Along with a slight scare that Doom 4 was canceled (it's not), a batch of screenshots appeared depicting a possible "hell on earth" scenario.
Earlier Tuesday morning, AGB claimed that Doom 4 was canceled while also sporting eighteen screenshots from the supposed nuked game. Since then, Bethesda has squashed the rumor, assuring fans that the fourth Doom installment is still in progress. But what Bethesda didn't do was confirm or deny the Doom 4 screenshots.
The last really big news we've heard about Doom 4 was during QuakeCon 2011. John Carmack said the game will be using a new scripting language called "super-script" that's based on C++, otherwise, he had nothing else to report given that the team was focused on getting Rage, id Software's first original IP since it introduced Quake back in 1996, out the door. Following the event, the new FPS finally shipped in October 2011 using the studio's new engine, id Tech 5.
Now rewind back to E3 2011 last June. During the show, Carmack said the Rage team consisted of around eighteen programmers, and that the core tech team would be moved over to help the Doom 4 team -- which at the time consisted of a dozen programmers -- get the game quickly out on the market. Given that the engine is now solid and the team isn't working on both a new engine and a new game simultaneously, Doom 4 wouldn't take quite as long to develop as Rage.
But given that Doom 4 also runs on the id Tech 5 engine, the supposed "leaked" screenshots look more like a Rage expansion pack depicting a different perspective of the events surrounding the Apophis asteroid impact and thereafter. But several shots also seemingly depict a portal opening in earth's atmosphere, releasing what looks to be hell on earth, destroying a local metropolitan area.
That said, previous rumors have indicated that Doom 4 would be a remake of an earlier installment (Doom 2?), or possibly a prequel to Doom 3. However, Todd Hollenshead suggested that it will take place on Earth, thus backing up what we're seeing in the screenshots. The new Doom installment will also reportedly feature gameplay more in tune with the original DOS-based versions instead of the slow-paced Doom 3.
So are these screens legit? As we said, they seemingly match the hell on earth scenario. You decide. The entire batch can be seen here.