Doom's new gun is a ludicrous 'skull garbage disposal.' Finally, a gun that cares about sustainability

Guns are characters, and over its 31 years in the videogame gun business, Doom can claim some real superstars, the FPS equivalents of Brando or Hepburn.

Newly announced Doom: The Dark Ages kicked off today's Xbox Games Showcase with another stunner, an over-the-top contraption that is instantly the thing I am most eager to shoot in this new quasi-medieval Doom prequel that Bethesda says "tells the epic cinematic origin story of the Doom Slayer's rage." 

It's some kind of wood chipper scattergun that uses skulls as ammo, and the way it animates is ridiculous. Slowing down the playback of the trailer, I see a door sliding away to lift a fresh skull into a rectangular chamber, beneath which is at least one more visible skull (implying the existence of a skull magazine—two heads are better than one). On the sides of the gun, six smaller skulls, I dare not consider their origin, throb on perpendicular pistons, presumably powering the thing with hell magic.

Teeth and all, the skull is fed into a rolling set of spiked wheels, crunching it down into superheated chips. The skull is churned over about three seconds, over which these extra spicy bone bits are ejected in a wide 'V' pattern, shaped by two metal arms at the front. It looks like a lower-damage crowd-clearing weapon, but perhaps it's upgradable into different forms. In the trailer we see a dozen low-level demons knocked over by the wide fan of hot bone, which seems extra insulting to the undead.

(Image credit: id Software)

The skull-on-a-skull absurdity of this gun is straight out of Warhammer 40K. It's not a shotgun, and not an SMG, but dark machinery that uses the most readily available ammunition in this world, skulls, which is sort of like composting, I guess? Sustainability is so important.

It's a cerebral slapchop. A coffee grinder for scalps. The face smelter. A skull garbage disposal. A Flak Cannon that fires lobotomies. Lacking a confirmed name for this device, these are my working titles.

(Image credit: id Software)

Four other weapons are seen in the trailer, a mix of old and new:

  1. The double-barrelled shotgun which so far looks classic but is no doubt modifiable, an energy rifle that looks pretty ordinary
  2. A stake spitter that reminds us of the HV-Penetrator in F.E.A.R. or Painkiller's Stake Gun
  3. A sigil-stamped shield that at one point the Doom Slayer pulls a ripcord on to activate the "Shield Saw," a buzzsaw that lines the circumference before hurling like Captain America
  4. A ball-and-chain mace what looks like it's either a low-level melee attack, or a cousin of the Meat Hook that was attached to the Super Shotgun in Doom Eternal
Evan Lahti
Global Editor-in-Chief

Evan's a hardcore FPS enthusiast who joined PC Gamer in 2008. After an era spent publishing reviews, news, and cover features, he now oversees editorial operations for PC Gamer worldwide, including setting policy, training, and editing stories written by the wider team. His most-played FPSes are CS:GO, Team Fortress 2, Team Fortress Classic, Rainbow Six Siege, and Arma 2. His first multiplayer FPS was Quake 2, played on serial LAN in his uncle's basement, the ideal conditions for instilling a lifelong fondness for fragging. Evan also leads production of the PC Gaming Show, the annual E3 showcase event dedicated to PC gaming.