Now, for all you young people out there playing your Call of Dootys and your Fartnite. Allow me to take you back to the glittering heights of 1993 where the folks down at ID Software. Which contained heavy hitters of the likes of John Carmack who now helps out Oculus VR, John Romero, and his excellent hair game and before trying to make the world his bitch with Dikatana badly, and American McGee who went on to make a fucked up take on Alice in wonderland. They all banded together to give the world Doom. A very violent FPS where you play as an unnamed space marine taking on the hordes of hell with a boomstick and anything else that can wipe the smirk off their faces with lethal intentions
It was a great game that became a cultural phenomenon very quickly and still stands the test of time. Though it did give politicians and Daily Mail readers something to moan on about. Fast forward 17 years and to the latest alliteration of the series and a sequel to the very excellent Doom reboot in 2016 – Doom Eternal.
The story follows on from the events of Doom(2016) 2 years later. Where the earth is overrun by demons and killed about 60% of the population. So, The Doom Slayer comes in with a fortress (aptly named the Fortress of Doom). Plenty of guns, flamethrowers, explosives, and chainsaws to sort them all out by killing 3 hell priests running the show on earth.
Now, in previous Doom games, this would have been enough story to get on with it, but this time around is a bit more complicated than you would think after reading this intro. An angelic being called the Khan Maykr has made a deal with hell to tap into the Argent energy that was created from the harvesting of human souls in return for providing targets to invade and consume, and is the one pulling the strings – so, supposedly heaven and hell have a partnership then?
There is quite a lot going on here and some more as it also explores the backstory into the Doom Slayer himself even going back to the days when he was known as “Doomguy” back in the original Doom games and how he became the Doom Slayer we know now. In short, the story expands greatly on the previous games and gives the fabled Doom Slayer a back story rather than the one I would have imagined as one very buff and angry motherfucker. The story overall was engaging and enjoyable, and about the right length though when I came away from finishing the final boss it did feel short. But then again it took me 3 years to finish the previous game (on and off obviously, and a long story to explain why.)
We come to the gameplay and there have been several changes from the last game. With an emphasis on movement with a dash ability and using monkey bars and the famous super shotgun now has a meathook to grapple and close the distance on demons. This helps move around skirmishes quickly and is great fun in doing so, and in the quieter moments, wall climbing will come into play when platforming comes into play during the quieter moments which does break it up nicely from the skirmishes as they can get VERY hectic.
If you thought the combat in the previous game was a 10 on the hectic scale, Doom eternal is a solid 11. As compared to the last game there are double the types of demons to deal with. From new bad guys such as the Doom Hunter and the Marauder to ones that appeared in previous titles such as the Pain Elemental, Arachnotron, and the Archville (who can rightly get fucked). Each has its weaknesses to exploit, for example with a Cacodemon if you can fire a grenade at him he will swallow it and stagger for an easy glory kill. And that over the cause of the fight the demons will take body damage which up the gore quite a bit.
There are new demons to kill and to meet it is all the new toys the doom slayer has at his disposal. Featuring the “doomblade” that will make the glory kills more violent and quick for health pickups. A flamethrower that can set demons alight and if killed drop some helpful armor pickups. And the ever trusty chainsaw if you’re a bit low on bullets, which for me happened all the fuckin time as compared to the last game as you do have much less ammo than before, and even when its capacity is fully upgraded. The chainsaw can be used more often unlike its predecessor where it was a last resort.
Particularly on the normal difficulty, you do need to keep on top of all this. Also instead of throwing grenades like a pleb, you’ve got a handy shoulder-mounted launcher that does the job for you, and with the added bonus of an ice grenade, it makes it very useful. In terms of weapons, there are the old classics like the super shotgun and the BFG. Remember the end of Doom 2016 where Dr. Hayden walked off with that sword well in the later stages you get to use the said sword in this game and it works similar to the BFG in that it has limited ammo but kills most bad guys in one hit. So energy sword = scalpel, BFG-9000 = hammer.
Other stuff to mention there is a shit ton of collectibles and upgrades to find which does make exploration worth it. Featuring optional Slayer gates which if you do them all unlock a new fancy gun called the Unmaykr which sounds dangerous, and secret challenge skirmishes to find as well. There is also a Lives system. Before you roll your eyes in disgust. How it works is that the lives are like collectibles so you will have to explore the levels a bit to get them. And if you do die it just respawns you from the get-go without going back to a checkpoint. It is a nice touch and idea without being backward. And if you’re someone who likes archaic mechanics you can make it an actual thing. Run out of lives and its game over. And if you are in the full-on head smashing the brick wall on a difficult part and dying a lot. There is a handy buff that can help and doesn’t affect progress at all, think of it like in old games like Devil May Cry 3 where if you died a lot it would recommend easy difficulty like it fed up with your bullshit.
Also, there is a hub world between missions aptly named the Fortress of Doom. Where you can unlock upgrades from collecting power cores from mission challenges and collectibles. And even some classic costumes like the original armor from the first Doom. There is a Demon prison below named the Ripatorium where you can practice, and even look at Doom Slayer’s room which I would recommend and explore it if you are a sucker for Easter eggs and a good laugh. It’s a lovely place to spend some downtime in between missions.
Overall, it has massively improved upon the successes of Doom; the movement is what makes it for me. It’s an absolute delight. Combat is as visceral and more violent than ever and glorious as ever while being more hectic and difficult in parts. It comes across better balanced than Doom. Never felt OP, but not repeatedly getting my shit kicked in.
There is a multiplayer, at the moment there is only one game mode called “Battlemode” where one player plays as the titular Doom Slayer. While 2 other players play as Demons. From a selection of demons like the Marauder and the Mancubus. Each having their own playstyles and abilities. I played games both as the Slayer and as the Demons, and it was a fun experience and I can imagine it being more fun with friends.
In the sense that communication is key particularly when playing as the demons. It is a nice touch though I would expect a bit more. Even in the future where there will be a game mode where you can invade other folks playing the single-player and play as the demons. I don’t think it would entice me back after finishing the campaign although there is supposedly more to come in terms of single-player as well, so never say never is what I say.
Other stuff to mention: The soundtrack is ace and more heavy metal in there, and I know this may be a weird thing to mention but it has very good loading times. Particular if you’re having to go back to a previous checkpoint, which is a lost art these days. And technically it’s sound too with no game-breaking bugs and glitches to report.
So the verdict: Doom Eternal does what every good sequel does, it leaps off from the original while the scope expanding upon the lore and the backstory of the Doom Slayer himself may not be everyone’s cup of tea. From the usual formula of demons + lots of guns = fun. I like the fact it did that and it was interesting and enjoyable.
The gameplay is bloody brilliant, and moving about is great fun and the combat is madder and visceral than ever before. Multiplayer is a nice touch and the Battlemode is fun but that is all that there is to multiplayer for the time being. It doesn’t give me an excuse to keep coming back to it. but with new modes on their way later in the year. Could do so. but the single-player makes up the difference for me. And with even DLC for the single-player in the pipeline as well does make this very tasty for my GOTY for 2020. Bloody brilliant game.
Doom Eternal is an excellent game. an interesting and intriguing story that expands upon the events of the last game and develops a backstory to the Doom Slayer. The gameplay is madder and bloodier and before and moving around blasting fools is almost like an intricate dance of death. It’s a joyful game and a wonderful game. The only downside is that the multiplayer is a bit shallow with only one singular game mode to play, even though it’s a fun game mode. For me a contender for my GOTY for this year.
- Intriguing and story
- Fantastic gameplay
- Better balanced than before
- Multiplayer is a bit shallow
- Needs more demons to kill
- Needs more bullets to use
- Graphics 0
- Gameplay 0
- Narrative 0
- Audio 0
- Technical 0