Going in cold to id Software and Bethesda’s Doom Eternal can be quite a challenging experience, as Den of Geek learned when we tried out the game at QuakeCon Europe last week. And since we’ve already got a hands-on first impressions article, we thought you might appreciate some top tips on how to survive in the game.
Certainly, if you take control of the Doomslayer and jump into the game without much knowledge of how the basic mechanics work, and if hand-eye coordination isn’t always your strong suit, you might find that Doom Eternal has quite a steep learning curve. There is a positive side to this: when you do manage to nail the controls and clear an area of enemies, the feeling of achievement is really something.
If you’d like to earn this sense of blood-splattered elation for yourself, read on for our advice on surviving Doom Eternal…
Keep on moving
This might sound blindingly obvious to any seasoned Doom player, but this is not a typical shooter where you can hide behind a wall and safely regroup whenever you fancy. The demons you’re perpetually battling aren’t polite enough to stay behind cover, and they’ll move around the map to hunt you down. This necessitates a lot of movement on your part.
The Doom Eternal demo at E3 and QuakeCon came with a handy tutorial, which showcased all the ways in which the Doomslayer can traverse the map. As well as the traditional running and jumping, he can also swing off monkey bars and climb up certain types of walls. You won’t want to stay in one place for long while you play, and these extra little features can help you out of a tight spot if needed.
The finished game may have a different sort of tutorial, but either way, make sure you pay attention during the early stages of the game when you should be picking up skills that will come in handy later. Standing still and shooting won’t be enough to defeat all your enemies: you’ll want to keep traversing around the screen, popping off shots at your demonic foes at every opportunity while making it difficult for them to pin you down.
Although there are always opportunities to refill on ammo in Doom Eternal (more on that in a moment), you won’t want to waste your bullets when you could be using them wisely. Again, this might sound obvious, but it’s worth pointing out: you’ll want to pick your targets carefully as you work your way through each area of demonic nasties.
If you’re going up against a massive monster, you should be able to work out a weak spot that will allow you to make them less of a threat. If the beast you’re battling has a big gun turret on its head, for example, you’ll be able to shoot that off and reduce the risk of damage to yourself. The same goes for creatures with giant metal gauntlets on their arms – shoot those off and you’re less likely to be bashed to death. With these damage-dealing elements removed, the big monsters generally become easier to defeat. In a lot of cases, a few succinct shots should bring them down, at least in the early areas of the game that we tried.
And in terms of the more human-sized demons, it’s worth remembering that you don’t always have to use bullets to dispatch them. Which brings us to the next point nicely…
Get what you need
When there are swathes of hellspawn swarming towards you, it’s pretty likely that your first instinct will be to hammer down on the trigger to try and shoot them to shreds. However, you don’t have infinite ammo, and there are rewards to be earned in Doom Eternal if you mix up your attacks and take part in close-quarters combat instead. These rewards, should you go to the effort of earning them, could easily be the difference between surviving an onslaught or taking a quick trip to the game over screen.
If you dispatch a foe using your chainsaw, the game will reward you with some extra ammo. If you use the flamethrower to ignite your enemies, you’ll earn extra armor. And if you go for a gory melee attack as your finishing move, you’ll earn some extra health. Chaining gory kills together also allows you to unleash a powerful attack that can wipe out multiple foes at once.
Essentially, you’ll want to learn all the controls to Doom Eternal as soon as you can, which will allow you to use the perfect attack at the ideal time to earn whichever resource you need the most at that moment. It helps that the game is very good at reminding you when you need more health or ammo, which saves you from worrying about that amidst the chaos. If you need ammo, whip the chainsaw out. If you need health, find a chance for a gory melee move. And so on.
Basically, the key to survival in Doom Eternal is deploying some masterful multitasking. As long as you keep moving, aiming for weak spots in your enemies, and mixing up your attacks to ensure a steady stream of health and ammo, you should be able to avoid death. And if all else fails, there’s always easy mode… but doesn’t that defeat the point a little?
Doom Eternal launches on March 20 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, and PC.