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Touchdown

E3 2019 Impressions

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I thought I'd take a moment to share my impressions of the new footage from DOOM Eternal and since people are posting theirs all over the place I might as well do it in a dedicated thread. These are based on the story trailer, Bethesda showcase presentation and press b-roll footage. Also spoilers, in case you haven't watched those videos.


1. My general impression of the game is that Eternal looks and feels a lot like Diablo III / Reaper of Souls when compared to previous entries. The Sentinel stuff in particular reminds me of some of the later areas in RoS and various traps that you can use against the enemies as well as whacky environmental hazards are very DIII to me. And I have to say I like those elements very much - they're arcadey but in a good way, kinda nostalgic but ultimately making the game more interesting even though they make little sense. D4 was a bit boring with its environment and not much was going on except for exploding barrels or an occasional pool of acid so these are all really cool additions.


2. I love the new environments, pretty much no complaints there. Some of the locations look very much like the last episode of Eviternity which was my favourite in the whole WAD. Interestingly the multiplayer areas were almost more impressive to me than the SP locations. Definitely a welcome and a much needed change from the neverending Mars techbases. And foliage? Finally! I just hope the game won't be all over the place, jumping from one place to another constantly without letting the player enjoy all those cool places.


3. I've seen complaints about the HUD. Can't say I really agree with them. It might be a bit too flashy but it doesn't really bother me. But I am imagining it without the stuff at the top which I assume can be turned off.


4. The new old Cyberdemon looks... sad. Like it's malnourished. I don't understand what is it about the new id that they seem completely incapable of doing this enemy justice. The D4 version looked like a plush toy, this one is slim and underwhelming... The old id had no problems making an amazing rendition in D3 where the Cyber felt, at least from a visual standpoint, really threatening and imposing. At least give him the freaking goat legs, it's a demon after all.


5. Just wanted to say how cool it is that an Arachnotron can get knocked over with a rocket blast. The enemy destructibility looks pretty neat too and it's nice it can be used in a practical way to disable their weapons.


6. I'm happy to report that I'm no longer bitter about the Mancubus, even though it's just a recreation of the original sprite. The Pain Elemental though, ugh... They've even given him the walk-in-the-air animation, just what the hell, id... You could have created anything, ANYTHING. And yet you chose the worst option of all. On another note am I seeing things or is the PE literally just throwing Lost Souls at you? If that's the case then it's really kind of pointless. PEs in D2 were game-changers and this one seems to be just a different version of a Cacodemon. Hopefully that's not the whole picture though.


7. I'm one of maybe 5 people on Earth who enjoy first-person platforming. I liked that aspect in D4 and I'm glad to see it not only continue but also expand in Eternal. All those weird platforming sections they've showcased, double jumping, dashing, traps you have to avoid in between doing those acrobatics... I actually cannot wait to try them out. Would be cool to have some crazy platforming secrets or maybe bonus levels focused entirely on that.


8. I've noticed that runes and weapon/character upgrades are now just scattered around levels, no choices to be made regarding what you get. I wonder if weapon upgrading is completely gone at this point. I have mixed feelings about that. It's too early to say but I wonder how that's gonna affect the big picture because those choices were pretty significant to the experience in D4. I wouldn't lament masteries / rune challenges and mission challenges going to hell, though. Those were annoying.


9. Similiar concerns regarding extra lives. I don't really see this as a good idea. That kind of stuff is always questionable. I like it when there are systems in place that can give the player a second chance but that system being literal 1-ups that you can amass seems pretty outdated and potentially exploity. Time will tell. If nothing else it'll definitely make permadeath runs a lot less exciting knowing that there's bound to be at least few 1-ups out there to waste on the toughest fights.


10. There's one weird thing I've noticed about the footage and I wonder if it's just me. Basically the animations, especially various cut/slice animations look incredibly fake. Very... dare I say it?... Very cartoony. Look, I can't say I've ever seen a real, living demon being cut with a chainsaw or a wrist mounted blade but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't look like that. There's just something off about those animations, like they're deliberatery trying to make them funny by taking them further away from realism. I didn't see that problem in D4, the chainsaw kills looked pretty good there so I don't know what's going on. Gore should be more disgusting and realistic and in the new footage it mostly looks like piles of red goo.


11. One of the best things about the footage for me is the new Chaingun. Finally, a proper Chaingun! I absolutely hated that weapon in D4 - basically I cannot stand those D4/Q2 Chainguns where the rate of fire slowly increases, which reminds me of a train gaining speed. That's really stupid. So this ultra fast version in Eternal is just perfect - and it looks pretty cool. So that's the third weapon (next to both shotguns) that seems to be a clear upgrade from D4. I'm still bitter about them taking away the Gauss Cannon and repainting it as a Ballista, though.


12. Mixed feelings about the third-person shots in cutscenes. I felt like the cutscenes in D4 were largely completely pointless time-wasters and those I've seen in Eternal seem pretty redundant as well. I think that if you're making a cutscene it should at least look super cool, considering it's not interactive. But if you have nothing interesting to show then why do it at all? Not to mention some scenes, like that pod landing, would have been much better if they were 100% from the player's eyes. id should really get some better people for coming up with ideas for those scripted scenes.


13. Traps that you can activate and rad suits are all cool and stuff but one thing I didn't expect was... swimming! Yup, I also like swimming in shooters and I've been lamenting the lack of Duke3d/Quake style swimming sections in many games for years. Now granted we don't know how prominent that's gonna be it still brought a smile to my face.


14. Some people have brought up the very high level of arcadiness in Eternal and I have to agree with those sentiments. This game is one of the most arcadey shooters I've seen and that's not necessarily a good thing. id seems to have tossed any kind of realism out of the window and brought back a lot of really outdated elements and I can't say I'm a fan of those.


Now don't get me wrong, the arcade stuff is all fine and good but in reasonable amounts. Even shooters in the 90s were not as silly as Eternal in those aspects. Maybe except Rise of the Triad where you've been collecting giant coi... OH WAIT A SECOND, you actually do collect giant floating coins in DOOM now. I mean, seriously. Like I said, it's a matter of balance. There's cool arcadiness like whacky environmental hazards and chainsawing enemies for ammo... and then there are literal 1-ups, giant coins, FLOATING QUESTION MARKS and medikits the size of a truck. I definitely agree with those saying that id went too far with that stuff. I mean it doesn't ruin the game or anything but I'd really prefer for them to dial that stuff down because it's getting too ridiculous for my taste. But what do I know, this game has a scene where the Doomguy literally launches himself into a building at a super high speed with a giant railgun and survives - totally not something that would fit a whacky Looney Tunes episode. Totally.


Maybe I'm just not really the target audience for this. Some people might remember that I'm a fan of a darker, more serious take on DOOM (D3 FTW) and jamming all this 'funny/silly' stuff without any regard just rubs me the wrong way. We already have rip&tear, doot and coins, what's next? And most people are cheering for that crap. I just don't like it. Say what you want, that I'm whining, that I'm never satisfied with anything. But I don't like this stuff. I don't think it fits DOOM.


That's also one of the reasons why I don't really care for the story in this game. I mean, this gameworld is so inconsistent and bizzare that literally anything can happen. I find myself unable to take this seriously when the 'writers' can just drop any ridiculous idea they want.


15. With all of that said I am looking forward to playing it. If nothing else it'll surely be fun in the gameplay departament - I've pumped over 200h in D4 and I expect to do the same with Eternal. Kinda bummed that I have to get it directly from Steam (the physical copies will only have a code for Bethesda launcher and screw that) because the price where I live is kinda outrageous, even for a new game (a physical version is cheaper). Not a fan of that comic book style box art but at least it's a bit better than the alt cover for D4 which was utter garbage (yeah, that box art that everyone loves, I think it's trash). Hopefully my D4-ready rig will hold up and I won't have to upgrade this time around.

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12 minutes ago, Touchdown said:


4. The new old Cyberdemon looks... sad. Like it's malnourished. I don't understand what is it about the new id that they seem completely incapable of doing this enemy justice. The D4 version looked like a plush toy, this one is slim and underwhelming... The old id had no problems making an amazing rendition in D3 where the Cyber felt, at least from a visual standpoint, really threatening and imposing. At least give him the freaking goat legs, it's a demon after all.

 

 

While I agree that his new form looks a bit slim/not bulky enough, I have to say; I completely, 100% disagree about the D3 Cyberdemon. I personally always hated that design, and I even put it bellow the Doom 2016 ChubbyMoose. For me, the Tyrant (as they're calling the new cybie, apparently) is the best "new" design, though of course, the original is still the best. 

I have mixed feelings about the lack of goat legs. Initially I was a bit thrown off, but my guess is they did it to separate him from the Barons.

Overall, I am happy with the new look, nitpicks aside. The stretching skin, and even the bony look to his face is almost adding a bit of a creep factor. His eyes could stand to get a little bit of a flare though. Maybe that would make him look "meaner" ... 

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The new Cyberdemon looks a lot more like a "new" Cyberdemon, as in one fresh off the assembly line, and all covered with tubes and pale vat-grown flesh or whatever. Remember the Cyberdemon in Doom 2016 was, like, ancient, and was presumably originally a different kind of demon (the "Balgaar" I think?) to boot.

 

My theory is that Doom Eternal is going to turn the Cyberdemon into a recurring miniboss, like how the Barons were in Doom 2016, and as such, it has to introduce a rationale for how there are more of them (probably the UAC made 'em, or Heaven makes 'em, whatever, who cares really).

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Baalgar actually.  They are pretty much extinct unfortunately, but I hope we see them return (without UAC tech).  They are also bigger than the new Tyrant we see now.

 

 

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My guess is the floating question marks are just place holders for the real secrets. 

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I thought the new Cyberdemon looked smaller than the one from 2016 (did anyone compare them yet) and if so it was probably because they're going to be a recurring mini-boss enemy so the smaller size works better for battle arenas.

 

Some of 2016's design woes were "do video game consumers still like dumb over the top aspects?" and the answer to that was "yes" once it came out so them going further into that with the floating weapons, icons, 1up, more surreal level design (e.g those Mario style spinning flame wall puzzles), further focus on black humour and so on is to be expected. Doom 2016 will probably end up being the odd one out with its half-attempts at realism as the franchise goes forward post-Eternal.

 

I like the Doom 64 inspired chaingun.

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15 minutes ago, MrSkeltal said:

Doom 2016 will probably end up being the odd one out with its half-attempts at realism as the franchise goes forward post-Eternal.

 

I have a feeling you're entirely correct. Which is a shame because, while Eternal obviously looks good and fun to play, it went too far, and I loved, loved the semi-realistic nature of 2016. I was so very immersed in that game, and unfortunately Eternal looks like a clownshow.

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Posted (edited)

I feel like most criticisms are nitpicks or just not all that important. I'm trying to look past my hype but I only see more focus on D16 strengths and changes to weaknesses.

 

Arcade thing... I remain cautiously optimistic and for all we know we seen an "arcade mode" or modified demo. I need to look more into the hud to get an opinion.

 

As for the mini cut scenes... am I missing something? The ones I've seen are short and add some context. I prefer that than being locked in a Room with Samuel Hayden barking orders I won't follow.

 

What I want to see but sadly seems unlikely are those more quiet horror segments that change the pace and makes you appreciate the horrors of Hell just like in the classic Doom and too much of it in Doom 3.

Edited by Chezza

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40 minutes ago, MrSkeltal said:

I thought the new Cyberdemon looked smaller than the one from 2016 (did anyone compare them yet) and if so it was probably because they're going to be a recurring mini-boss enemy so the smaller size works better for battle arenas.

At the moment, I think I prefer the 2016 Cybie but if this apparently called "Tyrant" is a mini-boss that just shoots rockets instead of all those other extra features, I think it would have a valuable role as a powerful mini-boss.

 

40 minutes ago, MrSkeltal said:

Some of 2016's design woes were "do video game consumers still like dumb over the top aspects?" and the answer to that was "yes" once it came out so them going further into that with the floating weapons, icons, 1up, more surreal level design (e.g those Mario style spinning flame wall puzzles), further focus on black humour and so on is to be expected. Doom 2016 will probably end up being the odd one out with its half-attempts at realism as the franchise goes forward post-Eternal.

I whole heartedly agree. DOOM 2016 was an amazing game that's for sure and it really balanced old and new quite well but it felt a bit restrained to me. It felt like, although gameplay was top-notch and classic-inspired that the level design and the aesthetics were forced to conform more to the norm of a modern FPS. 2016 was the compromise between old and new but I feel Eternal will be the Doom game that every fan had dreamt of since 3D models became a thing.

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2 hours ago, Touchdown said:

Now don't get me wrong, the arcade stuff is all fine and good but in reasonable amounts. Even shooters in the 90s were not as silly as Eternal in those aspects. Maybe except Rise of the Triad where you've been collecting giant coi... OH WAIT A SECOND, you actually do collect giant floating coins in DOOM now. I mean, seriously. Like I said, it's a matter of balance. There's cool arcadiness like whacky environmental hazards and chainsawing enemies for ammo... and then there are literal 1-ups, giant coins, FLOATING QUESTION MARKS and medikits the size of a truck. I definitely agree with those saying that id went too far with that stuff. I mean it doesn't ruin the game or anything but I'd really prefer for them to dial that stuff down because it's getting too ridiculous for my taste. But what do I know, this game has a scene where the Doomguy literally launches himself into a building at a super high speed with a giant railgun and survives - totally not something that would fit a whacky Looney Tunes episode. Totally.


Maybe I'm just not really the target audience for this. Some people might remember that I'm a fan of a darker, more serious take on DOOM (D3 FTW) and jamming all this 'funny/silly' stuff without any regard just rubs me the wrong way. We already have rip&tear, doot and coins, what's next? And most people are cheering for that crap. I just don't like it. Say what you want, that I'm whining, that I'm never satisfied with anything. But I don't like this stuff. I don't think it fits DOOM.


That's also one of the reasons why I don't really care for the story in this game. I mean, this gameworld is so inconsistent and bizzare that literally anything can happen. I find myself unable to take this seriously when the 'writers' can just drop any ridiculous idea they want.

 

Don't get me wrong, I already love Doom Eternal as much as the next guy, but for the reasons you just mentioned, I'm not feeling 100% about where neo-id is taking the Doom franchise, for reasons I actually posted in another thread:
 

 
 
 
Quote

While Doom 2016 was an excellent game, it really wasn't the "all-new Doom title" I was expecting. I know there's more of a focus on gameplay rather than story, but I feel like they took it too far in the other direction when it came to the action/horror spectrum. As a result, it does do a great job in setting up the Doomguy as this unkillable demigod who nut-punches Cthulthu every other Tuesday, but I can't help but feel like it more or less reduces the demonic hordes into a sort of punchline (the same demonic hordes that are capable of wiping out all life on Mars and later Earth). Plus, with the eventual release of Doom Eternal, I can't help but feel like they may be taking it into a similar direction as the original Doom novels (the ones where they show that the demons are actually aliens called "Freds", and by the end of it all, it's more or less become a space opera akin to The Forever War). Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely excited for Doom Eternal and I have a feeling it'll be an even better game than Doom 2016. In fact, I actually love the more Gothic approach taken when it comes to new worlds like Argent D'Nur. 
I dunno, I know that OG Doom is extremely open to interpretation due to how limited its presentation was at the time, but I was kind of expecting something more... mature. I don't necessarily mean anything like Doom 3 or those spunkgargleweewee shooters that pervaded the market until Doom 2016 came along, but I would love to see a take on the Doom franchise that's reminiscent of Spec Ops: The Line. I mean, I'm talking levels of gore and psychological horror that would've originally bumped up Event Horizon to an NC-17 (seriously, they had to cut half an hour from that movie which contained nothing but extremely graphic violence), as well as the satirical dimensions of the original Robocop movies and philosophical ideas mostly seen in popular cyberpunk works like Blade Runner or AKIRA.

 

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