When it comes to first-person shooters, the Doom franchise is one of the most iconic. Seen by many as the most important series in FPS history, the original games helped define exactly what a first-person shooter was. Now, with the series set to once more hit store shelves in 2016, many gamers are watching gameplay trailers on tenterhooks to see exactly what the upcoming Doom can bring.
Not everyone is throwing caution to the wind, however. The game’s creators are aiming to make sure that 2016’s Doom will bring together elements from both modern and old-school shooters. In a recent interview with GameSpot, Bethesda’s Vice-President of Marketing Pete Hines and id’s Executive Producer Marty Stratton explained that Doom must not only remain faithful to the elements that made the original games a success, but also ensure the title can give modern shooters a run for their money.
As it stands, both Hines and Stratton seem frank about the status of the Doom series in contrast to its soon-to-be rivals. “id hasn’t made a game in the current pantheon of first-person shooters,” said Hines, stating that the Doom series would not be top of the list of the regular teenage gamer’s favorite games. “You can go to any sixteen-year-old at Quakecon and ask them what their favorite shooter is,” continued Hines, “and they’re going to say Call of Duty and Battlefield.”
That means Doom has an entire new generation of video game players to win over. According to Hines, id Software has to prove that its upcoming release is “true to Doom and still relevant to first-person shooters.” From the sounds of it, the development team is aiming to put entertainment value as top priority, rather than merely choices for nostalgia’s sake. “We let fun determine how decisions are made and what choices we make,” said Stratton, “not holding onto things from the past.”
Doom will not be entirely torn from its roots, however, with Stratton trying to walk the thin line between faithfulness and evolution. The executive producer has been speaking with Bethesda about its experience with Fallout 3 – another case of a classic series given a modernized release. “You always want to respect the game and that fondness for it,” said Stratton, “but at the same time we’ve looked ahead with every decision and every idea.” The executive producer, however, did go on to reiterate that the team is aiming to create “the best version of Doom.”
It remains to be seen just how close Doom will be to the franchise’s roots, and whether the title is able to successfully blend modern and classic FPS mechanics. Some may worry that the game will stray too far from the path – after all, Bethesda’s Fallout 3 may be well-loved, but it still has its critics within hardcore fans of the original Fallout games. Let’s hope that the title steers clear of the embarrassment of Duke Nukem Forever, and that Bethesda can continue its trend of relaunching id classics after the success of Wolfenstein: The New Order.