Doom Eternal was definitely the highlight of Bethesda’s showcase at E3 2019. The gameplay looks downright amazing, but it wasn’t such a standout title based on its looks alone: Doom Eternal stood out from the crowd so much because most of the crowd was pretty mediocre, not necessary a full-blown disappointment but lackluster here and there. Other new releases that Bethesda unveiled included obligatory updates and expansions to games like Fallout 76 and Elder Scrolls, a mobile remake of Commander Keen for some reason, and even a few sleek-looking projects, such as Ghostwire Tokyo and Deathloop, but Doom Eternal made the slog through the more predictable content totally worth it.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what we saw in the Doom Eternal promo. The segment started off with actual footage from the game, which opened with a demon getting chainsawed in half and then zoomed out into panning shots of the game’s beautiful yet foreboding battleground. Afterward, a montage of wicked, fast gameplay unfolded, featuring the player blasting down hordes of gruesome demon soldiers with miniguns, sawed-off shotguns, rocket launchers, and lasers, while a gravelly, ominous voice cautions: “What you interfere with now is bigger than you can imagine. If you continue, you will bring down the heavens’ wrath. It is written. It is their time to give penance. You are but one man. They are no longer your people to save.”

Unlike all of the trailers that preceded it, Doom Eternal had my jaw firmly dropped. It was one of those watershed moments that you watch E3 for. All I could think was, “Wow, I want to play that game right now”–a feeling that even the amazingly lifelike footage from Ghostwire Tokyo didn’t inspire in me. Following the trailer, Doom Eternal’s Creative Director and Executive Producer came on stage to give us a few more details about the game. First, they hinted that this will be the biggest Doom title to date, taking the player to multiple dimensions including Heaven and Hell. But most importantly, they emphasized that Doom Eternal is all about excellent gameplay, promising that it will be the best “power-fantasy” ever made. That’s a bold claim, but the additional footage they showed made it seem like the game will deliver, and that’s exactly the sort of direction Bethesda needs to be headed toward: knowing what their fans want and knocking those expectations completely out of the park.   

At the end of the day, it won’t be adding new modes to faltering series like Fallout or pumping out mobile remakes of obscure games that brings Bethesda back to its former glory, it will be making new titles that deliver hard on players’ expectations, and from what we saw of the gameplay (not just some fancy cinematic trailer) Doom Eternal seems to do exactly that, firing on all cylinders toward its release date of November 22, 2019. You can watch the entire Doom Eternal segment of Bethesda’s E3 presentation in the link below.

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Ross Howerton
Ross is a writer, educator, and performer who lives and works in NYC. When he's not doing any of the aforementioned activities, he's playing video games.

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