If you’re a fan of Doom Eternal, you’ve probably seen the trailer for the upcoming The Ancient Gods DLC. Even the short teaser gave us plenty of meat to chainsaw through in terms of speculation. The full length trailer did its job of salivating fans even more: we got hints at possible underwater exploration, the return of the Summoner demon from Doom 2016, and even more Titans to possibly face. However, there’s one hinted encounter at the very end of the trailer that will either have you pumped with excitement, or completely furious. Doom Eternal – The Ancient Gods will apparently make you fight two marauders at the same time.
Yes, the DLC promises to throw two of the game’s most annoying, controversial opponents at the Slayer at the same time. Your skill level at the game will determine whether you’re stoked or sweating at this prospect.
Single Marauder fights alone were the subject of much frustration among Doom Eternal players. The difficulty players had fighting this enemy brought genuine satisfaction when dispatching it, and plenty of frustration to those who had to load checkpoints again and again.
Personally, I welcome the twin Marauders encounter in Doom Eternal – The Ancient Gods. Here’s why.
Don’t fear the Reaper (or Marauder)
Like many players, when I first encountered the Marauder I got wrecked over and over again, and was even tempted to give up on beating the Doom Eternal story. Each attempt was a disaster, and it was only through raw perseverance that I was able to best each Marauder encounter the first time around. When I decided to replay some Doom Eternal levels to find all the secrets, I dreaded having to fight the Marauders again. But with a little research into fighting Doom Eternal’s enemies, I learned a technique that would give me an edge.
This technique was the quick weapon switch, and it may seem simple at first. However, once you master it, you’ll wonder how you’ve ever lived without it. This is how it works: the moment you fire one of your single shot weapons, you immediately hit the weapon wheel button. Don’t hold it down, just tap it. This equips the weapon you had used just before. Not only that, but the weapon is immediately ready to fire ,provided you have ammo for it.
The idea behind this quick weapon swap method is that it eliminates reload animations, so you can deliver a quick blast from each weapon by swapping back and forth. As for what this has to do to with the Marauders in Doom Eternal, it’s simple – once you stagger the Marauder with one weapon blast, you immediately switch and hit him with the second. This allows you to do more damage to the Marauder, quicker than if you wait for your equipped weapon to be ready to fire again.
Make sure the two weapons you would be swapping between are the Super Shotgun and the Ballista. After you stagger the Marauder with the Super Shotgun, immediately follow up with a Ballista blast.
Okay, so even with this technique, Marauder fights can still be a challenge. But the quick switch makes fighting Marauders in Doom Eternal less of a chore, making them actually kind of fun! This is usually the intent behind encounters in games that are designed to be artificially complicated, and it brings up an interesting point about rewarding and empowering the player. Sure, getting to a point through game progression where you naturally have the equipment to take on tougher foes is all well and good. However, rewarding the player by forcing them to learn techniques and improve their skill can be even more satisfying. That is the core appeal of Soulslikes, after all.
Resident Evil 4 had a similar approach to boss battles. Those who played the game will likely remember their encounters with El Gigante. The first time players encountered one, it was a challenge because hardly anyone knew the quick way to kill it. Later on, however, you are confronted with two of these giants who both attack you at once. The player is required to use the knowledge they gained from fighting one El Gigante, to take on two at the same time. I can imagine that’s what id Software and Bethesda are going for here. If you ask me, this is a good approach to combat. It really makes players feel like they can take on the odds worthy of the Doom Slayer.
That said, what’s your take on the potential double Marauders fights in Doom Eternal – The Ancient Gods? Are you excited, or are you nervous about at the prospect? Also, are you mentally prepared for the following DLC, which would likely be throwing Marauders at the players in trios and quartets? Let us know in the comments!
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