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