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Doom Eternal release date: multiplayer details and new gameplay

All the Doom Eternal news about monsters, multiplayer, weapons, and gameplay - plus the Doom Eternal release date

We have learnt a great deal about the Doom 2016 sequel since its announcement at E3 2018. It features more beefy demons in the style of the first game, and from the sounds of it, another exquisite industrial metal soundtrack courtesy of id Software’s resident composer Mick Gordon.

Doom 2016’s creative director Marty Stratton has handed over the reins to the studio’s art director, Hugo Martin – so expect the most beautiful gore you’ve ever seen in your history of PC gaming. This time we’re going to Earth, but not as we know it. Id has twisted our home planet into a delightful hellscape, which makes clear the demons have escaped Mars and found a new home with us. And that’s not the only place they’ve invaded; Doom Eternal introduces us to a whole new Doom Universe, with Phobos being just one of the other locations you can expect the Slayer to visit.

While id Software unveiled Doom Eternal’s first trailer at E3, it revealed everything we know so far about the game at Quakecon 2018 in Dallas, Texas. A huge gameplay demonstration showed off thirty minutes of intense rip-and-tear action, revealing new features like a grapple hook and the ability for other players to invade your game. So join us for a gory dive into the nightmarish world of Doom Eternal. Here’s all the details so far…

DOOM ETERNAL RELEASE DATE

Doom Eternal has been delayed, so the new official Doom Eternal release date is March 20, 2020. The delay was announced via Twitter, with id Software saying it’s necessary for the game to “live up to our standards of speed and polish”.

Doom eternal gameplay demo

If you want to go into obsessive detail on some of the changes coming to Doom Eternal then we have an exceedingly in-depth breakdown of everything we know below based on the gameplay demo shown off at Quakecon 2018 and our own experience playing Doom Eternal.

The first footage of Doom Eternal was shown at Quakecon 2018, and you can watch it below.

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For 15 minutes of extra gameplay, showcasing just how gory demon killing gets, you can check out Rich’s footage below as he explores new environments and takes on a fight in a Slayer Gate.

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Doom Eternal enemies

“You want even more badass demons?,” Doom Eternal creative director Hugo Martin asked at E3, “Well, there are twice as many in this game.”

We count just over 20 different enemy types in Doom 2016, which would – quick maths – put Eternal’s total at over 40.

New enemies revealed so far include re-imagined versions of the Pain Elemental, Archvile, and Arachnotron from previous Doom games. These are joined by brand new enemies such as the DOOM Hunter and corrupted Marauders. These guys look a little like a demonic Doom Slayer, and id promise there’s a story behind that look, too.

Doom Eternal destructible demons

Almost dead

 

Just as exciting as the new enemies is the ‘Destructible Demons’ system. With each blast of your weapon, more and more chunks of flesh are ripped away from a demon’s body. This appears to be unique for each enemy, and adds some visible punch to the game’s already gnarly weaponry.

 

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Just as exciting as the new enemies is the ‘Destructible Demons’ system. With each blast of your weapon, more and more chunks of flesh are ripped away from a demon’s body. This appears to be unique for each enemy, and adds some visible punch to the game’s already gnarly weaponry.

Doom Eternal weapons

The heart of Doom is, of course, its weapons, and you can expect to see a bunch of returning favourites in the Doom Eternal weapons roster and some brand new boomsticks to quench your thirst for demonic violence.

While many weapons appear to be ‘old’, every one does seem to have had quite the rework. The Super Shotgun, as previously mentioned, has the Meat Hook grapple chain. The Combat Shotgun now seems to launch sticky grenades. The Assault Rifle, equipped with a scope, seems to have a secondary fire that sends out rail-gun like lightning strikes. The plasma gun is back, but at the very least the design is completely different, if not its abilities. And, of course, the chainsaw will be back, too.

Then there’s the new guns. There’s what appears to be a compact rotary mini-gun that’s about the size of an assault rifle. Joining it is a form of rocket launcher that has what looks like an energy reactor inside its barrel. And then there’s the Ballista, which explosive-tipped spears. It’s safe to say Doom Eternal isn’t going to light on firepower.

Doom Eternal trailer

Doom Eternal got its first showing at E3 2018, where id and Bethesda gave us a horrifying view of Earth after the demons have had their way with it.

Doom Eternal gameplay

The doom you love is back, but it’s different. Refined. Expanded. Core to this is the Doom Slayer’s new and improved armour, which sports and extendable wrist blade that’s used to slice enemies up during Glory Kills. There’s also a shoulder-mounted launcher that can fire grenades or a cone of fire; these are powered by the same recharging resource meter. Finally, the armour also allows the Doom Slayer to dash, meaning this will be an even faster paced version of Doom. Hold onto your helmets, basically.

Contributing to that speed is the Meat Hook; a grapple chain that’s attached to the under-barrel of the Super Shotgun. Fire this at a demon and you’ll be rapidly pulled towards them, closing the distance in a second. Not just for getting you into the fight, this can be used for clever traversal, almost Titanfall-style; the Quakecon demo shows it being used on a floating Pain Elemental to swing across a chasm.

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Furthering the grapple, it seems like platforming in general has been overhauled. There are more elements in the area that can be used to give yourself a boost up, and it’s a much slicker movement system than before. There are also walls, identified by scratches, that can be climbed by hand.

Doom Eternal also features plenty of new pickups that creative director Hugo Martin refers to as a “celebration of fun”. We know a few of these already, such as the 1 Up, which drops the Doom Slayer straight back into the action instead of a check point, provided they’ve grabbed one of these Doom Eternal pickups.

Perhaps the most unusual addition, however, is Invasions. These effectively turn the game into Doom Souls; akin to FromSoftware’s famous series, players are able to invade each other’s games and take control of demons. Friends can even team up to become Slayer hunting parties. If your game is invaded, you’ll be prompted and it’s up to you to deal with the new, human-controlled enemies that have spawned in your world. In line with the release date delay, id Software has also stated that the Invasion mode will be coming shortly after launch.

Doom Eternal story

The teaser makes it clear that we’re leaving the UAC facility on Mars behind for Doom’s sequel, instead showing up on Earth just in time to watch home burn. Spoilers: Doom ended on a note that suggested your efforts to shut off UAC’s dangerous experiments in harnessing demonic energy had been in vain.

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Facility director Samuel Hayden takes the magical sword you’ve recovered from Hell, and makes it clear that Earth is still desperate for renewable energy, no matter how dodgy its source. Given the state we find Earth in during the sequel, it’s fair to assume humanity didn’t stop dabbling with demons in its quest to keep the lights on.

Hayden also promised that we’d meet again, and since we’re still playing the Doom Slayer, there’s a good chance we’ll see the well-spoken malevolent android in Eternal.

Of course if you look to the Doom novels we might see a number of narrative beats from the second book, Hell on Earth, to crop up in the sequel. In Hell on Earth, two survivors from the UAC facility manage to crash land in Salt Lake City, one of the last strongholds of humanity since demons arrived. The surviving duo are tasked with retrieving vital information from LA, so we might be embarking on a similar journey west in the Doom Eternal story.

We do know that Earth won’t be the sole destination of the Doom Slayer. Phobos is confirmed, and the Quakecon demo showed him visiting the facility that houses the BFG 10,000 – a Death Star-style version of the infamous weapon – as the planet is invaded by demons. The keynote panel also showed off environments that appear to be a colossal city-sized Gothic cathedral, plus we were promised new areas of Hell.

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Doom Eternal multiplayer

Doom Eternal will feature multiplayer in the form of Battlemode, a demon vs. Doomslayer 1v2 competitive mode. Demons are player controlled and feature unique abilities, and the Doomslayer has access to weapons and gear. You can see the teaser trailer above, captioning “strategy vs skill” in what looks like a fun-fuelled fight to the death.

Doom 64

Despite being a PC series, there’s one Doom entry that never legally came to PC: Doom 64. After revealing a remake of Doom 64 during a Nintendo Direct Bethesda announced that the 1997 Nintendo 64 game is also coming to PC, and you can get it as a Doom Eternal pre-order bonus if you fancy adding it to your collection.

Doom Eternal system requirements

There’s been no official word on Doom Eternal system requirements, but the demo that was shown off at Quakecon 2018 was confirmed by executive producer Marty Stratton to be running on “very high-end” PC hardware. Further to this, Stratton also said that Doom Eternal is being built as a “next gen” game, capable of using every bit of graphics processing power available in the Xbox One X and the PlayStation 4 Pro. Expect this to be a particularly demanding PC game.

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