Games to Play While You Wait for Doom Eternal
Try out these gritty shooters in the meantime
After all that zesty Doom Eternal gameplay Bethesda dropped, you've probably got quite the hankering for a gritty, cathartic first-person-shooter (FPS) experience to tide you over until Doomguy returns. Thankfully, we've got a ton of other great Bethesda games — as well as plenty of other cool, ultraviolent shooters — on here to keep you busy until Eternal continues the Doom franchise's grand return. From sci-fi shooters set in space to challenging cyberpunk simulators, here's what to play while you wait for Doom Eternal.
What better way to prepare yourself for Doom Eternal than with 2016's Doom? Given how similar Eternal looks, playing through the 2016 game in preparation for Eternal will likely feel like sharpening your demon-slaying skills on a prototype of the latter. Couple Doom 2016's lengthy, excitement-filled campaign with its populated, still-lively online community, and this is a good pick for anyone who wants a game as close to Eternal as possible.
Just like Doom, Quake Champions is all about shooting people with weird faces at high speeds. It's a zippy, brutal multiplayer arena shooter in which there are enough zany guns and power-ups scattered around maps to keep every player on their toes till each match wraps. Plus, Doomguy is playable in it, so you can treat the game like an unofficial free-to-play multiplayer-only spin-off released in anticipation of Doom Eternal.
Halo 5: Guardians
As 343 Industries draws Halo further from the gameplay style of the original Bungie games, the series has inadvertently become a somewhat similar experience to Doom 2016. The guns have a nice, clunky heft to them; the combat is a bit faster-paced; and your character's movement is a little more kinetic and zappy. (Halo 5 even has a miniboost move, much like Eternal.) If you want a makeshift multiplayer training ground for Eternal, Halo 5 is a good way to prep.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Similar to Doom, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has hard-core gunplay and absolutely brutal, awesomely animated one-button enemy takedowns. However, Mankind Divided brings a bit more to the table, in the form of cool abilities that include nano-armor, blades you can shoot out of your forearms, explosive pellets that eject from your body and electric shock waves you can summon while falling from insane heights. Plus, if you ever want a break from the nonstop shooting action, you can always turn invisible and take a stealthy approach — a bonus of the Deus Ex formula.
Credit: Square Enix
Wolfenstein: The New Order / Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
If you like how Bethesda makes first-person shooters, you'll like Wolfenstein, too. Both Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus feature pretty graphics, lots of ridiculous gameplay and stories that are well into so-bad-they're-good territory. These are games where you can dual-wield LMGs while gunning down *actual* Nazis in an alternate timeline where Germany won World War II, to give you an idea of what's in store. Get down and dirty with Wolfenstein if you crave weighty, fast-paced gunplay and want it served with a thick layer of goofy panache slopped on top.
Syndicate has a few of the same core thrills as Doom: badass music, weighty gunplay (weightier than Doom's, in fact) and mechanics that are meant to emphasize brutality. The big difference with Syndicate is its incredibly atmospheric cyberpunk aesthetic. If you want to experience a game that combines Doom 2016 with the version of Watch_Dogs we wanted but never got, Syndicate is the hard-core sci-fi FPS to hack your way into.
This might be a better contender for "games to play while you wait for Rage 2," but we're putting it on here because it's another Bethesda/id Software FPS packed with grizzly gunplay, dystopian landscapes and creepy enemies. What Rage has been praised for more notably than most other shooters is its AI, which pushes the player to be a bit more creative and tactical than in the usual FPS. For those who want a bit more challenge and stress in their wasteland shootouts, Rage is worth a look.
Crysis series (Crysis 1, Warhead, 2, 3)
The entire Crysis series makes for a good Doom substitute when Doom's not available. Set in hyperrealistic depictions of modern-day real-world locations such as New York City, Crysis gives you all the sci-fi-flavored firepower and super strength of Doomguy, but augments gameplay further with cool superpowers, such as cloaking and enhanced physicality. Crysis is essentially the best unofficial first-person Predator video game series on the market, and all four main entries in the series (Crysis 1, Warhead, 2 and 3) feature great game design that lets you play how you want. If you want a hard-core sci-fi FPS series to binge on ahead of Doom Eternal, the Crysis games are a great and inexpensive choice.
Star Wars: Republic Commando
For fans of the original Doom — otherwise known as the era-defining game of a time when pixels and polygons were practically interchangeable and game difficulty was unnecessarily hard — Star Wars: Republic Commando is a no brainer. It not only remains a more heartfelt, sincere endeavor than anything EA has yet to put out with the Star Wars license but also features some of the coolest (and nails-tough) clone commander FPS gameplay in Star Wars history. If you want to mow down Geonosians and carve up Super Battle Droids while cursing out 2005's idiotic squadmate AI, then this is the old-but-gold tactical FPS you need to play.
If you like art-deco aesthetics, the atmosphere of Alien: Isolation, the powers of Dishonored and the tone of BioShock, Prey is the immaculately crafted hybrid title to check out while you wait for Doom Eternal. It's another knockout Bethesda FPS with all the usual polish, excitement and ambiance you'd expect from the publisher. If you're a fan of high-octane shooters who wishes Doom were a lot scarier, this is the spooky sci-fi release to sate your gaming appetite.
If you wish Doom had more speed; verticality; parkour; wall running; and big, stompy robots, Titanfall 2 is the FPS to play. Titanfall 2 is the complete package, featuring a creative, cut-above-average, single-player campaign filled with neat gimmicks like time travel and shape-shifting levels, as well as a multiplayer portion loaded with customization options. While its online community might not be thriving anymore, the game is typically cheap enough that you can feel good about grabbing it just for the single-player experience.
Metro series (Metro 2033 / Metro: Last Light)
The Metro series is basically Doom: Real-Life Edition. It has creepy, demonic monsters and a wide variety of guns to mow 'em down with, just like Doom. Where it differentiates itself is in the setting and atmosphere: Metro isn't set in some otherworldly landscape, and it never gives you superpowers. You're trapped in the subway stations beneath Moscow with nothing but some dinky armor and rusty old firearms. It's a stressful series that takes great pains to be as distant from the cathartic, mindless joys of Doom as possible but still somehow manages to tick some of the same enjoyability boxes.
If you've exhausted all of gaming's modern options for premium FPS experiences, why not roll back the clock and return to where everything began? 1993's Doom is the original FPS and, in all its pixelated glory, remains a fun game to this day. Here, try it out, since it's available to play on browsers. And Steam. And in-flight entertainment systems. And ATMs. And Pianos. And toasters.
Credit: Williams Entertainment