One of the coolest new things about DOOM Eternal is its ‘combat puzzle’ feature. Described as “engaging and aggressive”, this particular element of gameplay is designed to keep players constantly moving amidst DOOM’s adrenaline-fueled action.
Here’s how it works.
Players are rewarded with resources such as health, armour and ammo depending on the abilities/weapons they use during combat. This includes; Glory Kills, Flame Belch and Chainsaw, each rewarding its own specific resource.
Glory Kills give you health, using Flame Belch grants armour and chainsaw demons for ammo.
At first, I was a bit, “yeah okay, mate” when the Bethesda representative was detailing this feature. Once I jumped into the action and saw how the new combat puzzle fundamentally shifted not only the tone of gameplay but how I ultimately played, I knew this was something special.
Whilst I’m certainly not privy to design discussion, it’s my feeling id Software developed this new system with how people played DOOM in mind. Although the yield was minimal, demons still granted much-needed health in that game.
Players likely left smaller, weaker demons such as Zombies and Imps to stagger around while they picked off the larger, stronger ones.
It’s a smart strategy that sees players keep weaker enemies around to rip apart later on during the frenzied, chaotic firefights. As DOOM 2016 is relentless in its carnage it was important to ensure a steady stream of health and ammo. Without this strategy, you could get boxed into a corner while facing off against powerful mega demons such as the Mancubus and Revenant.
Juggling Resources (and Heads)
This type of impromptu resource management, which also included the use of the chainsaw to gather ammo, may have been something id Software’s data gatherers picked up; if that’s something they’re interested in. To capitalize and use this data in a meaningful way, DOOM Eternal’s designers may have used it when creating this gameplay system to invite and encourage this type of play.
Of course, this is purely conjecture and speculation on my part. I didn’t have the opportunity to talk this over with anybody from the development team. Regardless of how it came to be, DOOM Eternal’s combat puzzle mechanic is both deeply rewarding and exceptionally satisfying.
Previewing DOOM Eternal on Nightmare difficulty (at least for the first level) meant demons were hard to take down and hit even harder. We’re not talking The Division 2 bullet sponges here, but some of the larger demons certainly took a considerable hit before they even became susceptible to a Glory Kill.
As such, my ammo levels were quickly drained, so too was my health as the hordes of hell bombarded me with their attacks. During some of the more intense skirmishes, I chose my targets carefully.
I opted to take out the weaker Soldiers and Imps with Glory Kills and the Chainsaw to replenish my health and ammo supplies. This meant I could focus the bulk of my firepower on larger demons.
Swimming in Blood
The above footage captured during my hands-on is a good example of how DOOM Eternal’s combat puzzle
Within the opening moments of gunfire, you can see that I use Soldiers to boost my health and restock my ammo before focusing on the second Whiplash that appeared.
Moments later, with my health at critical levels, I bounce around the battlefield to regroup before making a beeline once again for the Soldiers for more health before turning attention back to the last Whiplash.
Jayden Williams attended a preview event in Sydney, Australia hosted by Bethesda.