Doom Eter­nal

The fastest and bad­dest power fan­tasy straight from the depths of Hell

XBox: The Official Magazine - - PREVIEW - Adam Bryant

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.

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