As a footnote of this morning's Wolfenstein release date announcement
, Bethesda quietly confirmed that the new Doom game that has long been in the works at id Software is still actually a thing, and that Wolfenstein: The New Order pre-order customers would score access to an upcoming Doom beta test. Further, the announcement seems to indicate that it's no longer being referred to as Doom 4, rather just simply DOOM -- in all caps like it's 1993 namesake.
Doom 4 was originally announced
all the way back in August 2008, a year after developer id Software had announced RAGE, but while RAGE hit shelves in October 2011, very little has been heard, and nothing has been seen of Doom since.
In April last year the rumour mill indicated that the Doom project had been completely scrapped and restarted
in 2011 and the years since have seen the departure of several key id Software developers including former CEO Todd Hollenshead and co-founder John Carmack, leaving designer Tim Willits and artist Kevin Cloud as the only remaining staffers from the Doom era.
We still know next to nothing about the new Doom game, but that a public beta test is being planned seems to at least suggest a heavier multiplayer focus than RAGE, as publishers don't host this type of beta for a single-player component. As the original Doom was effectively the game that birthed the entire multiplayer arena shooter genre, it's heartening to think that after the forgettable multiplayer offerings of Doom 3 and Quake 4, id might be trying to restore the franchises' relevance there once again.
Will it be a reboot, will it have a traditional solo campaign and independent multiplayer mode? Dedicated servers? Who the hell knows. But with very little of it's original DNA left, the once-worshiped Texan studio will undoubtedly have to prove its worth to the core gaming community all over again.
For more details on Doom Beta access via Wolfenstein: New Order Pre-order, swing by this official FAQ
Wolfenstein: The New Order is due on May 22, 2014 in Australia on PC PS3, PS4, X360 and Xbox One, but the only word on DOOM is that the beta will run at "a later date".