The multiplayer mode of Id Software’s Doom has a new trailer that shows a return the fast and furious nature of the 90s, and comes with news of the game’s closed beta.
Nothing today moves like Doom did in the 90s.
Even after the enhanced mobility of Titanfall crept into every single multiplayer FPS in the world, bringing back fantastic jumps and running speeds, the multiplayer games of today move at a more methodical, less chaotic pace than their 90s counterparts. In the glory days of Doom, Marathon, and Quake, it never felt like you were running – it felt like you were flying at all times, and that speed meant absolute precision in firing was critical to multiplayer victory. After all, the enemy was moving just as fast as you. The slower pace of modern shooters may feel more tactical and precise, and Doom’s ludicrous speed might look like mindless raucousness by comparison, but there was strategy to it. It required a different mindset, and a different set of skills, but it was there. And it really hasn’t seen a comeback in the 21st century.
Which means its all very fitting that the new Doom, effectively Doom 4, appears to bringing it back with gusto, if that new trailer is any indication. Those characters are moving at speeds that feel ridiculous, bouncing over arena-type multiplayer levels with a reckless abandon. And yet, when the guns start firing (and the requisite amounts of bloody giblets start flying), there seems to be that old precision back in action. Reaction times look like the name of the game, alongside familiar elements like quad damage and in-level power ups and new abilities like activating a demon rune of some assuredly evil sort that turns you into a Mars demon to fight other players. What remains to be seen, however, is if a return to such speeds will catch on with the modern multiplayer shooter audience.
Hell Is Crowded These Days
An unspoken big problem with modern multiplayer shooters is that some of them, pretty much all of them save for Call of Duty and Counter-Strike it seems, fail to retain substantial player bases. Titanfall suffered a major player drop off by the time its final DLC released, Halo 5: Guardians has solid numbers but it doesn’t have the stranglehold on the market it used to, and Star Wars: Battlefront has been battling a shortage of content and public interest since release. With the general feeling of multiplayer shooters seeming to move towards shared world games in the vein of Destiny and The Division or MOBA infused works like Blizzard’s Overwatch, the question remains. Can Doom multiplayer, in its classic form, find a place in the modern world? Especially with that weak Jarvis knockoff of a multiplayer announcer – put some more enthusiasm into that “TRIPLE KILL!”, man.
One of the first indicators of that comes in a few weeks, when Doom’s closed beta launches on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on March 31 and runs to April 3rd. Players who purchased Wolfenstein: The New Order or pre-order Doom will have access, and will be among the first to see if this blast from the 90s has the legs to stand in 2016.
I mean, hell, if we’re resurrecting my beloved Independence Day of all 90s things, surely Doom can come back. Right?
Doom releases on May 23rd worldwide.