Doom 4 has allegedly been in production for nearly five years. The game was officially announced at QuakeCon in 2008, but has remained relatively stealthy ever since. Now, Doom fanboys are going probably going to crucify me after they read this, but I'm having a very difficult time convincing myself to be excited.
Yes, I understand that Doom is one of the most important titles in video game history. In fact, one could easily argue that, aside from Wolfenstein 3D, it is the most important title for the FPS genre. So, its place in the video game history books is not lost on me.
However, historical importance eventually succumbs to technological advances, and I'm starting to wonder why the Doom franchise hasn't met the same fate as incandescent light bulbs, pay phones, and The Dave Matthews Band.
Let me be clear, I'm not saying that Doom 4 is destined for mediocrity; I'm just wondering how much of the gaming community still cares about the Doom franchise. Any game can be revamped into excellence given the right development team, but gamers have evolved past nearly every one of Doom's fundamental features. We don't want a brainless single-player campaign that's defined by an indefinite gib count. And we really don't care about deathmatch anymore. Sure, there are some old schoolers that still like to mix in an occasional round of deathmatch, but it's definitely not the modern day gamer’s mode of choice.
Plus, there are other games out there that have a rock solid deathmatch component on top of everything that the modern day gamer cares about. Halo 4 and Black Ops 2 come to mind immediately, but these games obviously cater to a much different type of gamer than Doom 4.
But that's my point.
Does the Doom 4 enthusiast even exist these days? Or is id Software hopping that everyone who remembers the glory days of Doom 2 and 3 will come out of the woodwork for the next incarnation? This would make Doom 4 the official game of suburban dads, and that seems like a fairly depressing distinction.
Plus, id's gaming philosophy has barely changed since they invented the deathmatch in 1993. Every single one of their games is basically Doom 2 with in a fancy new outfit. Doom, Quake, and Rage are the biggest titles in the id catalog, and they're nearly all identical: brainless single-player campaigns with explosion-filled deathmatch components.
You could probably argue that the Wolfenstein franchise breaks away from id's formula, and you'd be right, but the Wolfenstein universe is far more diverse, and the gib count was never a defining feature.
Part of me is hoping that I'm completely wrong. Over the weekend, a rumor surfaced that speculated on Doom 4's prospective arrival on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox 720. And I can't think of a better game to test the next generation of hardware. But, at the end of the day, I don't really care about graphics, and if that's the only thing that separates Doom 4 from the competition, I'm ready to relegate Doom to the history books and move on.
Tell me why I’m wrong. I can take it.
Date: January 8, 2013