It’s time to raze hell once again on the Nintendo Switch with Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods add-on. The paid expansion cranks up the high-octane combat and challenges of the original game providing more hours of pulse pounding action. The DLC successfully builds on the story and the mayhem adding plenty of new lore for fans both new and old. This first half of the story-driven expansion carries over your full arsenal as you drive back the forces of hell. You’ll need all the extra firepower as the enemies are much tougher. New missions and locations await from the UAC Atlantica on Earth to the demon infested Urdak. It’s time to battle back undead demons and find out if The Ancient Gods DLC is a follow-up worthy of its predecessor.
Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part One Details
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Developer: id Software
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: First-person shooter (FPS)
Modes: Single Player
ESRB Rating: M-Mature (17 years and up)
All hell is breaking loose (again!)
The story in The Ancient Gods – Part One picks up right where Doom Eternal leaves off. I’ll keep things as spoiler-free as possible, but as you might have guessed all hell is breaking loose. This time it is happening over multiple dimensions thanks to an imbalance between heaven and hell.
It’s up to you as The Doom Slayer to stop this new threat before it spills across new realms. As humanity’s last hope you’ll need to rip and tear through enemies and conquer demonic hellscapes. The expansion is spread over three lengthy levels that pack plenty of action along with platforming segments.
Much of the backstory is interesting but it relies heavily on players finding text-based codex’s which is a little disappointing. Major story beats get the cutscene treatment, but it would be ideal to see everything more fleshed out in cinematic sequences. The DLC’s story ends on quite the cliff hanger, but it does weave a tighter narrative together and sets things up nicely for Part Two.
New environments, secret areas and encounters
Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part One introduces both new and old environments. You’ll continue your tour of destruction through the UAC Atlantica on Earth, clean up the bloody marshes of hell and return to Urdak. Purchasing the DLC also gives you access to new skins for the Doom Slayer and an opportunity to unlock more via secret encounters in the new levels. Support runes have also been added to provide players with more powers over and above what’s in the main game.
Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods’ Gameplay
If you played Doom Eternal on your Switch already, not much has changed in the gameplay department. It’s still one of the best FPS games on the platform with incredibly tight and addictive combat loop.
The most notable change come in the form of addition of “spirts.” This new mechanic lets you possess enemies and bring them over to team Doom Slayer for some added mayhem. If it’s not a major boss, you can possess any enemy for some extra brute force. With the steep difficulty curve, you are going to need all the extra help you can get.
Tight quarters, tough enemies
The three missions are tough as nails with just about every area throwing waves of difficult enemies at you. Some battles can last upwards of an hour, depending on how you look at it this can be a plus, or a minus. The gameplay is fun and when you are “in the zone” and the combat loot can be extremely addictive. With that said, I felt many of these encounters went on a little too long. If you are into a battle arena style experience, you’ll really enjoy this aspect.
The sights and sounds of Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods
The visuals and framerate have been adjusted to better suit the Nintendo Switch in turn, downgrading some graphical effects. Whether in docked or handheld mode textures are blurrier and the framerate dips with more enemies on screen. Even with some of these technical issues, the experience is still fun and enjoyable. The slowdown is most noticeable with multiple enemies on screen. These mobs of demons dip the framerate slightly below its targeted 30fps, but it doesn’t ruin the experience by any stretch.
id Software has been able to squeeze quite a bit out of the Switch, but the demands of Ancient Gods really push the console. Overall, the game looks and sounds great in motion and that’s what really counts.
Overall thoughts on Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods Part One
If you are looking to extend your time battling back hell’s demons on the Nintendo Switch, The Ancient Gods Part One is a worthy expansion. The DLC is packed with hours’ worth of content that adds to the story and gameplay in meaningful ways. It takes the toughest aspects from Doom Eternal and doubles down on them.
The added difficulty can be frustrating at times, but when you overcome challenging spots it’s a very rewarding feeling. The additions to the story and lore offers a treat for long-time fans of the series. If you can look past some of the graphical downgrades, there is still hours’ worth of fun to be had.
+ New additions to the story and lore
+ Tight controls and fast paced action
+ Excellent heavy metal soundtrack
– Steep jump in difficulty
– Graphics can be blurry and muddy looking at times
– Framerate drops with certain animations and enemies
OVERALL ASSESSEMENT OF DOOM ETERNAL: THE ANCIENT GODS PART ONE
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.9/5 (78%)