The fastest and baddest power fantasy straight from the depths of Hell
PublisheR Bethesda Developer id Software Format Xbox One ETA TBC
There was a wave of excitement from the crowd at this year’s E3 when Bethesda announced Doom
Eternal with a short cinematic trailer. Despite being so brief, everyone in the building had trouble containing their glee at the prospect of tearing up a bunch of demons once more in the most explicit power fantasy ever. But it was at the recent QuakeCon event where that excitement reached its natural peak. When Id Software’s creative director Hugo Martin and executive producer Marty Stratton sauntered onto the stage, everyone knew they would deliver exactly what they wanted, and were treated to over 15 minutes of raw, unadulterated gameplay.
As you step into the shoes of the Doom Slayer once more, Earth has been completely invaded by the forces of Hell. Buildings are being held together by giant tentacles and molten lava and demons can be found in every direction. Only smoke, death and destruction can be seen on the horizon as the whole place has been transformed into a literal Hell on Earth. As the Doom Slayer you’ll be tasked with driving back the hordes of Hell in an effort to save humanity. The game looks shinier and more gruesome than ever, but it’s not just the looks that have been improved on, there have been a multitude of improvements to both the gameplay and story this time around.
The first things you’ll notice are the improvements to the Doom Slayer’s weapons and armour. The demo starts off with the Doom Slayer checking out these new armour enhancements and reloading his trusty series-stalwart, the Super Shotgun. The distinctive snap of the barrel as it opens and the clink of the slugs sliding into their chambers as he reloads primes you for the carnage ahead.
The Super Shotgun is made even more super with the addition of something the developers have called a ‘Meat Hook’. This nifty little chain and hook device attached underneath the gun’s barrel will have you firing a grappling hook at your enemies, sinking the hook into their flesh and pulling yourself towards them. This is used frequently during the gameplay demo to great effect.
Fun with guns
Most of the weapons have an alternate firing mode: the Super Shotgun has the Meat Hook, the Combat Shotgun has a grenade launcher, but also an interchangeable barrel that has you firing off rounds like a mini chain-gun. There’s also a Heavy Cannon which is similar to the Heavy Assault Rifle from the previous game, which includes a scope that can turn it into a pretty effective rifle.
One of the newest additions to the Doom Slayer’s arsenal is an energy sword that extends from a Crucible artefact. This is shown briefly at the end of the demo and is similar to the one seen in the ending of the previous game.
The new and improved armour that you wear comes with a shouldermounted flamethrower so as to better fry up those demons. There’s also an extendable blade attached to the Doom Slayer’s wrist which allows for some rather gruesome melee finishing moves, such as being able to slice demons in half or remove their eyeballs and stuff them down their
“The Super Shotgun is made even more super with the addition of a ‘Meat Hook’”
“The Doom Slayer appears even more unstoppable than ever before”
throats. We know, grim. The armour also now allows the Doom Slayer to perform a quick dash to manoeuvre himself more effectively.
All of this is laced with a soundtrack that really enriches the experience. A thumping score taps into your almost raw primal instinct, making it easy to get caught up in the game’s hype.
A particularly exciting surprise announcement, revealed as part of the demo, came in the form of a new multiplayer mode where players will now be able to invade another player’s campaign as a Demon to take on the Doom Slayer themselves. You can even form or join a group to create Slayer-hunting parties for what Hugo Martin describes as “a fun new way to add drama and unpredictability to your campaign”, and eliminate the target en masse. As the Doom Slayer, when these invasion moments occur you’ll receive a warning that flashes at the top of the HUD to give you a small amount of time to prepare. However, if having your game invaded by others isn’t something you want to do, you have complete control and can choose whether or not to have that game mode active, leaving you to rip and tear up demons at your own leisure. That’s not all – a more familiar multiplayer mode will also be present, but we are promised it will be markedly different from the one featured in the previous game.
When it comes to the enemies you’ll be destroying, there will be a whole bunch of new and returning enemies in this demon-slaughtering sequel – twice as many, in fact. Not only will we see some returning foes from previous games such as the floating Pain Elementals, the crawling Arachnotron and even the Archvile, there will be some new enemies to face such as the Doom Hunter and the Marauders. Marauders in particular look brutish and menacing, and these look rather similar to the Doom Slayer. Id teased that there is a reason they look so similar to the Doom Slayer, but for now we can only speculate. Maybe they’re corrupted Doom Slayer clones, something from alternate universe, or maybe just an experiment made in Hell to produce their own version of the Doom Slayer to take on the original.
Each of these creatures, it was boasted, have completely destructible bodies. In other words, as you battle your enemies, they’ll progressively look worse for wear as they get torn to shreds and blown to smithereens. Each explosion and gunshot wound will be visibly reflected on your enemy’s body.
Lore and disorder
Id Software is taking the narrative a lot more seriously this time around. “We’re not just making a Doom game anymore,” says Martin. “We’re making a Doom universe.” This means there will be lots of things around the world, as well as the environment, that you can find which will reveal more about the lore and history of the Doom universe. To help with this we’ll be visiting a never-before seen world. One example is seen later in the demo where there is a moody but certainly less Hellish location, with blue skies and enormous buildings. Some of the concept art shown teases other locations too.
Doom Eternal is the first game to take advantage of Id Software’s latest iteration of the IdTech engine which promises ten times the geometric detail for the game, so players can expect the most detailed Doom game ever seen.
Doom has always been known as a fast-paced, brutal shooter but
Eternal seems likely to take this to new heights, both figuratively and literally, making the Doom Slayer appear even more unstoppable than ever before. The ‘push-forward’ style of gameplay is in full force and has you engaging with the enemy with renewed speed and vigour. The seemingly relentless combos and rapid-fire action will keep you constantly on the move. The demo eased us into this pace before the Doom Slayer was bounding and grappling across the levels like someone possessed. With all these new improvements, we’re more excited than ever for a new Doom game, and it feels like Hell can’t arrive soon enough for us.
Below Is that a chainsaw we see before us, its handle towards Doom Guy’s hand? Yes, yes it is.
Below Looks like we can expect some grand new locations to kill hordes of demons in.