The subtle genius of DOOM Eternal’s design, and it’s tough to use that word to describe anything about the game, comes with just how brilliant and oddly inessential the grappling hook - or meat hook - is. The secondary fire mode for the series’ iconic Super Shotgun presents a wonderfully focused implementation of the videogame grapple hook. Instead of being able to hook onto any rough surface for traversal, its usage is limited to the meat and fleshy bits of the wide range of demons you come across. Brilliantly, this both amplifies the effectiveness of an already powerful weapon whilst adding a new dimension to the push-forward always-moving combat that is the hallmark of an id Software shooter.
At this point it’s common knowledge, at least in the digital realm of Doom, that the closer you are the more damage a shotgun does. And when it comes to ‘Super’ shotguns, that’s a lot more damage. So then why not prime the weapon, hook onto the fleshy bits of a demon, and fly-in in close enough so that as soon as you see whatever hue of glowing red makes up their eyes you can quickly send dozens of pieces of them on a one-way vacation to the nearby walls and floors.
“One of the big things, we wanted to [create more] tools, so that way when we got down the path of designing levels, we wanted to do something interesting beyond just the loop of kill a guy, stagger and glory kill,” Hugo Martin adds. “You got to have the tools in place to be able to do that. So, things like wall-climbing opens-up some interesting opportunities for traversals, or mid-combat activities, or secret hunting. The dash combined with the double jumps, monkey bars, all these things combined, you're gonna be able to get into some interesting spaces in [DOOM Eternal], and that's what makes a game great. I mean, look at Tomb Raider, [Lara]'s got a collection of abilities, and it's how the designers put those abilities together that make for a compelling game to play.”