×

‘You’re Doing God’s Work’: Marty Stratton And Hugo Martin on ‘Doom Eternal’

The “Doom” franchise has had a measurable effect on the game industry over the past 26 years. The first game, released on PC in 1993, helped define the first-person shooter genre as we know it today. While some series see new installments every year or two, there have only been four core entries released to date, with a fifth due out later this year: “Doom Eternal.” To cap off E3, we sat down with id Software’s Marty Stratton and Hugo Martin to talk about “Eternal’s” gameplay, “Doom’s” legacy, and the ongoing fight between good and evil.

Stratton, “Doom Eternal’s” executive producer, has been with id for over 20 years. Before being acquired by Bethesda parent company Zenimax Media in 2009, id had already established itself as a leader in the FPS genre, thanks to series like “Wolfenstein,” “Quake,” and, of course, “Doom.” One thing the studio hasn’t lost sight of over the years, Stratton believes, is the importance of teamwork.

“The people make all the difference,” he told us. “Not just the talent, but how well they work together. That’s been as much as a focus for us… to redefine ‘Doom’ over the last five years, it’s really been to redefine our team and establish a group of people that truly could make almost anything they put their minds to.”

Stratton hired Martin, whose background is in visual effects and advertising animation, about six years ago. He called working with such an established developer “amazing,” comparing id to Disney in that both are companies “with a legacy” that span generations of employees.

As Creative Director of ‘Doom Eternal,’ Martin is committed to his team’s vision of the series: a “push-forward combat” game in which the only way to survive is to face your demons head-on. “We have to stick to our guns,” he said. While offering multiple paths to a solution works in titles like Arkane’s “Dishonored” series, “Ours is just about solving it one way, which is just guns blazing and aggression… You buy a ‘Doom’ game, you have a certain set of expectations that we have to meet.”

So where does ‘Doom Eternal’ fit into the series? The developers said that it builds on 2016’s “Doom” reboot with an epic story in which “you’ll travel to the depths of hell and the heights of heaven,” as Stratton put it. The title itself refers to “the eternal struggle between good and evil and the Doomslayer’s eternal fight against the demons… The universe of ‘Doom’ is expanding and it explores some of those grand ideas of good versus evil.”

Some shooters aim for a gritty, photorealistic experience, but “Doom” has always been more cartoony in its demon-slaying. That “comic book silliness,” as Stratton called it, is part of what makes ‘Doom’ what it is.

“You’re killing demons. I mean, you’re doing God’s work,” Martin explained. “You know, they’re not people. I think we don’t really reference real gore in any way. Like the artists don’t necessarily have to look up any at any gnarly references in order to understand how to make the gore. It’s literally like a cartoon. So I think it’s escapism, it’s all in good fun.”

Both Stratton and Martin were visibly excited about “Doom Eternal’s” multiplayer, Battlemode, which expands on “Doom 2016’s” online mode in a two-on-one fight to the death. “It’s basically everything players love about ‘Doom’ combat, but social and with their friends,” Stratton said. While the reboot’s multiplayer felt “disconnected,” as he put it, “What we’ve done with ‘Doom Eternal’ is take that DNA and create… this player versus demon experience. It’s a highly tuned, highly skilled slayer. He’s got all of his guns, all of his mods, and he gets to take on two player-controlled demons.”

“The multiplayer’s going to blow them away,” Martin reiterated. “It’s every bit as engaging as the single-player.”

It’s hard living up to a legacy, but given the positive reception of id Software’s last ‘Doom’ title, the franchise that put first-person shooters on the map appears to be in good hands. You’ll be able to see for yourself on November 22, when “Doom Eternal” launches on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Google Stadia.

More Gaming

  • BTS World

    BTS World Mobile Game From K-Pop Group Rockets to No. 1 Spot on App Charts Worldwide

    BTS, the biggest K-pop group in the world, now has the biggest app in the world. “BTS World,” a mobile simulation game that lets fans virtually become the South Korean pop stars’ manager, quickly rose to the top of Apple’s App Store charts in multiple countries just hours after its release on Wednesday, June 26. [...]

  • Myst Computer Game

    'Myst' Film and TV Rights Sell to Village Roadshow

    “Myst,” the influential video game that helped usher in the CD-ROM era, may inspire an ambitious multi-platform film and television universe. Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, the co-producer and co-financier of the “Matrix” and “Sherlock Holmes” franchises, has acquired the rights to the first-person graphic adventure. For those born post-90s, “Myst” was wildly popular and hailed [...]

  • Joyride

    With Joyride, Everyone Can Host Their Own HQ Trivia

    When mobile game developer Kiwi first released Joyride, the app looked familiar: Similar to wildly popular HQ Trivia, Joyride offered players the ability to win quiz shows in live broadcasts. The key difference: Joyride’s app wasn’t home to just one trivia show, but multiple shows around topics like music, dating, fandom, and yes, trivia, all [...]

  • Etika-Desmond-Amofah

    Gaming YouTuber Desmond 'Etika' Amofah Found Dead, NYPD Says

    Desmond Amofah, a YouTube gaming vlogger known online as “Etika,” was found dead by New York police on Tuesday after he was reported missing last week. He was 29. Amofah posted YouTube videos and live-streams focused on Nintendo games and other titles. A body later confirmed to be Amofah’s was found in the East River on [...]

  • harry potter wizards unite

    'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' Off to Slower Start Than 'Pokemon Go'

    Niantic’s new location-based augmented reality game “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is off to a solid start — but it doesn’t seem to have quite the same momentum as “Pokemon Go” did when it launched 3 years ago. That’s according to initial estimates from app analytics specialist Sensor Tower. “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” first became available [...]

  • survios at the linq

    Not Just Gambling: Las Vegas Is Becoming a Virtual Reality Hub

    Walk into the Linq on the Las Vegas strip these days, and you might not immediately realize you just stepped into a casino. Instead, you’ll stumble across a series of living-room-like lounge setups, complete with leather couches, big-screen TVs, Xbox Ones and Oculus Go VR headsets. There’s also a bar with a massive wrap-around touch [...]

  • Netflix HQ LA

    Netflix Engineers Developed a Rumble Pack Feature During Latest Hack Day

    A duo of Netflix employees had a unique idea for making the service’s shows even more stirring: They added a rumble pack option to the Netflix app as part of the company’s latest hack day. When watching shows like “Voltron,” the feature makes phones vibrate in sync with the action on the screen, similar to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content