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In Doom Eternal, you have to save Earth, again. Hell has unleashed its demons on Earth, killing millions and overrunning 60% of the planet by the time you, the Doom Slayer, arrive on the scene. You can stop the invasion by locating the Hell Priests and bringing them down, and mowing down every other boss in sight.
As I said in my review, I can confidently say that it is one of the finest first-person shooters that I have ever played. And for those of us who need a distraction from our own apocalyptic reality, I am so glad that I can spend many more escapist hours fighting bosses and demons in Doom Eternal — all to the sound of heavy metal and gunfire.
These are my tips and tricks, if you want to avoid maximum embarrassment while playing in front of your friends or the entire internet. I’ve finished the game on the easy level, and I’ve played the ending level a couple of times. I have miles to go before becoming an expert or even proficient at the game, so take the advice for what it’s worth. This game is very replayable, particularly if you want to keep ratcheting up the fine-grained difficulty settings. I know my limits, and I’m glad Bethesda and id Software offered a lot of choice in difficulty settings.
If you’re facing that decision, every setting gives you the same game. But the harder ones differ in the amount of things that are happening every second. You can’t make nearly as many mistakes on the Nightmare level, but you pretty much get the same game. I chose “I’m too young to die” because, ahem, I’m Dean Takahashi. This is what I would call advice for regular gamers, not experts. Because, obviously, I’m not helpful there. Beware, this story has some spoilers.
The basic combat advice
Always stay on the move. If you don’t move, you’re dead. Demons spawn behind you if you’re camping, and you can’t find much good cover. So the designers intentionally pulled you out of your safe spots and make you run for your life. Fortunately, this is a power fantasy, and it’s the demons who should be running away from you.
You die if you don’t pay enough attention to your damage. You die if you’re in a mis-matched battle, like when you are using a regular shotgun against a fast Hell Knight, if a bunch of demons corner you, or you fire a rocket at close range and the splash damage takes you out. If you can remember these things, and remember how aggression solves every problem, then you’ll survive.
That means you have to take advantage of jump pads, which give you a breather while you’re in the air and some much-needed intelligence about where all of the enemies are on the map. You can escape with a Dash (Circle button on the PlayStation 4) or a Double Dash. You can swing on a pull-up bar to stay airborne, and you can move to high ground. If you circle around, you’ll be able to catch demons from behind.
The chainsaw gets you ammo. When you’re near a weaker demon, you can take them out with the Square button to get ammo. This fills up everything, or sometimes it just fills up half of your capacity for rockets. It’s probably the only way you’re going to get useful ammo, because the pickups are relatively rare. The chainsaw requires fuel, which you can pick up. Or you can wait for the cool down as it gradually comes back.
Remember to flame belch. I played on the PS4, and the Triangle button releases the flame belch. When enemies are aflame, they drop armor for you, which can protect you from losing health while taking damage. It’s easy to forget in the heat of battle, or fail to notice when the the cool down is over. So you should get in the habit of pressing that triangle button.
Get your Glory Kills. When you wound a demon enough, it will start glowing blue and orange. If you do a melee attack (Down on the right stick), you’ll get a Glory Kill. This replenishes your health.
Do your Blood Punches. When you kill a couple of Glory Kills in a row, you can do a Blood Punch. A Blood Punch can take a demon out in a single punch or even take out a whole row of them, as you level up.
Paint the map. The map tab is a very useful 3D layout of the level. You can find an Automap station to automatically map a level. It has icons on it for all of the secrets that you need to find. This helps you ensure that, before you finish a level, you have “painted the map” and found everything that you need. Make sure you turn as much green as possible when “painting” the map.
Learn your platforming. Doom Eternal has some great tutorials, and it has a lot of tips when it is loading a level. You have to remember these tips, as you need to be able to recall it when it matters. When it comes to platforms, you have to Dash or Double Dash to make it to the next point where you can grab a ledge. Quite often you’ll do a Jump, Dash, Jump, Dash, and Grab (down on the right stick) to make it across a chasm. I didn’t master this in a preview, and it showed in my widely panned video. This is a very big part of Doom Eternal, as it’s not all just run-‘n’-gun.
Get used to puzzle-solving. It’s not just a shooter. You have to figure out some very complicated movement puzzles to survive. The platforming gets harder, as do the puzzles, the further you get into the game. I’ve spent hours on it. My other piece of advice is to solve these videos on your own. It will be satisfying when you finally succeed.
Get your resources. In between fights, don’t just jump to the next level. Wait around and see if minions will spawn. You can get them with the chainsaw for ammo, stagger them to get health, or flame belch for armor.
Spend your Sentinel Batteries. When I picked up these Sentinel Batteries, I didn’t know what to do with them. When you’re in your headquarters, the Fortress of Doom, you can walk around the levels. When you find these Mod Bot bays, you can put two batteries in them to buy upgrades for your weapons, your Praetor Suit, or cosmetics. This is way to easy to forget.
Snipe when you can. Sometimes, you’ll have a chance to spy the next battleground, and you can watch the demons fight with each other. If you can take a moment to snipe, do so. You can knock the turret off the Arachnotron or the Missile Launchers off the top of the Revenant. You can also take the guns off of the Mancubus with well placed shots. It’s not fair, but hell, these are demons you’re fighting.
Try out the Ripatorium. When you get some new skills or loadouts, you can test them in the Fortress of Doom’s Ripatorium. It’s better than learning to use a weapon in combat.
Use the Ice Bomb. The left bumper can release a Frag grenade, but I used it for the Ice Bomb, when I earned it. If you use it, you can freeze every enemy (except the Marauder) within range. It buys you important time, and if you upgrade it, you can do more damage to frozen enemies.