Id Software’s Marty Stratton and Hugo Martin explain how an Extra Life offers a slight edge, especially for Invasions.
When the Doom Slayer was ripping, tearing, grappling, and murdering demons in last week’s reveal of DOOM Eternal, some of us noticed a little interesting detail during the demo. We’re talking about the “Extra Life” that was acquired. What does it mean, and does it signal the sequel taking a more retro-esque approach to its checkpoint system?
Well, sort of. VG247 posed the question to executive producer Marty Stratton at QuakeCon 2018, who clarified, “It’s just like our checkpoint system. It’s just now you don’t have to go all the way back to the checkpoint and play back through that combat encounter.”
While the regular checkpoint system still seems to be in place, the Extra Life is like a “get out of jail free”. As Stratton says, “So if you’re almost to another checkpoint or you’re in a boss fight or something, your extra life, if you die, kicks in and the screen goes grey and you are invulnerable for a little bit. You can keep fighting, reposition yourself, and you’re right back in the action where you left off without losing any progress.”
This system seems to have been implemented keeping in mind the new Invasion mechanic, where other players can control random demons and invade your game for murder. If you’re suddenly ganked by some demons, then you no longer have to worry about starting from the last checkpoint.
Creative director Hugo Martin said, “They do work in invasions. It still counts as a death, but yeah, you don’t get penalised by going back, you can continue where you left off. It’s a fun gameplay loop and it’s a proven gameplay loop – it’s a safety net you’ve provided for yourself.”
What happens if you don’t have an Extra Life and get invaded? Tough luck, we suppose.
Still, this mechanic could also be useful for something like the Ultra-Nightmare difficulty in DOOM (2016), where the game just flat-out ends once the player is killed. DOOM Eternal is out next year for Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch, so there’s still plenty of time to learn more about the game.