The glorious event of QuakeCon has finally come and Bethesda has shown off the upcoming sequel to 2016’s Doom, Doom Eternal. It needs to be seen to be believed, really. It’s brutal, it’s electrically paced and it doesn’t appear to relent, at least based on the chunk of gameplay footage they showed off.
The stream is long and exhaustive, but the Doom Eternal stuff kicks off at the one hour and twelve-minute mark of Bethesda’s hosted stream.
It’s worth watching, but a few of the things revealed during the stream confirm that the team certainly aren’t in the business of reinventing what made the original Doom so badass, they’re simply expanding on it and packing more meat onto the bones.
It’s clear there’s been a huge emphasis on reinforcing the power fantasy as Doomslayer is simply the strongest and most powerful he’s ever been in Doom Eternal. His upgraded armour and arsenal are something to admire as Hugo Martin and Marty Stratton, the game’s creative and game directors respectively, showed off his new enhanced armour and tools of the trade through conceptual art.
These weapons include the Ballista, a harpoon gun that spears demons with explosive bolts, and of course the return of “Doomslayer’s own Excalibur”, the Super Shotgun. The infamous double-barreled death machine now comes equipped with a tool the team are calling the “meat hook” which, as you see in the gameplay reveal, doubles as a grappling hook, adding another dimension to Doom’s already blistering traversal.
The pair quickly moved onto some of the new enemies we’d have to rip and tear in Doom Eternal and there are twice as many as in the first Doom, including enemies reimagined from their classic sprites. One of them, you’ll notice looks a little like Doomslayer himself and the team teased that there’s a story behind it, so the lore of Doom appears to be growing ever stronger.
Following the initial gameplay reveal, it was teased that Doom Eternal would feature Darks Souls-like player invasions. Players can take control of a variety of the game’s demon roster and invade another player’s campaign and you can even team up with others to create a “slayer hunting party”.
It sounds like fun and adds a level of unpredictability to an already volatile hellscape within Doom. Of course, an invasion is in the player’s hands and they’re able to play their own way if being invaded isn’t their thing.
The brief conference closed out with a look at Doomslayer’s arrival on Phobos, as he stalks slowly through the control deck of a space station to the gasps of its workers. It really amplifies the legend of the Doomslayer, which is super fun. During the following few minutes where Doomslayer stomps his way through Phobos, we’re even able to see a bit of the gradual damage that can be inflicted on demons as we’re able to chip away and blow armour chunks off of them before dealing the death blow. I wasn’t expecting damage models for enemies but to see that level of detail is exciting.
And of course, the demo closes out with our hero charging an Arch-vile with a freaking laser sword. So cool.
Sadly, no release for Doom Eternal was announced during the conference so it’d appear it’s likely going to be a late 2019 release but that is, of course, just speculation.