E3 2015 Impressions: DOOM

“You’ve been activated with a single mission: to kill demons.”

That’s how the demo for DOOM started. Bethesda’s latest mission to Mars and Hell begins with insane visuals that made the audience gasp. In first-person, we see our hero put on a helmet, and massive blast doors begin to open. That’s when we realize that this is live, in-game footage. It is actually the best looking game we’ve seen. Ever.

(Watching the video online won’t do it justice, but watch it in 1080p at 60fps; it’s totally worth it.)

The game opens on a UAC research facility on Mars that has been, you guessed it, attacked by demons from Hell. The main point of the demo seems to be to show off the brutality that has always been a part of Doom. Nothing about the franchise has ever been subtle. Even back in its early days, there’s been no shortage of blood and guts and gore.

This game doesn’t hold back, either. Bethesda showed off every classic Doom weapon, from the shotgun to the chainsaw we all know and love.

And each weapon genuinely does something different. It’s clear that enemy models are built with destruction in mind, because a shotgun will obliterate a demon while a chainsaw will, predictably, saw them open, for guts to come pouring out. And rather than a pre-built animation, forcing a chainsaw through a demon could result in any fraction of its body being destroyed.

Something we always felt to be lacking in Doom, melee attacks, are a big part of the experience this time around. Much like the unique animations and destructive properties created by each weapon, there are a ton of melee attacks that can be laid out on your opponent. Our favourites included a 90-degree neck crack, ripping a demon’s internals out from his middle, and smashing a demon’s face in with the butt-end of the shotgun. Of course, our two favourites were ripping a Mancubus’ heart out and feeding it to him (while shoving an entire arm down his throat to make sure it goes down), and ripping off an Imp’s leg and bashing his skull in with it.

Come to think about it, we might have issues.

And in case you think you’re immune, that demo ends with a revenant ripping out your arms and bashing your skull in. Nobody is safe.

The first of two gameplay demos we saw took place that UAC facility while the second took place on Hell itself. It’s very much a barren terrain, flooded with blood, gore flung about, and general hellish mayhem abound. There is no shortage of demons to attack, and while we were treated to a glimpse of each and every weapon throughout the demos, one was predictably saved for the end.

A giant cyberdemon (we think) appears, standing at least five or six times the height of any other demon before it and just as wide, and, as expected, out comes the BFG9000. It is fired, a familiar sound is heard, and the Doom logo appears.

Holy shit.

Take a look at the gameplay video above and let us know what you think. Warning: it is not for the faint of heart.

Doom hits Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC in Spring 2016.