The Doom series celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and the latest game in the franchise – Doom Eternal – is due out this November. The series spans numerous games, expansions, and spin-offs, and yet in all that 25 years there has been one gaming feature that none of those games has featured – a hub area.
While fellow Bethesda shooter series Wolfenstein is well-known for having a central between-missions hub area for players to unwind in, stock up on weapons, and check in with the characters, Doom has never bothered with one. This is probably because Doom doesn’t really have a cast of characters or a major story, nor a protagonist with much of a personality.
Yet if Doom Eternal creative director Hugo Martin and executive producer Marty Stratton are correct, Doom Eternal will get one of these areas for players to explore between levels. The game got a showing at QuakeCon this weekend, and as reported by PC Gamer, Marty Stratton spilled the reveal of the hub during a question and answer session.
After the big gameplay playthrough of Doom Eternal, the team answered questions asked by members of official Doom fanclub the Slayers Club. One of those questions asked about the Doom marine himself, and how he got all his muscles. In the middle of Hugo Martin’s attempts to describe the Slayer’s exercise regimen – “He’s ripping and tearing demons apart all the time.” – Marty Stratton leaned over and whispered, “should we talk about the hub? Maybe?”
At least, he tried to whisper, as it’s rather hard to do that when you have a microphone up to your lips. “You’ll learn a lot about him,” replied Martin, “you’ll see where he hangs out – again, if you care – you’ll see how he spends his free time, and you’ll learn a lot about him through the game, if you look for it and pay attention. It’s pretty cool.”
While the beginning of the trailer shows the Doomguy meeting regular humans for the first time since Doom 3, don’t expect to be approaching them in the hub and getting side-quests off them – like you would do in Wolfenstein. Martin explained about the Slayer’s mindset – “You could take this quest or go talk to this NPC, and the Doomguy’s like, ‘how about I just take the keycard off that nerdy scientist’s chest?'” He’s a lot more direct.