reviewdoometernal

Review: Doom Eternal

The original idea behind Doom was that it was you, the player in the Doom Slayer armour. You’re tasked with taking on the forces of Hell after a portal opens on Mars and it’s up to you to make every enemy you come up against into goop. In 2016, Doom received a soft reboot and sent us once more to the surface of Mars, where yet another portal to Hell was opened, only to siphon energy to send back to Earth. In Doom Eternal, the game picks up two years after the events of 2016 and doubles down on the demon-slaying in a bigger, better, and faster title.

2507465e209adb5b79c8.72197113 Chainsaw

I’d go far as to say that what Doom 2016 did for first-person shooters then, Doom Eternal once again does the same; pushing the genre into something exciting. It also helps that dismembering, stomping, and blasting demonic enemies is immensely satisfying and playing as the Demon Slayer is yet to get old. See, Doom Eternal goes off the cuff and gives you tools to brutalize demons in various ways. It’s really up to you how creative you want to get in order to snuff out Cacodemons, Mancubus, Imps and dozens of enemy types.

Rip and Tear

From the start of the game, after two years stranded, you return to Earth and see things not as they once were – the demons have invaded the planet and it’s up to you now to hunt the three Demon Priests to stop any more demons from invading. Doom Eternal fits a power fantasy that many have, a force of nature that rips and tears apart enemies and does so in style.

Speaking of enemies, each enemy has their own crippling weak point and id Software goes as far as to tell you before your first encounter with each enemy type how to tackle them. My suggestion is to turn off those hints in the options menu and discover how to shred each enemy – it’s highly worth it. And if you find yourself struggling with the difficulty, Doom Eternal offers you the option to tone it down on the fly and raise it on a whim. I’m not ashamed that I used the feature once or twice and it’s immensely helpful for someone like me who’s there for the power fantasy of it all.

DOOM Eternal Crucible Blade 1533718910

Thanks to dozens of new suit upgrades, weapon modifications, hidden areas, a wealth of hidden content, you’ll never run out of things to search for. From the early moments to the credits roll, I searched every nook and cranny for those sweet, sweet collectibles. There are so many things to keep an eye on but thankfully there’s a fast travel system to return to each level but only after reaching the end.

And surprisingly, the campaign is well-paced with each level serving its purpose. I never felt like a particular area over-stayed its welcome and the world design is not on satisfying but about as first-class as you might expect from the developer. Having touched base with Doom 2016 prior to this review, I came to remember the glaring issues: there was little variety to the levels. Either you’re on Mars or in Hell and each location offers only so many colour palettes. In Eternal, things move at a vigorous pace as you start on Earth in a ravaged city then make your way to a planet covered in ice. The broad strokes offer a rich and imaginative cleanse of the first game dreary levels.

Buttery-smooth

Performance is impressive as I played across the 16-hour campaign on a PlayStation 4 Pro. Doom Eternal plays at a consistent 60 frames per second but is hit with less than optimal load times. Given the size of the levels and the number of things happening on the screen, it’s a still impressive feat that the game runs buttery smooth. At the tail end of this generation, this is the peak of performance and the id Tech 7 engine pulls its weight to deliver detailed textures and packed with detail environments.

And the cherry on top: the soundtrack of Doom Eternal. I cannot, cannot stress how thrilling listening to the music in each is. From the heavy metal choir to the deep and heavy bass riffs, Mick Gorden returns to score the game and delivers a bombastic sound suite, matching the same energy the gameplay brings.

Lastly, while this review has primarily focused on the single-player campaign, Doom Eternal comes with a multiplayer component that was not available pre-launch. Battle Mode calls for three players; one being the Doom Slayer and the other two players being demons. The objective is simple enough, calling for each team to destroy the other. Of course, this is Doom Eternal, and the Doom Slayer is well-equipped to handle can situation. If playing like a demon, you pick who you want to use and work on downing your opponent in a best-of-five match.

Multiplayer Madness

Demons are able to summon AI-controlled fodder, and your task is to slow the Demon Slayer by making their life a living hell. I’m looking forward to spending more time in the coming weeks diving into Battle Mode, but I’m having a blast by all accounts – Doom 2016’s multiplayer left much to be desired so seeing the developers actively improve on their offerings is great.

2507465e209adf8dc2c0.71833009 At the Gates

Unfortunately, Invasion Mode is nowhere to be found just yet. Invasion Mode plays similar to how Dark Souls allows other players the chance to invade an instance, hunting down the Doom Slayer as a demon. We know it’s coming but Bethesda has yet to confirm the details and I’m hopeful we’ll hear more soon.

Verdict

Doom Eternal offers the most coherent first person I’ve played in a long time. Only Doom is capable of delivering a fantasy such as this to the masses and at possibly the best time. There is so much to love and so much refinement in place that the experience is going to be hard to replicate by others. As long as you keep moving, keep shooting, rip and tear, you’ll experience one of the best campaigns the first-person shooter genre has seen in ages. Thanks to the freedom of the gameplay, it’s really up to you how much eternal doom you bring to your enemies. If you’re in search of the perfect alternative to hunting bugs or fishing, you can’t do better than Doom Eternal.

[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.]