There’s a moment in the trailer for Doom Eternal‘s Ancient Gods DLC that probably offered up a minor freakout for you – the bit where two Marauders confidently stride into battle. Yes, id is not backing off of the difficulty for the DLC, and you can expect an even tougher time here than in the main game. The devs expect that you’ll probably need to turn down the difficulty a notch from however you played the main campaign.
“I suspect that most people will probably play at a difficulty setting that is maybe a little bit lower,” game director Hugo Martin tells us during a recent interview, adding that there’s “no shame” in that. “Maybe if they finish Doom Eternal on Ultraviolence, they might want to, even for a little bit, drop it down to Hurt Me Plenty as they get re-acclimated to how to drive the racecar.”
Martin refers to the Doom Slayer as both a racecar and an F22 during our interview – you’re going to start the DLC with everything unlocked, including all the runes and weapon mods. “It’s basically like typing in a cheat code and unlocking everything,” Martin says.
Thus, we’re getting “a lot” of Marauders, to make sure we have a full challenge, even with all of those tools unlocked. “We’re proud of the Marauder. We feel like he tests your knowledge of all the combat systems. But there’s a balance there.
“I playtested it yesterday, and gave some notes that you have to have fodder in with the Marauders, so the player has a way to replenish ammo and stuff. But the types of fodder that you have in that fight can really increase the challenge of it. There were a bunch of Gargoyles and Imps in that encounter with the two Marauders, and that was frustrating. It was too many. Like, I need zombies. If I’m going to deal with two Marauders, I need the fodders to be relatively chill, because that’s already enough. There’s summoning two dogs, two wolves so it’s a little bit crazy. We’re always looking to ride that edge of fun and fair and challenging.”
So a multi-Marauder encounter isn’t just pure punishment. “Fair is the operative word there. For us, frustration as a part of engagement. There is nothing that I do, both in games and in my personal life, that at some point isn’t frustrating. But it’s overcoming those obstacles where the engagement is, and then achieving mastery is that much more satisfying as a result. Nothing that’s easily gained is satisfying, once you have it, you know. Doom Eternal is a power fantasy that you have to earn.”