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About Doom

Doom (stylized as DOOM) is a horror first-person shooter video game developed by id Software and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game is a reboot of the Doom series and is the first major installment in the series since the release of Doom 3 in 2004 and the fourth title in the main series of games. Originally announced as under development as Doom 4 in 2004, the game underwent a long development cycle with different builds and designs before being restarted again 2011 and revealed as just Doom in 2014, along with access to an upcoming beta test for players who pre-ordered Wolfenstein: The New Order. Full gameplay was later shown at the E3 2015, and the game was released worldwide on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on May 13, 2016. The game is played entirely from a first-person perspective, with players taking the role of an unnamed marine, popularly known throughout the series as the "Doomguy" as he battles demonic forces from Hell that have been unleashed by the Union Aerospace Corporation on a future-set colonized planet Mars. The gameplay returns to a faster pace with more open ended levels, closer to the first two games rather than the slower survival horror approach taken by Doom 3, while also featuring environment traversal, character upgrades and the ability to perform executions on enemies known as "glory kills". The game also supports an online multiplayer component and a level editor known as "SnapMap", both co-developed with id Software by Certain Affinity and Escalation Studios respectively. Doom was well received by critics; the single-player campaign, graphics, and gameplay were praised, while the multiplayer mode drew criticism.

Gameplay

Single-player

Doom's single-player mode has "badass demons, big effing guns, and moving really fast" as key principles, according to id Software executive producer Marty Stratton. As the combat system of the game puts emphasis on momentum and speed, the game allows players to perform movements like a double-jump and climb up ledges. The approach is known as "push forward combat", which discourages players from taking cover behind obstacles or resting to regain health. Players instead collect health and armour pick-ups scattered throughout levels, or kill enemies to regain health. "Glory Kills" is a new melee execution system introduced, similar to that of the PWAD Brutal Doom, where when enough damage has been dealt to an enemy the game will highlight it and allow the player to perform a quick and violent melee takedown. The game features a large arsenal of weapons, which can be collected and freely switched by players throughout the game and do not require reloading. Weapons that are recurrent throughout the series make a return including the super shotgun and BFG 9000. However in the case of the latter, the BFG only has a very small ammunition capacity yet is extremely powerful. Similarly the chainsaw returns but instead is a special use weapon that relies on fuel but can be used to instantly cut through enemies and provide a larger than normal drop of ammunition for the player. Many enemies from the original games like the Revenant, Pinky, Mancubus, and Cyberdemon also return with many also redesigned. id Software stated that Doom's campaign is more than 13 hours long and the "Ultra-Nightmare" difficulty level has permadeath.

Multiplayer

Doom's multiplayer was developed in conjunction with Certain Affinity. Several multiplayer modes, such as traditional four-player deathmatch and team ("clan") arena, as well as domination, warpath, and freeze tag. Players can also use power-ups and teleporters in a multiplayer match. Players can pick-up a pentagram, one of the powerups featured, to transform into and fight as one of the demons featured in the game. At launch, the game features nine maps.

SnapMap

The game's in-game mapping component was developed in conjunction with Escalation Studios. It is a in-game map editor designed to be both "powerful" and "easy to use". SnapMap allows players to create and edit maps with their own structure and game logic and share them with other players.

Synopsis

Setting

Doom begins on a Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) research facility on Mars. Under the guidance of facility director Samuel Hayden, who transferred his consciousness into an android shell after being diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, the UAC has been able to channel the energy from Hell into a renewable power source called Argent energy, solving an energy crisis on Earth. This was achieved through the construction of an Argent Tower, which not only harnesses the energy but also serves as a portal directly to Hell. Hayden has already used the portal to perform expeditions into Hell, and capture and perform research on demons.

Plot

The story of Doom begins with the player — referred to as the Doom Marine — emerging from a sarcophagus where he is implied to have been imprisoned. The game drops hints and clues that the Marine was a powerful and relentless warrior from ages past known as the "Doom Slayer" that nearly destroyed Hell before finally being imprisoned in the sarcophagus. Finding himself in the middle of a demonic invasion of the UAC Mars facility, he sets out to find the source of the invasion and to stop it, with reluctant assistance of UAC research chief Samuel Hayden. He quickly discovers that head researcher Olivia Pierce leads a cult intent on unleashing the demonic armies from the portal and pursues her to the top of the Argent Tower. Cornered, Pierce throws herself into the tower's energy beacon with a stolen Accumulator, opening the portal and teleporting the Doom Marine to Hell. The Doom Marine must then find a corresponding exit portal to escape back to Mars, using markers left by Hayden's previous expeditions. Once returned to Mars, the Doom Marine is informed that the Argent Tower has suffered critical damage, and thus the Hell portal cannot be closed on the Mars side. However, Hayden suggests the Marine travel to Olivia's private Lazarus Facility, where the invasion originated, to reach Hell once more and stop the demonic onslaught. After meeting with Hayden and acquiring the BFG prototype, the Marine is tasked with locating the Helix Stone, a fractured tablet bearing the Doom Marine's symbol that Hayden believes will reveal how to shutdown the Hell portal. When the Marine locates it, the Stone reveals that The Crucible, a magical hellblade that is a key to the power source of Hell known as the Well, will permanently shut off the portal. Hayden then tasks the Marine with locating the Cyberdemon to acquire an Accumulator to travel to Hell. After transporting to Hell alongside the Cyberdemon, the Marine defeats it in combat before journeying to the Titan's Realm, an area built from the corpse of Hell's greatest warrior, to begin his search for the Crucible. The Doom Marine manages to find the Crucible, defeating the trio of Hell Guard who guard it, and retrieves it and is thanked by the spirits of his fellow brothers-in-arms before returning to Mars. There, The Doom Marine then overloads the Mars facility's VEGA computer core to generate enough energy to warp directly to the Well's location. After destroying numerous waves of demons, the Doom Marine shuts off the Well and battles Olivia, who has been transformed into the Spider Mastermind. Upon defeating the Spider Mastermind, the Doom Marine takes the return portal to Mars, where Hayden takes charge of the Crucible. However, instead of cutting the connection with Hell, Hayden reveals that he intends to use the Crucible so he can continue to exploit Hell's resources and solve humanity's energy crisis. Taking the Crucible from the Doom Marine, Hayden admits that he is unable to kill the Doom Marine. Instead, to prevent the Doom Marine from interfering with his plans, Hayden teleports him to an undisclosed location with the tether system, predicting they will meet again.

Development

As Doom 4

The game was announced as in production on May 7, 2008, after John Carmack, then lead developer at id Software, hinted it at QuakeCon on August 3, 2007. The CEO of id Software, Todd Hollenshead, suggested that, like Doom II: Hell on Earth, it will take place on Earth, and will feature gameplay more akin to the original Doom games rather than the horror styled gameplay of Doom 3. On August 1, 2008, John Carmack claimed that Doom 4 will look three times better than Rage does, intended to run at 30 frames per second on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 rather than the 60 that Rage targets. In its Windows version, Doom 4 was intended to run at 60 frames per second with state-of-the-art hardware. In 2009, he revealed that the multiplayer component is being developed separately and will run at 60 frames per second. Carmack stated in 2011 that "you can't have 30 guys crawling all over you at 60 frames per second at this graphics technology level because it's painful. — So, [in single-player] we can have 30 demons crawling all over you on there." In April 2009, Hollenshead said Doom 4 was "deep in development". When asked if Doom 4 would be "a sequel? A reboot? A prequel?", his response was: "It's not a sequel to Doom 3, but it's not a reboot either. Doom 3 was sort of a reboot. It's a little bit different than those." On June 23, 2009, ZeniMax Media, best known for Bethesda Softworks, acquired id Software and announced that all future id games would be published by Bethesda Softworks, including Doom 4 in addition to Rage and future Quake titles. Carmack said at Quakecon 2011 that once Rage shipped its development team would move to Doom 4 to speed up on that project. Doom 4 might also feature dedicated servers unlike Rage. At the 2011 QuakeCon, Carmack mentioned that new Doom would be using a new scripting language that was based on C++, and called it "super-script". This so-called "super-script" is a subset of C++; with features like scheduling and type safety. In February 2012, some alleged screenshots were released on Official Xbox Magazine UK's website, but the images were discredited by id Software's creative director Matthew Hooper. In November 2013, Carmack left id Software to commit to his work at Oculus VR. In April 2013, Kotaku published an exposé describing Doom 4 as trapped in "development hell". Citing connections to id, the article claims that Doom 4 has suffered under mismanagement, and that development was completely restarted in 2011. Inside sources described the pre-2011 version, which was to portray the uprising of hell on Earth, as heavily scripted and cinematic, comparing it to the Call of Duty franchise. The pre-2011 version was criticized as mediocre, but the sources also described the new version as "lame" and a "mess". Id's Tim Willits said during Quakecon 2013: "Every game has a soul. Every game has a spirit. When you played Rage, you got the spirit. And [Doom 4] did not have the spirit, it did not have the soul, it didn't have a personality."

As Doom

After the game's redesign began, Willits revealed in August 2013 that the next game in the Doom franchise was still the team's focus although he did not make it clear if the game was still meant to be titled Doom 4. On February 19, 2014, Bethesda revealed that access to a beta version of Doom 4, renamed Doom, would be available for those who pre-ordered Wolfenstein: The New Order on any of the platforms. Those players were also eligible for selection to participate in the game's multiplayer-only limited alpha, which ran between December 3 and 6, 2015. The beta began on March 31, 2016 and ended on April 3, 2016. It was followed by an open beta, which started on April 15, 2016, and ended on April 17, 2016. On June 10, 2014, a teaser trailer of Doom was presented at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014 as well as at QuakeCon's website and at a new official Doom website. A more expansive trailer was unveiled at QuakeCon 2014 on July 17, 2014, where a closed presentation was made mainly to silence ongoing rumors of the project being in jeopardy. From what was seen in the QuakeCon presentation, the new Doom is to feature mechanics such as melee combat, finishing moves, and the ability to rip someone's arm off and use it to open a biometric security door. Also said to be featured in the game are double jumping and freedom of movement such as vaulting and manteling. On July 19, 2014, in light of Crytek's financial difficulties, it was announced that Tiago Sousa, head R&D graphics engineer at Crytek, was leaving to join the Doom and id Tech 6 engine team. On May 18, 2015, a brief teaser trailer was released to promote gameplay being shown at E3 2015 on June 14, 2015; the trailer depicted the double-barreled shotgun, and the Revenant, a monster returning to the game. On June 14, 2015, around 15 minutes of gameplay footage were shown at E3. Initial reception of the trailer was positive, despite receiving criticisms by some critics who considered the game to be "too violent". Pete Hines from Bethesda Softworks responded by saying that the game is designed to allow players to apply violence on demons instead of humans. Hines added that "If you're not into violent, bloody games... Doom's probably not a game for you." The biggest challenge id Software experienced while developing the game was to create a game that can compete with other popular shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield, as they considered that the popularity of the Doom series among younger audiences is relatively low when compared to the aforementioned franchises, since the last installment in the series was released back in 2004. Another challenge they encounter is to build a game that is unique enough to establish its own identity, while "being faithful" to other games in the series. According to Stratton, in order to solve these challenges, the team consulted the game directors at Bethesda Game Studios, who he considered "[had gone] through the same thing when they were working on Fallout 3." At QuakeCon 2015, it was announced that the game will run 1080p and 60fps on console, as they considered it "the most necessary graphical goal", and that it can effectively improve gameplay fluidity. According to Hugo Martin, the game's creative director, the game was inspired by rock and roll. The team intended to create a personality for the game by adding lots of over-the-top skulls. The team did not put lots of emphasis on the game's story, as they believed that it is not an important feature of the franchise.

= Music

= The music for Doom was composed by Mick Gordon, with additional contributions by Richard Devine. Gordon aimed to treat the game's original soundtrack with "utmost respect", while at the same time modernizing it. He used seven- and eight-string guitars to give the music a lower tone, as well as using a nine-string guitar for the game's main theme, a variation on Bobby Prince's "E1M1" theme.

Reception

Pre-release

Prior to release during the open multiplayer beta, Nathan Lawrence, writing for IGN called the beta disappointing, considering it less of a classic style "arena shooter" and unfavorably compared it to modern shooters like Halo. Similarly, the beta was negatively received by players on Steam, with mostly negative reviews at the time the beta was active.

Post-release

Review copies of the game were held back until release day. Doom was released to positive reviews from critics with praise regarding the fast-paced gameplay, single player campaign, Snap Map mode and graphic visuals, while criticism was predominantly towards the multiplayer mode. Many critics believed that Doom was a successful return to the series. Jim Sterling praised the return of the fast-paced action gameplay over the slower pace of Doom 3 in addition to the variety in weapons, enemies and levels, concluding that "id has delivered a highly polished, utterly shameless Hellbound hecatomb that confidently swaggers into the world with gaudy fervor. It's huge, it's preposterous, and it's absolutely bloody majestic." Dave Irwin reviewing for TheSixthAxis praised the single player, calling it "Stupidly fun... with brilliant levels and enemy design." Alec Meer of Rock, Paper, Shotgun favorably compared Doom to the 2014 game Wolfenstein: The New Order also published by Bethesda, calling it "the most satisfying single-player shooter I've played since [Wolfenstein: The New Order], and easily eclipses it when it comes to movement and gunplay." Peter Brown of GameSpot praised single player for as what he thought "captures the essence of what made the classic Doom games touchstones of their day, and translates it to suit modern palates". Brown also drew attention towards the soundtrack, calling it "impactful", while Mike Henriquez of Game Revolution was favorable towards the visual and artistic design, calling it "top-notch". Polygon's Arthur Gies positively remarked on the exploration for collectables and secrets and their relevance to the new upgrade feature but was critical over instances where the game would lock away sections of a level without warning. Regarding the "glory kills" feature, like other critics Zack Furniss of Destructoid was originally skeptical that they might distract from the fast-pace gameplay, however now considered them to fit well in the flow of gameplay that "keeps you in the thick of combat without slowing you down." Conversely, Kyle Orland of Ars Technica felt that the glory kills briefly taking control away from the player "can easily disorient you or put you out of position", finding them hard to ignore for players that choose not to use them. The SnapMap mode was also positively received with Jordan Helm of Hardcore Gamer noting the possibilities yet simplicity with its use, calling it an "admirable feat". Matt Peckham of Time thought that the mode added further value to the overall package of the game. Matt Bertz of Game Informer commented on the accessibility but criticized the lack of diverse settings and possible limitations when compared to traditional community-based game modding. James Davenport of PC Gamer compared it to the modding in the original games where "the lack of mod support, one of the primary reasons Doom is still such a recognizable name today, sting more than normal". Davenport nevertheless noted SnapMap for its simple use and variety of ideas already created by players. The multiplayer mode, however, garnered a mixed reception from critics. Joab Gilory of IGN was less favorable towards the multiplayer, calling the overall game "a tale of two very different shooters", stating that multiplayer "attempts to borrow from the new to reinvigorate the old results in an experience which won't satisfy either school of thought". Simon Miller of VideoGamer.com similarly praised the single player as "an excellent and exceptionally fun first first-person shooter" yet found the multiplayer to be "only okay". Edwin Evans-Thirlwell of Eurogamer singled out the "Warpath" multiplayer mode as the most interesting of the match type, being "the multiplayer's only truly memorable flourish", regarding the other mutliplayer modes "a malnourished appendage, grafted on for the sake of feature parity with the reigning champions of the genre Doom created. But that isn't enough to sully the campaign's lustre". Julian Benson for Kotaku wrote that "Doom's multiplayer isn't bad; it's just that while the single-player is something no one else is doing well at the moment, the multiplayer is very similar to other games." More positively however, David Houghton of GamesRadar enjoyed the multiplayer for the fast pace yet quick decision making needed to succeed, calling it "endlessly playable, smart, brutal fun." Following the wide release, unlike the beta, the reception of the final version of the game received "very positive" reviews from users on Steam.

Sales

The game was the second best-selling retail game in its week of release in the UK, behind Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. This was reported to be 67 percent more in its first week than the previous entry Doom 3.