Remembering the eternal legacy of the original Doom

Doom retrospective
Doom Retrospective

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the world of gaming would be a very different place if it weren’t for Doom. As Doom Eternal approaches, we’re taking a look back at the game that started it all. If you can’t wait for the next battle against demonkind, check out every trailer for Doom Eternal (so far).

It’s 1992 and Id Software are fresh off the release and subsequent breakthrough success of one of the earliest first-person shooters – Wolfenstein 3D. The team, led by Johns Carmack and Romero, had broken new ground in action games, and now, the pressure was on. What came next from the studio would have to be something bigger and bolder, something that would shock audiences, something that could never be forgotten. Something… eternal.

Doom Eternal logo

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the world of gaming would be a very different place if it weren’t for Doom. As Doom Eternal approaches, we’re taking a look back at the game that started it all. If you can’t wait for the next battle against demonkind, check out every trailer for Doom Eternal (so far).

It’s 1992 and Id Software are fresh off the release and subsequent breakthrough success of one of the earliest first-person shooters – Wolfenstein 3D. The team, led by Johns Carmack and Romero, had broken new ground in action games, and now, the pressure was on. What came next from the studio would have to be something bigger and bolder, something that would shock audiences, something that could never be forgotten. Something… eternal.

Inspired by their love of films like Aliens and The Evil Dead, a five-person team set to work on a new first-person shooter game combining Id’s trademark combat with elements of horror and science fiction. Romero stated that the follow-up to Wolfenstein 3D would have to be more “fast and brutal”, dialling the adrenaline up even further. With this in mind, designer John Hall put together what became known as the Doom Bible, a document detailing the lore, plot, and design goals of the game. With this sacred text in hand, the team began development, taking on new staff as they went.

On 10 December 1993, Doom was released. While Id had expected a certain level of interest thanks to the success of Wolfenstein, the overwhelming demand for Doom blew them away. Following the release, there were reports of university computer networks crashing due to the number of students downloading the game, and workplaces banning it due to employees ditching work to blast each other away with ridiculously large guns. Rave reviews and strong sales followed and it wasn’t long before Doom was a household name.

Doom spawned a number of sequels, spin-offs, novels, and even movie adaptations, with the series eventually reaching beyond the PC to almost every major home console. In 2016, Id Software returned to the Doom franchise for a reboot. To the surprise and delight of gamers everywhere, this new take on Doom managed to reinvent the series, mixing modern graphics with old-school sensibilities. While new mechanics were introduced, the reboot stayed true to the spirit of the series, never losing focus on fast, fluid, and – above all – fun combat. Doom 2016 also featured a much more in-depth storyline, which maintained the tongue-in-cheek humour that had come to define the series.

Doom Eternal looks to be a worthy follow-up to the beloved reboot, taking the Doom Slayer to new locations for him to splatter with demon blood. If you’re looking to pick up Doom Eternal but you’re not sure where to start, here’s every edition of Doom Eternal, explained. But even if Doom Eternal isn’t yet on your radar, you could do a lot worse than going back to the 1993 original, back to the first-person shooter campaign that spawned an entire industry.

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