Before DOOM, there was DOOM 4. What happened to make id Software scrap years of work?
DOOM, this year’s reboot of the venerable shooter series, arrived 12 years after DOOM 3.
That’s a long time to wait, and it seemed even longer to those who eagerly placed pre-orders when DOOM 4 was announced in 2008 – only to have the project cancelled in 2011 ahead of DOOM’s 2014 announce. What happened?
In the latest episode of NoClip‘s DOOM documentary, id Software staffers said the 2008 project felt too much like other shooters – and too little like DOOM itself. Producer Marty Stratton even called this early version “Call of DOOM”, a reference I shouldn’t need to explain.
“It was much closer to something like that type of game. A lot more cinematic; a lot more story to it,” he said, as transcribed by Gamespot.
“A lot more characters around you that you were with throughout the course of the game. Definitely a different setting – it took place on Earth.”
It just didn’t play like DOOM, Stratton continued; it was a “much more scripted type of experience”, with players taking cover and battling zombies.
“It didn’t feel as much like Doom as I think a lot of us expected it would feel or hoped it would feel,” he added.
Creative director Hugo Martin nailed down what made DOOM 4 feel off to him.
“It was more realistic. It was more about the global impact of a hellish invasion. As a concept I could see why they went there because I would probably want to explore that, too – if it wasn’t a DOOM game,” he said.
“To tell a bigger story, it sacrificed the doom slayer. DOOM is about one guy involved in big things. DOOM 4 was about the big things.”
Both staffers said the cancelled DOOM 4 project was great, though, with spectacular production values. It’s a shame we never got to see it, perhaps under some other title than DOOM.