If your workplace has rules that restrict images of virtual blood and gore, consider this your last warning: DOOM Eternal only looks more gruesome from here on out. [credit: id Software ]
SANTA MONICA, Calif.—I don’t often get as jazzed about an in-development video game the way I have about DOOM Eternal. After playing its 20-minute E3 demo to completion for my first time, I yelled, “AGAIN! AGAIN!” like a child unwilling to get off of a rollercoaster (and was thankfully granted another go at the fun). Upon getting home and preparing this article before Bethesda’s Sunday E3 press conference, I combed through a full playthrough video provided by the developers like a sad ex flipping through a photo album. I had to look again. I wanted to remember.
That’s not my normal way; I’m a gaming curmudgeon to put it lightly. And yet I am struck by how pristinely iterative this game feels—a perfect execution of the cheesy poster quote, “If you liked DOOM 2016, you’ll love DOOM Eternal.” By carrying familiar elements forward and then supercharging them with compelling twists, DOOM Eternal (launching November 22 on Windows 10, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Google Stadia) could very well rank alongside past elite sequels like Super Mario Bros. 3, Uncharted 2, and Burnout 3: Takedown.
Familiar demons, meet new flamethrower
I mention those specific sequels because they each returned to unsurprising gameplay mechanics and art styles, only polished like crazy and met with a zillion new features that all somehow fit. DOOM Eternal sits in that category, so much so that a peek at its supercharged screenshots might elicit a mix of “ooh, crazy demons” and “uh, haven’t we seen this before?”