Unveiling the Medieval Mayhem: Microsoft's Doom: The Dark Ages Launches in 2025

Two months ago, Microsoft once again dominated headlines as it promised to shift the gaming paradigm yet again, this time by upping the ante for first-person shooters with a timed exclusive of Doom: The Dark Ages, a prequel and reimagining that will release on Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5 and PC in 2025. Imagine the controversies that would have erupted if Microsoft had been exclusive on Xbox 360 and PlayStation had not made one of the best games of the console generation (or one of the most important ones), as is the case here.


The Dawn of Doom: The Dark Ages

In the midst of the 2024 Xbox Games Showcase, Microsoft announced the newest instalment in the Doom franchise: Doom: The Dark Ages. Taking place in a dramatic step backwards in time, Doom: The Dark Ages replaces cyberpunk corridors and gothic goldens with mottled, misty mediæval landscapes and demon hordes. Players once again step into the big metal boots of the Doomslayer, this time decked out in animal furs and spikes and wielding not just traditional firearms from modern Doom (such as the Super Shotgun), but also medieval ones, as he fights off demonic forces with equal parts slicing and shooting.

A New Arsenal at Hand

The old shotgun stays with the Doomslayer, though, and he also gains a new shield with serrated blades on the edges that act like a chainsaw in design and savagery. The new element adds new tactical wrinkles to the combat, and it breathes new life into the hero’s arsenal, allowing players to wreak even more dragon-sized havoc on their opponents. There’s also the cloaking, dragon-riding fantasy element that goes beyond any iterations in the series before, promising new kinds of gameplay.


Expanding Horizons Beyond the Xbox Ecosystem

Following up on the announcement, Microsoft revealed that, despite the nudge toward Xbox ownership, Doom: The Dark Ages isn’t exclusive to Microsoft’s own ecosystem, but will also make its way to the PlayStation 5. This move is strikingly similar to Microsoft’s 2020 acquisition of Bethesda, which brought id Software and the Doom series under the Microsoft banner. Even though the deal felt like it had the potential to put the project on a path towards exclusivity, Microsoft chose to go the other way, and offer its upcoming medieval extravaganza to all sound systems – a move that continues the publisher’s march toward inclusivity and player choice.

A History of Cross-Platform Generosity

Microsoft’s decision to bring Doom: The Dark Ages to many more platforms than expected this month is not a one-off act of corporate benevolence. The company has recently brought several Xbox exclusives to the PlayStation and Switch, blurring the lines that separated gamers among the three major console brands for decades. Hi-Fi Rush, Grounded, Pentiment and Sea of Thieves have all eventually made their way to other players’ living rooms, with more to follow. Microsoft is building a game library that is more diverse and that changes more rapidly than anything else, and they want players to have as much access to it as possible.


Looking further forward, Microsoft has big plans to continue to build out its gaming portfolio, with a pipeline of new games that include the long-awaited return of State of Decay (this time as State of Decay 3), Amazon’s MMO New World jumping over to the Xbox ecosystem, and a Lego Horizon Adventures that will be available on PS5, PC and Switch.


About Microsoft

At its heart, Microsoft is a company that has always been at the vanguard of the technology revolution, thanks to its inventive people, ideas and products. In the gaming world, Microsoft has become a key player through its range of Xbox console series, its Xbox Live online gaming service, and the array of studios operating under the new Xbox Game Studios banner, alongside a series of major investments in recent months. All this points to a hugely promising future of gaming for Microsoft and its millions of fans worldwide.

Jun 10, 2024
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