The 5 Most Exciting Ideas In Romero & Carmack's 'Blackroom'

The 'Doom' creators are back together for a new shoot 'em up that crosses worlds.

There’s a new Doom game coming out next week, and while we’re very excited for that, today yielded an announcement intriguing enough to upstage our desire to stomp hell-demons to death. The duo responsible for creating Doom is working on a new project called Blackroom, and it sounds like it wants to be every single modern gaming hit — all at once. Let’s unpack it.

The world of gaming has few feuds more public than the love lost between John Romero and fellow id Software co-founder Adrian Carmack. There are several books dedicated to the dispute between these two creators, who have shipped more than 100 games between them. The announcement of their collaboration after more than a decade apart is one of those impossibilities that no one could have seen coming.

Today, we’re looking at the Kickstarter for the new game, which Romero and Carmack plan to make in Ireland. It focuses on a simulation built by an evil corporation and the soldier who must set things right.

Environmental Control

In the trailer we get a quick shot of your armband controller, which shows levels for rain and other environmental factors. As you’re moving between locations in this digital world, it seems like you’ll be able to change certain variables to give yourself the upper hand. Environmental combat can be done very well (see also: depressurization in Dead Space) so the idea of flooding enemies in a mist and then using a heat vision overlay to hunt them could be killer. Literally.

A Storyline Worth Mentioning

Romero claims to have a system of digital memories and plot points which carve out a compelling ten-hour storyline for the single player, while also pointing to Half Life 2 as his inspiration for the narrative. While we’re not sure what to think about pointing to a game from 2004 as the basis for your storytelling; it’ll be interesting to see how Romero implements a through-line to get us from Old West Town to Haunted Mansion.

Unlimited Modding

The game promises to release with modding tools for both PC and consoles. The opportunity to play in the same multi-world sandbox as the guys behind Quake means we are going to see some innovative rocket-jumping between worlds.

Monsters

The glitches mentioned in the memory based system which govern the “Blackroom” may tie-in to painful memories of our protagonist. If there’s one thing we love, it is Silent Hill-esque horrors. This seems like a cool opportunity for some dark twists.

Redemption

John Romero’s Daikatana is considered, for many reasons, one of the biggest failures in the history of video games. His marketing campaign told players they were his bitch, and then the game released was an unmitigated and almost unplayable disaster.

For the year 2000, setting a game in multiple time periods with completely different assets and art styles was far too ambitious, but it seems like this is exactly the same prompt Romero is working from — and if it hits, this will be his redemption for a game he has actually apologized to consumers for releasing.

Check out their fun Star Wars nod of a teaser.