When Doom was restarted in 2016, designer id Software idea of it as the very first part of a trilogy. Last year’s Doom Eternal brought the 2nd chapter and established a hell of an ending, however it isn’t showing up in the kind of a 3rd video game. Id Software is rather turning Doom Eternal’s two-part DLC, The Ancient Gods, into the last act of the trilogy.
We understand the Doom Slayer will be blowing holes in every devil he sees, however for the very first time in this long-running series we can’t state we believe he’s going to make it out alive. Id Software is billing this chapter as “completion” for the Doom Slayer’s legend. What does that mean precisely? We’ll need to play the DLC (out on March 18) to discover, however offered how harsh these video games remain in both their action and storytelling, there’s most likely excellent factor to stress over his security.
I just recently talked Hugo Martin, Doom Eternal’s video game director, along with executive manufacturer Marty Stratton about why this is the last bullet in the chamber for the Doom Slayer, and what gamers can anticipate from it.
Game Informer: How has advancement altered throughout the pandemic? Was it more tough to make this last chapter with the majority of your personnel in remote places?
Marty Stratton: Two days prior to we delivered Doom Eternal in 2015, we moved our facilities and back-end group out of the workplace initially, so that they might be established and not have any problems. As we entered into Eternal’s launch, we essentially established both DLCs practically totally from house. I’d state 85 to 90 percent of DLC one was made from our houses. We got a little a start on DLC one prior to launch, however I can’t state adequate about how the group has actually reacted. Overall, the group has actually done remarkably well. We got 2 DLCs out in the course of a year while working from house, and it’s a few of our finest work.
As far as technical obstacles, we’re less effective passing builds. It’s insane just how much you get utilized to the speed of connection inside a workplace. And then when you go to utilizing VPN, and much slower speeds, it makes it slow from that point of view. Communication is a bit harder in conferences, however on a private basis, individuals have actually not lost an action. It’s truly cool to see how versatile individuals have actually been and how efficient they have actually been.
How much preparation entered into the DLC while you were making Doom Eternal?
Hugo Martin: The foundation for the DLC was laid all the method back in 2016. Because it’s a bigger arc, we detailed it in broad strokes. I’m not going to do the George Lucas thing like “I had everything determined and it simply took me twenty years to make it.” And then you resemble “Yeah, George. Some of that story things does not in fact line up, sir.”
We did attempt and follow those steps, however, and understood we desired it to be something of a trilogy. We presented these characters like the Dark Lord, and wished to take them someplace and have the story end with a last dispute in between the 2 most significant bad stars in the Doom universe. And that’s what will occur in DLC 2. So there was a great deal of imaginary foundation that was laid.
From a procedure point of view while operating at house, this has actually most likely been the most effective dev cycle we have actually we’ve ever had.
You pointed out trilogy. Doom Eternal is certainly the 2nd chapter. Is The Ancient Gods the 3rd and last game? You call it “the epic conclusion to the Doom Slayer saga.”
HM: It is. For this arc. It is the Doom universe, so there’s so much more to tell! When you look at other IPs and fictional universes, they’re able to go forwards and backwards with their stories.
When you put both parts of The Ancient Gods together, would you call that a complete arc?
HM: Do you mean in terms of a full game?
Yeah. In terms of story and what you hoped to achieve.
HM: This is a comic book story. In terms of the scope, scale, and the popcorn-summer-action-film sense of the word story, we scratch every itch. Did we do everything we wanted to do? Yeah. We emptied the chamber. There’s no gas left in the tank. We let it all hang out there. We think fans are really going to be blow away.
So you’re saying you are amping it up in the last act?
HM: The scale and scope of the conflict is unlike anything you’ve seen in Doom. You started to see some of it in DLC one with The Ancient Gods’ story. We’ve been getting better, as a studio, at achieving a sense of scale and scope of the world. You can feel it in our best maps, like Mars Core. That map stands out because you’re blowing up planets, and jumping across asteroids as events happen. There’s some big events in DLC one, with the impact of the things that you do in the world, like a huge titan raising you up in the air as you resurrect an ancient god. For Doom 2016, we didn’t have the capabilities of telling a story of that scale. With DLC two, it’s that plus five. Tech-wise, we’re just getting better at making Doom games. It’s getting more efficient as a team and getting more decisive in the content that we want to make. Executing on it in less times means we can do more. The conflict between good and evil is going to reach new heights, quite literally.
MS: The last level is unlike anything we’ve done as a studio.
So what’s the setup? We’re going to Hell to take on the big bad?
HM: Yeah. You go to his home turf. There will be some twists and turns to the story for the people that have rode along with us since 2016. The encounter against the Dark Lord has to happen on his home turf. I think fans are going to be quite impressed. [SPOILER ALERT] It is not what you think it is. It’s actually in a futuristic city. The core of Hell and the most ancient part of Hell is this world that is highly advanced. Not just with demons; there are actually people running around. The story behind that is pretty cool. The Dark Lord himself – that encounter – I think is our best fight. Taking him on is going to feel like a PvP match. We’ve done some things with his ability to take and regain health just like you can. It makes you feel like you are fighting another player. He’ll have the same abilities you have. The push and pull of that, and drama that it creates, if you screw up, he gets his health back, and you’re like “s—!” Just like you have combos, he has combos. It’s post-launch content in a skill-based action game, you have to consider the core with it.
Are you bringing the same toys to this fight?
HM: We have a new toy. It’s a hammer! It’s going to be awesome! We worked really hard on it. You have the kill equation in Doom: The things that you do to set up kills, the finishing blows, and then we all know at close range the super shotgun is the most powerful tool in the game or a blood punch. That’s the end of the kill equation. We had to find a spot where we give you something you always wish you had. The hammer is a single button press just like the chainsaw. It launches you into the air and you slam it down like Thor.
The hammer creates falters. If you play our game on the Nightmare difficulty, you definitely have to understand falters. This means you create a dazed state in enemies, almost like tweety birds over the head of a character in a fighting game. It does a good amount of damage to fodder. You can clear out the cockroaches with it. It multiplies and enhances your ability to extract resources from enemies. It’s another way to get ammo. It’s also a way to say “everyone get away from me” or “chill out” because they all wobble. If you throw an ice bomb and then do the hammer, you multiply the number of resources that come out of the enemy. The hammer encourages combos. In one killing blow against a Hell Knight, if you combine your tools, you can replenish nearly all of your ammo. The loop of that, we hope it’s like that great combo in Devil May Cry that makes you say “that feels good.” We’re kind of merging 3rd-person action video game ideas with our classic, id Software FPS.
What’s the hammer’s name?
HM: The Hellbreaker.
Is it limited use?
HM: As we say, we always want to keep people in the fun zone, so basically it’s a reward for doing cool things. You charge it by shooting weak points and doing glory kills. I didn’t want it to be a power meter. I can’t stand them. Waiting on the cooldown is the worst. We’re guilty of that with the ice bomb. It’s on a timer. [laughs] There are so many things about Doom Eternal that I love, and other things that I can’t wait to get back in there and work on in the next iteration. The ice bomb slowly charging over time is one of those things. I’m like “I hate that thing!”
MS: The player saw this hammer in Doom Eternal in a scene when you meet The Betrayer. He has a sentinel hammer. It’s one of those things where there’s a really nice call back to Doom Eternal. We knew when we put that in there that it would be something we can use moving forward. I think players will fictionally love that callback, too.
Your video game is already running at 60 frames per second, but is there anything players can expect from these games on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S?
MS: We wished to get DLC 2 out there first. Our engine team has made some advancements for the DLCs, like weather and water, and some additional graphical enhancements. But yes, we have next-gen right around the corner both for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S. Raytracing is a part of that. I don’t want to go into too many details on it yet, but it won’t be a long wait.
Are you looking at Doom 2016 and beyond? Or simply Eternal for next-gen?
MS: Right now it’s simply Eternal.