36. realisticdoom4craver says:

    I’d like to see more realism in Doom4 in terms of carrying capacity and fighting. Despite that we need much ammo to fight the demons, I don’t want the game character to be able to carry a gazillion of bullets for the machinegun,pistol and chaingun,nor i want to see the game character pack up to 50 grenades boatloads of plasma,and ten-fucking-tons of shotgun shells. Why? Because it makes the gameplay TOO unrealistic,which in turn ruins the game a little,IMHO. It would be much more interesting,if you could carry only 2-3 guns + a few grenades,and there would be a clip reloading system like in SWAT 4,where you can have only a few clips for each gun. It would make the game even MORE realistic in terms of the fighting system. Well,also the game would get harder. But!! With all that,to keep the game still fun, playable,and not TOO hard,the developers could add some innovations into the fighting system:

    1. – Greater damage/fatal strike(to, at least, the regular enemies), when hitting an enemy’s head,groin,or some other sensitive and vital spot,with those spots being not too hard to hit.

    2 – Critical shots which make increased damage.

    3 – Reduce the elements of horror a bit,and make those horror moments more tasty.

    4 – Introduce a more interesting,more fun way of fighting the enemies hand-to-hand/melee. Having only fists to strike with is too limiting. Having more options is more fun. That’s why i think that,the developers could introduce the ability to make some kicks,elbow tackles,and maybe even some blocks and throws. It does not have to be the advanced stuff. After all – It’s DOOM,not Mirror’s Edge. And by the way,the ability to cripple enemies would be welcome in DOOM 4 too,just like in the BRUTAL DOOM. But not so much,of course. It’s not a BRUTAL DOOM copy.

    5 – If someone still wants to keep the ability to carry 10+ guns,then a quick-access backpack could be introduced,which let’s you quickly access your other guns.

    That’s what i think. Some of you might totally disagree with me,but I’m sure,that including at least some of my suggestions would already make the game cooler. :)

  37. realisticdoom4craver says:

    Oh,and yes… The Doomguy should have some sort of personality. That would be cool too.