Doom's multiplayer didn't strike a chord like its relentlessly fast and bloody singleplayer campaign. After all the solo thrills, it was just, well, dull, and id Software knew it. id is keen to avoid the same missteps in Doom Eternal's recently announced Battlemode, and it has a clear idea of why the reboot's PvP shootouts didn't work.
"Thematically and just from its fundamental design story, it was a little bit of Halo, a little bit Doom, a little bit of Quake, but it was none of what people loved from the campaign," executive producer Marty Stratton told us at E3. "And internally, you know, we had put so much into that campaign and that slayer versus demons experience, that's what people came away loving. And then they turned to multiplayer and it wasn't there."
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For Doom Eternal, id's taken the human versus demons dynamic from singleplayer and applied it to a more social mode, the result being the asymmetrical Battlemode, where one heavily-armed slayer has to fight two player-controlled demons with appropriately infernal abilities. It promises teamwork and different strategies depending on the demons, all in arenas that keep everyone fighting.
"[Doom multiplayer] had no real pacing," said creative director Hugo Martin. "It was just very one-note from beginning to end. So we just wanted a game that had really good pacing, which it does. And there was no drama; like there was no escalation of the stakes."
id wants to move away from the kinds of fights where it just comes down to the quickest draws, so while Doom's multiplayer largely rewarded just the players with the best twitch skills, Doom Eternal should give players ways to defeat opponents with teamwork.
"There's no meta, there's no real strategy there," said Martin. "It's just like, my thumbs are better than yours. But when you can overcome someone's twitch skills with strategy and teamwork, that means now there's a meta that emerges, and this things is loaded with metas. I mean, there was no meta, there was no subtext to, or strategy to learn in Doom 2016's MP, and there's just a ton in this one."
Doom Eternal is due out on November 22, and keep an eye out for our full multiplayer interview.