id shows off Doom Eternal's Slayer-versus-demons asymmetrical multiplayer Battlemode

Free new maps and heroes coming post-launch.

As part of its Doom Eternal QuakeCon keynote this weekend, id Software has revealed more of the game's intriguing new asymmetrical multiplayer experience, Battlemode.

While Doom 2016 featured a competent, if ultimately rather forgettable, multiplayer mode that predominantly focussed on the classic human-versus-human deathmatch template established by the seminal series' earliest iterations, Doom Eternal introduces Battlemode, pitting one Slayer against two-player controlled demons in a best-of-five-match skirmish.

The goal is to bring more of the "fast, aggressive" dynamism from Doom's much-lauded single-player campaign into the multiplayer arena, and Battlemode will launch with six unique maps and five playable demons: the Arch-vile, Mancubus, Marauder, Pain Elemental, and Revenant, each with their own skills. The Revenant, for instance, can take advantage of its jetpack, dash, and shoulder-mounted rockets, while the flying Pain Elemental can easily track and attack the Slayer from the air, intermittently deploying its rechargeable Soul shield.

Slayers will receive a full complement of guns, mods, and equipment to work with during a match, while demons must play co-operatively, summoning AI demons and "hazards" to bring down their foe. As in single-player, a Slayer's success requires a degree of resource management, with Glory Kills providing additional health, torch attacks granting armour, and chainsaw moves dropping ammo. However, demons can deploy a slow-charging special move that temporarily blocks the Slayer's access to resources.

To add a bit of extra tension, demons are always able to see a Slayer through walls. If a Slayer can break line-of-sight for a few seconds, however, their outline will disappear, providing the cover required to plot and execute their murderous strategies. To aid the likes of tactical flanking, and to isolate enemies, Slayers have access to two portals - unusable by demons - that will move them to the opposite side of a map.

To score a win each round, demons merely need to reduce a Slayer's health to zero. However, for a human victory, both player-controlled demons must be eliminated. The twist, though, is that once a single demon has been downed, the other must be defeated within 20 seconds, otherwise the first will re-spawn with half its health restored.

Between rounds, everyone can select abilities, upgrades, and super weapons, making the next match a tougher, more varied proposition.

id intents to bring additional maps and playable demons into Battlemode, for free, following Doom Eternal's launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC this 22nd November. A few additional gameplay details can be found in the keynote stream above, with Battlemode chat kicking off at around the 55-minute mark.

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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