id Software's first Doom 4 project "didn't have the passion and soul"
Now-scrapped first version of Doom 4 "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," said id Software.
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Bethesda and id Software have spoken about the now-cancelled version of Doom 4, saying that the studio's original attempt at the game didn't feel like a Doom game.
A new version of Doom 4 is now underway at id Software, but in an interview with IGN studio director Tim Willits spoke about why it cancelled its first attempt.
"It wasn't one thing," explained 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 4] 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."
"Everyone knows the feeling of Doom, but it's very hard to articulate," added Willits.
Doom 4 was originally confirmed in May 2008 via a press release, though the project was scrapped in late 2011. Bethesda confirmed in April 2013 that development on the game had been rebooted, after sources at the time claimed the original version of Doom 4 borrowed many of its creative elements from modern shooters such as Call of Duty.
Bethesda vice president of marketing Pete Hines added that Doom 4 needs to be worth the wait. “If it was like the quintessential, 'yup, that’s Doom 4,' then we wouldn’t be having this conversation," he said.
"But, it was something that we looked at and the id guys looked at and said, look, it’s not even that something is necessarily bad. But is it good enough? You can make a game and say, 'that's not a bad game, but it's not as good as an Elder Scrolls game should be,' and there's a difference…it's not great. It's not amazing. It's not what people have waited all this time for. It needs to be like ‘this was totally worth the wait.'"
"I think what the guys at id are working on is…they're pushing the boundaries and challenging themselves. I don’t want anybody to look at id’s next project and have this reaction that it's still stuck in the '90s," concluded Hines.
While images of Doom 4 have surfaced online, these are believed to have been from the now-scrapped version. "Those images have nothing to do with what you're gonna see in Doom 4," said id Software design director Matthew Hooper.