The 2016 DOOM reboot is without a doubt one of the best shooters of the last decade, but while its single player campaign is a glorious blaze of brutal dismemberments and frantic gunfights, its multiplayer component offers a much more tradition shooter competitive experience that doesn’t really leverage the unique strengths of DOOM.
That was one aspect of the shooter that was almost universally criticized upon launch, but with the upcoming sequel, DOOM Eternal, id Software are looking to right that wrong. Offering no traditional multiplayer modes, DOOM Eternal instead offers a unique Battle Mode in which one player, controlling the Doom Slayer, goes up against two players playing as demons over the course of three rounds.
According to the developers, this is something that will capture the unique DOOM experience, and, in the words of creative director Hugo Martin, will be every bit as enjoyable and satisfying as the campaign will be.
“With Doom 2016 we learned that id has to lead and not follow when it comes to game design,” Stratton said while speaking with VGC. “With the single-player campaign I think we led, but with the multiplayer we followed. The fans and critics picked up on that. It’s a good mode and it’s fun to play, but it’s not necessarily original.
“This time around we really wanted it to feel like Doom. We took the DNA of the ‘Doom dance’ – the loop of one Slayer versus many demons – and turned that into a competitive, social experience. When we had one Slayer on the battlefield and let players control the demons it felt really good. We’d rather provide players with an incredibly polished and engaging experience that’s really tight, than something that’s huge with a million modes – which is another thing we did in Doom 2016.”
Executive producer Marty Stratton has similar things to say about the upcoming shooter’s multiplayer component. “With Doom 2016 we didn’t give players a Slayer experience in multiplayer,” he said. “We didn’t give them the Doom experience that they got with the campaign and that’s really what this is about. For players who came to Doom 2016 for the campaign, the multiplayer felt like a side cart. In comparison, Eternal is entirely what they want.
“We get analytics from our game and we see how many people are still playing the Doom campaign. They play it again and again and it’s because they like the way that it makes them feel. So with Doom Eternal’s Battle Mode, we want to give players the ability to continue playing in a more dynamic setting.”
DOOM Eternal is out on November 22 for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Stadia.