Ever since being revived by iD Software in 2016, Doom has been lauded as one of the best and purest first-person shooter experiences. Offering frenetic gameplay set in apocalyptic landscapes and accompanied by one of gaming’s most metal soundtracks, Doom 2016 became one of the most iconic titles to come out that year.
It was even jokingly referred to as introducing a new kind of survival horror, where you are the horror and everybody else is trying to survive.
Doom Eternal promises to crank up Doom’s signature gameplay by adding new features, new environments, and an even deeper glimpse into its universe’s lore.
And given the details that have already been shown, there is no doubt that the game is going to offer players more opportunities to “Rip and Tear.”
Where the Story Left Off
Doom is not exactly known for its award-winning storytelling. The story itself is actually quite simple and straightforward as it has been so since the first Doom game in the 90s: nameless soldier finds himself in a middle of a demonic invasion and goes to Hell to tear all of Demonkind a new one.
But, props is to be given to iD Software for adding a bit of mystery when reviving the franchise in 2016. As such, it bears a little bit of retrospective.
You, as the Doomslayer, wakes up in a demonic sarcophagus in a Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) facility in Mars in the middle of a demonic assault.
As you go through the facility (finding weapons and your Praetor suit), you are greeted by Dr. Samuel Hayden who attempts to catch you up on everything that has happened since you were imprisoned in Hell.
It seems that UAC has been attempting to harvest Hell’s energy in order to solve the energy crisis at Earth. Doing so, obviously, led the mortal realm to be all exposed to Hell’s legions of demons.
Fighting his way through the facility, the Doomslayer destroys the Argent Tower (the focal point of all demonic energy in Mars) while also making several jumps into Hell itself. Finally, the Doomslayer recovers an ancient weapon called the Crucible and confronts Olivia Pierce, Hell’s human pawn in this invasion.
Upon defeating her in her monstrous Spider Mastermind form, you are teleported back to Mars where Hayden nabs the Crucible from you. Declaring that Hell’s energy is too potent to be left untapped by mankind, he banishes you to an unknown place, promising a next encounter.
Given the rather vague ending of Doom 2016, fans are left wondering how iD Software is going to clarify a lot of questions that they themselves have posed in the games narrative. Below are some of the mysteries still left unanswered in the series:
1. Who is the Doomslayer Actually?
It’s easy to lump off the Doomslayer as one angry (and extremely durable) space marine hell bent on tearing every demon that he finds limb from limb. However, there seems to be some air of mystery regarding his origins.
Why did he come to hate demons so much? How did the demons come to fear him so much that they actually sealed him off in a tomb for millennia?
There are hints implying that the Doomslayer is the original Doomguy from the earlier games. However, further adding to the mystery is the constant re-telling of the tale of an in-universe figure.
2. Who is the Betrayer?
Found in Hell are tablets telling the tale of how a realm called Argent D’Nur was destroyed by demons. It states that one of the protectors of that realm made a pact with a priest from Hell in order to bring back a son he lost to one of the many battles with demons.
Leading the priest to the Elemental Wraiths of the realm, that unknown protector handed his own people to the very forces he was fighting against. And, worst of all, his son was brought back as a gigantic demon known only as The Icon of Sin to further consume Argent D’Nur into hell.
The stories of the unknown “betrayer” does imply that he and the Doomslayer are related, if not the same person. So, is the Doomslayer’s assault on Hell and his seemingly invincible nature born out of a deal gone south? That’s yet to be answered in the upcoming games.
3. What Happened to Hell?
Although Hell is always described as a chaotic plane of existence, there is something to imply that the chaos seen in the realm when the Doomslayer visited it is not of its own design. There are corpses of long-dead demonic titans strewn all over ancient battlefields, and the landscape itself is split and torn asunder seemingly by another entity.
These wreckages could hint to the Doomslayer’s previous incursions to hell. Or maybe they are the damages players inflicted when they visited Hell in previous games. Further giving strength to this theory is the fact that the massive Icon of Sin (which is currently sleeping in Hell) was previously faced in Doom 2.
Given how the demons know and seriously fear the Doomslayer, it could be said that the series is just a continuation of the old Doom games. And then there’s the Doomslayer’s own visible contempt to all things Demonhood, as if he has been fighting the creatures for ages now.
What the Trailers Have Shown So Far- News & Rumours
During Bethesda’s conference in E3 2018, they unveiled the next entry of the Doom series which was Doom Eternal. This was followed by more gameplay footage in the same expo as well as QuakeCon of the same year.
Bethesda also marketed Eternal heavily in 2019, with featured showings in E3 and Quakecon of this year. As such, here are a few things that the trailers have revealed:
1. New Settings
Doom 2016 kept things relatively safe and familiar by restricting the story to the usual Mars and Hell settings. However, Doom Eternal is expected to expand the conflict to other areas of the universe.
The first trailer and gameplay footage shows that much of the game will be centered around Earth. In the midst of its own demonic invasion, Earth has transformed into an apocalyptic landscape complete with destroyed cities, giant flesh tendrils, and all sorts of demonic entities.
However, Earth is not only the new place that the Doomslayer will visit. Phobos is another featured setting, showcasing a view of the damaged Mars on Phobos’ sky as well as the biggest BFG ever made by mankind. This is not the first time players have visited Phobos, however, as the moon was featured in Doom 2 way back in the mid-90s.
Also, there is a third unnamed realm that players could visit in the game. Not much has been shown of this place but its Gothic architecture and the fact that its denizens feature angelic elements might imply that this is Doom’s version of Heaven. Or at the very least, it is a realm that fights on the side of order.
2. Expanded Gameplay
Despite carrying all that heavy armor and weaponry, the Doomslayer has become even nimbler than in the previous game. In Eternal, he can now launch himself off overhanging bars, dash for several meters, and climb through surfaces.
Apart from an expanded move set, verticality is now a main feature in Eternal. The Super Shotgun comes with a grapple hook attachment, which allows players to either drag hapless demons in for the kill or launch several feet to the air.
Some levels feature a sense of verticality, encouraging you to approach fights with a three-dimensional perspective. In the trailers, the levels of Phobos do feature jumping from one floating landmass to another.
Aside from this, the gameplay remains as tight as ever as in the previous game. There’s a strong emphasis on Gory Kills, which encourages players to be as aggressive as possible in order to survive. Add to this the inclusion of collectibles and secrets in every level and Eternal is shaping up to be a more refined experience than its predecessor.
The monsters that you will face in Eternal are, of course, of the demonic kind. However, the developers have promised that there will be twice as many types of demons in the upcoming game. As we’ve learned from the first gameplay footage, players can expect the usual Doom demons to pop up—including possessed zombies, imps, Hell knights, pinky demons, Mancubi, and cachodemons.
However, it also shows new types of enemies. This includes the Pain Elemental, the fan favorite Arch-Vile, Arachnotrons (smaller versions of the Spider Mastermind you fought in 2016), and miniboss-types known as the Marauder and the Doomhunter. The Doomhunter, in particular, hints at a strong narrative progression for the Doomslayer since it uncannily looks like a demonic version of the angry space marine.
Adding more depth to how you approach each enemy is an improved Damage Modelling system. To put it simply, every part of almost every enemy can be specifically targeted, and that in turn affects how they fight.
For instance, if you hit a sub-weapon in the enemy too many times, that weapon would no longer work. Shoot them at the legs and they might limp or crawl towards you. The developers have even said that it’s theoretically possible to disarm and disable almost every enemy type in the game.
4. Expanded Arsenal
The developers of Eternal promise new ways to turn demons into bloody piles of mush. There is a new shoulder mounted attachment in the slayer’s armor that allows players to burn, slice, and disintegrate every demon that they see.
Every old Doom weapon has also been given a new paint job as well as upgrades and attachments. The plasma rifle now has different settings for the beams it fires, while the assault rifle comes with a sniper function.
Other weapons have been added as well. The new Ballista, for example, allows the Doomslayer to impale enemies from afar. The Crucible, on the other hand, returns as a functional close-range weapon instead of a mere macguffin.
Lastly, replacing the fan favorite chainsaw is a new arm blade. This means that the developers have also developed new gory kills, which allows players to tear demons apart with a button prompt.
5. More Gameplay Features
Eternal’s developers have likewise shown new modes meant to enhance the gaming experience even further. The developers added an optional mode called The Hub where players can see what the Doomslayer does when he is not killing demons.
It’s just a fancy level select as far as how the developers describe it, but it does give a glimpse into the Doomslayer’s ever-elusive character. However, it is the Multiplayer aspect that has received the most changes.
A new 1v2 Battlemode has been added wherein one player as the Doomslayer will take on 2 other players as demons in a battle of skill and strategy. Another nifty inclusion is the ability to “invade” other people’s games just like in From Software’s Dark Souls series.
In the QuakeCon 2018 gameplay trailer, it can be seen that some demons had usernames floating over their heads. This means that players can get into other players’ sessions as demons and find ways to outmaneuver the Doomslayer. And for those that don’t want other people meddling with their experience, this feature can be turned off.
Doom Eternal is set for worldwide release on November 22, 2019 for the PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Switch. This means that players won’t have to wait too long before they can rip and tear through hordes of demons again.
Like any other game, the trailers do not fully show the true quality of Doom Eternal as a game. At the very least, it is a decent ultraviolent tribute to the simpler days of the FPS genre. At best, however, Doom Eternal could make for a fun (and gory) romp from Earth to Hell and back again—one that lives up to the legacy of the franchise.