Last week, Doom Eternal entered the mortal plane for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. As you can imagine, id Software’s first-person shooter is a riotous, heavy-metal blast. The game offers the same frenetic fun as 2016’s Doom, but adds a bunch of new features—like a sweet grappling hook—to the core gameplay loop. It also introduces a whole new crop of enemies, including one who’s just the absolute worst: the Marauder.
The Marauder first shows up in the campaign mission Arc Complex. At the end of the level, you come across a suspiciously boss-fight-shaped room. Out of a portal pops a ridiculously shredded demon, who then says some stuff about how Doomguy is a phony. Doomguy is given a chance to escape through a different portal, and, as a player, you may be begging him to. But come on. This is Doom. Turning tail isn’t metal in the slightest. Plus, this Marauder fella called Doomguy a phony. (His funeral.)
Beating the Marauder poses an asynchronous challenge. Whereas most of the action in Doom is all about running and gunning and ripping and tearing, the Marauder calls for careful strategy.
For starters, he has a shield that deflects all of your attacks. He also has a Super Shotgun, the very same double-barrel weapon Doom fondly refers to as Doomguy’s “property.” Get too close to the Marauder, and he’ll blast you with it. But if you stay too far away, he’ll send arc-shaped projectiles your way. These hurt like hell. They’re also tough to dodge. Finally, the Marauder can summon up a flaming hellhound that chases you, bites you, slows you down, and eliminates your health bar faster than you can say, “Wait, I thought all dogs went to heaven!”
To actually deal damage to the Marauder, you have to maintain a medium distance. This will prompt the Marauder to lunge at you with a melee attack. You’ll hear a ching and his eyes will flash green—and that’s your chance to attack. Eight to ten good hits from the Super Shotgun should stagger him, where you can then close the distance and perform a Glory Kill. After that, walk into the portal and finish the level, head held high with the comfortable knowledge of who the real phony is.
Thing is, even though the first Marauder is presented as a boss—and a tough one at that—he’s very much just a normal enemy. Soon enough, Marauders will pop up alongside Mancubuses, Arachnotrons, Hell Knights, and other demonic cannon fodder. The boss fight chamber is one thing. But when Marauders pop up in hectic firefights, defeating them becomes a challenge of the highest order. Here are a few tips that should help.
Save Marauders for last. Trying to juggle the measured tactics of a Marauder fight with the raw instinct of a big arena battle is a recipe for failure. Wipe out all the other major demons, who are mere distractions compared to a Marauder. But be careful to leave some fodder. You can use them for emergency resource pickups by killing them when you’re low and need a good ammo, armour, or health drop.
The Super Shotgun is your best friend. Rapid-fire weapons—the plasma rifle or the heavy cannon, for instance—are essentially useless against Marauders. You might land a bullet or two before the shield goes right back up. Instead, use powerful single-shot weapons, like the Super Shotgun. If you’re quick, you can land two hits each time the shield is dropped. And remember: the regular shotgun shares ammo with the Super Shotgun. If you spot a Marauder in an arena fight, save your ammo and avoid using either weapon against other foes. (Or just chainsaw a fodder demon for an emergency ammo pickup.)
The ballista and rocket launcher aren’t totally useless, either. In a pinch, the ballista is also fairly effective against Marauders. Landing hits requires more precision than other weapons, but the damage trade-off is well worth it. Each hit is about as powerful as a point-blank Super Shotgun shell. Thing is, unlike the Super Shotgun, there’s no chance of landing two hits at once with the ballista.
The rocket launcher can also help a bit, but only if you’ve unlocked the Remote Detonation mod. (Bonus points if you’ve leveled it up all the way.) Send a rocket behind the Marauder’s head and detonate it. This won’t deal much damage, and if you detonate too closely, you may prompt the Marauder to dodge, but hey, it’s better than nothing!
Take out the dogs right away. As mentioned, a Marauder’s hellhounds will mess your day up. Thankfully, they’re relatively fragile. A few shots from the heavy cannon should take them out. The second you spot a dog, focus your efforts on it.
Your game-changers won’t do a thing. In Doom Eternal, there are a few game-changing weapons. The Unmakyr is one. The Crucible is another. And, of course, there’s the chainsaw. These weapons have extremely limited ammo. The tradeoff is that, for the most part, they can take out enemies in one hit. Heads up: They don’t do a thing against Marauders. Conceivably, you could use the BFG 9000, but in the time it takes to charge up a shot, your target will likely put his shield back up. (I’ve yet to see anyone land a hit with the thing.) Better to save your ammo for Arch-Viles. They’re also the worst.