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id Software producer: Doom 4 was cancelled because it felt too much like 'Call of Doom'

Although the game had 'unbelievable' production values, it didn't 'feel' like Doom, says, id Software's Marty Stratton.

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In the first chapter of videogame documentarian Danny O'Dwyer's series on the making of id Software's Doom reboot, producer Marty Stratton admitted that the studio's original take on Doom 4 was canceled because it felt too much like Call of Duty.

Stratton referred to Doom 4 as "Call of Doom."

"It was much closer to something like that type of game," he said. "A lot more cinematic; a lot more story to it. A lot more characters around you that you were with throughout the course of the game. Definitely a different setting; it took place on Earth."

"We explored a direction and got to a certain point and felt like this really wasn't capturing what we felt like was going to be a strong Doom and what the fans would want from it," said designer Kevin Cloud.

Early levels featured zombies and cover-based shooting, with the story revolving around how survivors on earth struggled on after a demonic invasion.

"It was awesome, but it was more realistic," said creative director Hugo Martin. "It was more about the global impact of a hellish invasion. As a concept I could see why they went there because I would probably want to explore that, too, if it wasn't a Doom game. To tell a bigger story, it scarified the doom slayer. Doom is about one guy involved in big things. Doom 4 was about the big things."

Although Doom 4 would have had "unbelievable" production values, according to id, the team didn't feel comfortable moving forward with a direction that rang false.

"It wasn't one thing," explained id studio director Tim Willits. "It wasn't like the art was bad, or the programming was bad. Every game has a soul. Every game has a spirit. When you played Rage, you got the spirit. And [Doom] did not have the spirit, it did not have the soul, it didn't have a personality. It had a bit of schizophrenia, a little bit of an identity crisis. It didn't have the passion and soul of what an id game is."

Bethesda and id rebooted the game in early spring of 2013. The end result, released this May, came roaring out of the gate (of hell) with an identity, look, and feel all its own.

"While other first-person shooters have stepped forward to challenge convention in recent years, none carry the clout and cachet of Doom," I concluded in my review. "For id Software to overcome the challenges specific to its history and craft a shooter that flies in the face of convention marks Doom as nothing short of a triumph—and, one hopes, a sign that change is in the air for a genre in desperate need of it."

Contributing Editor

From The Chatty

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      December 12, 2016 1:35 PM

      Thank goodness

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      December 12, 2016 1:43 PM

      Right, getting the spirit of Rage. The game ended with the most anti-climactic cliff hanger ever. I *liked* it up until that point too :-(

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      December 12, 2016 1:46 PM

      Honestly it looks like it would be a decent game as long as it wasn't called DOOM. Heck, call it Rage 2.

      They said something about a cancelled sequel - I'm wondering if they're referring to DOOM 4 or if there was a RAGE 2 at some point.

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        December 12, 2016 1:51 PM

        Yeah. A lot of sequels that do 180s away from their predecessors would have been received more positively with a simple name change.

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      December 12, 2016 1:57 PM

      Ya, that trailer very much had a Call of Doom vibe in it.

      I mean, if id wants to try to make a game like that, sure! Could be interesting to see their take on it. But, that isn't/wasn't DOOM.

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        December 12, 2016 2:27 PM

        I could see it being done as a spin-off of nu-DOOM.

        In DOOM you have the Marine, who goes through the demons like a hot chainsaw through butter. In Call of Doomy you've got normal humans trying to fight the horde and having a rough go at it.

        It might end up being more like the human campaign in the old Alien vs. Predator games, though. (The FPS games from the late 90s/early 2000, not the more recent one.)

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          December 12, 2016 5:54 PM

          with a cameo from doom guy at some point where you and a bunch of humans are barely holding out and he comes along to save the day and mows through the baddies

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            December 12, 2016 6:48 PM

            I'm picturing a long, grueling survival level, sort of a horde mode thing, where you're barely holding onto a small amount of territory. The enemies finally stop coming, you crack the door open to this expanse of slaughtered enemies just as this one lone marine slips out the other door.

            Basically play it like a horror movie trope, only the monster SAVES you instead of killing you.

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              December 12, 2016 9:16 PM

              Not just "a" marine. The Marine. (If you read all the lore in nuDOOM, the distinction is important.)

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          December 12, 2016 7:38 PM

          Imperial guard vs space marines

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        December 12, 2016 2:38 PM

        Weird, Shackbrowse thinks this posted, but it's not showing up anywhere except Shackbrowse....

        I could see it being done as a spin-off of nu-DOOM.

        In DOOM you have the Marine, who goes through the demons like a hot chainsaw through butter. In Call of Doomy you've got normal humans trying to fight the horde and having a rough go at it.

        It might end up being more like the human campaign in the old Alien vs. Predator games, though. (The FPS games from the late 90s/early 2000, not the more recent one.)

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        December 12, 2016 3:53 PM

        remember quake wars, though?

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      December 12, 2016 5:47 PM

      Wow, that looks pretty far along (if that was in engine). I'm glad that we got the Doom that we did (and I wouldn't trade it for anything) but I wouldn't mind playing that Doom as well in some form.

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      December 12, 2016 7:14 PM

      That trailer is the least exciting use of the DOOM music I've ever seen. Not a single demon, or a single gun being fired. WTF?

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      December 12, 2016 7:56 PM

      Looks interesting

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      December 12, 2016 9:20 PM

      Not that I'd mind playing that as well, but I guess it was for the best since it's unlikely we'd have DOOM now if they had gone ahead with Doom 4.

      Trailer was amusingly undoom.

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      December 12, 2016 9:48 PM

      That leaked trailer looked more like Gears of Doom or Fallout Doom than Call of Duty