Doom, like its distant, more lurid relative, Duke Nukem 3D, exists in something of a cultural time warp whereby concerns regarding the level of wanton ultra-violence on show are allayed by a seemingly bottomless wellspring of nostalgia.
We’ve known that a new Doom has been in the offing for a while now, but until very recently it had only been shown behind closed doors to a select few. Rumours of a return to the fast-paced shooting of the original, as opposed to the ponderous, never ending corridors of Doom 3, have turned out to be only half true, based on the the game’s still oven-fresh public debut at this year’s E3.
My immediate reaction was that the new Doom (seemingly titled just that, for the moment) may well end up playing like a sped up Wolfenstein: New Order, which would be apt, considering the franchises’ shared heritage. As with New Order, there’s seemingly a conscious effort to keep things as old school as possible here, but on the flipside of the coin, a number of key concessions in terms of modern FPS staples, such as execution moves, scopes and enemies dropping goodies on death. At least you’ll still get to carry all of your weapons at once.
Fans expecting a pure, 90s-esque Doom experience were setting themselves up for disappointment; clearly there was always going to be some effort to court the mainstream. But my hope is that the game will offer a suitably entertaining middle ground between the classic and the contemporary; an Anti-CoD, if you will. Also, multiplayer might just end up being a surprise treat. Halo with an unholy twist? Yes, please.
Unfortunately, though, the demons themselves don’t look overly threatening at the time of writing, save for the pictured Revenant. Also, the Imps shown in the demo have seemingly been directly pasted in from Doom 3. Let’s hope they’re just placeholders, and that there’s a more liberal application of things to shoot by the time this one ships.