It’s easy to look at a series like Doom and assume it is mindless violence. But playing the Demo at the Bethesda E3 afterparty proved to me that Doom is much more than running and gunning. Doom requires strategy, use of space in the levels, and thinking before navigating the platforming areas. All in all, the E3 demo of Doom Eternal built up my adrenaline in a way that I haven’t experienced in other recent 1st person shooters.
The demo began on a station orbiting Mars. The build-up to the actual gameplay was amazing, as station workers pretty much fell over themselves in awe and fear of the Doomslayer. The NPCs make it clear you are not allowed to step out of the station to take on the spawns of hell. But let’s be real – which one of those pissants are actually going to stop the Doomslayer from doing whatever he wants?
The demo, which lasted roughly 30 minutes, sent you into a few areas where you killed a multitude of hell’s minions. I was able to try many of the available weapons that Doom players know and love. At first, my natural first player shooter instincts kicked in as I attempted to shoot everything in sight. However, I found out the hard way that ammo and health were relatively scarce. I didn’t see an abundance of health packs or ammo lying around.
This is where the strategy comes into play. I had to rethink how I play Doom right on the fly. Since I couldn’t pick up everything I needed, I had to wisely choose when to chainsaw enemies or glory kill them. Killing in this fashion rewards you with health and ammo, so it is imperative that you, in essence, combo your killing with actions that will net you health and ammo. Admittedly, it took some getting used to. But boy was it rewarding to move quickly and efficiently kill the demons with these combos.
While the shooting mechanics were solid, a lot was left to be desired with the platforming. Using the double jump and dash buttons were fine until I need to cling to a wall. Pressing in the right joystick was supposed to make you stick to a wall, but it wasn’t very responsive (Note: this was an alpha build, so understandably it is not perfect). I even crashed the demo a couple of times while trying to cling to a wall. When the game launches, I’ll most likely attempt to change the button layout and pick a different button to cling to walls.
Besides those minor annoyances, I truly appreciated the challenge that came with the Doom Eternal E3 Demo. I love how strategic the demo was and it forced me away from typical run and gun situations. I had to focus, plan ahead, and use my special abilities to survive. Ultimately, the demo accomplished exactly what it set out to do, which is to make a memorable Doomslayer experience for the players.
Doom Eternal launches November 22nd, 2019 on PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch. If you watched the E3 trailer or had a chance to play it at E3 this week, let us know your thoughts in the comments below!