If you go back to the build-up for id Software’s DOOM (2016), one thing became woefully apparent – the multiplayer wasn’t all that great. While Certain Affinity worked on it before id Software fully took over, the multiplayer with its traditional modes didn’t feel as fully realized as the campaign. As a result of that feedback, id Software has decided to forgo any traditional multiplayer mode for DOOM Eternal.
Speaking to IGN, producer Marty Stratton stated that there was no deathmatch, or anything of the like. “No traditional multiplayer mode,” he said. “Battle Mode is our primary multiplayer mode. The cool thing about it is it’s ripped straight from Doom; it’s the combat players want and love, you’re familiar with the gameplay, playing as a Slayer.”
Why was deathmatch removed in the first place? Because it didn’t really embody any of the aspects of the campaign, which was the most beloved part of the game. “When you look back to Doom 2016, we kind of did something more traditional,” said Stratton. “Skill vs skill, twitch vs twitch. It didn’t have any of the components of Doom that people loved from the campaign. It didn’t have the slayer or demons in a meaningful way. It just kind of fell flat so we really flipped the script on it and decided we need to develop this internally, we need to pull it from what Doom is all about, demons vs slayer.”
Battle Mode, by comparison, is a 2v1 mode where two demons face against the Slayer over three rounds. It helped ensure that one person’s twitch skills didn’t outright dominate encounters. “We couldn’t figure out a way of introducing another slayer to the experience without it just becoming twitch skills vs twitch skills,” Stratton said. “Which is what we did last time. If we go head to head as two slayers – if your twitch skills are better than mine, I can’t overcome that. But with demons, I can overcome someone’s twitch skills with strategy and teamwork, and in that was the spark.”
We’ll have to wait and see how balanced this is. After all, given how utterly powerful the Doom Slayer has become in the campaign, it will be interesting to see how the demons can measure up. Another instance of non-traditional multiplayer can also been in the Invasions, where three players can invade a campaign instance as demons and attempt to kill the Slayer. It’s yet another wrinkle that feels closer to the general tone of the game.
DOOM Eternal is out on November 22nd for Xbox One, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Stadia.