Bethesda’s in-house content team follows id Creative Director Hugo Martin’s fast paced playthrough of several Doom levels, introducing several new gameplay details.
Up to this point Bethesda has remained surprisingly quiet regarding much of Doom‘s core gameplay. Their single-player gameplay trailer shown in early February was the first content showcased in what must have been months. In other words, details regarding the core gameplay of Doom remain sparse.
Today Bethesda’s in-house content team, essentially a marketing team producing producing editorial content not unlike independent websites, released an article giving a closer look at those gameplay systems. Through playing the game themselves and watching Doom Creative Director Hugo Martin play through different parts of the game, author Gary Steinman offers a deeper look at Doom than likely provided before. Why is his look “deeper?” Being a part of the Bethesda team, Gary’s clearly prioritizing detailing the ideas and features that Bethesda and id want players to know about.
The video feature puts a heavy priority on reinforcing the idea of gameplay being fast in terms of its movement, something the development team calls “flick switching” weapon swaps, and the progression system. Yes, the first details regarding the single-player progression system were also briefly introduced. Full details on the system will likely wait for a more focused piece of content, however. For now, the developers teased upgrades that increase speed or defense and widen the player’s resource vacuum.
The article also focused quite a bit on the strategic elements of gameplay, suggesting this new game moves away from the straight forward simplicity of the original Doom‘s gunplay. Don’t take that the wrong way, though. It’s clear that id wants their Doom reboot to clearly shout its classic inspiration. The Cacodemon’s change to a green eye with purple haze-filled mouths is evidence of that. It’s just surprising to hear Bethesda and id talk about Doom‘s gameplay in such a way.
“It’s a hallmark of DOOM to have enemies that are effectively like chess pieces.” … “You become your own fight choreographer while playing DOOM.”
Chess and choreography aren’t two terms often, if ever, used to describe Doom. Yet even if Marty’s exaggerating a bit too much, the idea does come across. id wants gameplay in Doom to flow and involve quick tactical decision-making, but never to force the player into situations where the action grinds to a halt.
It’s unlikely Bethesda is going to have trouble selling the moment-to-moment action of Doom to players, which continues to be the focus of their marketing it seems. Rather, it will be the depth of their level design, the exploration including puzzles (colored key cards, anyone?), and the value of the experience as a whole — whether that be as a story or as an experience that escalates in intensity from start to finish. Obviously those are hard notes to hit with consumable marketing content, but no one said rebooting a beloved franchise was going to be easy.
Doom is scheduled for release on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on May 13.