Most gamers who love the first-person shooter genre are familiar with DOOM. The game was the progenitor of all the later classic FPS games along with the current crop of Call of Duty clones. In a time when AOL was considered an excellent gaming platform and the first MMOs were still almost Five years away, DOOM’s first nine shareware levels were being downloaded and played by nearly 10 million gamers in it’s first two years.
To put that in perspective, World of Warcraft needed nearly 3 full years and an expansion pack to finally hit 10 million players in an age when the internet is much more prevalent.
Popularizing a Genre
What made DOOM so revolutionary was that it used immersive 3D graphics, networked gameplay, support for modifications, and is credited with having popularized the genre of first-person shooters.
Since the release of the original DOOM, there has been a number of entries in the franchise. The publication of a full release of the game as The Ultimate Doom came in 1995. Also in 1995, the first sequel released as Doom II: Hell on Earth. The last official release in the franchise came 9 years later with the publication of 2004’s Doom 3. Four years later, Doom 4 was announced as in production.
The King is Dead... Long live the King
Fast forward almost five years later and there is still no concrete word on the final release data for Doom 4. So far, the only information leaked about the design process for Doom 4 has been that the game was becoming a Call of Duty clone and that all progress up to that point was to be scrapped and rebooted. That was in 2011 and gamers are still looking for any signs that Doom 4 will ever be completed.
At this point, most gamers have moved on from the DOOM franchise. The once king of FPS shooters is now an afterthought in the genre that it created. As the years continue to roll by without a concrete release date, many gamers will begin to connect Doom 4 with the recent release of Duke Nukem Forever. Duke Nukem is another fondly remembered early 1990s game, whose reboot was lost in development hell only to fail after publication and was plagued by crashing systems, corrupted hard drive save files, and endless patching delays.Should Doom 4 ever emerge from it’s own development hell, gamers must hope that the game shows more polish and promise.