During QuakeCon 2019, we were able to sit down with Hugo Martin and Marty Stratton in order to talk about DOOM Eternal ahead of DOOM Eternal’s November 22nd, 2019, release date.
During QuakeCon 2019, we were invited to sit down in order to talk with Marty Stratton (Game Director) and Hugo Martin (Creative Director) of id Software about DOOM Eternal ahead of its Nov. 22nd, 2019, release date. During the roundtable interview, we joined other members of the press including Cinelinx and 2nd Opinion Pro’s team including Caleb ‘Soleb’ Gayle, TechRaptor’s Trevor Whalen, and other members of the press in order to talk about the game ahead of its release.
Blast Away the Game Review: One question I have, Hugo may be the person that will have to answer this, you have this legacy, you’ve been focusing on this legacy, and it’s noticeable from the beginning of 2016, to now with all the teasers for Eternal, what’s it like bringing back the original models, but also modernizing them to the current standard?
Hugo Martin: I wish we did it originally. Y’know, I think it’s been so much fun, I think, seeing, I get a kick out of the idea of a fan in 1993 of the original DOOM, if he saw DOOM Eternal, his head would explode because he’s like “that’s like the feature film version of this game that I love”.
And that’s a good thing, that’s the way I should be. And honestly, they’re just great designs. I mean, it’s just great stuff we’re working with. The original mancubus is fantastic. I love the characters from DOOM (2016) as well and I do think. y’know, they’re apart of the universe now. We tend to think of the fictional reason they are different is that these are just like a species of mancubus, you know what I mean.
There are many different kinds mancubus, just like there are lots of different types of, you know, tigers and jungle cats. This is just one species of mancubus, so those are the other ones are alive and well, but yea, it’s been great for the game and it reads better – this is our Evil Dead 2.
That’s what I think. Like Evil Dead, was great, right, and it had all this cool stuff in it, but Evil Dead 2 is the full realization of the Evil Dead universe and my favorite Evil Dead, so I feel like this is our Evil Dead 2, where it’s like we were able to steer into everything that worked and chip away the stuff that didn’t and add in a bunch of new stuff that capitalizes on all the great things that are DOOM.
Blast Away the Game Review: What’s it been like trying to keep the controls and the gameplay experience intuitive enough for them while also bringing in your more modernized fast-paced shooting crowd?
Marty Stratton: I think we’ve probably particularly in DOOM Eternal, we were actually just talking about this – I think ensuring that the game feels is demanding enough of modern-day players is something – if you’re actually to draw a spectrum of where you could land on that – we’re definitely aiming more towards modern players.
You know, I mean like, whether it’s keyboard and mouse or gamepad. Players these days, particularly younger players, they’ve grown up a lot of Fortnite and a lot of PUBG, and games that push you and demand a lot of you. He (Martin) uses his son as an example and brings in videos of how he plays Fortnite and mean it’s like literally – we literally sit around like “oh my God”.
Hugo: And he’s eight.
Stratton: You can’t, you have to – that is the standard, that’s what a player expects, that level of challenge, that level of tools that, as Hugo always says, “mastery”; that shouldn’t be a scary term, whether somebody believes they have good twitch skills or not, the game will take you through a process of learning how to play it, how to be good at it, and when we say “you’re gonna master the tools, master the power fantasy,” the fun of the experience is going through that process.
Learning. Learning those guns, learning the process, learning the weak points, learning the way mechanics, learning when to dash at the right time; that process is the fun. It does, it does challenge you. If we don’t challenge the player, we’re going to get big shoulder shrugs like, “eh, like I dunno, it was okay, it was boring.”
Martin: The difficulty settings go a long way too.
Stratton: Absolutely – yea.
Martin: Like, we’re working hard on that right now, just making sure the metas don’t change, you know, the things you need to do, like flame belch and aggressively manage your resources and move and all that stuff. That stays the same, but I think as you go down in difficulty you’ll be allowed to make a few more mistakes and we won’t ask you to process so many things at once.
You know, on Ultra-Violence, there are a lot more guys throwing fastballs out here and so on, heavy shots, a lot more enemies attacking you at once –
Stratton And the fastballs hurt.
Martin: per second. You know, we’re asking you to make “x” amount of decisions per second or per minute or however you want to judge that and we’re letting you make far fewer mistakes per minute or per second, however, you want to judge that. Then, if you go down in difficulty, you’ll be making fewer decisions per second, and you’ll be allowed to make more mistakes per second, but the mechanics will not change.
That’s where we make it accessible to people. But it’s gotta be, I think with a game like ours, a studio like ours, it’s not a looter shooter. With looter shooters, the difficulty can go down because of the amount of content you are giving to the player, the drip of content, goes way up. So it’s like, “I’ll mow through these guys fast if I’m of the light level and have the right gun, but I also want to be getting guns like every two minutes,” y’know.
As your content goes down, everything has to have more meaning in the game and the challenge of the game has to go up. So I think that’s the type of game we make, and we love those games so, and we love those other games too. We’re not saying they’re bad at all.
Blast Away the Game Review: To close it out (the interview), David, has a question about the battle mode, rather pertaining to it: Which character or demon, rather, do you prefer playing as, just on the entertainment value alone?
Martin: Right now, probably the Arch-vile, he’s the most strategic. Y’know, he’s more of an advanced demon, the Revenant, is awesome, they’re all awesome. He’s not great with his direct attacks, he doesn’t have a great offense, but he’s a fantastic support demon. It requires a bit more thinking and teamwork, or strategy and teamwork.
So, if I’m working with, let’s say a mancubus teammate, and we coordinate just enough, and I kinda act as his support, so he’s the anchor and on the support game, while the mancubus occupies the (Doom) Slayer with his guns and flamethrowers and stuff; I can throw down my lake of fire so he does the thing, where he throws it down wherever he wants, he could throw up a firewall to protect himself and box in the slayer sometimes.
And he can teleport, so he can do really cool things if used in support of another demon, it’s really really effective. But what I find so interesting about him, is if used completely wrong, you’ll get completely slaughtered, which is the sign of a well-balanced game, so he’s currently favorite.
Stratton: We’ve answered this question a couple of times. I typically say the Revenant. I think, because, he’s so agile, I love that about him. He just has some really cool moments of like, the way you can use his jetpack, then his dash, and it gives you this kind of capability to go up and then come around the guy and then use the rocket barrage and you just get this like – when you press the rocket barrage, he kind of locks in place even if you are in the air, then it just goes like this [insert rocket sounds], this really cool feeling – I don’t know – like you feel like an Apache helicopter or something like that.
So I really like that. I will say, visually speaking, and I think things, the marauder was kind of the last demon to really make it into the game, so I’ve spent less time with him, but the way he’s coming together will be really, really cool, so that’s going to change. Honestly, they’re all really so fun, so it’s really cool, because, I’m really excited about it, because it’s a totally different take on the feel of DOOM. It’s perfectly DOOM, and everything works perfectly, just as you would expect, and there’s a familiarity to it, but it just, as we talk about it, you play games to kind of think, make choices, and have that challenge.
The fact that y’know, that we have this cast of characters you get to bounce between, choose your favorite, try different strategies, they behave completely differently. The Slayer, is the Slayer, he’s everything, there’s nothing like being the Slayer, but to have these added elements into the mix, it’s so, it’s so f**king cool.
And honestly, the Slayer is an exhausting experience. When you’re playing in Battlemode, it’s “oh my god”, it’s so intense, so to play a few games as a slayer, then like “I’ve got to play as the pain elemental”, then you’re cruising around the top launching, it’s so cool. It’s awesome, really, really awesome.
We want to give a special shout out to Caleb “S0leb” Gayle of Cinelinx and 2nd Opinion Pro for providing us with a video and audio recording of the interview to share with you all.
DOOM Eternal is set to launch on Nov. 22nd, 2019, for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Google Stadia. Pre-order today to get the special Doot Revenant skin, available while supplies last.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.
David “The 8 Bit Gamer in a 4K World” Murphy is B.A.T.G.R.’s behind the scenes man who helps get things up and going as well as keeping things in order. Don’t be surprised to know that the old man contributes rather heavily to editing, news, and information he digs up so that editorials, as well as articles, are done properly. He also likes Fallout… A lot. We’re not sure he’s not secretly the Vault Boy in disguise.