Published on March 20th, 2020 | by Zorbz
REVIEW – DOOM Eternal
The demon Slayer is back for the highly anticipated follow up to 2016’s highly reviewed DOOM. Can this entry keep up the momentum and keep interest into what was an amazing reboot of the franchise?
Story/Concept: When I think of the original Doom games all I think about is first person shooting and couldn’t have told you anything about the story (then again I was a kid when it first came out) but the 2016 reboot started introducing story into the franchise as a main aspect and whilst I couldn’t tell you what happened in that story because I was so focused on the action, this latest entry seems to strike a nice balance of action and story that has me invested in both. The story itself goes into detail about your origins as you try to reclaim earth from the demons. You get some insight into who you are, what your goal is and how the humans of earth see you. I won’t spoil anything but what I will say is there is some really cool moments, one in particular when you set foot on a base in Mars that just had me in awe of the DOOM slayer. Definitely don’t play this with the audio down or try to skip anything as you’ll just be doing yourself a disservice.
Graphics: Playing on the Xbox One X this game looks absolutely stunning. The environments range from war-torn lava soaked cities from the battle between the humans and demons, with a lot happening in the distance that I constantly took my time soaking it all in, to some off planet areas that are much more…green, like grass…in a DOOM game, and it works. It continues also to blend that cybernetic, machine heavy influence with very gross disgusting creatures and environments that look like you’re inside of a rotting whale corpse (an interesting visual I know). The detail in all the enemies and environments is just jaw dropping. The team clearly loves what they do, and you can see it in their work. There is never a half ass environment or texture for that matter, everything just seems to be pushed to the limit on the visual front.
What is more impressive is that the game looks as good as it does and runs at 1800P on the X at a rock solid 60FPS with honestly no noticeable lag or screen tearing. This team knows what they’re doing and pulls no punches.
Lastly on the visual front, there is sooooo many options to tweak with and a whole range of sliders to play with on the HDR front (if your TV supports it) I’ve never seen so much customisation in an options menu.
Gameplay: The gameplay was fast, frantic and balls to the wall in the 2016 predecessor and Doom Eternal is no different. The mechanics are tight as you blast, jump, climb, dash, double dash, dash climb jump dash attack blast!?! through huge environments with tons of collectibles scattered throughout, making replayability a must to find some of those trickier secrets. Weapons are all great to use and have such a hefty feel to them that just makes you feel like a true badass, but as boss as you may feel, enemies on the other hand are brutal and will strike you down with the full wrath of hell itself. Even on lower difficulties, this is not one game you can take lightly, you need to make use of your full arsenal to really succeed in battle, especially as you progress through the campaign.
You don’t just have weapons but also some side weapon assists like a flamethrower, grenades, an ice blast and the trusty chainsaw that all serve a purpose to save you in battle. For example the chainsaw is used on enemies to drop ammo (which is sparse as is) glory kills are used for health pickups as your health doesn’t regenerate and using the flamethrower on an enemy will get them to drop ammo shards. All of these are essential for you to make it through these huge battle encounters and it’s a smart way to get you really using everything in your arsenal. It can be quite daunting at the start but once you get the rhythm of things and remember what weapon you need to get you out of a tight spot it becomes truly rewarding.
There’s also quite a number of upgrades for your weapons, ability upgrades and also for the doom slayer himself. Not everything is really needed and some things I didn’t even notice made a difference, but in a way it’s kind of nice seeing things you want to upgrade and being able to without being torn on ‘WHAT THE HELL DO I CHOOSE’ for a change.
What is carried over from the 2016 entry is traversal and Doom Eternal places a much heavier focus on this and has some quite complex level design that really changes things up not only for the platforming itself but for the enemy waves you encounter. My only slight criticism though is that the levels can feel a bit too big, I preferred the slightly smaller levels of the previous entry, but again that is just a personal preference.
Sound: On the audio front you should know what to expect, badass metal riffing whilst you’re blasting through demons to the haunting atmosphere when all things are calm outside of battle. Voice acting is great although sparse which is how it should be for a game like this and the sound effects of your weapons and the chainsaw ripping through enemies is oh so satisfying. Some of the collectibles found in levels are records which you can play in the hub world in between levels and these range from classic Doom tracks to other ID software titles of the past which is a nice little touch.
Awesomeness: I think what stands out to me is just how complete of a package Doom Eternal really is. You have a massive lengthy campaign with tons of upgrades and collectibles, a killer soundtrack, amazing graphics that take advantage of modern TVs, a rock solid 60FPS and a wealth of varied level design and environments. The team went all out and their hard work really shines! I haven’t even mentioned the multiplayer aspect as I didn’t have the ability to test it before release so that’s even more to add on to an already stellar package and hey if you pre-ordered the game digitally you get a remaster of DOOM 64, which in and of itself is a great little title that might have gone under the radar back in the day.
Final Word: Doom Eternal is absolutely incredible in every sense of the word. I honestly can’t fault it and am so happy the team took the time to do what they felt was right when they unfortunately had to delay the game, as their hard work is evident in every aspect of visual, sound and gameplay design. If you’ve never played a Doom game, that’s ok, this will still suck you right in, but honestly, go back and grab the 2016 release if you haven’t and then jump into this because damn it’s a wild ride from start to finish!
Out of 5 Bugs!