DOOM Eternal was the centrepiece of Bethesda’s E3 2019 press event, as we had all expect it would be. It’s a game that millions are looking forward to, not only because its predecessor was amazing, but also because it looks similarly amazing itself. Since its reveal almost exactly one year ago, Bethesda have done two pretty meaty gameplay showings for the shooter- one at QuakeCon 2018, and one at E3 2019 just recently- and through both those showings, we’ve been able to learn a great deal about the game. In this feature, we’ll be taking a look at all that we know about DOOM Eternal through all its showings, including the E3 2019 one.
One of the most immediately noticeable things about DOOM Eternal during its gameplay reveal last year was how much more agile the game looked. The Doom Slayer is going to have a lot more mobility here than he did in DOOM (2016). New mechanics are being added to the demon killer’s arsenal of moves, such as being able to climb walls, and dash (which he can also do mid-air)- which should all make an already frantic and fast paced game even more so.
That mobility got another small but exciting taste at the game’s recent E3 2019 showing. The demonstration showed once again that DOOM Eternal will have the same complex, multi-layered level design that you’d expect from the series- but maps in the game will now also have even more environmental traps and cues that the Doom Slayer will be able to make use of to move about, or to get away from oncoming attacks. At E3, for instance, we saw him swinging off of poles jutting out of walls to get to higher places or cross gaps.
The meat hook is something we’ve known about for a while, but it’s probably the most exciting new addition that DOOM Eternal is making. Coming in the form of an attachment to the Super Shotgun, the Meat Hook has multiple purposes. It can serve as a grappling hook during combat to pull yourself toward enemies, and outside of combat during traversal and platforming. Outside of the meat hook, players can now also equip the Doom Slayer’s armour with other attachments that can be used during combat, such as a flamethrower, a grenade launcher, and more.
There’s no DOOM without demons, of course, and there’s going to be plenty of those in DOOM Eternal. In fact, the developers have stated that the game has twice as many demon types in it that we saw in the 2016 reboot of the series. This will include both new and returning demon types. Many of the former were recently shown off at E3 2019, one of which looks like some sort of phantasmal dog… thing. Other new demon types include the likes of Doom Hunter and Marauder, while familiar ones like Arachnotron and Pain Elemental will also be appearing.
Slaying the aforementioned demons is what DOOM and the Doom Slayer are all about, and DOOM Eternal is taking said slaying to the next level. There will be up close glory kills and massive weapons, of course, but Eternal also introduces a new system called Destructible Demons. Thanks to this, during combat, you can visibly see demons’ bodies getting progressively more battered and damaged as battles progress and you deal more damage to them.
DOOM Eternal looks like it’s going to be blowing up the franchise and its mythos a great deal. We’ve already seen gameplay on the planet of Phobos, and we know that Earth will also be a major focus in the game, while E3 2019 also showed gameplay on Mars, of course. During the E3 2019 showing, the developers also said that they’re looking at their work on Eternal as not just building a DOOM game, but a DOOM universe- which spells exciting things for the series and its future.
IN-HOUSE DEVELOPMENT OF MULTIPLAYER
Multiplayer in DOOM (2016) was a disappointing affair, almost as much as the single player was excellent. That was largely due to the fact that id Software had outsourced its development, and the quality and sheen and general polish of the game in general couldn’t be found in its multiplayer offerings. With DOOM Eternal though, it looks like id have learned their lesson, and are developing the game’s multiplayer in-house as well.
One of the game’s multiplayer modes recently got shown off at E3 2019. Called Battle Mode, it’s an asymmetrical multiplayer experience that will see players playing as both, demons and the Doom Slayer. Two teams will fight against each other over three rounds, with one team being comprised of two demons, and the other being just one player playing as the Slayer. That’s all id have told us about Battle Mode so far, but they’ve said that more will be revealed at QuakeCon later in the year.
Invasions is another aspect of DOOM Eternal’s multiplayer, though its not really a proper mode in and of itself. This specifically is something we’ve known about for a while, but for those who need a refresher- essentially, through Invasions, your single player campaign can be invaded by other players at any time, who will play as demons and try to bring you down. It adds a unique multiplayer sprinkling on top of an otherwise single player experience. If you want your campaign to be your own, however, you will have the option of turning off Invasions.
The E3 2019 showing for DOOM Eternal sneakily also revealed that the game’s UI has been completely overhauled, which is something you’ll notice if you go back and watch its QuakeCon footage as well. There’s new indicators, existing indicators have been redesigned and made easier to read and more detailed, while the weapon wheel also sees guns being colour coded based on what ammo type they use.
Blood Punch is an ability that we actually saw a tease of in the QuakeCon gameplay, but was shown in all its glory during the E3 2019 showing. Glory kills now fill up the Blood Punch meter, and once that meter has been filled completely, the Doom Slayer can unleash a supercharged melee strike. This strike sends out an energy shockwave, and deals huge damage to all enemies close to you (many might even die immediately upon being hit with a Blood Punch).
Bethesda announced at E3 last year that DOOM Eternal would be releasing in 2019, but hadn’t really spoken about a more specific release date since then. Well, at E3 2019, they lifted the lid on that as well. DOOM Eternal is out on November 22 later this year, and will be launching for PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Google.
Bethesda have also announced a Collector’s Edition for DOOM Eternal, and it’s a pretty sweat package. Beyond the game itself, the Collector’s Edition includes the year one DLC pass (which includes two single player expansions), a classic weapon sounds pack, a Demonic Slayer skin, DOOM (2016) and DOOM Eternal OSTs on a real playable cassette tape (plus digital copies for both), and the best of the lot- a full-sized wearable Doom Slayer helmet.