Doom Eternal’s new Battle Mode, explained

The new 2v1 mode pits demons against the slayer for surprisingly complex multiplayer

QuakeCon got underway in Austin, Texas last night, and to set the tone for the evening, id Software’s Marty Stratton and Hugo Martin showcased Doom Eternal’s new Battle Mode. It pits two players as demons against one Slayer, and it looks like a lot of fun.

As has already been revealed, Battle Mode is replacing traditional deathmatch in Doom Eternal. It’s a bold move, and one that’s sure to be controversial, but Battle Mode looks like a lot of fun. Stratton and Martin provided some new details about it on stage at QuakeCon’s keynote presentation Friday.

What’s perhaps most notable is the explanation of how Battle Mode actually works. We’ve known for a while that it’s two demons versus one Slayer, but as it turns out, there’s more to Battle Mode. First, a round ends when either the Slayer dies or both demon players are knocked out. When the Slayer kills one demon, a 20-second countdown begins. When that timer reaches zero, the killed demon player respawns with half their starting health.

There are other interesting wrinkles as well. Demon players will be able to spawn in minion demons, which behave the same way they do in the campaign. While the Slayer can use melee glory kill attacks to generate resources like health, ammo, and armor, the demons can use a ‘resource block’ ability which, if well-timed, can keep the Slayer on their back feet.

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Id also revealed a partial lineup of playable demons during the presentation. Demon players will be able to choose from the missile-launching Revenant, the floating Pain Elemental, the hulking Mancubus, and the classic Arch-Vile, which is making its glorious return from Doom 2. They also revealed a brand-new demon, the Doom Hunter.

Meanwhile, Slayers will enter Battle Mode matches with a full loadout – every weapon and mod available in the game. Id’s presentation indicated that individual demons won’t stand much of a chance against the Slayer, but that by working together, placing hazards and spawning in demons, there’s plenty of opportunities to get the upper hand. Or claw.

Doom Eternal launches November 22.