Doom Eternal Review

Introduction

Doom Eternal is the sequel to stellar hit Doom (2016)! It was developed by id Software and published by Bethesda Softworks. It was released in March of 2020 for Consoles and PC.

Review

The forces of Hell have invaded Earth. Most of the population is dead, and all major cities have been reduced to rubble. Luckily Doom Guy is back and is ready to rip and tear his way through the demon army to save what is his. But to do so, he has to take out the three Hell Priests that are bringing the forces of evil over. So grab your favourite shotgun, and get ready!

Now before we get started, I’d just like to state, I didn’t try the multiplayer aspect of this game for the review. Let’s proceed. The game has a surprisingly cinematic story to it. From the sometimes hefty cutscenes to the many lines of dialogue in it. But nothing in the story comes as a shock if you’ve ever played Doom, or an arcade shooter like it. Everything is going to be dead in the end, and you’ll be spotted on your mountain of corpses, having a nice slice of pizza for all your hard work. But what is surprisingly deep is the lore that’s in the game. From learning about a society known as the Night Sentinels to the race of the Maykrs, to the abomination that is the Final Sin. As you play through the game, you can find collectible lore pieces, and I was always excited to read them as I picked them up. But other than that the story is just a basic “kill everything to save the world” story.

Outside of the story though, is what all Doom is known for. It’s badass gameplay. There’s nothing quite like feeling like a killing machine as you rip through the hordes of hell with many options at your disposal. From the glory kills that rip your enemies limbs off, to the chainsaw kills that saw enemies to pieces, there’s so many systems. There’s so many systems though that the game feels like it is just way too busy, and the HUD feels cluttered. My favourite thing about Doom 2016, is that it felt simple. You had a couple mechanics here and there to worry about, but here, it’s just so many, and you have to use them all. It’s not a choice. From using a glory kill on stunned enemies to get your health back. Or using a flamethrower to set enemies on fire, so they drop armor for you. Or using your chainsaw to be able to get ammo back for your guns. It’s a complicated interpretive dance, that even though it feels amazing to get good at, I wish it were simpler.

This doesn’t even account for the amount of weapons you have at your disposal that you’re constantly swapping between. From your shotgun with its grenade launcher, to your assault rifle with a sniper scope, you always have to be aware of what’s around you. But this made using the weapons fun, as I wasn’t always focusing on using one thing. I’d use the shotgun to put a grenade in a Cacodemon’s mouth to stun it, or I’d use a sniper shot to destroy the Revenants rocket launchers so it couldn’t pin me down from far away. My favourite power up though is by far getting the extra barrels on my Chaingun to lay down some serious firepower to shred through the tougher enemies, as I watch their skin rip off, right down to the bone, until finally they keel over and I get the sweet health pickups from them. Each weapon’s extra setting also has power ups to them, that if you unlock them, you get a challenge to do, that makes it even better. Like the sniper scope would cause a shockwave if I got a headshot for example. I was always excited to see the new stuff I could do to get better.

As you do certain challenges in levels, or even find them, you get these things known as “Praetor Suit Tokens”. These let you get somewhat valuable upgrades. Like not taking damage from explosive containers. Or your grenades have less cooldown. There were only a handful of these I felt were useful. So by the time I acquired the ones I wanted, I just bought whatever. The real useful upgrades were left to very sparse collectibles. These let you upgrade your health, armour, or ammo count. But they were so far between. It never felt like I was actually getting stronger at a decent rate to be the ultimate badass.

The levels themselves are huge environments. Whether you’re exploring the destroyed landscape of Europe, or in the pits of Hell, or in the celestial area known as Urdak, the design is all fantastic. From secrets to find, with pickups ranging from little toys of enemies, or lore pieces, or even secret fights, there’s so much to do in all of them. Sure there’s not many levels, but they’re all so long, it balances out a bit. My favourite part of each level was funding the Slayer Gate if it had one. These were just arenas of destruction if you found them, that would push you to your absolute limits. If you managed to finish it, you’d get a key that unlocked a super weapon known as the Unmaykr, which was a variant of the BFG-9000. It’s just a shame it didn’t feel as useful.

My biggest gripe of the game though, is that the battles just feel like they go on for far too long eventually. Especially if there’s a Buff Totem, or a Summoner, which each spawn unlimited enemies until you destroy or kill them. Even then, after you think you’ve killed the biggest enemies, the game just keeps throwing more and more at you. So it wasn’t uncommon to be in an arena for 10-20 minutes at a time, running around, slowly whittling away at everything, hoping more don’t spawn so you could finally move forward. Even the last boss felt tedious, only because of the mechanics that were implemented in it.

Rating

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Deep Lore
  • Fantastic Level Design
  • Awesome Gun Upgrades

Cons:

  • Too Many Mechanics
  • Cluttered HUD
  • Fights Are Really Dense

Summary

Doom Eternal is a fantastic follow up to Doom 2016. Though it does the lore and level design much better, the gameplay has too much going on, so it makes it rough sometimes, especially when things get hectic. Though it is a hell of a good time, I recommend you prepare yourself for some tough gameplay depending on what difficulty you decide to play on.

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Game & Developer Information

Developer Website: id Software
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Bethesda Softworks
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £54.99/€69.99 Europe / $59.99 North America
Trophy Information: 51. 40-platinum 1 / Gold 6 / Silver 14 / Bronze 30

DOOM Eternal – Official E3 Story Trailer

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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