Doom Eternal is the sequel to 2016’s Doom and I can honestly say it is one of the best first-person shooters I have ever played. I remember playing Doom in 1993 on my 486 computer that I upgraded just to play the game. I paid a few hundred dollars and went from 4 MB RAM to 8 MB RAM. The game set the standards for future first-person shooters and now 26 plus years later, Doom Eternal follows in its footsteps.
From start to finish, Doom Eternal had me on the edge of my seat and I enjoyed every single minute of it. From phenomenal graphics, to enhanced gameplay, to an increased focus on storytelling, this game has it all. It is clear to see that id Software poured their heart and soul, no pun intended, into this game.
Doom Eternal Details
Platform(s): Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Stadia and Switch (at a later date)
Reviewed on: Stadia
Developer: id Software
Publisher(s): Bethesda Softworks
Genre: First-person shooter
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
The final battle between Hell and Earth
Doom Eternal takes place some time after Doom 2016 and vast amounts of the Earth’s population have been wiped out by demonic forces. A select group of the remaining human population have banded together to form a resistance and fight the evil forces. However, after suffering massive losses, they have gone into hiding.
The Doom Slayer returns inside a Sentinel ship known as the Fortress of Doom to put an end to the invasion once and for all. An angelic being known as the Khan Maykr is using the souls from billions of people as a power source. However, people are not dying fast enough and the Khan Maykr sends 3 Hell Priests to Earth to open a gigantic portal between Earth and Hell to speed up the process.
As the Doom Slayer, you are Earth’s last hope and set out to destroy the Hell Priests and put an end to the Khan Maykr. Doom Eternal‘s focus on storytelling is immediate from the start. Compared to previous games there are many more cutscenes and a greater focus on telling the story of Earth’s struggle. As a result, it gave more meaning to my actions as the Doom Slayer and not just killing random enemies.
Non-stop, in your face, fast-paced action
The gameplay in Doom Eternal is non-stop, in your face, fast-paced action. There are rare moments such as when you are making your way down a corridor or swimming in retro active waste that you get a brief moment to breathe. Other than that, you’ll need to be on your toes at all times.
Your ship acts as a hub where you both teleport from and return to after each mission. However, The Fortress of Doom is much more than just a hub. Here you can upgrade your abilities, unlock new skins, get new weapons, practice your skills, and maybe even unlock an Easter Egg or two.
As expected, Doom Eternal doesn’t waste any time trying to hold your hand. You begin with a shotgun that can also be used as a grenade launcher and bigger and better weapons keep coming. The same goes with enemies, the first minute or so you’ll encounter Zombies that are easy pickings. Next thing you know, you’re up against Arachnotrons—spider-like robotic demons.
Combat in Doom Eternal is as satisfying as ever. There is no automatic cover or reload button—it’s full throttle or die. Refilling your ammo is done by chainsawing your enemies and to use a chainsaw you must have enough gas in it. Gas cans are scattered throughout each level, so making good use of them is very important. Glory Kills return and allow you to refill your health while taking the enemies out in gratuitous ways.
A shoulder mounted flamethrower sets your enemies on fire and also makes them drop some of their armour, which you can pickup. Not long after I started playing, did I realize just how important upgrading/modding my weapons and abilities were. Not only that, I quickly came to know that I couldn’t just choose one weapon and use it the entire game.
I found myself constantly switching between weapons depending on the enemies I was facing. For example, shield enemies are vulnerable to the plasma cannon. Sure I could probably use another weapon to weaken them, but it would take time. And, with a constant onslaught of enemies from all directions, there’s no time.
Rip, tear and climb
The biggest, and in my opinion the best, new gameplay mechanic added to Doom Eternal is the wall climb. That’s right, the Doom Slayer can now climb walls. In addition, you can double jump and dash in mid-air in combination with climbing walls. And, surprisingly enough, there is quite a bit of wall climbing and platforming in the game.
You aren’t able to climb every wall, only white walls with little creases on. They are easy to identify and either by jumping into them and punching or dashing into them you can grab on. You’ll be jumping or propelled across chasms towards these walls and sometimes they can be a bit tricky to latch on to.
I found that the majority of the time I had no problems, but every now and then I’d somehow not grab onto the wall and plummet to my death. At first this new mechanic can be a little bit confusing and disorienting but within a matter of minutes it becomes second nature.
Stunning visuals and a wicked heavy metal soundtrack
Doom Eternal is a visual tour-de force that looks simply stunning. Enemies look absolutely grotesque and seeing them splatter as you take them out is a sight to behold. The game’s environments are epic and will definitely make your jaw drop more than once.
Moreover, the level design is simply fantastic and there are tons of secrets tucked away for you to discover in each mission. In addition to stunning visuals, Doom Eternal‘s soundtrack is one of the best I’ve heard in a first-person shooter.
The heavy metal infused music gets your blood and heart pumping all the way through. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the on screen ripping and tearing that makes taking out the enemies that much more satisfying.
Raising hell in Battlemode
Doom Eternal‘s take on multiplayer is a bit different than fans of the series are used to. There is no capture the flag, team death match or domination modes. Instead, these have been replaced with Battlemode. This is a 2v1 multiplayer mode where 1 player assumes the role of the Doom Slayer. And, the other 2 players play as 1 of the 5 playable demons.
As of this writing, there are 6 maps with more coming in the future. To win, the Doom Slayer must take out both demon players within 20 seconds of each other.
Overall, I was fairly impressed with Battlemode. There will be some longtime Doom fans that will be disappointed with the change. I can see potential with this new mode and I’m looking forward to seeing what additional maps a playable demon charters are released.
Doom Eternal is the best game in the series and one of the best first-person shooters out on the market
Doom Eternal is bigger, badder and better than any other game in the Doom franchise. Bethesda and id Software have outdone themselves and the extra few months of development time were well worth the wait. Make no bones about it, Doom Eternal is a tough game that even on the easiest setting will give you a run for your money.
Though, as hard as it is, its combat and gameplay mechanics kept me coming back for more time and time again. I have a feeling that Doom Eternal won’t be the last we see of the Doom Slayer.
+ Stunning visuals
+ Wicked heavy metal soundtrack
+ Welcomed new gameplay features
+ Increased focus on the storyline
+ Tons of secrets tucked away waiting to be discovered
– Multiplayer mode may disappoint longtime fans
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF DOOM ETERNAL
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5