The gist of it:
DOOM Eternal, the sequel to one of the best first-person shooters, brings the same amount of fantastic gunplay while changing the pacing of the game to a more platform’ish type of gameplay.
DOOM Eternal’s story starts a few years after the events of 2016 one where you seemingly have your own base of operations that you use to acquire upgrades and launch missions. The lore of the game has been expanded considerably and will seem overwhelming to the player who just wants to shoot things. If you are interested in the story or lore of the DOOM guy then you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
While the game will not directly tell you what happened, as you progress through the game you can find bits of lore that explain in detail what has happened in the past. I won’t spoil things but I will say this, the DOOM lore went from just killing demons to a gothic/sci-fi interpretation of Heaven and Hell with the DOOM guy at the center of it all.
The story, told directly in the game through cutscenes and dialogue won’t be that great but if you bother reading everything it becomes something nice and has the potential to expand even further. It won’t win any prizes for writing but I loved how badass the whole thing is about the DOOM guy.
Story rating: 8.8/10
At its core, DOOM Eternal remains the same as it’s predecessor, a fast-paced first-person shooter where you slay thousands of demons with your arsenal. The big difference this time around is the focus on platforming compared to the 2016 game or as some would call it, more arcadey.
Each combat encounter feels more of a puzzle combat than just shooting stuff assuming you’re playing on Nightmare and above difficulty which is the way to play in my brutal opinion. If you’re rushing on average and below difficulties you’ll be missing out on what it feels like to be the DOOM guy. The game is on a different level on Nightmare difficulty, and I would even go as far as calling it a different game compared to lower difficulties and the 2016 one’s Nightmare difficulty due to how important some aspects of gunplay become.
The chainsaw mechanic from the previous game is now a mandatory tool to gather ammo rather than something you’d use in case of an emergency once in a while. There are also more platforming objects around levels where you traverse such as poles and grabbing walls and these are also present when fighting demons. Staying still on Nightmare is not something I recommend if you want to ever win and the game gives you these map tools to jump around and teleport around the arenas or levels to fight the demons. Most enemies now have weaknesses which you can exploit using your weapons so you’ll be changing up weapons and mods to counter these demons kinda like a constant fast-paced puzzle where you have to think while you shoot. Obviously, this won’t be mandatory on lower difficulties which is why I recommended Nightmare.
Weapons you find are similar to the previous game, as well as most of the dual mods for each weapon and you’ll be able to upgrade and master them if you want to. Runes and suit upgrades also make a return in the game though a bit more simplified.
The more disappointing aspects of the gameplay are again the multiplayer and boss fights. The boss fights are extremely basic and you just have to repeat the same thing over and over in order to defeat each instead of having a unique fight like The Marauder which is an incredibly tough and annoying enemy. The Battlemode aka multiplayer is a 1v2 mode where one fights as the DOOM slayer and the other two as demons, sorta like Left 4 Dead’s versus mode. It’s very basic and straightforward, nothing truly bad about it but gets boring fast and if you’re a master with the DOOM guy the 2 demons will never stand a chance from what I’ve played.
Overall the gameplay feels different on higher difficulties which may not click with some players as the arena style basic shooting is mostly gone and instead they’ve improved it with tougher design. And if you’re the kind of guy that likes to find secrets, you’re in luck, DOOM Eternal has plenty of those and I spent a lot of time finding them all.
Gameplay rating: 9.5/10
Mick Gordon is back and yet again he does an amazing job with DOOM Eternals soundtrack. It’s part of the game just like the gameplay and without it, I’m not sure it would feel the same killing enemies. The choice in music now is a bit more choiral/gothic which sounds fantastic and I’m glad his soundtrack came with a free game.
The rest of the sound design, from voice acting and sound effects, they all sound good and there really isn’t anything to complain about.
Audio rating: 9.5/10
Graphics, performance and tech analysis
The graphics style also took a drastic change with Eternal. Doom 2016 had a very gritty, dark look to it, but DOOM Eternal is very colorful. The levels look amazing and varied, and it’s hard not to notice the colorful pickups. It’s a different tone and not just graphically, but the entire atmosphere feels like it came out of a gothic bible combined with Unreal Tournament.
As the game went to a more platform’ish gameplay so did the level design improve a bit. It’s still linear mostly but it feels very open at time, well designed, everything falls into place nicely. It’s not just corridor and arena over and over again.
Sadly nothing is perfect and there are bound to be issues especially at launch. One bug that annoys me that seems to be engine-related because I had it with Doom 2016 is whenever I launch the game it resets the aspect ratio to anything but my default one which ends up giving me weird resolutions. There are also several crashes when firing with the BFG and there are bugs where encounters or collectibles would not count. Luckily you can redo most of the maps easily.
As for performance, if you’re not using any on screen display like a FPS counter from Steam, the game runs flawless even at max settings.
Graphics, performance and tech analysis score: 9/10
So is DOOM Eternal the perfect sequel? I think it is. The gameplay changes may put off some fans or players but I think the direction it went was fantastic and I cannot stress this enough, play the game on Nightmare or you’ll be missing out what it feels to be badass. Amazing game, and probably the best first-person shooter out there.
Written by Nightingale Prince, follow at Twitch.
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