At E3 2018, Bethesda and id Software announced a sequel to their excellent 2016 Doom reboot, called Doom Eternal. A couple months later at QuakeCon in August, we got the full reveal—and if you liked the first game as much as we did, there's a lot to be excited about. Here's what we know so far.
What's Doom Eternal's release date?
There's no release date yet, but if id Software are basing the new game on similar technology to the 2016 reboot we're hopeful it'll arrive next year at some point. TechRadar report that this Amazon page was carrying a listing of December 28, which does seem like an odd time to release a game, right after the Christmas rush, and it would've been strange for Bethesda not to mention this during its E3 showcase or at QuakeCon if this was the correct date. Bethesda's E3 press release simply lists it as 'TBA'.
Calm down, it'll be on Steam
Pretty much nobody likes Bethesda's game launcher, and nothing makes people angrier than when Epic makes an exclusive deal with a new game. Well, chill. Doom Eternal will be released on Steam.
We’re pleased to announce that RAGE 2, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, and DOOM Eternal will be released on Steam as well as https://t.co/p0BARqmTBp. We will also be bringing Fallout 76 to Steam later this year.March 25, 2019
It's also coming to Google Stadia
The original Doom runs on everything, so maybe Doom Eternal is fixing to do the same. It'll be released on Google's upcoming game streaming platform, Stadia. So even if you don't have a fantastic GPU, you might be able to play it in 4K anyway—though it's worth pointing out that Jarred played 2016's Doom using Stadia and the latency got him killed.
The QuakeCon gameplay video
You can watch the entire Doom Eternal gameplay video above. It looks a lot like the last Doom, of course, but there are some exciting new developments: wall climbing and dash moves, a grappling hook, a new arm blade, and a shoulder-mounted flamethrower. For our favorite highlights, head to Chris' rundown of the most metal moments.
Phobos gameplay footage
It's not all about Hell on Earth. Doomguy will be traveling to Phobos, which you might remember as the first level in the original Doom. In the video below, we see Doomguy showing up while (gasp) there's still humans left alive working on the station. Well, working as best they can in the face of a demon invasion. It's funny seeing Doomguy scare the pants off of basically everyone, yanking a technician by the neck for his keycard, and then hopping into the fray.
What monsters will we fight in Doom Eternal?
Demons in #DOOM Eternal are destructible. You'll blast off chunks of armor and flesh from your enemies as you unleash your arsenal. https://t.co/4WubJuZeGO pic.twitter.com/Tev99b9ywDAugust 10, 2018
Creator director Hugo Martin says that there will be twice as many demons in Doom Eternal compared to the Doom 2016 reboot. It's unclear whether he means twice as many types of demon or just double the number of demons to kill. Either way, it will be a bloodbath.
From the trailer it looks like we'll be fighting Imps, Hell Knights, Spiderdemons, and Cacodemons-with-arms (aka Pain Elementals from the original Doom). At QuakeCon, we saw updated Arachnotrons, the Arch-vile, and the Marauder. The latter "looks like the Slayer," says Bethesda, and "there's a story behind that."
There's improved damage modeling on 'em, too, which you can glimpse in the clip below and the Tweet above:
The gameplay implications of this damage modeling are pretty awesome, and mean you won't be just dumping bullets into an enemy's hitbox before they fall. Shoot at a mancubus' arm cannons or the arachnotron's turret well enough and you'll be able to disable them.
He'd still be able to attack and stuff like that, but that you would alter the effectiveness of his attacks," Martin said.
"He doesn't have his main attack anymore, at that point he'd have to start to rely on his secondary attack, which in the case of the arachnotron he has missiles that, they're like these little grenades that he pops out of these little compartments on his side," Martin continued. "He's got a pretty good melee swipe, so he's capable to do some pretty cool melee stuff. We think that stuff's really strong. We want the AI, certain chess pieces to command your attention, you know what I mean? And ask a bit more of you as the player."
Don't count on every demon having that level of weapon destructibility, though. The hard-nosed Pinky, being a melee charge kind of attacker, has no use for a weapon, so you'll still just take them out by circling around to their squishy backside.
What do we know about Doom Eternal's guns?
At QuakeCon, we saw concept art showing Doomguy's new arm blade, the 'Ballista' which can "spear demons with an explosive bolt," the Super Shotgun, which now has a 'meat hook' on the end (for grappling), and more. Check out the clip below:
Where is Doom Eternal set?
Earth, overrun by hell. The trailer shows burning skyscrapers and lots of open wasteland. That suggests we'll be fighting in wider levels with a bit more spectacle than the original reboot's Martian facility.
Probably the most surprising thing about the QuakeCon 2018 footage was seeing usernames in the air above various demons' heads. Turns out players can "invade" another player's session as demons and work together to doom the Doomguy, not unlike Dark Souls' invasion mechanic. If that sounds like a less awesome version of hell to you, id Software confirmed that you can turn the feature off.
id Software's Marty Stratton implied this reflects a change in approach to Doom.
"We're not just making a Doom game anymore," id's Marty Stratton said. "We're building a Doom universe."
It's still not yet clear if players will have a choice of which demon they inhabit, how those demons will feel to play, and just how much of a jerk we can be to fellow players.
Is Mick Gordon composing?
The soundtrack will be composed by Mick Gordon, who did music for Lawbreakers, both of the modern Wolfenstein games, Killer Instinct and the 2016 Doom reboot.
Doom 2016 composer Mick Gordon has some new tricks up his sleeve. Back in early January, Gordon put out a video asking for heavy metal screamers to send in audition tapes for a “heavy metal choir.” Sounds positively lovely. Gordon will be recording that choir in the first week of March, and tryouts last until the first week of February, so get screechin’. Gordon hasn’t confirmed whether or not the choir will be used in Doom Eternal, but I mean, c’mon. It’s perfect.
Doomguys die twice?
For a series built on going back to shooting basics, id still has room for some new mechanics, namely the extra lives system you may have seen pop up in the QuakeCon gameplay video. In an interview with VG247, Doom Eternal executive producer Marty Stratton explained that: “it’s just like our checkpoint system.
“It’s just now you don’t have to go all the way back to the checkpoint and play back through that combat encounter. So if you’re almost to another checkpoint or you’re in a boss fight or something, your extra life, if you die, kicks in and the screen goes grey and you are invulnerable for a little bit. You can keep fighting, reposition yourself, and you’re right back in the action where you left off without losing any progress.”
Will there be mod support?
Doom Eternal has no plans for mod support at launch, but might support them "down the road," id Software said.
Game director Marty Stratton said during a Q&A session that there was "no guarantee" of mod support, but that Doom Eternal developers had worked to make the game's code "more flexible" and that mod support is a "long-term initiative," also saying mod support is "important" to him and senior staff.
"We have definitely swung the pendulum back pretty far towards being able to that," Stratton said. "I hope down the road, in the not-near future but the not-too-distant future, we can have a better conversation about that.”
Doom has a long (and really weird) history with mods, so fingers crossed.
Will there be DLC?
Game director Marty Stratton confirmed to Polygon at QuakeCon 2018 that single-player DLC will be coming to Doom Eternal.
"Absolutely," Stratton said when asked about the possibility, but didn't provide further details.
"We love that people are still playing the game," said Stratton, "and on their 20th time through the campaign or doing a speedrun or, you know, maxing out all of their guns or whatever. And [we want to give] people more reasons to come back, whether it’s Invasion, or DLC, it’s really important to us."
What else do we know about Doom Eternal?
According to the official Doom site "Doom Eternal will deliver the ultimate combination of speed and power, along with the next leap in push-forward, first-person combat." That implies we'll see a similar combat style to Doom 2016, which featured fast movement, double jumping, and execution moves that encourage you to charge right into a demon's face before you kill it. This is good news.
Creative director Huge Martin says "we’re most excited about is showing you some of the things that you might not be expecting." Smooching confirmed?
That's all great, but I want to play it right now
Well, you'll just have to wait. But in the meantime, you can play a modded version of 1994's Doom 2, called Doom Eternal XP. It brings in some of Doom Eternal's weapons like the Crucible and shoulder-mounted flamethrower. It even recreates Doom Eternal's dodge skill. Hopefully that will tide you over for a bit! You can find out more about the Doom Eternal XP mod right here.