Doom Eternal is a welcome follow-up to 2016’s impressive Doom reboot. Released in 2016, Doom proved that the long-running franchise still had plenty to offer. With a focus on fast-paced action, the game felt like a breath of fresh air, even if it did have a somewhat predictable story. Now we find ourselves with an even more action-packed sequel, Doom Eternal.
The campaign of Doom Eternal is roughly the same length as its predecessor, although there are far more levels than before. The level design is much bolder and more creative this time around, with some really clever set pieces and some rather mind-bending puzzles.
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For those who tend to play games for their stories, Doom Eternal might not be the most satisfying. The lore is still present and the various characters from the original game return, but there isn’t anything groundbreaking here; it’s all pretty predictable stuff. It’s also worth mentioning that there are no cutscenes during these levels—the story is told entirely through voiceover in between missions. If you’re not into games that don’t have cutscenes (or if you’re playing on a PC and would prefer to have fewer loading screens), this might be an issue for you.
The game’s story focuses on a new threat to humanity (and demons) called the “majors.” These are leaders for a coalition of Hell that are planning an invasion of Earth. The demons within this coalition can take over other creatures’ bodies and also possess powerful abilities. This makes them difficult enemies to face, as they’ll be able to adapt to your attacks effectively.
In addition to major bosses, there will also be demon bosses that provide unique challenges throughout each level. These types of demons can’t be possessed by the majors either.
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At first glance, Doom Eternal looks like an expansion pack for Doom 2016—but it actually adds a lot more than just new levels and enemies. We see some new weapons being introduced, such as a shotgun that fires sawblades instead of pellets, which definitely make things more interesting when engaged in close quarters combat. You can even carry two weapons now instead of one!
Doom Eternal is a sequel to 2016’s Doom. It is the second game in the reboot of the franchise by Id Software, and the seventh installment overall. The game was announced at E3 2018, with a gameplay trailer shown at QuakeCon 2018. It was released on November 22, 2018 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Doom Eternal returns players to the role of Doom Slayer, an elite space marine who has been fighting demon hordes for decades. After being killed in battle by an ancient foe called the Mother Demon (or Mother of Demons), players will be sent back in time to prevent the Mother from ever being freed from her prison.
Like Doom 2016 before it, Doom Eternal will feature first-person shooter combat against fast-moving demons. Unlike previous games in the franchise, however, Doom Eternal will feature larger environments and more open levels that encourage exploration and allow players to interact more directly with their surroundings. Another new addition to the franchise is a weapon modification system which allows players to enhance their weapons with various upgrades and abilities.
Doom Eternal is a great game that takes the best elements of its predecessor and makes them even better while also adding some exciting new features. While the story is pretty barebones and there’s not a huge amount of content, it’s still an extremely fun shooter experience that I would highly recommend to any Doom fan.
I was impressed by how well id Software has succeeded in improving the areas I felt were lacking in the 2016 version of Doom. A few new systems were introduced that mixed things up, but also added a layer of polish and refinement to the experience. My favorite is something called “Lazarus,” which allows you to resurrect your fallen allies to fight alongside you for a short period of time. This makes it possible to change up your tactics mid-battle, which is a nice way to keep things fresh.
In the original Doom, you’d often find yourself having to restart a checkpoint because at least one of your team members died during a battle and that meant they couldn’t cover your flank or revive you if you went down. With Lazarus, though, you’re suddenly able to get back into the action quickly while also giving yourself time to regroup and figure out an effective strategy. It’s an extremely useful tool that I found myself relying on quite regularly.
Another thing I enjoyed was the addition of weapon customization. You can modify your weapons with mods that can give them increased damage or make them less powerful but more accurate—all things that are helpful depending on the enemies you’re fighting.
Doom Eternal’s pacing and level design are reminiscent of the second entry in the franchise. It’s a game that emphasizes combat to the point where the story feels like an enhancement to it, rather than its main attraction.
In fact, Doom Eternal features more cutscenes than its predecessor, but these scenes are shorter and not always mandatory for the player to see. While this doesn’t help Doom Eternal avoid its shortcomings when it comes to storytelling, it does provide ample opportunities for players to explore each level without needing to stop every few minutes to progress through a conversation or watch a scene play out.
A common criticism of Doom (2016) was that its campaign was too short, so much so that some people felt cheated when they finished it with only 3 hours of gameplay under their belts.
The development team behind Doom Eternal seems aware of this problem, and they’ve addressed it by adding plenty of collectibles and secrets so you can spend more time in each level if you’d like. You’re also free to take your time advancing through the story if you prefer not to miss out on any of the narrative development, which is welcome news for those who don’t enjoy being rushed through single-player campaigns.
Doom Eternal’s campaign is a meaty experience, and we appreciated the variety in its level design. You can expect plenty of wide-open spaces with multiple paths that lead to some good old-fashioned demon slaughtering fun, but you’ll also have to deal with semi-linear areas that force you to take a more tactical approach by providing cover for enemies.
When it comes to the weapons and power-ups, there are plenty of recognizable ones from the previous game, but Doom Eternal also features some new weapons that feel fresh and fun to use—most notably the grapple beam, which lets you pull yourself toward enemies and objects from afar.
The campaign features 15 hours of single-player content that can be played co-operatively with up to three other players either online or via couch co-op. The difficulty level of each level is scaled to your character level, so even if you’re starting on a higher difficulty setting than your friends, you won’t have any trouble getting through the entire thing together. This means that if one of your friends isn’t as skilled as the rest of you, they’ll still be able to contribute by using their unique loadout and playstyle rather than being left behind while everyone else plows through demons as quickly as possible.
While plenty of changes were made to the formula, the familiar territory will feel as warm as ever. But where once you were a lone space marine, now the story turns its attention to new characters with different backgrounds and personalities, working together in a cooperative fashion to take down the threat of Hell on Earth.
The campaign takes you through 15 fast-paced levels—although it may not seem like it at first, since Doom Eternal embraces the idea of level hubs and there’s plenty of backtracking involved.
The action is fast and frantic as ever, encouraging you to move around constantly while fighting against hordes of demons. Most of them are taken from classic Doom games and have been given a visual overhaul that makes them look better than ever before. There are also some new enemies, including those that have been genetically engineered by those pesky demons.
One such enemy is a huge abomination with the head (and mouth) of something resembling an Earth pig crossed with a squid; it is capable of spewing toxic gas towards you. From early on in the game until the end you’ll encounter all sorts of new enemies that provide tense combat encounters throughout your journey.
Doom Eternal has taken all the elements of its predecessor and expanded on them for an even better experience.
The gunplay feels more satisfying, with weapons behaving just how you want them to most of the time; levels are both varied in their themes and complexity; enemies are more numerous and diverse, making each fight unique; progression is more logical and rewarding; and new features like transformations and abilities give you more ways to play around with chaos while also keeping the action interesting.
Yet, in spite of all these improvements and additions, Doom Eternal still has several shortcomings compared to Doom 2016—it feels like a few seconds shaved off here or there have taken away some of the magic from its predecessor.
Throughout my time with Doom Eternal, I was always aware that the character who’s tasked with putting an end to the demon invasion is a silent protagonist. He speaks as little as possible and his actions speak for him. The character, who is known only as the Doom Guy, doesn’t have a name or backstory. He doesn’t even have an audible voice. But he proves to be one of the most interesting characters in 2018 because of this. We don’t necessarily need to know who he is; we just need to see what he does.
The Doom Guy doesn’t care about being a hero or even saving people from an apocalypse; he simply wants to hunt and kill demons. He gets his kicks out of hunting and slaughtering demons, so much so that it’s actually funny to see him do it at times. His attitude gives him a sense of authority that goes along well with his mythos, seeing him turning his back on someone that’s trying to warn him about the outcome of the mission or simply interrupting an enemy’s speech by shooting their head off without hesitation. You can tell by his actions that there really isn’t anything stopping him from doing whatever he wants to do.
From start to finish, Doom Eternal puts you inside scenes straight out of a horror movie: An unsettling dark environment where you have to fight for your life against terrifying enemies, as well as face unspeakable terrors. The demons are imposing and disturbing, ranging from giant flying heads that vomit lava at you to disfigured mutants with multiple limbs doing everything they can to rip you apart. They all look unique and scary, but they all act in predictable patterns that don’t require much strategy to overcome; they’re more annoying than anything else.