Honor to whom credit is due: What we understand by "first-person shooter" today is largely due to id software. Where else was the technology more brilliant, the gameplay smoother, the double shotgun more powerful than back then in Doom or Quake? Id Softwares continued to soar until the mid-1990s, after which other studios followed suit, setting their own standards with Duke Nukem 3D, Unreal and Half-Life. Nevertheless, even after three decades, id Software has remained a top address for shooters and with the successful reboot, Doom (2016) finally found its strength again. Today id Software is firmly in the saddle again, their next game Doom-Eternal made a great mood even with the first trial baller.
So why do I suggest that of all things the Try shooter experts par excellence on another genre? Because I get more and more the feeling that id software could actually have been playing a different game for a long time – and maybe secretly wants to do that myself.
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No big secret: Metroidvanias have long been one of my absolute favorite games. Since Super Metroid (SNES, 1994) I've been a fan of the genre, for Ori and the Blind Forest, Batman: Arkham Asylum or Hollow Knight I leave almost everything behind.
A special game of this type was the excellent Metroid Prime (Gamecube, 2004): It succeeded extremely well in catapulting the familiar game principle from the 2D side view into the first person perspective. The critics freaked out, the fans loved it too and two very good successors rounded off the trilogy. After such a success, the free-riders are usually not long in coming, but strangely they did not appear in the case of Metroid Prime. There are hardly any good Metroidvanias from the first person perspective! The likeable Journey to the Savage Planet, the Indie insider tip Supraland, perhaps in the broadest sense Bethesdas Prey – they are among the rare, laudable exceptions. And Metroid Prime 4? That seems to be far, far away.
Which finally brings me back to Doom.
Source: PC games
Even in the 2016 doom reboot, id Software not only conjured up the spirit of the 1990s and delivered a hearty shooting party, but also did a few things differently (and surprisingly well). Let's start with the movement model. Doom is and remains a shooter, high speed, nasty opponents, big booms. Nevertheless, there are an enormous number of jump inserts! And not only that: The Doom Slayer can also pull itself up casually on edges, that plays beautifully precisely and is not a matter of course. In the successor Doom Eternal (buy now for € 89.99) The developers go even further, here there will also be sprints in the air, double jumps from the beginning, climbing walls, poles to swing along and a chain hook with which you can pull at your opponents.
In short: Doom Eternal will offer even more gymnastics opportunities than before. These in turn not only affect the fights, but also give the level designers significantly more freedom. Secrets and secret passages, for example, can be hidden much more imaginatively than in old quake times, the player has to examine the levels in all directions more closely, activate hidden switches and deviate from the specified paths to really find everything.
These are all important features of Metroidvanias!
Logical: Even the old Doom parts contained tens of secret rooms in which there were small bonuses. But it wasn't until the 2016 reboot that a decisive factor was added, because here you didn't just collect ammunition, armor points and healing packs. This time there were also real upgrades to discover! With them you were able to permanently improve the skills and equipment of the Slayer, for example to pimp up weapons and unlock status bonuses.
The same applies here: permanent upgrades that make our lives a little easier, as well as worthwhile bonuses off the main path are typical Metroidvania elements!
The way is not far anymore
Source: PC games
What Doom is completely lacking, however, are basically just two things. First: The game world here still consists of linear levels in a fixed sequence, which makes Metroidvanias completely different. They usually offer a coherent world, often even without loading times or at least with reasonably credible level transitions (elevators, doors, teleoporters, etc. …). So the level designers at id Software would actually have to break new ground and build a game world that is also suitable for multiple exploration. The magic word is: backtracking!
In practically all Metroidvanias, you return to old areas to catch new upgrades, discover more secrets or complete side quests. The return to old areas also serves as a yardstick for your own game progress: If you might have had a difficult time in one section at the beginning, the second visit will be much more convenient thanks to stronger equipment and useful gadgets.
Source: PC games
Which brings me to the second point, which id Software is still shy of: It is the cornerstone of all Metroidvanias to not only fight more effectively with new equipment or new skills, but also to open up new places! In Doom you collect key cards or something similar to open doors. There are endless possibilities: a small tool to hack control panels and consoles, climbing hooks, welding equipment, a drone that can slip through narrow passages or a scanner that exposes hidden cables in the wall – all of which would be ideally suited for this to incorporate clever environmental puzzles or other types of puzzles.
With the Doom-Reboot, id Software has already implemented a great deal and developed the necessary tools that other studios will surely envy. Precise jump & run elements (swinging, climbing, pulling up, etc.) from the first person view, permanent upgrades and a focus on careful exploration – this lays important foundations with which one can easily move to another genre. In other words: just imagine a Metroid Prime with the precision and action of a modern Doom – sounds great to me anyway!
Now, however, I expressly do not want Metroidvania in the Doom universe. Please let Doom be Doom, I like it the way it is! But a completely new setting, a new story, a new approach – I can trust id Software without hesitation. The whole thing can then also be a little brighter and more colorful, because here too I have the feeling that id Software is completely fed up with its pitch dark courses from Doom 3 or the gray-brown end times of Rage. How do I get it? You only need it once take a look at the brightly colored Doom Eternal,
Do you think maybe id Software will really try another genre? Or will the Texans continue with classic first-person shooters in the future? Which setting would you wish for a doom meets metroid? Write me your opinion!
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