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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

DOOM’s Eternal battle mode is addicting, but completely unbalanced

DOOM’s Battle of Eternal mode has been defined as a far more compelling prospect than the DOOM 2016 deathmatch. Hugo Martin, director of the game on DOOM Eternal, said it should be “just as satisfying to play as the single player campaign.” And since we spent a few hours in the new multiplayer Battlemode mode, we can confirm with certainty that it is indeed much more interesting than a traditional Deathmatch mode, but at the moment it seems rather unbalanced.

Battlemode is an asymmetrical 2v1 affair, in which an equipped Slayer is pitted against two annoying demons. On paper, the Slayer should have a distinct advantage: after all, in the single player campaign, the power of nature covered in Praetor armor is capable of carving a hell like a hot knife through butter. If two players were to choose the right combination of Demons, however, playing while the Slayer becomes an exercise in constant evasion, running and running away not only from a pair of beasts controlled by the player, but also from their legion of AI servants.

It’s strange, because the concept with which id created Battlemode – inspired by the campaign’s game cycle – should be valid. Yet the Slayer ironically feels increasingly stunned, as the Demons are able to summon minor monsters to their aid, in addition to all the other abilities they have as standard. Get a mobile Demon, such as a Pain Elemental or Revenant, that flies around the map, while a Mancubus, Archvile or Marauder provide a full attack on the ground and the Assassin will be constantly forced to stand on his back foot, running around, asking desperately health, armor and ammunition. If one Demon player dies, the other can remain out of sight for 20 seconds, allowing the defeated player to regenerate, making the Slayer’s work one of friction. It is a stark contrast to the fantasy of power that the campaign offers so successfully.

“We took the DNA of the” DOOM dance “- the cycle of a Slayer against many demons – and turned it into a competitive social experience,” said Martin, commenting on Battlemode before launch (via VGC). “When we had a Slayer on the battlefield and let the players control the demons, it was really cool … We play it internally all the time and it’s really cool.” He added: “We have provided a mode that has a lot of depth. , which keeps your brain going while you play it. “

Clearly, id had the right idea for Battlemode, and playing like the Demons turns out to be immensely fun, purely because it looks like you’re torturing the poor old Slayer, as if he were cruelly pushing an animal into the corner with a big stick. While the Assassin has a formidable arsenal to lean on, the minions summoned by the Demons can deal a huge amount of damage, while you are able to summon healing areas for your partner. If you haven’t figured it out yet, playing like Demons is by far the preferable option, and it shouldn’t be.

In the campaign, Doom Slayer is described as a “god”, but in Battlemode she is easily a victim of submission and this doesn’t seem fair. Ideally, a Slayer must keep moving, using her chainsaw to gain health and ammunition, while choosing the right moment to hit, but so overwhelming is the onslaught of demons against minions and bullets, it is almost impossible to find an opening. Between rounds, both sides are also able to choose an upgrade, giving each player an edge. Surely, only the party who lost the round should get an advantage? It does not make sense.

Almost all the games I’ve played so far in Battlemode have ended in the same way: Doom Slayer is constantly on the run, the Demons chase him incessantly (usually one in the air, while the other deals ground damage) around the map, blocks his loot on every occasion (so the killer is unable to acquire health, armor or ammo collection) and despite Slayer’s best efforts, demons tend to get victory in a clean 3-0 hit. There is evidently a large gap in the skill required to dominate the Slayer against the Demons – there is certainly something wrong.

Still, there is the kernel of something truly grand in DOOM Eternal’s Battlemode, even if, for now, it’s not entirely there. In its current state, Battlemode looks like a decidedly one-sided affair, but if id can figure out a way to properly apply the necessary balance changes, then there is every chance he can fulfill his mandate and deliver “something just as satisfying as a single player. . ” Because, at the moment, it really isn’t.

DOOM Eternal is now available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC and you can do it read our review here.

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