Making a return in Doom Eternal, the Plasma Rifle has undergone a redesign. It is now very similar in appearance to the Plasma Gun from Doom 1 and Doom 2 and looks much bulkier when compared to the sleek and futuristic design found in the 2016 Doom.
The primary fire is essentially the same as before, a machine gun with slightly slower-moving projectiles that need to be led on distant targets, but is much stronger than it was before: one of its mods is an altered version of one from the previous game, while the other is entirely new.
"Designed by the UAC's military-tech division, the Plasma Rifle is the standard in energy-based weaponry. Firing a superheated plasma in rapid-short burst intervals, the Plasma Rifle is capable of overloading energy-based shielding and liquefying enemy combatants. " - Codex Description
The basic fire has a small amount of splash damage on impact like before. There is a new "supercritical" effect associated with the weapon's shots where if a number of shots hit close together they will explode for additional damage: this can cause problems when trying to get Glory Kills, however.
New for Doom Eternal are additional effects against shields: as well as dealing more damage than it normally would, if a blue shield (from a Carcass or Shotgun Zombie, or the conformal shield of a Doom Hunter) is completely depleted by Plasma Gun fire, it will overload, resulting in a explosion that deals damage to everything around it. The damage is usually sufficient to instantly kill a Shotgun Zombie, although they are occasionally staggered instead. It does not have this effect against magical shields such as the Marauder's argent shield, or the Arch-vile's flame shield.
- Deals bonus damage to Energy Shields.
- Maximize damage potential by using at medium to close range.
The Plasma Rifle's first mod is the Heat Blast, which functions similarly to its Doom 2016 counterpart; repeated shots will build up a powerful blast that can be unleashed as the player desires. The heat level does not decrease over time: the only way to lose built-up charge is to switch weapon mods. However, the blast is now focused in a cone shape ahead of the gun rather than in a circle around the player character, and there are a number of new mechanics. The blast is now a three-step charge with the entire coolant shroud changing color to indicate the charge level: it cannot be fired if it does not have at least one bar filled. Sufficiently charged blasts can destroy enemy weakpoints, falter large demons, and shred crowds of fodder. The previous Mastery ("Heated Core") is replaced with a new ability called "Power Surge." With this Mastery, firing off a level three (red) charge will temporarily replace the Plasma Rifle's normal shots with stronger red energy bolts. The time of the charge is represented by a bar around the outside of the weapon's crosshair that counts down counter clockwise.
The Plasma Rifle's second mod replaces the Stun Bomb with a Ghostbusters-style beam cannon called the Microwave Beam. This locks on to a single enemy (within a fairly short range) and fires a continuous beam of energy at them after a short spin-up time: enemies killed by the beam will explode on death, with the size and power of the explosion governed by how large the enemy was. While firing the weapon, most enemies will be stunlocked and unable to move or attack, and a bar will appear below them: the enemy explodes when it fills completely. The bar represents the demon's remaining HP and any damage will cause it to start part-filled: similarly, filling the bar deals damage to the enemy. Any other enemies hit by the beam will also take damage; bars will not appear for enemies hit in this way, they will also explode if they are killed by the beam. This means that, with good positioning, the player can pin down a large enemy and move around it to hit smaller ones nearby.
In The Ancient Gods DLC, the Microwave Beam is the only weapon capable of dealing damage to the new Spirit enemy. In addition, it retains its pinning effect against demons even if they are possessed by a Spirit, despite their immunity to all other faltering effects.
|Heat Blast||Quick Fire
Super Heated Rounds
Faster Beam Charge
As with most other weapons in Doom Eternal, the Plasma Rifle has several weapon skins available.
- The Microwave Beam has a visual effect similar to the Particle Cannon featured in Wolfenstein (2009).