What’s Next for Doom?
The journey of the Doom franchise has followed an incredibly rare trajectory. It’s not common for a game series to be developed exclusively by the same company for its entire lifetime. It’s even rarer for that franchise to fade away only to rise to the pinnacle in an industry where the competition is constantly growing and improving. Doom has defied all of the odds. However, we’ve reached a station on this hype train of success. It’s time to take a look at where we’re headed.
Doom (2016) set a new standard. The transition from the previous game’s lean toward survival horror to pure action and minimal story was welcomed and praised. Doom Eternal leaned into this but changed enough to draw just as much anger as praise in the process. A shift toward a more arena-style movement-focused experience showed that id Software wasn’t afraid to take some chances. They certainly could have simply iterated directly on the previous game and found just as much success. The efforts they made with the new multiplayer – Battlemode – were twice as ambitious and probably ten times as contentious. Yet they have backed it up to this day.
The DLC for Doom Eternal, The Ancient Gods, practically split the fan base right down the middle. The first release had some players praising the extra layer of difficulty while others felt it was unnecessary and convoluted. The second part didn’t receive as much positive feedback though. For me in particular, it felt rushed and uninspired. I did enjoy the way the story wrapped up, but with the new enemies being glorified reskins and the final boss being a repetitive exercise in frustration, I wasn’t too impressed. Given this mixed response, it begs the question – will there be more DLC or is it time to move on?
Most would say this is a clear sign that it’s time to work on Doom 6, or whatever that may be called. I think any typical developer would agree. Yet, id Software identified this two-part DLC as part of the “year one pass.” That’s indicative of there being a “year two pass.” It seems like it could still be the case too. Hugo Martin said in part of a two-hour interview,
“The beast sleeps. People have said he’s dead. I’m like ‘he’s not dead,’ I’m like ‘he sleeps,’”
and follows that up with
“There’s more Doom stories to tell always. The Doom universe is vast, ya know, and I think there’s lots of cool stuff we could do.”
The interview leading up to that statement makes it seem as though the saga that is Doom Eternal and The Ancient Gods may be the last of the story DLC for the game. With his talk of future Master Levels, however, it seems that may not be the end of all DLC. Building future content around paid Master Levels (hopefully in new levels) would be a good way to appease the most committed Doom Eternal fans while the developers work on whatever the next experience would be. I also suspect that there may be more multiplayer content coming including, but not limited to, the long-awaited Invasion mode.
If adventures with the Doom Slayer are over, at least from a story standpoint, I think it would be advantageous to see the world through a different set of eyes. It may be difficult to transition to a protagonist that isn’t almost entirely silent and superhuman, but it would be nice to climb the mountain again. One of the most fulfilling aspects of virtually any good first-person shooter is unlocking new weapons and feeling their power. While DLC typically doesn’t deliver that, a new game would, so I’m hoping Doom 2024 will be a reality whether I’m the Doom Slayer or not.
What do you think is next in the Doom world? DLC? Multiplayer? A whole new game? Let us know in the comments!