Doom Eternal is a first-person shooter game developed by id Software and published by Bethesda Softworks. The sequel to Doom (2016), and the fifth main game in the Doom series, it was released on March 20, 2020, for Windows, PlayStation 4, Stadia and Xbox One, with a version for Nintendo Switch being released on December 8, 2020 and versions for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S being released on June 29, 2021. Set some time after the events of the 2016 game, the story follows the Doomguy once again, on a mission to end Hell’s consumption of Earth and foil the alien Maykr’s plans to exterminate humanity.
Along with the single-player campaign, a multiplayer mode titled “Battlemode” was introduced. In this mode, players can either play as the Doom Slayer or as a demon, and fight until either the Doom Slayer defeats the demons, or vice versa. Another mode, titled “Invasion”, is currently in development. Players will be able to join other player’s single-player campaigns and fight each other. The Ancient Gods, a two-part standalone campaign DLC set after the events of the main game, was released between October 2020 and March 2021.
Upon release, Doom Eternal received critical acclaim, with praise for its campaign, graphics, level design, soundtrack and combat mechanics, though some disliked the increased focus on storytelling and its platforming sections. Doom Eternal received five nominations at The Game Awards for 2020, including Game of the Year and Best Action Game.
Players once again take on the role of the Doom Slayer who battles the demonic forces of Hell, from a first-person perspective. The game continues its predecessor’s emphasis on “push-forward” combat, encouraging the player to aggressively engage enemies in order to acquire health, ammo, and armor. The player has access to various firearms, such as the Combat Shotgun, Super Shotgun, Heavy Cannon, Rocket Launcher, Plasma Rifle, Chaingun, BFG 9000, and Ballista. Melee weapons such as a chainsaw, the “Crucible Blade” energy sword, the Sentinel Argent Hammer, and a retractable arm-blade called the “Doomblade” can also be used. The arm-blade provides the opportunity for a larger variety of quick and violent “glory kill” executions, which drop extra health. The Super Shotgun is now equipped with the “Meat Hook”, a ranged accessory which grabs on to enemies and slingshots the player towards them, functioning as a grappling hook, useful both in combat scenarios and environmental navigation. The Doom Slayer’s armor now includes a shoulder-mounted Equipment Launcher with the ability to lob grenades and ice bombs. Additional to it is the Flame Belch, a flame thrower which sets enemies on fire with it to drop armor pickups. Finally, killing enemies with the chainsaw will drop ammunition. New movement mechanics such as wall-climbing, dash moves, and horizontal bars to swing from have also been introduced.
Like its predecessor, Doom Eternal invites the player to develop simple tactics. As the game gets harder, the player needs to use the advantages of fight arenas, and their bonuses, in more strategic ways. They also need to decide which enemy has to be killed first and how to move on the battlefield.
Creative director Hugo Martin has stated there would be twice as many demon types as in the 2016 reboot. There are new types of enemies, such as the Marauder and Doom Hunter, while others, such as the Pain Elemental, Arachnotron, and Archvile, have been reintroduced from previous Doom entries. A new system called “Destructible Demons” is featured, in which enemies’ bodies become progressively destroyed and deteriorated in combat as they suffer damage. Through this system, certain parts of a demon’s anatomy can be destroyed to eliminate their ability to use their stronger attacks. There is also a new lives system. During gameplay, players can collect 1-up items (which look like green helmets) scattered around the environment. When the Doom Slayer perishes in combat, he will respawn where he died if he has spare lives, instead of restarting at the nearest checkpoint.
The game features several asymmetric multiplayer modes, including “Battlemode”. This game type is a 2v1 PvP multi-round match where two player-controlled demons take on one fully loaded Slayer. There are five playable demons at launch, with more to be included in free updates post-launch. The five initially available demons are the Marauder, Mancubus, Pain Elemental, Revenant, and Arch Vile. In addition to regular attacks, each demon has a “summoning wheel”, which contains a selection of four additional abilities. An additional mode, called “Invasion”, is also in the works, and is expected to be released as a free post-launch update. In this mode, players will be able to join others’ single-player campaigns, fighting against them as demons. This mode can be turned off by players who wish to play the game solo.
Also new to the game is the hub area, called “Fortress of Doom”, which players can visit between missions, containing a number of rooms with upgrades and gear locked behind doors. Players can also unlock a bonus weapon, the Unmaykr, after clearing six challenging Slayer Gates.