Doom Is Back: Everything You Need to Know

The granddaddy of first-person shooters is back, and it's looking spectacularly gory. Id Software's Doom reboot takes everything that makes the series so iconic — big guns, fast-paced action and lots and lots of blood — and ramps it up to a new level with tons of multiplayer options and plenty of brutal new ways to dismember every demon in your way. You can journey back to Hell when Doom launches on May 13 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC for $60, but until then, here's everything you need to know.

Hey I remember Doom from back in the day! What's this new one all about?

If you played the original 1993 Doom or its various sequels, you probably already know what you're getting into with this new iteration. You're a space marine, you're on Mars for some reason, and you've got a whole bunch of demons to rip to shreds. 

You don't play Doom for its gripping narrative, however; you play it for the sheer thrill of shooting aliens in the face. The Doom reboot is a throwback to the days before "cover shooters" were all the rage, with a fluid movement system that encourages you to sprint and double-jump your way through Hell rather than hide behind walls. You'll be able to mix and match abilities, letting you focus on speed, damage or a happy middle ground between the two.

New to this version of Doom is the brutal execution system, which lets you dismember your enemies in a number of delightfully disturbing ways. You can rip off a demon's leg and beat the creature down with it, or rip a monster's stomach out before shoving it down his own throat, to name some lovely examples.

While the latest Doom doesn’t quite reinvent the wheel, it sure looks gorgeous. The game runs on the advanced idTech 6 engine, which allows for plenty of gory detail every time you slice your opponent open.

Who is the new Doom for?

Photo: Bethesda

Photo: Bethesda

If you're a fan of old-school, fast-paced shooters, Doom is absolutely for you. Solo gamers should find plenty to like about the game's roughly 13-hour campaign, which looks like it'll offer plenty of challenge and no shortage of cool guns and abilities. The game's twitchy, arena-style multiplayer seems to harken back to the days of Unreal Tournament and Quake, and could be a breath of fresh air from the occasionally unbalanced action of modern shooters such as Call of Duty. 

Once you add user-generated SnapMap content to the mix, you're looking at a game that could offer years' worth of gory fun.

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What do I need to run the game on PC?

Bethesda has yet to post the final game's official system requirements, but here's what Doom's closed alpha required you to have (via WccfTech):

  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit or newer
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 3.3-Ghz or better/AMD FX-8350 4-GHz or better (Minimum); Intel Core i7 3.4-Ghz or better (Recommended)
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 660/AMD Radeon HD 7870 (Minimum); GTX 780/Radeon R9 280 (Recommended)

Check out our best gaming desktop PCs to make sure you’ll be well equipped.

What multiplayer modes are there?

Doom will launch with a total of six multiplayer modes, offering a mix of classic gametypes and modern variations on them. Old-school fans who just want to kill can jump into Team Deathmatch, while Clan Arena adds some tension to the mix by giving all players a single life.

Soul Harvest is a variation on Team Deathmatch that requires you to pick up the souls of your downed enemies in order to score. Freeze Tag plays like its real-life counterpart, as teams will try to freeze each other in place with gunshots, until one team is left completely immobile.

Whomever collects a demon rune in multiplayer mode gains all of the extra powers that come with being a fiery hellspawn.

Warpath is a fast-paced take on King of the Hill that has players battle for a single capture point that constantly switches locations. The more traditional Domination mode spreads three capture points throughout the map, challenging each team to try and take control of all three.

Photo: Bethesda

Photo: Bethesda

To add a hellish layer of unpredictability to Doom multiplayer, many of these modes let players collect "demon runes." Whomever collects a demon rune becomes, well, a demon, gaining all of the extra powers that come with being a fiery hellspawn.

If you manage to get bored of all of this multiplayer carnage, you could always make your own levels.

Whoa, I can build my own levels?

You sure can. This version of Doom introduces SnapMap, a tool that lets players create and share their own levels and modes. (Previous Doom games required you to use a third-party level editor.) SnapMap gives you a ton of freedom — you can create single-player, co-op, and multiplayer experiences (the id Software dev team made a tower defense game, for example), and the tool is designed to make the process of adding enemies and objects as simple as snapping items to a grid.

Photo: Bethesda

Photo: Bethesda

You can share your SnapMap creations with the world regardless of your platform of choice, as well as download other people's levels. This has the potential to add near-endless replayability to id Software's frenetic shooter, as there will likely always be a steady stream of community-created content to blast through.

May 13 is too far away! Is there a multiplayer beta?

Yep! Doom's open multiplayer beta runs from April 15 to 17, allowing anyone on PC, Xbox One or PS4 to test out the game's frag-tastic action. To get the beta, simply download it from your digital marketplace of choice — no access code required. The beta will let you play the Team Deathmatch and Warpath modes on the game's Heatwave and Infernal maps. (We get it guys, this game takes place in hell.)

Is there a season pass? What about pre-order bonuses?

Like many modern shooters, Doom will offer paid post-launch content that you can buy all at once to save some cash. The game's season pass will cost $40, which gets you three multiplayer map packs that would otherwise cost $15 each on their own.

It's too early to tell what each DLC pack will get you, but according to publisher Bethesda, the first content drop will include three maps, a new weapon and playable demon, new gear, new taunts and some fresh customization colors. Fortunately, even if you don't want to spend any extra money on Doom, Bethesda plans to release new multiplayer modes and SnapMap add-ons at no cost.

As an added bonus, those who pre-order Doom on Xbox One will get the Xbox 360 ports of the first two Doom games, which are playable via backward compatibility. All players who pre-order will get a special Demon Multiplayer Pack that includes extra armor sets and customization items.

I feel like spending a lot of money. Is there a fancy collector's edition?

You betcha. The game's $120 Collector's Edition includes a 12-inch, LED-lit statue of the game's Revenant demon, as well as a special metal case.

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.