After a number of ventures that took him from an ill-fated N-Gage Red Faction spin-off to an ill-fated Gauntlet sequel, Doom co-creator (with locks that flow like choruses from the mouths of angels) John Romero is eyeing his old-school bread-and-butter. Speaking with Eurogamer, he described his previously hinted at shooter as a “MMO-ish” and “PC first.” I like both of those things. Let us hope his new game is fated to be ill in the colloquial, “that was totally ill” sense and not the one that’s, er, more commonly come to be associated with John Romero.
Granted, it’s nowhere near seductively caressing our hard drives just yet, but apparently Romero’s already figured out what sort of shape this thing will take. He explained:
“I don’t want to talk about the details but I already know what it is. I’ve already kind of designed the thing and it’s pretty cool – though of course, I am going to say that. I think it’s a neat design, I haven’t seen the design anywhere else… It’s a persistent game, it has persistent player data, the character grows and gets better over time.”
“You will be playing the game as you would expect a shooter to feel, but the specifics of your situation, narrative wrapper and reward system are all unique. I wouldn’t want to give out any specifics until I’m close to shipping it. I’ve learned my lesson about talking too soon about specific game features and release dates.”
He added, however, that modern Gears-of-War-style shooters aren’t really his cover-based cup of tea, noting that he’d prefer to focus on speed, movement, and exploration. Those are other things that I like.
So Romero promises big again, but will he be able to deliver? Will he even get around to delivering? I don’t know, but I can’t entirely begrudge him for his splotchy past. I feel like he is, to a lesser extent, akin to a Peter Molyneux; both dream up ambitious ideas that they can’t help but blab about. Sure, Daikatana was a mess, but it was an interesting mess – the chunky brain spew of a man who didn’t want to believe shooters of the time had limits. Ultimately, it became one of the biggest flops of all time for that reason, but damned if I’m not glad Romero tried.