id shows off an hour’s worth of Doom 4 single-player footage

Doom

Despite the multiplayer going over as well as a Donald Trump rally in Chicago, id Software has released an hours worth of single-player game footage and it looks to be going very strong. Like the original Doom, the footage is broken up into three segments: Regular Tech Base, Tech Base being corrupted by Hell, and Hell itself.

While a few are things we’ve seen before, there’s also a number of new features as well. One interesting thing is that Doom 4 actually appears to have a story that isn’t completely bare bones. The audio log and email system from Doom 3 has made a return, though the game will not rely heavily on them for gameplay purposes like locked doors as Doom 3 did. In this case it serves as more of an optional look at the story and is there for people who want to see and find out about it. If people just want to keep on truckin’ and slaughtering demons wholesale, go right ahead.

id has generously provided a slew of gameplay options that you can turn on and of such as the glow that indicates when an enemy can have a glory kill performed on it, a compass, a boss health bar, objective markers, etc. If you want a more modern experience you can turn everything on or if you’re more old school like me, you can turn everything off to where it’s just you and your shotgun against the world. You can also get different abilities and upgrades for your weapons and armor (dubbed the Praetor Suit) through the collection of drones and tokens, respectively, such as a charged shots, increased fire rates, explosive bullets, etc. You also can get personal upgrades through the collection of hellish runes such as the ability to perform glory kills quicker and the ability to vacuum up goodies that get spilled when you spill demon blood. We also get some new information on the chainsaw. Unlike the original chainsaw, this one takes the use of fuel into account which can be difficult to come by at times. To compensate for this, the chainsaw has been made exponentially more powerful and using it not only rewards you with flesh flying everywhere, but also, enough ammunition to potentially completely restock a drained player.

Another interesting feature is the use of ghost-like holograms which play out events that had previously taken place, similar to the mechanic used in BioShock. This allows you to get a better look at how the UAC operates, which this time around seems to act at times more like a cult than an aerospace company. It’s like if Boeing and Northrop-Graumman met Heavens Gate, Jonestown, and more than a touch of Scientology, and unlike Doom 3 where the UAC thought that the demons they were bringing back where just strange creatures from a strange dimension, this time they not only know full well that they’re demons but they were actively trying to weaponize them (Think Umbrella Incorporated or Weyland-Yutani). This fact acts as a spring board for the next new development shown which is that the game has an element of tongue-in-cheek dark humor which is displayed when the Doomguy comes up to a hologram that is acting as a notice board stating in a cheerful voice that if any employees have any questions or concerns about their attempts to weaponize the demons (Not even trying to hide it here) that they should report to the chapel.

Regarding the locations, the Tech Base areas are a nice mix of the technical and industrial. You have things like research facilities mixed with things like the Foundry which is seen again here after its first time in the single-player reveal trailer. And unlike the Mars Facility in Doom 3, the Tech Base has a much cleaner look even in the more industrial areas, despite the damage done by the Demon invasion. It definitely looks like the UAC at least kept on good maintenance and maintaining their equipment whereas in Doom 3 you were finding audio logs where workers mention how it often seems like they’re just barely managing to keep their equipment from flying apart at the seems from all the stress being put on it. Say what you will about the UAC, they’re at least are determined to get top marks from OSHA.

The Tech base areas around the middle of the game also have a good look to it. Like the second episode of the original Doom, The Shores of Hell, it’s around here you start seeing the base being corrupted by the demon’s influence. You see the steel of the base becoming unsettlingly merged with flesh and hellish rock formations. It’s an excellent example of the horror coming from the corruption of the normal and familiar.

Finally, Hell itself lives up to its name. Hell is said to be broken up into different levels called “fractures” (Dante’s Inferno much?) and is a mix of flesh, stone, and in some case ice. (Looks like Hell, Michigan isn’t the only hell that freezes over.) The first one we see is what is called the Titan’s Graveyard in which the landscape appears to be made up partially of the decaying remains of giant demons. In what may be Doom in its most concentrated form, you even jump down one of the dead titan demons throat, land in a pool of blood, and start fighting smaller demons within the insides of the titan.

There’s still no sign of the BFG9000 yet, but hopefully, we’ll get a look at it before the game comes out on the 12th of May. I’m hoping you’ll get to use it a lot more than you did the Hammer of Dawn from the Gears of War series. Go ahead and take a look at the carnage yourself. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

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