Cancelled Doom 4 gameplay shared as part of 'game preservation mission'

Back in the days when Bethesda was still hyping up Rage's megatextures, id was working behind the scenes on a version of Doom 4 that looked a whole lot different than the successful reboot we eventually got in 2016. This Doom 4 took place on earth, prominently starred characters other than the recognizable Doom Slayer, and had the feel of a modern Call of Duty game. It was eventually canned in 2013 for, among many things, being too "Call of Doom".

For years, the most we'd seen of that iteration of Doom was a leaked CG trailer establishing its war-torn look, until gameplay from the cancelled Doom 4 project appeared in Noclip's 2016 Doom documentary: a brief corridor crawl and melee brawl featuring a shotgun, human-like demon hybrids, and melee combat.

Today, as part of an ongoing 'game preservation mission,' Noclip released a clean, unedited version of the Doom 4 gameplay originally shown in the documentary. Also showcased are bits of in-development footage from the rebooted Doom 2016, including early versions of glory kills.

Reflecting on the cancelled project, id maintained that Doom 4 would have been a game fans enjoyed, but felt the studio's efforts were better spent on a version of Doom that more closely followed the series' original formula: hell, speed, and the one-man-army that is the Doom Slayer. We now know that this strategy paid off, which may have helped convince Bethesda to bring "Call of Doom" out of the shadows years later.

This is the second time in as many months that Noclip has shared gameplay from cancelled games for the sake of posterity. In May, the channel released an hour-long look at Ravenholm, the cancelled Half-Life 2 spinoff developed by Arkane in the days before Dishonored.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.