id Software doubles down on DOOM’s gory renaissance.
At E3 2018, id Software announced a new entry in the DOOM franchise. Dubbed DOOM Eternal, it’s a continuation of the 2016 reboot that set the franchise on a new path. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
What is DOOM Eternal?
For quite some time, DOOM was an IP that existed in a state closely resembling limbo. Sure, the games haven’t been totally terrible, but it was clear how far removed we were from the glory years. That changed with the reboot of the franchise in 2016.
Aptly and succinctly titled DOOM, it was a huge success. It was one of the best feeling shooters to launch on contemporary consoles, and the game didn’t shy away from the blood and gore that made the series what it is. (It also helped that the storyline wasn’t cheesier than a box of Velveeta.)
DOOM was a huge success, so it’s no surprise the developers want to take that formula and keep it going with DOOM Eternal. It’ll be the first game developed with id Tech 7, which features 10 times the graphical fidelity that the previous engine was capable of. We’re not even sure if that sort of leap will be possible for the PlayStation 4 version of DOOM Eternal to pull off, but it sounds like we’re in for big improvements regardless.
What’s going on in DOOM Eternal?
One of the things id Software wanted to do with the series is take it back even further. While DOOM was a nice ode to the classic no-frills shooting gallery, it didn’t attempt to drum up cheap sales with overindulging nods to the original. It was a nice balance of a classic concept with modern gameplay, graphics, weapons, and devastating finishing moves.
Now that it can stand on its own merit, DOOM Eternal isn’t afraid to be the fanservice game that’ll rope in any remaining holdout players who didn’t believe the reboot would do the series justice. There will be references to many of the classic elements of the original DOOM games, including throwback weapons and newer takes on veteran enemies such as the Zombieman, Arachnotron, Archville, and Pain Elemental. Those guys will be joined by newcomers known as the Marauder and Doom Hunter, among others.
The story picks up where DOOM (2016) left off, with you — playing as the menacing DOOM Slayer — to try and stop a demonic uprising. You find yourself on Mars, and your goal is to stop the man responsible for all of the chaos. His name is Samuel Hayden, a scientist who somehow bridged the gates of hell to Earth.
He was mostly genuine in his endeavor, as the only reason his research facility even attempted something like this was to help solve an energy crisis on Earth. Somehow, it never occurred to him that summoning a demon apocalypse was the wrong way to go about that.
Scrambling to come up with a solution, he released the DOOM Slayer to end the invasion, but he knew it was a dangerous creature that threatened all in the universe, and that he had to dispatch it once the deed was done. His failsafe was to banish the DOOM Slayer instead of killing it, but that plan doesn’t seem like it’ll end up working out in the long run.
What do you do in DOOM Eternal?
Take the first gun you can find and go absolutely nuts on a horde of demons. Seriously, DOOM Eternal is all about killing. Kill as much as you can, as often as you can.
There will be no shortage of ways to go about doing that. Some of the weapons you can wield include a combat shotgun, a rocket launcher, a plasma rifle, a super shotgun, a heavy cannon, and even a whole ballista. Melee weapons will probably be the most fun, though.
The Crucible Blade is an energy sword imbued with demonic power. Or you could just wield the trusty old chainsaw. Your choice. Once your foes are weakened enough, you can finish them off with insanely cool Glory Kill executions, which lets you get your hands dirty and kill the things without the use of a weapon.
OK, so killing isn’t all you do. There’s still the matter of story objectives to tend to. These objectives typically don’t amount to much more than "run here, press Square, run back, shoot demons along the way," but that’s fine. DOOM Eternal should make that cycle a lot more interesting, however, with a twisted world to traverse in new ways. You can run up walls, zip around with a grappling hook, and dash around to get where you need to go, which means the level design should be even more interesting than it was in DOOM.
New to DOOM Eternal are "extra lives," which grant you a brief period of invincibility in moments where you’d otherwise die. These can be found at random and picked up by the player. It eliminates a pain point from the original game where dying meant you had to be whisked back to the beginning of a level to do it all over again.
Some hardcore DOOM players may not accept that help with open arms, though it does sound like you can refuse to pick these extra lives up if you’re more of a purist. Really, it sounds like they were meant more for DOOM Eternal’s Invasion mode, which we’ll touch on right now.
DOOM Eternal will feature an exciting new mode known as Invasion. Invasion mode allows other players to join your game, but it’s not what you think. They won’t be helping you stop the demon army — they are the demon army. They’ll be among the crowd of uglies looking to take you down and will have access to their own combat abilities to help them in that goal.
You don’t have to play with this mode turned on if you just want to chill out and enjoy the campaign, but it should offer a nice change of pace for players who tire of dealing with the AI. And, of course, all the other usual multiplayer modes return, including Team Deathmatch, Warpath (King of the Hill), Domination, and Clan Arena.
Is SnapMap coming back?
DOOM featured an interesting level creation tool that allowed you to create custom hellacious funhouses to share with folks all around the globe. Unfortunately, id Software doesn’t deem it crucial to DOOM Eternal’s featureset, so they’ve axed the feature to focus their efforts elsewhere.
Part of those efforts includes more post-launch single player content. Story-driven DLC should be more plentiful as a result, and we’re sure more than just a fair share of that extra time went into the creation of the Invasion mode.
When can you play it?
DOOM Eternal is currently in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. There’s no exact release date yet, but with Amazon showing a December 31st, 2019 placeholder date, it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing it until sometime that year.
August 20, 2018 at 03:31AM