Why Our ‘Doom’ Review Isn’t Live Yet

2 minute read

Doom, id Software’s rethink of its classic shooter franchise for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, arrives Friday in a flurry of hellfire, gibbets and other eviscerated miscellany. I can’t say much more than that about the game, or frankly anything else you and a gazillion other beta players don’t already know.

That’s because Doom press copies were withheld by Bethesda until launch, with the following explainer:

DOOM is comprised of a single-player campaign, online multiplayer, and SnapMap. We believe all three elements are important parts of the complete DOOM experience, and are meant to be experienced as part of a complete package. As DOOM’s SnapMap and multiplayer modes both require access to a server that won’t be live prior to launch, all review copies will arrive on launch day.

It’s true, a game like Doom has such a noteworthy multiplayer component that, barring special press multiplayer sessions (which is how most companies do business these days), all anyone would’ve been able to scribble about beforehand is the solo experience. Granted, id Software has talked up the single-player element as the centerpiece here–not multiplayer.

But fair enough. Nothing legal or ethically axiomatic mandates that companies hand over creative work before launch. There’s also no dystopian mind-beam tech compelling you or me or anyone else to march out and buy something on its day of release, sight unseen. It’s your hand on your wallet, after all.

Stand by, and we’ll have impressions and a review up soon.


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Write to Matt Peckham at matt.peckham@time.com