Director Hugo Martin to talk about DOOM Eternal, DOOM 4, and a whole lot more.According to Stratton, DOOM 4 originally channeled a bit of Call of Duty, with more cinematic moments in lieu of a more traditional DOOM “all-action” feel, but that isn’t the only reason the project was scrapped.
“You generally try not to work on something very long that you feel like is not going to work. I think it was more… thinking about modern players and how do you bring DOOM to them and… those ingredients Hugo just talked about? It wasn’t taking enough of those. It was taking ‘demons’ and a bit of ‘hell on Earth’ but that was kind of where it ended, from a [perspective of] feel.”
Doom Eternal (January 2019 Screenshots)
The ingredients Stratton referenced are the “core elements of the DOOM brand,” such as the “metal element, the sense of irreverence, [and] power,” which were elaborated on by Martin earlier in the interview. Determining those elements, and making sure every aspect of the game adhered to them, was a major focus during the development of DOOM Eternal.
“How it made you feel… the ‘heart’ part that [Martin] talks about. I think that was the thing, it just wasn’t quite in place. The thing is; it was still good. It was a good game. It was still a ways away from launching, so it had a ways to go,” Stratton said. “We were multiple teams at a time… a lot of people were working on Rage and then we… refocused attention around [DOOM] and it just kind of lacked some of those fundamental DOOM things. It was more ‘DOOM’ in name than really anything.”Scrapping a game, especially a good one that simply missed the thematic goal, is difficult for any developer. “It’s a hard decision. A lot of people spent a lot of time on that and, again, it wasn’t that it was bad, it was just not the right thing.” Although decisions like this are difficult to make, Stratton expressed appreciation for Bethesda’s support. “It was awesome that Bethesda supported us in making that shift because… it was a big shift.”
Although scrapping DOOM 4 meant the original Rage was the only game id shipped in a 12-year stretch, which is nearly an eternity by development standards, Stratton wasn’t overly afraid of Bethesda closing id down.“I would say I probably felt that [fear] a little bit, right before we rebooted what became DOOM 2016… in 2012, 2013… [and] certainly through no pressure from Bethesda whatsoever,” Stratton said. “I’ve said this every interview, every opportunity since that time: I can’t imagine a more supportive team than the Bethesda management team, all the way to [Zenimax CEO] Mr. [Robert A.] Altman.”
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