Doom Preview at QuakeCon - A Call Back to Origins

By Published July 18, 2014 at 10:12 am

Doom is a prime example of an FPS; the series created many mechanics used today in modern games, and a community has risen around Doom that exists even to this day. This year at Quakecon, one of the most-anticipated events was the preview of the newest Doom game -- simply named “Doom.” The unveil did not disappoint in the slightest.

Id software talked for a bit about it, showed a short trailer, some screenshots, and then two real time gameplay demos. Unfortunately, recordings and photography were prohibited for the gameplay demo, and of the screenshots they showed, but we wrote down everything we saw -- ranging from the definite to the speculative.

One part of Doom that is definitely apparent in this demo is the classic fast, no-hiding style gameplay that is unique to Doom; this seems to encourage head-on attacks and dodging. The developers put a lot of emphasis on retaining a classic Doom gameplay experience, just improved. Doom does not seem to want to hold your hand, either. There are large counts of enemies in battles -- and they hit hard -- allowing for more unique gameplay with both sides being quite squishy, but dealing high damage. Another aspect of gameplay is a bit more terrifying than even the Doom 1 “Barney” mod: Demons can climb. That’s right - demons can climb onto boxes (as can the player), which was shown in a boss fight with a minotaur-like demon, but we cannot confirm that other demons can climb or what demons can climb on.

There also appears to be no lack of weapons. In the demos alone, the player used a classic double-barrel shotgun, machine gun, rocket launcher, and chainsaw. Doom also includes multiple killing cinematics, including special ones for bosses. This looks great, but may become repetitive and annoying like they can in other games. One cinematic that stuck out was when the player killed a very large, fat demon and pulled out its heart, then promptly shoved it down the demon’s throat. Naturally, this was followed by its neck and stomach exploding as if there were a cherry bomb inside of it.

The demons in Doom are quite detailed. Some feature lasers and other guns on their forearms, others are unique boss demons that are each very different from one another. The loot is handled in a fairly simple way: killed enemies drop health packets and other loot, which is automatically picked up when encountered; dead bodies and boxes may also contain items. One such example of loot in a box was a rocket launcher -- what else would you keep in a box? After looting the rocket launcher, the devs used the weapon dial to switch to the newfound toy; this revealed that time slows (but does not stop) when switching weapons.

The setting of Doom has been unknown up until now, but it is now confirmed to be at a “massive” UAC research center on Mars that has just been invaded by the forces of hell. Don’t worry -- it doesn’t need to make much sense.


Now onto graphics. The graphics in Doom were fantastic -- the lighting, lava, and atmosphere are all done very well and really pull players into the hellish landscape of Doom without looking too unreal. Id did not neglect the blood and gore in Doom; there’s still plenty of blood and guts (and blood) to satisfy even the most brutal of players. The atmosphere actually reminded me of Metro: Last Light mixed with Dead Space, with some demons sprinkled on for extra fun. The Doom demo seemed to also show a linear / railroaded playthrough, but with some areas to explore and allow secrets in the game. Doom is to be released on the Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

DOOM Speculation & Observations

One of the more speculative aspects about Doom that we saw (but can’t confirm due to how the game was played) includes native Xbox controller support on PC. More interestingly, air, temperature, and other meters were shown for a split-second upon entering the outside of Mars, which may mean that these will be critical resources in the final game. One interesting mechanic could be a stealth option; when the player entered a room with demons feeding on bodies, they did not notice or attack until the player shot them a second or two later.

The developers also noted that “1080p and constant 60 FPS” are important to them for Doom, which may mean consoles will get 1080p and 60FPS.

Finally, the last largest bit of speculative information is that the giant horned minotaur-looking demon is the final boss. The BBEG is seen in the teaser trailer and the end of the demo.

Doom looks to be shaping-up as an amazing game despite its early development. Even without having a release date, the game still looks polished and looks to be approaching beta stages, but telling is hard due to the short demos.

Id looks to be focusing on the origins of Doom, giving previous Doom players something familiar, yet new and fun.

- Michael "The Bear" Kerns.

Michael Kerns

Michael Kerns first found us when GN's Editor-in-Chief was tirelessly answering questions on reddit pertaining to a new product launch, likely after the Editor had stayed up all night writing the news post. Michael offered a tired Editor reprieve, taking over the role of questions-answerer-extraordinaire when it was most needed. These days, Michael can be found pulling his mechanical keyboard collection apart and building Frankenstein's Monster-like monsters of keyboards. Michael wrote the vast majority of our mechanical keyboard dictionary and is an expert in keyboards.

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