Doom Eternal developers were 'crunching pretty hard' for most of 2019

Yolanda Curtis
January 26, 2020

"It doesn't just hand you that power fantasy". According to Martin, this is to help reduce one of the big criticisms of 2016's Doom: repetitiveness. The things that can kill us are also the things that can keep us alive, and the arenas of DOOM Eternal are still thought around this leitmotif.

Leeching away the breakneck pace of the monster-slaying encounters, platform-jumping, wall-climbing and judiciously using your dash in mid-air can prove frustrating, especially after experiencing the unadulterated rush of butchering hellspawn in a variety of ultra-violent and inventive ways.

There are, however, things that we could not see in detail during this short game session.

Are you hyped for DOOM Eternal?

"We're cool with, at times, making you feel overwhelmed in the beginning or even a little bit frustrated because we feel like that is a part of any good experience", he said during the hands-on preview event. It's "like martial arts", Stratton explains.

There's something so pure about the Doom Slayer's mission, which has been largely the same since 1993. DOOM Eternal does an excellent job of letting the player slowly get better at the game and feel that sense of confidence when you can easily handle the same enemies that gave you trouble beforehand without having to rely on a stat boost or a "better" gun. While you may be able to upgrade your skills for larger splash damage or do some more damage from your weapon mods, ultimately player skill and how you aggressively traverse the combat arenas and exploit enemies weakness is how you'll truly progress and have the most fun with DOOM Eternal. It's also remarkably challenging, demanding a middle ground between all-out assault and relative restraint, as charging in will see you coming quickly unstuck, while standing back will inevitably end in a grisly death. It's the same thing with the level design.

What id refers to as "aggressive resource management" is important, too, just as it was in the previous DOOM. Chainsaw executions grant a shower of ammunition; glory kills on weakened enemies reward the gore with health; and setting your foes alight with the "flame belch" spews forth armour pick-ups. Stratton promises twice as many demons this time around, with new additions since I last played the game at QuakeCon including the pesky flying Gargoyles and shielded Carcasses.

Now we have to see if the lovely promises of this preview will then be kept in the final version, and above all if the game will prove equally pleasant even for those who have a decidedly not advanced machine like that of the Digital Foundry test. "We could be junk food, but it doesn't mean that we can't be junk food with an incredible amount of nutritional content". Last note to reassure music lovers that you are: rest assured, Mick Gordon is still in control of the soundtrack, and the little that we heard was already enough to snap a few pairs of eardrums.

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