LOS ANGELES — Doom is back, and it’s bigger and more brutal than ever. Due in the spring of 2016 for PS4, Xbox One and PC, this reboot of the legendary first-person-shooter touts satisfying demon dismemberment, robust multiplayer options and a new creation tool that lets players build the maps and game modes of their dreams.
The new Doom made its gameplay debut at Bethesda’s E3 2015 press conference, where id Software producer Marty Stratton promised a title that would deliver on the series key components: “Badass demons, big ‘effing guns and moving really fast.”
Based on the gameplay demo, Doom is shaping up to provide exactly that. The clip started out in single-player mode, as the player character is seen putting on the iconic green space marine helmet that has defined Doom’s protagonist. As in prior games, this new take on Doom thrusts you into an eerie space station on Mars, as you’ll rip apart a bunch of demons with some really cool weapons — as well as your bare hands.
Doom’s combat is dripping with attention to detail. Thanks to the game’s physics engine, baddies blow up exactly where you shoot them — so you can blast away an enemy’s head and watch his lower half go flying, or go for the torso and watch the legs crumble to the floor. The game looks devastatingly gorgeous running on id Software's idTech 6 engine, from the molten lava oozing down the game's backdrops to the painstakingly detailed gore effects.
Signature Doom weapons, such as the shotgun and plasma rifle, make a return this time around, and blowing space monsters to bits with them looks more satisfying than ever. The game slows down a bit when you bring up the weapon selection wheel, giving you a few seconds to breathe while you decide on your next instrument of execution.
The game gets even more visceral when you get up-close and personal with your adversaries. This new take on Doom looks to put a big focus on melee combat; in the stage demo, the protagonist was seen tearing a demon’s leg off and beating him over the head with it, or ripping a more plump monster’s stomach out before stuffing it down his throat. The crowd erupted into cheers when the player busted out the game’s signature chainsaw and started slicing foes in half like they were sticks of butter. (If you were expecting Doom to get less violent, it hasn’t.)
But Doom’s intense single player campaign is just one slice of its bloody pie. The reboot will have a wealth of arena multiplayer options such as Domination and Freeze Tag; it also appears to have modes that let you play as both space marines and deadly demons.
If that’s not enough, Doom will herald the launch of SnapMap — a new creation tool that lets players create their own maps and game modes with a few simple snaps on a grid. Players will be able to share their SnapMap creations with others, regardless of the platform they’re on.
From what we’ve seen so far, Doom is shaping up to be a worthy reboot that takes the franchise to new heights in terms of both combat mechanics and replayability. Strangely, Bethesda made no mention of the game’s beta, which was promised to folks who bought Wolfenstein: The New Order last year. We hope to get our blood-soaked hands on this brutal frag-fest on the show floor, so stay tuned for impressions.
Michael Andronico is an Associate Editor at Tom's Guide. When he's not writing about games, PCs and iOS, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter. Follow him at @MikeAndronico. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+.