In the days following QuakeCon 2014, a hellstorm of conversation about the upcoming Doom reboot has picked up speed. Specifically, the old-school atmosphere that Id Software intends to bring back to a franchise that has lost some steam over the years. Many who attended QuakeCon this past weekend have commented on the brutality of the game, as well as the appearance of original baddies and weapons alongside updated gameplay.
Having not witnessed the 15-minute in-game demo ourselves, we have only our imaginations to work with. That said, Game Rant has created a list of the six most crucial things we would like to see return from The Ultimate Doom and Doom II: Hell on Earth. Ready to get knee-deep in the dead? Check it out!
Traps and Exploding Barrels
In the winter of 1993, Doom set a standard for first-person shooters, and redefined interactive horror. The secret? Atmosphere. Enough to fill the bowels of Hell with. This atmosphere came from things like traps, puzzles, and exploding barrels — a staple of the series that is still used in FPS titles to this day. The latter however was particularly useful for expending baddies who got too close.
A couple rounds into a nearby barrel full of irradiated ooze would send gibs flying. The map "Barrels o' Fun" in Doom II was even dedicated to this effect, and involved lighting off and escaping a domino effect of exploding barrels. There's no question in our minds that Id's new Doom should keep this around.
Of course, adding to the ambiance of the game is the way levels twist, turn, and teach the player the ropes without a single tutorial or pop-up notification. The fluidity of Doom's level design was unmatched back in 1993, and things like secret areas and hidden power-ups were found the old-fashioned way: by searching every nook and cranny of every level.
The color scheme was also indicative of the time in which the game was created, achieving a realistic, dark and brooding atmosphere without resorting to color desaturation. The full spectrum of color was present here, and each level stood out based on its style and use of color. We hope that Id stays true to their roots in this regard.
One thing that has kept the original Doom games alive is the clever addition of a score system, grounded in fast-paced arcade game roots. Finishing a level under par was only half the battle; there were secrets to find and a finite number of enemies to kill in each level, opening the door to various types of exciting speedruns. Id knew this would be an aspect of the game unlike any other, and even included a method to record gameplay specifically for this purpose.
Since 1999, the very first level of the original game (E1M1) has a record speedrun time of just 9 seconds — in the hardest difficulty, to boot. If there's anything that's going to keep players pumped to play through the same kinds of levels in a Doom reboot, it's bringing back the scoring system from the original games. Well, that and some serious metal.
Lots of Metal
There are few moments in gaming history that can match the first adrenaline-pumping seconds of the original Doom. With a few guitar notes and a kick-ass bassline, the very first level of the game is immediately impressive, and it's all thanks to composer Bobby Prince. Id captured the essence of horror-driven, first-person action by providing hellish visuals, but Prince took it a step further by looking to the likes of Metallica, Slayer, and AC/DC for inspiration.
Much of the music found in the game can easily be compared to heavy metal songs of the time, and it only helped to thrust players deeper into an already immersive experience. For anyone who grew up with 90's PC software, nothing felt quite as good as mowing down baddies with a BFG9000 and an earful of Pantera. Speaking of which...
The biggest, baddest weapon in the galaxy, the "Big F***ing Gun" defined 'shock and awe' when players first stumbled on it in the original games. There are only a handful in the entire first game alone, and for good reason: it can lay waste to nearly every single enemy in a room in a single hit.
While other weapons rely on either sheer force of will or rapid firing speed, the BFG smashes through baddies with ease, and has become something of a legend in video game culture. Its use in online deathmatch mode is somewhat contested, but that never stopped players from using it to wreak havoc in competitive games.
Despite its immense power, there are two specific enemies who can survive a point-blank shot of BFG plasma: the Cyberdemon, and...
The Spider Mastermind
Enter the big daddy of the entire legion of hellspawn: The Spider Mastermind (or Spiderdemon for short). Equipped with a rapid fire chaingun that is nearly impossible to stop, this beast is the final boss of the original Doom, and can survive up to three hits with the aforementioned BFG. Mecha-Hitler from Wolfenstein 3D, take a seat.
The Spiderdemon pops up a few times in the original games, the most notable of which is actually during a confrontation with a Cyberdemon in one of the later Doom II levels — yikes! Despite its popularity, however, it did not appear in Doom 3, leaving fans to speculate whether the Mastermind will pop up in the upcoming reboot. We sincerely hope so.
BONUS: John Romero On a Stick
Fans of Doom II will know that the final boss, the Icon of Sin, is actually a clever easter egg; game designer John Romero's head on a spit. While it's sadly clear that the upcoming Doom reboot is completely out of the hands of the core team who conceived the original game, many fans still hope for a cameo, a reference — anything to keep their spirit alive in the game.
We hope that despite legal battles and several key players parting ways with the company, Id Software and Zenimax will give credit where credit is due.
Doom and Doom II: Hell on Earth were immensely successful in their prime, and are still played to this day. Several modding communities still exist, pushing the limits of what is possible with Carmack's famous game engine. If Id Software in its current form has any hope in Hell of making their new Doom work, they'll need to take into consideration the things that made the originals successful.
Aside from (and possibly even more important than) these fan-picked suggestions, Id is going to have to create the tools allowing players to develop their own levels and modifications. Simply put: Doom just isn't Doom without its community.
Is there anything else you'd like to see in Id Software's upcoming reboot of their most beloved franchise? Let us know in the comments section below!