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Doom 4 should not appeal to nostalgia

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I feel like this is important - looking back into the past in the days of the early 90's when Doom was first made is not the answer to go about this.

I feel like Doom was always at its best when it was being moody and atmospheric (Phobos Anomaly, Doom 64, Doom 3) and I feel like they should continue in that direction.

Doom 4 should be nonlinear (but not open world) levels set to atmospheric and dark background music. Make me feel like that the base or whatever you are in is actually taken over by Hell, and in the segments that take place in Hell, it should make you feel like you are actually in Hell with twisted abstract geometry and bizarre yet threatening physics that serve to boggle your mind and generally give off an alien atmosphere.

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I agree it should not appeal to nostalgia but I do think they should take inspiration from the old games.

Doom 3 was classic Doom in a lot of ways.

The game didn't hold your hand at all (meaning no regenerating health, no arrows showing the destination).

Focused on survival horror elements like conserving ammo, using the right weapon against the right enemy and managing your health.

Reasonable amount of secrets. This is why I don't agree when people call Doom 3 linear. If you look you will find lots of secrets, including secrets where you find weapons faster than you are supposed to. For example: you can find the machine gun in the very first level and the Chaingun in the second level. The Plasma Gun can be found in the later Alpha Labs levels at least twice.

Story was told through the environment and PDAs which in comparison to modern shooters is very unintrusive.

The biggest problem with Doom 3 (besides the weak weapons and darkness) was the lack of variety. Dark rooms are very Doom-like but they are not the only thing that makes Doom.

I believe the game was more horror focused because the engine was very very demanding and they needed to make a game around those limitations. Cramped interiors and darkness were used to great effect because of this so this is the most Doom-like game they could have made on the hardware of the time. Maybe the game is not a "true" sequel to Doom but I certainly think it is Doom-like.

Whenever I go in the blue keycard room in E1M3 I instantly think of Doom 3. You are in a small room with a key on a pedestal. As soon as you pick it up the lights go out and a closet full of imps opens behind you. If that isn't like Doom 3 I'm not sure what is. The problem is that the Doom 3 levels all felt like extrapolations of that room meaning small, lots of gray, sudden darkness and monster closets. Due to the demanding engine they couldn't build on the OTHER kinds of environments in Doom that were large, open and very colorful. Doom 3 needed counterpoints to all the darkness. The Hell level COULD have been this but it was too short. There is a reason why people think it's the best level in Doom 3.

The reason I was saying all this is because it is obvious that Doom 3 is the base on which Doom 4 will be built and I think that is a very good thing. From what I have heard Doom 4 will focus on correcting all the mistakes Doom 3 did AND substantially improve the game on all fronts. So instead of having rooms based only on that E1M3 segment you will also have rooms based the more large and open areas as well which will inject some much-needed variety.

Doom I think is a game of powerful contrasts. One moment you are in a very large room with lots of monsters, the next moment you are in a small interior with a couple of barons. One moment you are in a very bright and colorful room, the next you are in a small, dark interior with a couple of hidden imps. I have a feeling that THIS is the conclusion Id came after having thought about what makes Doom for so long. Tim Willits said that "everyone knows what Doom feels like but it's very hard to articulate" and I see what he's getting at.

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To go along with DooM_RO's post, I think the answer lies in drawing from various aspects of Doom's history into something varied, yet natural.

As already mentioned, the original Doom did have it's fair share of atmosphere, moody lighting, horrific imagery, etc, to go along with the badass action. It was all fluid. What Doom 3 did wasn't bad, but it focused too much and too long on just one aspect.

From the impressions we've heard, Doom 4 seems to be doing just that. Fast-paced, brutal gameplay with dark atmosphere.

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