Doom

The se­ries takes a chain­saw to con­ven­tion as it looks to re­de­fine the genre it helped to cre­ate

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You’ll re­mem­ber, if, like us, you grew up with Doom, the ex­cite­ment of wit­ness­ing the for­ma­tive mo­ments of death­match­ing and a step change in what could be achieved with com­puter graph­ics. If you didn’t, the like­li­hood is you’re a school hol­i­day Call of Duty ir­ri­tant, or one of those kids on YouTube who when asked to insert a car­tridge into an un­fa­mil­iar obelisk with ‘Mega Drive’ writ­ten on it ends up go­ing to A&E to have a copy of Sonic the Hedge­hog ex­tracted from their now dis­tended nos­tril. In ei­ther case, it’s okay: id Soft­ware has your back.

The leg­endary Texan com­pany is aim­ing to de­liver on what, com­ing from many stu­dios, might be con­sid­ered a neb­u­lous prom­ise: to re­store Doom’s for­mer glory with a game that ap­peals both to the chain­saw-ob­sessed, WAD-mak­ing old guard and those who’ve never dab­bled with DOS but have heard tell of myth­i­cal full-colour game man­u­als. Re­mark­ably, af­ter spend­ing a cou­ple of days with the game, it looks like id is on track with a ri­otous sin­gle­player cam­paign, a smartly bal­anced, pur­pose­ful mul­ti­player, and one of the most ac­ces­si­ble level-cre­ation tools we’ve ever laid our hands on.

But ir­re­spec­tive of the length of your Doom ser­vice record, this fourth ver­sion of the game feels im­me­di­ately con­fronta­tional. Where the most prom­i­nent on­line shoot­ers have evolved to re­ward whichever player spots their quarry first, and prof­fer ad­van­tages to those who have a fetishis­tic in­ter­est in a glut of scope

was re­leased in 1993 and has served as a high-wa­ter mark for de­vel­op­ers ever since. The se­ries flirted with hor­ror in

but is now re­turn­ing to its fast­mov­ing roots.

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