The Doom Eternal E3 Demo Takes Demon Slaying To Another Level
Yesterday, while at the Bethesda E3 press conference, I had the chance to get my hands on a 20 minute demo of the new Doom Eternal game. Of course, the only rule during the whole thing was that you couldn’t take any pictures or capture any video so I’ll do my best to describe my experience as best as possible. Overall, Doom Eternal is more Doom which is exactly what I wanted. Movement has been amped up to 11, more weapon attachments have been created, and now there are more ways than ever to slaughter demons across multiple planets.
When I played Doom for the first time last year, I was blown away at how smooth and how perfect the FPS aspects of the game felt. One hundred percent of that is back and the game feels better than ever. I don’t think that Id Software had very much more they could add to that for Doom Eternal, so it seems that instead they focused on improving other parts of the game, mainly movement and the environment.
For all of its success, the first installment of Doom did not give you many movement options outside of run and double jump. Yes there were the jump pads and teleporters (which are both back), but actual movement abilities were limited. That has changed drastically for Doom Eternal. A new mid-air dash has been added to give you more freedom and dodging ability. You can also reach further hidden places now with this added dash. Also, the game has added the ability to wall climb which gives Id Software much more freedom to create cool environments to jump around. Finally I also saw a swinging ability. If you could reach it, there were horizontal poles scattered about that you could use to swing up to higher places very quickly to get the drop on enemies. I simply felt so much more free to move where I wanted, how I wanted and this is a major improvement over Doom.
There were also new ways to deal with the hordes of enemies. Two things in particular stuck out to me. The first is that destructible enemy weak points have been added. I fought against (basically) a giant brain with legs with a laser turret on the top of its head (cool right?). If you took a beat and aimed directly for the turret, you could disable it and only take a fraction of the damage from this otherwise very powerful enemy. These kinds of weak points were found on many different enemies promoting a much smarter style of gameplay that rewarded a little bit more precision than before.
Also, a new tool has been added in the shoulder-mounted flamethrower. Usable on a pretty short cooldown, the flamethrowing (obviously) lights enemies on fire. Unsurprisingly, fire doesn’t bother demons too much, but if you kill enemies that have been set ablaze, they drop a flurry of armor pieces to help buff your protections back up if low. This creates a really fun and frantic combat loop of Glory Killing enemies for health, chainsawing enemies for ammo, and flamethrowing enemies for armor. Between these three abilities, the power fantasy of slaughtering demons in heaven and hell and everywhere in between can go on forever.
I really enjoyed the demo and was extremely disappointed when I got that tap on the shoulder that it was time to move on. Twenty minutes was simply not enough to hold me over until the November 22nd release date. The changes we’ve seen coming to the game all look excellent and I expect that fans on the game will have many many more hours worth of slaying, exploding, ripping, and tearing in Doom Eternal. I personally can’t wait.