Doom Eternal is a punishing, intense first-person shooter, and there's a lot going on with a bunch of gameplay systems to get the hang of, at least initially. Here are nine tips that should help you get the best out of your first hours with the game.
1. Keep moving, keep fighting
In Doom Eternal, the best form of defence is a potent attack. id's shooter is built around a nuanced three-pronged system whereby you get the resources you need from the enemies you kill. Glory kills grant health; dousing enemies in flames gives you armour; a chainsaw kill gives you ammo for your various weapons. The trick is to keep on pushing forwards, even when you're on the edge of death because a well-timed glory kill or a burst of flames on a group of enemies may well be enough to get you back on track.
2. Move like a butterfly...
Doom Slayer has a range of movement abilities that allow him to traverse the environments of Hell like an Olympic gymnast. If you see conveniently positioned bars around an area, you'll be able to swing between them and use your dash and double jump to cover extra distances. There is also a passive unlock (one of the three rune slots at your disposal) that gives you increased close control when moving in mid-air, an essential ability if you want to focus on agility and traversal with your Slayer-build, which will certainly help in the game's platforming sections.
3. Sting like a bee
id arms you with one of the most iconic arsenals in all of gaming. No, scratch that: it's the most iconic arsenal. From the Super Shotgun to the BFG, the Slayer has a range of lethal tools at his disposal. These guns get progressively more powerful as you advance through the levels, but don't forget to upgrade them as you go. There are some excellent alt-fire options that give you even greater tactical flexibility, so make sure to investigate each one and experiment with their various features - your new favourite may just be a weapon mod away.
4. Keep upgrading
That last piece of advice should be taken into account more generally. There are several unlock systems to take into consideration, not just your weapon improvements. Your Praetor Suit, for example, can be upgraded in a couple of different ways, and there are also rooms in the citadel that you can open that grant you additional upgrade materials and even new cosmetic options. There's a lot to explore and unlock in Doom Eternal, and remembering to self-improve is important, especially when playing on the harder difficulty settings.
5. Know your enemy
Doom Eternal boasts a line-up of ferocious demons and knowing what you're up against will have a huge impact on how you proceed. Low-level demons are mere fodder, there to keep you stocked up on resources, but the mid-level demons require a bit more thought. Cacodemons, for example, are best dispatched by a grenade in the mouth, staggering them long enough for a sure-fire glory kill. Revenants and Mancubuses are among the weaker demons that come with destructible elements and weapons that you can shoot off, but there are more dangerous enemies that require a bit more brute force and a lot more patience. The Archvile, for example, strengthens the demons around him, so make sure to take him down as quickly as possible as it'll make the rest of the battle simpler.
6. Survey the battlefield
We mentioned the swinging bars earlier, and towards the end of the game, they often signify that a tough battle is coming and that you'll need to keep moving if you're going to stay alive. Similarly, if there's a pile of ammo laying around not-very-surreptitiously, it means you're going to need it in a minute so get ready for a scrap. Towards the end of the game, you'll also start seeing precious BFG ammo - save these powerful energy blasts for when you really need them.
7. Keep your eyes peeled
As per tradition, there are tons of secrets hidden around the place in Doom Eternal, and you'll be rewarded if you venture off the beaten path. Rewards include upgrade materials and bitesize chunks of lore, but the biggest reward is probably the keys that can be used to unlock Slayer Gates, with these challenging missions dotted around the place and hidden behind locked doors. There are also maps that, once found, reveal further intel via your HUD - keep an eye out for these.
8. Test yourself
Eternal boasts some clever difficulty settings and we'd recommend you check them out. I'm Too Young To Die is not much of a challenge and you'll cut through your enemies all too easily, but Hurt Me Plenty will get your pulse racing (that said, at times you'll still feel over-powered). Ultra Violence is a step up, and if you get stuck the game will offer you a slightly reduced challenge (if you want to accept it, of course). Nightmare, the final difficulty setting, is as hard as nails and, what's more, features permadeath, so one false move and you'll be pushing up digital daisies (see the gameplay clip below).
9. Put the shoe on the other foot
If you'd like to see what life is like on the other side of the proverbial fence, check out Eternal's Battlemode, an asymmetrical online game mode where one Slayer battles against a pair of demon-controlling players. This 2vs1 match has a number of stages to battle over, but it's most interesting because it lets you pick one of a number of demons, each with their own particular strengths and weaknesses, and see the battlefield from a new perspective. Each one has abilities to deploy during battle and you'll want to work out what these abilities are and when you should use them for maximum effect. The Slayer is much more powerful and certainly more agile, and so the demonic players will need to push and pull together if they're going to stand a chance.