Bethesda Isn't Sending Out Early Review Copies Of Doom

Bethesda Isn't Sending Out Early Review Copies Of Doom

Don't expect to see any early reviews for the new Doom. Publisher Bethesda has decided to hold back on copies, telling critics that the game won't be available until it launches this Friday. This news might come as alarming — perhaps a bad sign for a game that's long been in development hell — but there's no need to jump to conclusions. Holding back review copies isn't an uncommon practice. Some publishers, especially when launching games with a big focus on online multiplayer, do it all the time.

Blizzard, for example, rarely offers early access to their games. Games like StarCraft II and Diablo III weren't available to reviewers until their servers went live on release day. Other online games, like Destiny, didn't go live until the day before they came out, which is why we took our time with that review.

While it's certainly possible that Bethesda is holding back because they're putting out a clunker and they want to prevent bad reviews, it wouldn't be fair to assume that. We'll find out on Friday nonetheless.

Also, in case you're wondering: For over two years now, Kotaku has been on Bethesda's blacklist because of our reporting on Fallout 4, Prey 2 (which we'll probably see at E3) and Doom, among other things. So we weren't going to get an early copy anyway. (We heard about this from friends at other outlets. IGN has talked about it publicly as well.) We'll buy the game ourselves and do our best to cover it fairly and honestly nonetheless.


Comments

    My only hope is that the single player is good. Doom 3 has given me high expectations. Loved the survival horror angle more than the endless waves of enemies.

      the footage that was shown at Nvidia launch of the GTX 1080 was pretty damn awesome for PC footage... it really shows how bad the marketing has been that footage for a graphic card unveiling was 100 times better than all previous footage shown and even better than the shite that was the MP beta

        The beta was Halo on Restavit. I haven't played a more pedestrian death match in years

        Was blown away by that footage from nvidia conference. I looked fast paced and intense! I haven't played any of the betas but give me a solid single player (don't care about story just awesome level design and plenty to shoot at) and something close to that multiplayer and I will be a very happy man!

    uh oh...

      How much of a difference does withholding review copy make as opposed to the usual review embargo? The reviews won't be ready to go immediately upon release but reviewers will binge to get something out the door within a day or less even.

      Nothing to fear from the enabling pre-order types. Are they trying to nail the excited fence sitters who will cave if they have to wait hours longer for the truth.

      It might be alright, but it comes across as shady. Shifting the stinker before too many people wake up to it?

    Also, in case you’re wondering: For over two years now, Kotaku has been on Bethesda’s blacklist because of our reporting on Fallout 4, Prey 2 (which we’ll probably see at E3) and Doom, among other things. So we weren’t going to get an early copy anyway. (We heard about this from friends at other outlets. IGN has talked about it publicly as well.) We’ll buy the game ourselves and do our best to cover it fairly and honestly nonetheless.

    Violins...

    Last edited 11/05/16 2:46 pm

    There are so many alarm bells for this game that nobody should be rushing out there to buy it until a lot of reviews are in....

    Last edited 11/05/16 2:50 pm

      But it's DOOM! That's good enough for me!

      Given that Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is bundled with the pre-order, worst case scenario I get W:TOB for its regular price plus a discounted Doom. :)

        Just a heads-up that The Old Blood is the expansion for Wolfenstein: The New Order, which is the full game.

          Oh, yeah, I already have the base game (and enjoyed it), and had been eyeing off the expansion, but thanks for the PSA. Good for the reader.

            Fair Warning TOB is a lot more shooty than the first game, a few hours in you're just killing hordes of enemies. Can get a bit grindy.

        Wolfenstein TNO was a god damn terrific game, no way the Doom SP will be worse.

    Worked out great for sonic boom... First they delete all the steam review (overwhelmingly negative) and now no review copies. Yeah this things gunna tank

      My hope is that it ends up with a 'mixed' Steam review score due to praise for the SP (which I am mad keen for) and criticism for the MP (which I don't give a shit about).

        played the sp for 4 hours so far and its pretty good

    Still... they released Dishonoured and that was pretty great. I was really disappointed with Doom 3 when it came out so I'm not holding my breath for this. That was the last time I ever pre-ordered a game.

    Well on the plus side at least I can't wait for Angry Joe to rip this game to shreds.

    I guess we'll see. I was underwhelmed by multiplayer even though my criticisms wouldn't be too hard to fix but they're going for a COD feel, not a proper arena shooter feel so whatever, it's their game. There's always the new UT for arena shooter goodness and so far it is pretty damn good.

    At this point I'm really hoping the single player campaign is good. I'm still buying it upfront because it's Doom. At the very least even if single player turns out to be bad, there's snapmap which could have to pretty cool content coming out of it.

    i have my copy so i am happy to do a freelance review for yas.

    You could have at least posted their reason for not sending review copies.

    "DOOM is a robust game 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, review copies will arrive on launch day.”

    What I have seen of the single player looked quite enjoyable. Its a return to the carnage and hordes that make the first game a blast to play. I also happen to have enjoyed ID software's games along the way so I am not going to jump to conclusions. If people are worried, buy it a week after release, and listen to what the general consensus is.

    I kinda chuckled at the whole taking the high road thing RE your blacklisting. Sneaks into a Bethesda article here and there ;)

    Geez I hope this is good, well, I hope at least the single player is good. MP beta was ok, hopefully they ditched the stupid load out thing and dialled it back to arena shooter principles.

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