The Last Doom didn’t come easily. Development began as early as 2008, was scrapped and restarted in 2013, and finally hit our PCs in 2016. Although the sequel took another four years, creative director Hugo Martin says the relentless beat of Doom Eternal opening hoursand how absolutely packed up with stuff, that’s the sign of id Software firing on all cylinders.
“What you see is the product of a group of people working very well together, where we’re able to discuss a feature, discuss if necessary, get to a resolution, get it into a game, and move on to the next 1. We’re so good that we were able to do a lot more with better quality in less time,” he says. “In the first year of development, we had the pleasure of having fun, we managed to master the game. The rest of the time was just spent balancing the pace of the game.”
It’s worth noting that even with ample development time and a team that works well together, the Doom Eternal developers had to spend much of 2019 finishing the game (which was later delayed to March). Eternal is polished in all the ways you’d expect from a big-budget shooter, from its animations to its sound effects to its menus. But when Martin tells me about polish, he’s focusing on “player education,” the “enormous” amount of time the development team spent tweaking how and when you’ll discover new weapons and abilities.
“You’ll notice they start to pile on top of each other,” he says. “What was difficult in the first hour becomes second nature in the second hour. By the fourth hour, it’s just one of the many things you know how to do. And really, by the eighth hour, you’ll be a black belt. Just finding the rhythm and nailing it, figuring that out early enough in development to be able to tweak it was key to making the game feel exciting, exhilarating, but not frustrating. I don’t feel like the game is screwing me up. That’s very important.
A big part of Doom Eternal’s combat design, as Martin describes it, is to punish players for “playing poorly”. At first, this description bothered me. Sometimes the best (or at least the funniest) experiences in games come from playing them in ways developers never intended, which our writer Chris Livingston has shown. time and once again. But for Martin, the goal is to make sure as many players as possible have experience using everything in Eternal’s arsenal to survive, rather than playing the game with just one weapon, like the Super Rifle. hunting doom 2016.
Being unstoppable is fun for a while, but it becomes stale if one strategy is the solution to all problems. That’s why Doom Eternal gives players multiple guns, a grenade, a flamethrower, a dash, and even more tools in its first two hours. This time around, he’s determined to force you to juggle whatever he gives you, with the idea that juggling is the best way to have fun.
“How can we force the player to play that way? We’re comfortable punishing him if he doesn’t,” Martin said. “If I run towards someone with a gun and repeatedly shoot them in the chest, that demon has to kill me and kill me fast. They will, in Doom Eternal. Demons are really aggressive if you don’t not what you need to do. It’s what keeps you engaged. If you’re in the pleasure zone, doing the right thing, you’re surrounded by a bunch of failure conditions. If I try to use the rocket launcher to solve all the problems, I’m going to get killed, because this time it’s more powerful, but it does a lot more damage and it fires slower.
“The super shotgun was a very exploitable weapon in the last game. In the last game, you could get close to anyone, put the double barrel to their chest and they died. This time…wait until you meet The Mancubus Those days are over. [demons] have a denial attack zone that will knock back a slow player very quickly and do a massive amount of damage and movement. It’s like a frustration bumper.
“We consider the player to be a pinball machine: they hit that bumper and it pushes them right back into the fun zone, which means, ‘Hey, maybe you should use a different weapon for that particular enemy. ‘ Or maybe you should create an opening The grenade wobbles enemies creating an opening meaning they can’t do a denial area attack It’s like a hit, and then you can go in and throw your overhand right, which is your super shotgun.”
Martin jokes that “aggressive resource management” was the idea of Doom Eternal, as the team figured out how to keep up with Doom 2016. It doesn’t really feel like a thrill ride, but when all those resources are guns, you apparently end up with Doom Eternal’s bat out of hellish combat. Its predecessor now looks almost icy in comparison. In 2016, we jokingly wrote about how Doom could have been more metalso I have to ask how Eternal raises the metal quotient, in his mind.
“Oh my god in any way possible. Everything I say is meant to make the game as engaging as possible. The criticisms of Doom 2016 are that people got bored, they weren’t engaged and stopped playing play. I wouldn’t. I don’t bother with soft spots, the “fun zone”, pushing players into these things if I didn’t think it would engage them. Doom is definitely rock music, Doom 2016. This is speed metal. When you play the game, you can feel You think much faster, you make split decisions. We want it to become rhythmic. You reach a flow state of chaos and violence. C ‘is great.
And the soundtrack? Well it will have a heavy metal choirtherefore the literal quotient of metal is taken into account.
You can learn more about what we liked and didn’t like about Doom Eternal here.