Third person cutscenes instead of first person ones “have a fluidity to them”, says the developer.
It’s sort of an unspoken rule with first person shooters – most of them anyway – that they hardly ever break perspective. Even during cutscenes, we’re used to seeing first person games remain, well, first person. 2016’s DOOM was no different, but id Software are making changes with its upcoming sequel, DOOM Eternal, which also features plenty of cutscenes that play out in a third person perspective.
So why exactly is it that id Software have made that change? According to creative director Hugo Martin, a third person perspective in cutscenes allows the developers to be able to show the Doom Slayer and his own actions with a renewed focus. Though the first game’s first person cutscenes were functional enough for what they were, id Software now want to be able to “boost the feel of who the Slayer is.”
“I think with DOOM 2016 players really got into the lore, they got into the power of who he is,” said Martin in an interview with VG247. “But we did it in ways that were, I would call them a bit harder core. I mean if you wanted to know the Slayer testaments you had to go up to a rock and listen to a booming voice, which was amazing, but you kind of had to stand there and listen to the rock for the most part.
“So with this game, and all we wanted to do, and the questions we wanted to answer, and the whole new spectacle of it all, we really felt like telling parts of the story through more conventional means, we could really boost the feel of who the Slayer is, what he’s doing. It just gives you a lot of freedom to tell the story and represent the lore in a way that’s very approachable and understandable.”
According to Marty Stratton, executive producer, third person cutscenes are much more efficient, and are, in the end, going to be “better for the game.”
“And it’s more efficient,” Stratton said. “I mean a lot of times if you stay first-person, it’s harder, it gets more complicated, there’s more moments of, ‘stand still while someone vomits exposition at you and, why aren’t I engaging, why am I standing still, I’m the Doom Slayer?’ So if you notice with all the scenes, there’s a fluidity to them. Every single decision, whether it’s third-person cutscenes or big floating guns, it’s in the service of the game. That’s it. It’s better for the game, we do it.”
DOOM Eternal is out on November 22 for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Stadia, while it’ll also be receiving two single player campaign DLCs after launch. Meanwhile, here’s everything we’ve been able to learn about the game so far, including all the new stuff we learnt about it at E3 2019.