It turns out that Bethesda's upcoming Doom Eternal gained an unusual tie to Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy when it came to naming the sequel. 2016's Doom reinvented the shooter series from its original roots and brought the demonic world of Slayers to the next-generation of gaming consoles.
As one of 2016's biggest hits, Doom was always going to be followed by a sequel. Announced as part of this year's supersized E3 presentation for Bethesda, Doom Eternal has a more elaborate name than its predecessor. Instead of going with the standard Doom 2, here's how Nolan's Batman movies influenced Doom Eternal's name.
Speaking to IGN, creative director Hugo Martin explained how The Dark Knight helped Bethesda settle on Doom Eternal:
"I think [Christopher] Nolan did it the best, and we thought about that. It wasn’t ‘Dark Knight 1, Dark Knight 2, Dark Knight 3.’ Each one had its own name, but there was an arc there. They were all connected, as is this game as a sequel to [Doom] 2016."
With Doom first hitting MS-DOS in 1993, calling the 2016 reboot Doom caused some confusion among fandom. Executive producer Marty Stratton said how he wanted to try something different when it came to Doom Eternal:
"You hear us say it all the time, we call it Doom 2016, and the internet has called it Doom 2016. We go back and forth on whether it was a mistake to call it Doom. I still don’t think it was a mistake, because we really were kind of drawing a new line in the sand. Coming out and saying ‘we’re going to do Doom 2,’ we would have ‘Doom 2: Year of Release Date.’"
While there will no homage to Heath Ledger's Joker in Doom Eternal, it's a cool nod to the legacy of Nolan's trilogy that the movies had a hand in naming Doom's sequel.
Looking at the history of the series, it makes sense that Doom Eternal be called something other than Doom 2. Fans of the games will remember that 1993's original was followed by Doom II: Hell on Earth in 1994. Hell on Earth was usually shortened to Doom 2, so it's easy to see why Stratton and his team wanted to avoid the confusion.
Interestingly, Doom Eternal still has a Hell on Earth vibe as the recent QuakeCon gameplay trailer showed the ruins of an apocalyptic Earth alongside the Martian moon of Phobos. Much more than a standard sequel, Doom Eternal will include a change to 2016's maligned multiplayer and also introduce a new 'Invasions' system where teams of players can enter someone else's single-player campaign as a group of bloodthirsty demons.
Considering that Doom II went on to be the best-selling game of 1994 in the United States and the third best-selling title between 1993 and 1999, Doom Eternal has a lot to live up to when it comes to the legacy of Doom sequels. Thankfully, Bethesda looks to be trying its best to reinvent one of the best-known shooter series of all time while still keeping the hardcore horror that made Doom a household name. Gamers can once again step behind the visor of Doomguy for Doom Eternal in the near future.