Doom Eternal devs talk difficulty, and how inspiration came from an unlikely source: Mario Kart

Thankfully, these demons don’t have spiked shells. Or, um, do they?

Doom Eternal

Though it’s still a few weeks out, gamers are already talking up a storm about Doom Eternal. And from the looks of things, it will have a similar level of experience to newcomers as it will for die-hard players.

The game’s co-director, Hugo Martin, recently spoke with USGamer about the difficulty settings within Doom Eternal. Ad before, Nightmare will push players to their very limits. But even the game’s easiest difficulty will have a heaping amount of demonic craziness to fend off. For that, he credits a rather unlikely inspiration: Mario Kart.

This is due to the fact that the same level of skill needed regardless of difficulty setting. He noted how in Nintendo’s racing series, playing on easy is ”the slowest setting.” That said, the core fundamentals still remain in place. “I’m still needing to power slide” and “use my resources,” he said. Higher difficulties are way faster, he said, noting how the team is using this as a general goal for Doom Eternal, keeping up sheer intensity across the board.

Changing from what 2016’s Doom did was fundamental, Martin points out. He felt that “the game changed too much from each difficulty” with that release. As one example, he brought up how fireballs became more precise, hitting their target with more efficiency. He didn’t feel this took advantage of a player’s skillset and came across as a cheap move instead.

With Doom Eternal, the team will find more of a balance, instead of unfair things that wipe players out. No matter what difficulty players select, it’s “basically the same exact game.” The only difference is those on Nightmare are “doing it way faster.” 

Then there’s permadeath, the toughest challenge in Doom Eternal. That means even the slightest scratch from a demon will finish you right then and there. It will go by the name Extra Life Mode, and you’ll actually be able to see where other players have perished in the mode.

Doom Eternal releases on March 20 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, and at a later date for Google Stadia and Nintendo Switch.