There’s been a lot of talk recently about the announcement that preordering the latest Wolfenstein will get you into the Doom beta. Since then there’s been a ton of discussion about the quality of the next Doom game. It’s fair to wonder, since Doom 3 came out ten years ago. How does one entice the modern gamer into buying the next Doom game?
If there’s a beta that can mean only one thing: there’s going to be multiplayer. This is arguably the most important aspect of the game. Why? Because it’s what will get people excited, or completely sour their opinion of the game. The question is, what kind of multiplayer will Doom have? It can’t go the Call of Duty route if it wants to stand out. The last thing Doom needs is a standard, dull multiplayer component. So where do we change things up?
Well, besides co-op – which I think should be included for the main story – I believe that it’s time to return to the deathmatch format of old. What I mean is, no more weapon loadouts, or kill streaks, or two weapon slots. Let’s take the old way of doing things, running around and picking up the weapons and armor, and give it new life. Let’s have crazy maps with jump pads and teleporters, similar to the Halo maps. Mix it in with the RPG element that goes into games like CoD and Battlefield, but tie something different to the levels instead of new weapons.
Maybe go full on RPG with stats and craziness like that. Or go the insane route and create a card system, where players can summon demons to help them in battle, or give themselves different ammo types for their weapons. Leveling would net you more/better cards to use in battle. There are plenty of things to do in order to make Doom’s multiplayer just as fulfilling as modern games.
The DLC could range from new cards, to new weapons, to new maps. It would be simple and easy to develop and allow for a steady stream of content.
Singleplayer is a tough thing a Doom game. You have those who want a campaign that’s more like the original Doom. On the other hand, Doom is looked as a game that could propel us into the future of first-person shooters. They have the power to change the landscape in the same way that Half-Life 2 did ten years ago.
I think there’s a way to strike a delicate balance. You set the first two-thirds of the game on Mars (with maybe an intro on earth) and have the atmosphere be something of a mix between Alien and Terminator 2. Most of the game would be horror, but there’s no reason to fear having big set pieces to amaze people. You don’t want to beat everyone over the head with too much action and glamour. Save it for when those moments will really count.
Then we go to Hell for the last third and that’s when we slowly transitions into more macabre horror and even more spectacular set pieces. With the technology we have today there’s no way something like this wouldn’t be amazing.
Lastly, Doom needs boss battles. It’s a chance to deliver those set pieces I mentioned above and allow for some more creative enemy types and crazy story moments.
Like Half-Life, I think Doom would benefit from an AI partner like Alex. Even if we wind up with a silent protagonist, having another human presence to project on is essential. We need someone to serve as the introduction into the world and that’s what Alex was for us in Half-Life 2. There would be no easier way to ease someone into the world of Doom, especially ten years after the last major release.
The Potential of Doom
Doom has the potential to be something completely groundbreaking. I’m not saying what I wrote above is the only surefire way to accomplish that, but Doom needs an amazing start in order to get people to pay attention. Otherwise it will simply fade into obscurity again and be fondly remembered as a game from the 80’s. I hope that we get something more than that. Let’s see something shake up the landscape and give us something different. A breath of fresh air would do this industry some good.