In a somewhat surprising move, ID Software today announced they had begun development of Doom 4. This is not particularly earth shattering in itself given the spate of recent rumours to this effect, however the reason it surprised me was that ID Software are already fairly far into a project named ‘Rage‘ which appears to be a post-apocalyptic vehicle slash first person shooter based on ID Software’s Tech 5 Engine, currently in development. Whilst is would not be unusual to ID to be working on two games at the same time using the same engine (Quake 4 / Doom 3 anyone?), given the rumours circulating about a new Quake game, I didn’t think we would be seeing another Doom game so soon.
Judging by the Careers page, the extra staff ID Software are taking on for this project will be require ‘applicable skills’ for developing for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 platforms indicating ID Software are looking to make this a multi-platform game in much the same way as Doom 3 which was also released on the Xbox. This is, however, just early supposition on my part at this stage.
Doom 3 was criticised for being too dark, too broody, too linear and having too little variation. I disagree, having found it atmospheric and a lot of fun to play, but what worries me, is where ID takes us from here. Quake 4 didn’t really do it for me, I preferred Doom 3 for a number of reasons. The story was simpler and more elegant as was the environment. Whilst being a colonial marine and interacting with other marines and military equipment was fun in Quake 4; it felt a little over done and I never really bought into the whole Quake universe past Quake 2. There were, however, moments which I genuinely enjoyed not just because they brought something fresh into the ID-style FPS genre but also because they were quite unexpected. (Those that have completed Quake 4 will know of the Hospital section I am referring to!)
Doom 3 really was a no brainer in that it was classic Doom style game play with a modern engine, I will be decisively underwhelmed if ID are planning to just update the graphics for Doom 4.