"Call of Doom" and the Revival of Old-School-Shooters


Delays for highly anticipated games are (aside from full-on cancellations) every gamers worst nightmare.
Only recently, the official cancellation of Silent Hills enraged millions of gamers and showed how much passion and amazement small things like an impressive single demo or "playable teaser" can create.
Yet, still delays seem to be somewhat of an expected norm in today's gaming- or console generation. This is affecting especially big triple A titles like Uncharted 4, Batman: Arkham Knight or Tom Clancy's The Division. With every technical leap, the bar is always raised considerably. Even though this means that games are now capable of utilizing even more possibilities that are now available to them, at the same time, this also means that game development gets more expensive and most importantly...that it takes more time to make a game.

Nevertheless, the vast majority of gamers quickly seems to forget the effort and time that has to be put into a game. Though to a point it's understandable that the disappointment is always very big when a highly anticipated game gets pushed back several months, still more people should aknowledge that delays actually can be a very good thing. Not only do delays show that the publisher and or development studio isn't simply ignoring the game's shortcomings that have to be worked on, but delays can also give a developer time to actually decide whether a new artistic direction for a franchise is actually a good decision. - Case in point, Doom 4.

Only recently, footage of the canceled first draft or attempt at id Software's new Doom game has surfaced. The footage shows snippets of a possible trailer for the first Doom 4, which id Software canceled after officially stating that they were not satisfied with the game itself. This supposedly had nothing to do with the game's programming or technical development, but rather with the game's identity and spirit - and it clearly shows. With the footage showcasing bland, grey environments, generic looking characters (that look very much like they are ripped out of a Gears of War game) and an unfitting resemblance to modern day military shooters, absolutely nothing in the footage would make anybody instantly say that this is a Doom game.
Obviously, id Software was heavily influenced by the wave of modern day military shooters that flooded the market in the past few years. Hoping to capitalize on this trend, the ill-advised decision from id Software to give Doom a "military rehaul" is somewhat understandable from a financial standpoint. Yet, considering that Doom is a game that always embraced its old-school-shooter roots, even in 2004's Doom 3, it's very likely that this first Doom 4 attempt would've gone down as one of the most forgettable and misguided franchise entries ever.

Luckily enough, after additional years of development (that of course delayed Doom for an unspecified time) id Software managed to start the game development from scratch. Especially by gaining new courage from the revival of old-school-shooters from games like Machine Game's Wolfenstein: The New Order, the new Doom 4 (now simply titled "Doom") looks much more like...well Doom.
Even though we have yet to witness the full worldwide gameplay reveal at this year's E3, previous reactions to the gameplay at last year's QuakeCon 2014 were generally very positive.

Ultimately, it shows that delays sure are never really good news, but somewhat of a necessary evil for many games to actually become something better. This can happen both on a technical as well as on a creative level. While we have yet to see what the new Doom holds in store for us, one can only imagine how much negativity would've hit the original Doom 4 if it actually would've gotten released. Resultingly the original Doom 4 would've probably killed the Doom franchise alltogether, or at least put it on hiatus for a very long time.
However, let's hope id Software's new Doom (reboot) can sail along with the success of Wolfenstein: The New Order and help to integrate old-school-shooters more into the mainstream market.


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