Your job as the Doomslayer is pretty straightforward: see demons, kill demons. That makes the demons you fight in any Doom game one of its most important aspects, and game director Hugo Martin has provided a quick introduction to the gallery of fiends you’ll be eviscerating in Doom Eternal.
Speaking with Noclip, Martin explains some of the design decisions that have gone into Doom Eternal’s demons. In some cases, these have had to do with translating the 2D sprites found in Doom 2: Hell on Earth to the modern era, and in other cases, id Software has come up with entirely new concepts.
While Martin does get into a bit of detail with each of Doom Eternal’s enemies, it’s also interesting to hear him discuss some of the overall design philosophy that the team applied to the development of the game. Martin says id took some of the criticisms of Doom (2016) to heart, and wanted to make sure that players are constantly thinking and engaged, not just during the big arena fights that characterized 2016’s Doom, but also throughout the exploration segments that connect them.
Here’s the video:
Doom Eternal features a lot of returning enemies from the original Doom games, including the Hellified Soldier (who has a beefed-up melee attack now if you get too comfortable around him), the Pain Elemental (Martin says he’s kind of a “crotchety old man”), and the Archvile (who summons enemies to the battlefield and attacks with waves of fire).
Martin says that particularly with the new demons, id is encouraging players to think about which weapon they’re using at all times, and for them to apply the correct tool for the current situation. Some new demons, like the Carcass, are specifically designed as counters to weapons like the rocket launcher, and force players to rethink their approach to the battlefield.
“When you’re thinking, you’re engaged; when you’re not thinking, you’re bored,” Martin explains – and he repeatedly talks about the demons as ‘chess pieces on the chessboard.’
Martin says the first two thirds or so of Doom Eternal involve ‘leveling the player up’ like a martial artist, and giving players an increasingly deadly set of moves until they’re comfortable whipping around levels wreaking havoc on the minor demons they’ve become accustomed to fighting. The Marauder – the big, armoured demon hefting the energy battleaxe – is meant as a peer, another martial arts master against whom to test your skills.
“I don’t want to give away too much,” Martin says. “He’s awesome.”
The full video is well worth watching if you’re eagerly anticipating Doom Eternal, which has been delayed until March 20. Be aware though, there’s material in there that could be considered spoilers if you’re planning on heading into Doom Eternal completely blind.