The game formerly known as “Doom 4” lives.
For those paying no attention to the travails of Doom-the-franchise progenitor id Software — including its cornerstone member John Carmack’s recent departure — that may come as a surprise, since it fell off the map years ago. Here’s another: it’s no longer called “Doom 4.”
Instead, let’s call it Doom, because that’s what id Software does (in a promo pitch for up-and-comer Wolfenstein: The New Order — more on that in a moment). And no, no guesses as to what lopping the number off signals. The company’s both denied the game was a sequel to Doom 3 or a series reboot. Instead, id has suggested it’s more like a series rethink, though that was half a decade ago, so who knows what’s intended now.
If you want to see for yourself, Bethesda’s handing out Doom beta access to anyone who pre-orders Wolfenstein: The New Order. The latter’s the latest Wolfenstein game: still a first-person shooter where you square off against occult Nazis in a steampunk-gothic setting. It’s developed by Sweden-based newcomer MachineGames, though newcomer in name only — the team comprises designers who worked on both The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (a surprise critical hit) and The Darkness (another surprise critical hit).
Wolfenstein: The New Order will be available on May 20 in North America (May 23 in Europe) for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. It’ll include a copy of a key that essentially reserves your Doom beta spot for some as-yet obscure beta timeframe. On Bethesda’s new Doom FAQ page, the availability statement offers no clues: “[The] DOOM beta won’t begin until a later, yet-to-be announced date,” writes Bethesda. Nor is it clear how long the beta will last: “We will be providing more information on the specific content and duration of the beta test at a later time,” the company adds.
Bethesda’s neither confirming nor denying it’ll have a public beta access phase, noting only that “Timing and availability of future beta programs for DOOM is to be determined. The only current way to ensure access is through pre-ordering Wolfenstein: The New Order.”
And on that note, here’s the latest Wolfenstein trailer.