Doom: The Dark Ages takes hell back to medieval times

Announced during Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase, Doom: The Dark Ages is id Software’s next foray back into hell. Doom: The Dark Ages is a medieval spin on the Doom franchise, taking the Doom Slayer back to the beginning. It’s coming to Xbox Game Pass on day one, sometime in 2025.

Microsoft’s first trailer for Doom: The Dark Ages shows the frenetic, precision gameplay we’ve come to expect from the franchise — there’s a lot of blasting and shooting and a chainsaw. Oh, and the Doom Slayer can ride a dragon?

Sunday’s announcement is the first official news of Doom: The Dark Ages, following an Insider Gaming report from May. Bethesda Softworks and id Software released Doom Eternal in 2020. Launching alongside Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Doom Eternal was a major hit. The game sold three million digital copies in its release month, according to sales numbers from Superdata. That’s three times the number of copies 2016’s Doom sold in its first month, per id Software released two pieces of DLC for Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods: Part One and The Ancient Gods: Part Two.

In 2021, ahead of The Ancient Gods: Part Two, Doom Eternal game director Hugo Martin spoke to Polygon about the future of the series — perhaps hinting at the medieval setting: “Could we tell a story about when [the Doom Slayer] first came to that place with the Sentinels, almost like a more medieval setting, a fantasy setting?” Martin said. “I think as you play the DLC, too, you’ll see lots of hints of what we could do moving forward. Maybe even in the future. Again, our hero is somewhat timeless — I mean, literally, he’s immortal. So we could tell all kinds of stories.”