Doom (2016 video game)
|Programmer(s)||Billy Ethan Khan|
|Engine||id Tech 6|
Doom (stylized as DOOM) is a first-person shooter video game developed by id Software and published by Bethesda Softworks. A reboot of the Doom series, it is the fourth title in the main series and the first major installment therein since the release of Doom 3 in 2004. The game was released worldwide on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on May 13, 2016. The game is powered by id Tech 6.
The game is played entirely from a first-person perspective, with players taking the role of an unnamed marine, as he battles demonic forces from Hell that have been unleashed by the Union Aerospace Corporation on a future-set colonized planet Mars. The gameplay returns to a faster pace with more open-ended levels, closer to the first two games rather than the slower survival horror approach taken by Doom 3. It also features environment traversal, character upgrades, and the ability to perform executions on enemies known as "glory kills". The game also supports an online multiplayer component and a level editor known as "SnapMap", both co-developed with id Software by Certain Affinity[a] and Escalation Studios respectively.
Originally announced as Doom 4 in 2008, the game underwent an extensive development cycle with different builds and designs before being restarted in 2011 and revealed as simply Doom in 2014. The old version of the game was described as "Call of Doom", while the new version was inspired by rock and roll. The game was tested both by people who pre-ordered another Bethesda game, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and by the general public. Mick Gordon composed the music for the game, with additional music contributed by Ben F. Carney, Chris Hite and Chad Mossholder.
Despite receiving negative criticism during the beta period, Doom was very well received by critics and players; the single-player campaign, graphics, and gameplay were praised, whereas the multiplayer mode drew the most criticism. The game was the second best-selling video game in North America and the UK a few weeks after its release, and sold over 500,000 copies for PCs within the same time period.
Doom's single-player mode has "badass demons, big effing guns, and moving really fast" as key principles, according to id Software Executive Producer Marty Stratton. Throughout levels of industrial and corporate fields of a Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) research facility on Mars and then of Hell, as the combat system puts emphasis upon momentum and speed, the game allows players to perform movements such as double-jumps and ledge-climbs. The approach is known as "push-forward combat", which discourages the players, playing from the "Doom Slayer"'s perspective, from taking cover behind obstacles or resting to regain health. Players instead collect health and armour pick-ups by killing enemies. "Glory Kills" is a newly introduced melee execution system wherein, when enough damage has been dealt to an enemy, the game will highlight it and allow the player to perform a quick and violent melee takedown as well as reward the player with extra health.
The game features a large arsenal of weapons which can be collected and freely switched by players throughout the game and require no reloading. Weapons that are recurrent throughout the series, including the super shotgun and BFG 9000, make a return. However, in the case of the latter, the BFG only has a very small ammunition capacity but is extremely powerful. Similarly, the chainsaw returns, but has been reintroduced as a special-use weapon that relies upon fuel, but can be used to instantly cut through enemies and provide a greater-than-normal drop of ammunition for the player.
Many enemies from the original games such as the Revenant, Pinky, Mancubus, and Cyberdemon also return, with many also redesigned. Doom's campaign was made to be over 13 hours long, and the "Ultra-Nightmare" difficulty level features permadeath, which causes the savegame to be lost once the player dies. The campaign also features 13 maps.
Many of the levels have multiple pathways and open areas, which allow players to explore and find collectibles and secrets throughout the levels. Many of these collectibles can be used as part of Doom's progression system, including weapon mods, rune powers and Praetor Suit upgrades. Weapon points, which come from field drones, allow the player to unlock alternate modes of fire for many weapons, such as explosive shots and different rate and output of firepower. Each of the weapons' firing modes can be further upgraded using weapon tokens, and they can only be maxed out by completing a challenge related to the use of said firing mode. Runes, once found, transport the player to a separate arena to perform a combat challenge that, when successfully completed, grants different abilities such as better equipment drops from fallen enemies. Players can also upgrade their "Praetor Suit" by increasing health, armor, ammunition by retrieving special tokens from dead marines. Other pickups include small Doomguy figurines and data files that expand on the characters and story.
Additionally, each of the game's levels contains a hidden lever that opens an area that is an extract of a classic level from the original Doom or Doom II. Finding each of these areas unlocks them, making them accessible from the game's main menu in a section called Classic Maps.
In Doom's multiplayer mode, several modes, such as team deathmatch and its variation "Soul Harvest", as well as freeze tag, warpath (King of the Hill with a moving 'hill'), domination, and "Clan Arena" (team last man standing with no pickups), exist within the game. Players can also use power-ups and teleporters in a multiplayer match. They can pick up a pentagram, one of the power-ups featured, to transform into and fight as a demon. There are four demons available initially in the game, each of which has different abilities: the Revenant, the Baron of Hell, the Mancubus, and the Prowler. At launch, the game featured nine maps.
Players will be granted experience points upon each match. After they have collected sufficient experience points, players can level up, by which new armor, skins, weapons, and power-ups would be unlocked for players to use. Both the player character and weapon can be customized extensively by applying new skins and colors onto them. In addition, players can receive hack modules while playing the game, which are special abilities that can only be used once after they are collected. There are six types of modules. Scout reveals the locations of all enemies to the player for a limited time after respawning, while Vital Signs shows all enemies' health. Retribution allows players to track their last killer by showing their health and location, while Power Seeker guides players to the power weapon pickup in the game. The Resupply Timer, meanwhile, shows the respawn time of the power-up items. Players can also perform taunts in the game's multiplayer.
Level creation tool
Doom includes a built-in level creation tool called "SnapMap" that allows players to create and edit maps with their own structure and game logic. With SnapMap, players can create maps for different modes, ranging from single-player levels, to co-operative or competitive multiplayer maps. When players are building a level, the game will shift to a top-down view. Players can place rooms and hallways to form a level, and connect them together. If they are not connected together, the color of the construction pieces changes to notify the player. Players can also access the X-ray camera, which temporarily removes all the walls to allow players to view the objects inside. Players can also place enemies into their maps, with the exception of the campaign's bosses. Their artificial intelligence and stats, and the player's own movement speed can also be modified. Players can also add additional particle effects, lighting effects, and other gameplay items like health packs and ammo pick-ups into their creations. Only in-game assets can be used, and players can not create or import their own models into the game. Levels can be tested before they are published online.
For players who do not wish to create extensively, the game features an AI conductor which automatically generates enemies. Players will receive "snap points" after they create a level, or play a level created by other users. These points can be used to unlock additional cosmetic items. Players can share their completed maps with other players. They can upvote or downvote and even modify other players' content and share them while citing the originals' authors.
Doom is set in a research facility on Mars owned by the Union Aerospace Corporation. The director of the facility is Samuel Hayden, whose mind now inhabits an android body after he lost his original one to brain cancer. The researchers attempted to draw energy from Hell in order to solve an energy crisis on Earth. This was done with the Argent Tower, which not only siphons energy from Hell, but allows travel to and from there. Hayden has already led multiple expeditions into Hell, bringing back captive demons and artifacts for study. One artifact was a sarcophagus containing the Doom Slayer, whom the demons imprisoned after his rampage through Hell.
The facility has been invaded by demons after one of its scientists, Olivia Pierce, made a pact with them and opened a portal to Hell. In desperation, Samuel Hayden releases the Doom Slayer from his sarcophagus to repel the demonic invasion and close the portal. The Doom Slayer fights his way through the overrun facility and makes several excursions into Hell. He steals a magical blade called "the Crucible", which he then uses to destroy the portal's power source. He shortly comes across Pierce, who transforms into the monstrous Spider Mastermind, and kills her. Upon the Doom Slayer's return to Mars, Hayden confiscates the Crucible, which he plans to use in his research. Despite all that has happened, Earth is too desperate for energy to give up. To prevent the Doom Slayer from interfering, Hayden teleports him to an undisclosed location, saying that they will meet again.
As Doom 4
The game was officially announced to be in production back in May 2008 after John Carmack, then lead developer at id Software, had indicated so at QuakeCon on August 3, 2007. The CEO of id Software, Todd Hollenshead, suggested that, like Doom II: Hell on Earth, it would take place on Earth, and Carmack stated that it would feature gameplay more akin to the original Doom games rather than the horror-styled gameplay of Doom 3.
In 2008, John Carmack claimed that Doom 4 would look three times better than Rage even though it was intended to run at 30 frames per second on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, rather than the 60 that Rage was targeting. In its Windows version, Doom 4 was intended to run at 60 frames per second with state-of-the-art hardware. Carmack also stated that the game was running on the id Tech 5 game engine. In 2009, he revealed that the multiplayer component was being developed separately and would run at 60 frames per second. Carmack stated in 2011 that "you can't have 30 guys crawling all over you at 60 frames per second at this graphics technology level because it's painful."
In April 2009, Hollenshead said that Doom 4 was "deep in development". When asked whether Doom 4 would be a sequel, a reboot, or a prequel, his response was "It's not a sequel to Doom 3, but it's not a reboot either. Doom 3 was sort of a reboot. It's a little bit different than those." On June 23, 2009, ZeniMax Media, best known for Bethesda Softworks, acquired id Software and announced that all future id games would be published by Bethesda Softworks, including Doom 4 in addition to Rage and future Quake titles. id Software creative director Tim Willits announced that key releases would be much sooner and that the partnership with ZeniMax allowed id Software to have two teams exchanging information and each having a project in parallel development for the first time. Carmack added that, once Rage shipped, its development team would move to Doom 4 to speed up on that project. Doom 4 might also feature dedicated servers unlike Rage.
At the 2011 QuakeCon, Carmack mentioned that the new Doom would be using a new scripting language based upon C++ and called it "super-script". This so-called "super-script" is a subset of C++ with features such as scheduling and type safety. At the end of 2012, the team decided to make Doom 4 a reboot after all. In November 2013, Carmack left id Software to commit to his work at Oculus VR.
In April 2013, Kotaku published an exposé describing Doom 4 as trapped in "development hell". Citing connections to id, the article claimed that Doom 4 had suffered under mismanagement and that development was completely restarted in 2011. Inside sources described the pre-2011 version – which was to portray the uprising of Hell on Earth – as heavily scripted and cinematic, comparing it to the Call of Duty franchise. The pre-2011 version was criticized as mediocre, whereas the sources also described the new version as "lame" and a "mess". While Hollenshead initially stated that the Doom 4 team was doing something that fans would be happy with, id's Tim Willits criticized the game's lack of character in QuakeCon 2013. In July 2015, Marty Stratton similarly criticized Doom 4's lack of personality as id's primary reason to cancel the game as well as pointed out its close similarities to the Call of Duty franchise (hence the Call of Doom alias) and that the game did not match the product that id thought that people wanted.
In a 2016 video documentary by Noclip's Danny O'Dwyer, Creative Director of Doom (2016) Hugo Martin discusses the more realistic nature of the game by saying, "It was like Robert Zemeckis. See Contact, like, if this really happened. Now let's be clear: it was awesome. But it was more realistic. It was about the global impact of a Hellish invasion." The Creative Director of the Doom 4 prototype, Kevin Cloud, said in the same interview, "As far as the upper-level creative direction, that was me driving that. And honestly, again, taking it in a direction I don't think the fans would have enjoyed."
After the game's redesign began, Willits revealed in August 2013 that the next game in the Doom franchise was still the team's focus although he did not make it clear whether the game was still meant to be titled Doom 4. British writer Graham Joyce was enlisted to write the game's story; Joyce, however, died in 2014, and Adam Gascoine was brought in as a replacement.
A teaser trailer of Doom was presented at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014 as well as on QuakeCon's website and on a new official Doom website. A more expansive trailer was unveiled at QuakeCon 2014 on July 17, wherein a closed presentation was made mainly to silence ongoing rumors of the project being in jeopardy. Also at QuakeCon 2014, id Software executive producer Marty Stratton, the host of the presentation, announced that Doom 4 was officially renamed as Doom for the reason that "it’s an origin game, reimagining everything about the originals". In light of Crytek's financial difficulties, it was announced that Tiago Sousa, head R&D graphics engineer at Crytek, was leaving to join the Doom and id Tech 6 engine team as a lead programmer.
Bethesda released a brief teaser trailer to promote gameplay being shown at E3 2015 on June 14, 2015; the trailer depicted the double-barreled shotgun and the Revenant, a monster returning to the game. On June 14, around 15 minutes of gameplay footage were shown at E3. Regarding the progression system, Marty Stratton thought that it was an important part of the game to have the ability of personalization and customization.
The greatest challenge that id Software experienced while developing the game was to create a game that could compete with other popular shooters such as Call of Duty and Battlefield, as they considered that the popularity of the Doom series among younger audiences is relatively low when compared to the aforementioned franchises, since the last installment in the series was released back in 2004. Another challenge that they encountered was to build a game that would be unique enough to establish its own identity, while "being faithful" to other games in the series. According to Stratton, in order to solve these challenges, the team consulted the game directors at Bethesda Game Studios, who he considered "[had gone] through the same thing when they were working on Fallout 3."
On July 2, 2015, Stratton revealed that the game would not take place on Earth unlike the canceled Doom 4 and that, unlike Doom 3 and inspired by the two originals, Doom would not take itself seriously and that it was being designed to be comic and "very juvenile almost in their approach". Director Hugo Martin later said that the game was heavily inspired by rock and roll and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and that its Hell-themed levels would feature much heavy metal. He also said that Doom's world was designed to have a certain level of personality and be "over the top"; the UAC industrial field was designed to be the massive underbelly of the corporation, the UAC corporate field zone was designed to be much cleaner in terms of splattered goriness than the other zones to prevent the feeling of repetition, and Stratton said that skulls were used in Hell as iconic elements and that the Titan's Realm zone was constructed from dead ancient, colossal demons. At QuakeCon 2015, it was announced that the game would run at 1080p and 60 frames per second on console, as they considered it "the most necessary graphical goal" which could effectively improve gameplay fluidity. According to Martin, the team did not put lots of emphasis upon the game's story, as they believed that it is not an important feature of the franchise. He later said that he knew that some fans would not like to see story be obstructive to the gameplay of a first-person shooter such as Doom and that players could optionally find codex entries for clues in order to fill the gaps with their own ideas and theorize about who the Doom Slayer is, from where he came, and why he is there.
According to Stratton and Martin, movement is the game's most important pillar as well as that glory kills accelerate the movement. As part of keeping the movement fast, the levels were designed along with the exclusion of reloading weapons to discourage players from hiding and reloading. On January 25, Stratton confirmed the game's feature of non-linear exploration and stated that combat is the game's focus and that the difficulty of the game was raised with the aim of creating an ultimate first-person shooter. On March 31, 2016, the release date of the Doom beta, a cinematic trailer directed by Joe Kosinski was created to evoke the game's three core pillars: incessant combat, terrifying demons, and powerful guns.
Doom's multiplayer was developed in conjunction with Certain Affinity, and SnapMap was developed in conjunction with Escalation Studios and designed to be powerful, to give players the opportunity to create their own content as part of the Doom and id legacies, to target those who have no experience or expertise in traditional modding, and to replace the aforementioned.
The music for Doom was composed by Mick Gordon, with additional contributions by Richard Devine. Gordon aimed to treat the game's original soundtrack with "utmost respect" while simultaneously modernizing it. He used seven- and eight-string guitars to give the music a lower tone, as well as using a nine-string guitar for the game's main theme, a variation on Bobby Prince's "E1M1" / "At DOOM's Gate" theme. The soundtrack would later win the Best Music / Sound Design award at The Game Awards 2016; Gordon, joined by Periphery drummer Matt Halpern and Quake II composer Sascha Dikiciyan (a.k.a. Sonic Mayhem), performed a short medley of the soundtracks "Rip and Tear" and "BFG Division" as well as Quake II's "Descent Into Cerberon" live at the awards show. The soundtrack was released in September 2016. It contains 31 tracks from the game, over 2 hours of music.
Release and marketing
On February 19, 2014, Bethesda revealed that access to a beta version of Doom 4, titled Doom, would be available for those who pre-ordered Wolfenstein: The New Order on any of the supportable platforms. Those players were also eligible for selection to participate in the game's multiplayer-only limited alpha, which ran between December 3 and 6, 2015. The beta began on March 31, 2016, and ended on April 3. It was followed by an open beta, which started on April 15, 2016, and ended on April 17. Doom was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on May 13, 2016, worldwide; an exception was Japan, where it was released on May 19. It is also the first game of the Doom franchise to be released as uncensored in Germany. Bethesda partnered with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for a special promotion that had Mikhail Aleshin driving a Doom-styled car at the Indianapolis 500 racing competition.
On February 23, 2016, Doom was made available for Xbox One owners to pre-order; for a limited time, they would also get the two original games, Doom and Doom II, for free. Other bonuses included the Demon Multiplayer Pack, which offered a demon-themed armor set with three skin variations; six metallic paint colors and three id Software logo patterns used for character customization; and six sets of consumable Hack Module perks. There is also a Collector's Edition, which was significantly more expensive than the normal edition. It includes a figurine of the Revenant, a demon featured in the game, and a metal case.
id Software replaced Certain Affinity to work on the game's multiplayer for Microsoft Windows after the game's launch and promised to fix its issues and introduced new features such as private matches, custom game settings and an enhanced cheat detection system. At E3 2016 on June 12, Bethesda Softworks announced its division, Bethesda VR, and that it was working on virtual reality support for the newly released Doom, set for release on an unspecified date. Also at E3 2016 on that day, Bethesda Softworks and id Software announced the game's free demo, which was initially going to last for only a week but was extended indefinitely. They also announced new multiplayer downloadable content titled Unto the Evil, whose features include three maps and a new demon called the "Harvester", gun, equipment item, taunts, and armor sets. The DLC was released on August 4, 2016. Patches for Doom were released after the game's release; these patches introduced a new photo mode, classic weapon pose, and support for the Vulkan API. The Vulkan patch is expected to enable playable framerates on older hardware. Subsequent benchmarks show up to 66% improvement in the frame rates on AMD graphics cards, with minor changes in the performance of Nvidia cards.
Initial reception of the QuakeCon 2014 trailer accumulated considerable acclaim among fans, and initial reception of the E3 2015 trailer was also positive, despite receiving criticisms by some critics, who considered the game to be too violent. Pete Hines from Bethesda Softworks responded by saying that the game is designed to allow players to apply violence on demons instead of humans. Hines added that, "if you're not into violent, bloody games... Doom's probably not a game for you."
During the open multiplayer beta, IGN writer Nathan Lawrence called the beta disappointing, considering it less of a classic style "arena shooter" and unfavorable compared to other shooters such as Halo. Similarly, the beta was negatively received by players on Steam, with mostly negative reviews at the time when the beta was active. Rock, Paper, Shotgun writer Adam Smith found the beta both to be similar to games such as Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, and the Call of Duty series and not to feel like Doom itself, and criticized the weapon loadout concept. Review copies of the game were held back until release day.
Doom was released to positive reviews regarding the fast-paced gameplay, single player campaign, and visuals, whereas criticism was predominantly toward the multiplayer mode. Many critics believed that Doom was a successful return to form for the series. Following the wide release, the game received scores of 85/100 for PC and PlayStation 4 and 87/100 for the Xbox One on Metacritic, and, unlike the beta, the reception of the final version of the game received very positive reviews from users on Steam. The game also received praise from other video game creators, including Greg Kasavin, who said that the game answers questions that other modern shooters do not answer, and Cliff Bleszinski.
The game's single-player elements received critical acclaim. Alec Meer of Rock, Paper, Shotgun favorably compared Doom to the 2014 game Wolfenstein: The New Order, also published by Bethesda, but added that Doom's quality surpassed that of Wolfenstein due to its fast pace and solid gunplay. Peter Brown of GameSpot praised single-player because he thought that the reboot captured the spirits of the older games, while refining them with modern elements. Brown also drew attention toward the soundtrack, calling it "impactful". Gary Jones, reviewing for Daily Express felt the game had one of the best single-player campaigns made for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for successfully combining the traditional gameplay of the series with a very fast pace. Mike Henriquez of Game Revolution favored the visual and artistic design, calling it "top-notch". Sam White, reviewing for The Daily Telegraph, commended id Software for Doom's delivery of performance on all platforms and praised the weapon design for Doom's continuity to introduce new weapons at a perfect speed so that gamers always play with something new and exciting.
Polygon's Arthur Gies positively remarked upon the exploration for collectables, secrets and their relevance to the new upgrade feature, but was critical over instances wherein the game would lock away sections of a level without warning. Regarding the "glory kills" feature, like other critics, Zack Furniss of Destructoid was originally skeptical that they might distract from the fast-pace gameplay, but then considered them to fit well in the flow of gameplay that keeps players in the middle of combat without a slowed pace. Giant Bomb's Brad Shoemaker felt that the glory kills' generating small amounts of health and armor "makes them an essential part of the give-and-take of Doom's super-fast combat; do you dart into the fray for a glory kill to get a little health back, and risk getting mobbed by all the other enemies around?" Conversely, Kyle Orland of Ars Technica felt that the glory kills' briefly taking control away from the player can easily disorient players or misposition them, finding them hard to ignore for players that choose not to use them.
The SnapMap mode was also positively received with Hardcore Gamer's Jordan Helm's noting the possibilities yet simplicity with its use, calling it an "admirable feat". Matt Peckham of Time thought that the mode added further value to the overall package of the game. Matt Bertz of Game Informer commented upon the accessibility but criticized the lack of diverse settings and possible limitations when compared to a traditional community-based mod. James Davenport of PC Gamer compared it to the modification in the original games, which according to him is one of the primary reasons why Doom is still a recognizable title. He was disappointed by the lack of mod support, though he nevertheless noted SnapMap for its simple use and variety of ideas already created by players.
The multiplayer mode, however, garnered a mixed reception from critics. IGN's Joab Gilory was less favorable toward the multiplayer, calling the overall game "a tale of two very different shooters", stating that multiplayer did not live up to the standard set by the single-player components and would not satisfy players. Simon Miller of VideoGamer.com found the multiplayer to be only all right. Matt Buchholtz of EGM criticized what he felt was the network's poor handling of latency and falling to register on-target shots as hits in some instances, while not others. Edwin Evans-Thirlwell of Eurogamer singled out the "Warpath" multiplayer mode as the most interesting of the match type, describing it as "memorable", while he regarded the other multiplayer modes as something underdeveloped and underwhelming. Julian Benson from Kotaku wrote that, although not bad, Doom's multiplayer was very similar to other modern games. More positively, however, David Houghton of GamesRadar enjoyed the multiplayer for the fast pace yet quick decision-making needed to succeed, calling it "endlessly playable, smart, brutal fun."
It was the second best-selling retail game in its week of release in the UK, behind Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. This was reported to be 67% more in its first week than the previous entry, Doom 3. Doom was the second best-selling retail video game in the US in May 2016, also behind Uncharted 4. The following month, by late June 2016, the game rose to number one in the UK charts, overtaking Uncharted 4 and the later-released Overwatch, and remained number one for a second week.
Doom was featured in multiple lists by critics and media outlets as one of the best games of 2016, being featured in game of the year lists and articles including GameSpot, GamesRadar, The Escapist, The A.V. Club, Rock, Paper, Shotgun,  Jim Sterling, VG247, Daily Mirror, and Shacknews.
|2015||Game Critics Awards 2015||Best Action Game||Nominated|||
|Best PC Game||Nominated|
|2016||Golden Joystick Award 2016||Game of the Year||Nominated|||
|Best Visual Design||Nominated|
|PC Game of the Year||Nominated|
|The Game Awards 2016||Game of the Year||Nominated|||
|Best Game Direction||Nominated|
|Best Music/Sound Design||Won|
|Best Action Game||Won|
|Giant Bomb's 2016 Game of the Year Awards||Rez Infinite Presents Best Styyyyyyle||Nominated|||
|Best New Character||Nominated|||
|Best Looking Game||Nominated|
|Best Moment or Sequence||Nominated|
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