Doom Eternal is soon approaching; slated for a November 2019 release, id Software announced it’s delayed until March 20, 2020. With only a month standing between blood-hungry Doom players and hordes of demons, here are ten notable improvements and changes that fans should be aware of before delving once more into the ravaged hellscape.
10: Invasion Mechanic
Players in Doom Eternal will be able to “invade” other players’ sessions as demons to take down the Doomslayer similar to Dark Souls’ invasion mechanic. This mode will be added post-launch in a free update, and the option to turn it off has been confirmed for those who’d rather avoid the diabolical sabotage. The devs see invasion as an end-game feature increasing single-player challenge for veteran players or allowing them to join another’s game to inflict mischief; the demons require situational awareness and timing while the Doomslayer focuses on speed and reaction time.
9: id is Working on Multiplayer Themselves
For Doom 2016, id Software focused on the single player mode, outsourcing the multiplayer to Certain Affinity (responsible for multiplayer in Call of Duty Ghosts, Halo: MC Collection, etc). This time they’re handling development from the beginning, ditching the PvP shooter style for the new asymmetrical ‘Battlemode’, which pits two demons against one Doomslayer. The devs stated they want the multiplayer to involve teamwork and smart thinking rather than the standard quick trigger finger method of many other first person shooters.
8: Story and World-building
Doom has never bothered much with story. Non-stop action and few moments of respite between scenes of carnage is something fans have come to expect from the series. Doom Eternal, however, is changing the formula by putting more emphasis on its lore and world-building. While deep lore can still be found in codex entries throughout the game, the main campaign features traditional story-telling and fully directed cutscenes–a big contrast to Doom 2016’s straightforward narrative. Players will see the Doomslayer in third person cinematics (albeit silent as always) interacting with a full range of new characters.
7: New Setting and Locations
Doom Eternal will feature the iconic Hell levels but steer away from Mars, focusing instead on settings like Mars’ moon, Phobos, and a hell-ravaged Earth. From what’s been shown in gameplay footage, the Earth levels look fantastic. Gigantic creatures roaming around ruined cities and war torn mech suits are just some of the many environmental objects used for platforming or puzzles. It looks fresh and new compared to the Mars of Doom 2016, but manages to keep that intrinsic Doom feel.
6: Updated Graphics and Destructible Demons
As impressive as Doom 2016’s graphics were (and still are, especially on pc), Doom Eternal sports some major improvements. It’s the first game running on the studio’s newest engine, id Tech 7, capable of higher fidelity textures, improved image quality, geometric level of detail, global illumination, and more. One unique improvement over id Tech 6 is the introduction of destructible demons. As enemies take damage, the “meat” on their skeletons begins to fall off, giving the player a way to visually gauge enemy health.
5: Fortress of Doom
The Doomslayer has found himself a cozy place to shack up in for the sequel. While Doom has always been a linear experience, players will now be choosing destinations and launching missions from ‘The Fortress of Doom’ in orbit above Earth. The base itself is host to various locked rooms, opened by acquiring collectibles scattered throughout the world, and containing items ranging from weapon upgrades to hidden costumes. There’s also an underground training arena where players can hone their skills against waves of demons risk-free.
4: The Blood Punch
Melee has been upgraded in the form of the new blood punch feature, a melee attack causing extra damage to enemies and on occasion exploding them into a bloody mist. Once the meter is filled by performing glory kills, the ability can be used by pressing the melee button. It’s a cool addition that players will have to keep in mind, along with all the other nuanced abilities, while battling waves of demons. Blood punch is unlocked through regular game progression.
3: Demons New and Old
There will be various foes returning from Doom 2, such as the Pain Elemental (resembling 2016’s Cacodemon but with wicked fangs) and Arachnotron (a brain with legs acting as a mobile turret), as well as new baddies like Whiplash (a hyper-mobile female demon that slithers across the floor to flank the player). The Marauder is a late game enemy whose lethality matches the Doomslayer. According to game director Hugo Martin he’s the “Darth Maul to the player’s Obi-Wan”, a queen chess piece on the board that will create openings for all the pawns.
In an interview with Noclip, Hugo mentions working with Doom 2016’s criticisms to assure the sequel keeps people thinking and engaged at all times. This means creating an urgency for the player to be aware of which demon they’re fighting, the weapon required for it, and the strategies involved (like shooting the turret off the Arachnotron to drastically lower its damage output). Along with the improved damage modeling, players can now shoot enemies’ weapons and armor to reveal weak points and create advantages.
2: New Weapons and Upgrades
The newest Doom keeps a number of classic weapons (modifying some, like adding a grappling hook to the super shotgun) and introduces a few new ones. The Doomslayer himself is equipped with an armblade (leading to some interesting glory kills), and a shoulder launcher similar to the Predator’s, that houses grenades and a flamethrower; the latter of which can be used to burn enemies and initiate combos, which can drop helpful armor pickups in a pinch. Admittedly, using the flamethrower to incinerate demons with the new destruction tech will be glorious.
The new ‘Ballista’ launches kinetic projectiles and can be charged to spear opponents with a bolt, exploding after a short delay. It’s thought to be the replacement for 2016’s gauss cannon, though it uses a different ammo type. The plasma rifle is styled after the original Doom’s plasma gun, firing bursts of plasma balls and causing enemies to explode in an electric shock upon death, stunning nearby foes. Fan favorites like the chainsaw, assault rifle, rocket launcher, and combat shotgun are all back too, allowing for plenty of choice.
1: Increased Mobility
Speed has always been the name of the game for this series, and Doom Eternal expands on that. The previous game’s mobility features like fast movement and double jumping are still there, accompanied by new traversal methods like swinging on pipes, climbing walls, and the double dash. The dash itself can be used in various ways, from closing the gap between opponents and then dashing away to avoid damage, to getting additional airtime during jumps. The iconic super shotgun also has a grappling hook that can pull the player to an enemy.
Intelligent use of the mobility toolset leads to fascinating platforming and battles with a sense of verticality. The game provides dash refill canisters, enabling players to maintain constant velocity and aggression. Combining double jumps and double dashes for height and speed while using the grappling hook to fly between enemies sounds like a hell of a lot of fun. It is in every way an improvement to 2016’s Doom, which in itself was a very fast-paced game. The sheer number of ways to get around the map while maintaining the action seems limitless.