When id Software released its Doom reboot in 2016, it was applauded as a fast, visceral, and brutal first-person shooter that refreshed the gameplay of the original games. It felt like a return to form after the slower, more methodical, more horror-driven Doom 3. However, it’s well known that the would-be Doom 4 project went through several iterations before what was released in 2016. Now, per the ArtStation of id Software video editor / motion graphics artist Danny Keys (via The Gman’s Archive), we have new screenshots and footage of an aborted version of Doom 4, and the names used for the files suggest they were created for a Christmas presentation back in 2012. It looks like a first-person Dead Space.
As you can see below, the Doom 4 teaser footage only lasts half a minute and is filled with mutant-like creatures, creatures trapped/mutating/incubating in the walls, and random monstrosities trying to kill the player. It’s cool in its own way, but like Doom 3, it feels like its own distinct thing. The one part that looks pretty Doom is the part with the shooting and punching a bunch of monsters.
Here is very early Doom 2016 / Doom 4 Footage from a 2012 ID Software christmas presentation pic.twitter.com/ompo8eq5R6
— The Gman's Archive (@VideoGameArch) March 2, 2023
Provided the 2012 date is accurate, this Doom 4 footage and associated screenshots would be for a version of the game that came after the aborted “Hell on Earth” version, which would have been a cinematic take on Doom 4. Neither version looks or sounds anything like the game that ultimately launched in 2016.
In recent times, Doom Eternal launched in 2020, with The Ancient Gods DLC releasing across 2020 and 2021. Improbably cutesy mobile spinoff game Mighty Doom was announced last month. And some people are pretty upset with id Software and Executive Producer Marty Stratton for their treatment of composer Mick Gordon during the development of Doom Eternal.