The original Doom is one of the most influential games of all time, ranking alongside such icons as Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Super Mario Bros. as emblems of the medium. After eight years in development hell, it’s nothing short of miraculous that the fourth game in the series is as polished and unfettered an experience as it is, garnering almost universally positive reviews.

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But Doom’s success was never a given. Announced way back in 2008 and undergoing at least one significant overhaul in 2011, Doom (then titled Doom 4) was reported as having gameplay and cinematics more akin to Call of Duty, worrying news for a series known for its simplicity and lack of narrative padding.

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