During Bethesda’s reveal of the DOOM reboot’s slick, gory, and speed-driven gameplay trailer at their E3 2015 Keynote Address, fans of id Software’s FPS franchise fawned over the footage with oohs and ahhs as the Marine — or “Doomguy” as some gamers call him — ripped his way through demons and hell-spawns with a shotgun, automatic rifle, and, of course, a chainsaw. In truth, the reception for the game has been so positive that some are going as far as to dub it a modern, revitalized old-school shooter.
However, the version of DOOM shown to fans at this year’s E3 wasn’t the first crack at reviving the long-dormant series. As a matter of fact, according to Pete Hines, Bethesda’s Vice President of PR & Marketing, an earlier iteration of the game existed that basically got cancelled due to it playing too similarly to military-esque first-person shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield.
In a video interview with Polygon, Hines mentions Bethesda’s dissatisfaction with what they had created and why the venture was terminated, saying:
“We weren’t happy with the game that was being made. We decided that it wasn’t DOOM enough and needed to be thrown out and started over. . . . You [could] probably close your eyes and imagine a ‘Call of Doom’ or a ‘BattleDoom’ game, where it starts to feel way too much like: ‘Wait, this doesn’t feel like DOOM, it feels like we’re playing some other franchise with a DOOM skin on it.'”
A snippet of leaked footage for the project entitled Doom 4 has appeared online, and as evidenced in the above video — that is, if it isn’t taken down before the writing of this article — Hines is right. It looks nothing like a game that should bear the DOOM title. The video features a large encampment of soldiers attempting to, presumably, survive against wretched monsters in a decimated city-scape. If anything, the work-in-progress resembles a post-apocalyptic war game in the vein of other shooters, like the previously mentioned Call of Duty series, or even Bethesda’s Rage.
Hines also laments Doom 4‘s cancellation due to the unfortunate byproduct of a lot of people leaving the studio entirely. And honestly, it couldn’t have been easy for the remaining staff to keep their hopes up during the mass exodus. However, Bethesda‘s VP of PR & Marketing realizes that the decision to trash Doom 4 was necessary, as he summarizes its faults, saying, “the combat was more disconnected, you almost found yourself taking cover at times and using things from other FPSes, which might be fine for them, but for DOOM it just doesn’t feel right.”
In light of the news, it’s obvious that Bethesda and id Software are dedicated to doing whatever they can to craft a DOOM reboot that not only reinvigorates the franchise — such as including the innovative SnapMap mode — but also retains all of the grisly and over-the-top elements that made the game a classic in the first place. Bearing that in mind, fans can rest easy knowing that the series is in good hands.
DOOM is being developed for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, and is set to release sometime in Spring 2016.