Monday, September 20, 2021

Doom Eternal Game Review

Doom Eternal is the newest update in the legendary series. And it has earned it’s spot as quite possibly one of the best games in the series. It’s new and refreshing, while still being familiar and nostalgic. And the creators still capture the visceral wonder of the original games with the fluidity of Doom 2016.

The game can run smooth on lower end hardware if you turn down the graphics. But that doesn’t mean its not a stunning game. The game is very eye catching and graphically sharp. And for the high end consumer, will absolutely stun you with how impressive it can look.

Engaging Entropy

There is not a moment in Doom Eternal where a player will lose focus, or get bored. It consistently delivers engaging gun play and movement. It will always have you on your toes and will constantly throw some type of challenge at you.

From Pinkies, to Arachnatrons, to the infamous Arch-Vile, to even Imps. The enemies are constantly putting you into tough positions and its up to you to get out of them. This makes every encounter different in some way. Difficult yet fair, Brutal but fun, and the feeling of overcoming that struggle is something else entirely. Nothing quite feels as good as finally putting your super shotgun into an Arch-Vile’s gut and stopping him from summoning more demons. And thats what keeps this game going as well as it does. It is pure, unadulterated fun.

Doom Eternal zombie in a stain glass room.

Familiar Fights

The enemies for Doom Eternal might look familiar to some people and thats intentional, many were re-imagined. They have stepped away from Doom 2016’s gritty design, in favor of the originals.

For example, the Zombified Soldiers in Doom 2016 were sort of malformed people with their armor fusing with their flesh. While in Doom Eternal, they are more reminiscent of the original designs with their green hair and glowing red eyes. The infamous Cyber Demon was also redesigned for Doom Eternal. Bringing him down from his gears of war like, gritty design. Back to his original, fleshy design with those bull like horns we all know and love.

Or even the pose that the Arch-Vile does when summoning more demons. The same pose that was from Doom 2 and 3. Which is bound to add that nice bit of nostalgia to any fan’s day while playing Doom Eternal.

Arch-Vile in the summoning pose.

Distinct Destruction

But it’s not all nostalgia, The creators have added a lot of spice to the mayhem. Brand new kills, new mods, new demons, and of course, new maps.

Among the new demons in Doom Eternal is the Whiplash. A serpentine demon that wields claws and whips, with long range slashes that is difficult to dodge at times. On top of that, it is fast and can be hard to shoot at times. Making it a very solid threat and a high priority target. Or the Carcass, a demon who is more of a support type. He places shields in the best place to ruin your plans. Maybe block your gunfire, maybe stop you from getting a glory kill, he is a consistent pain. But even the most familiar demon may have some new tricks.

They combine the old with the new like the return of the Arch-Vile. He has new moves, like the wall of fire that blocks all gunfire. And the fire pool that ignites the player, and is a hazard that attempts to restrict your momentum. They do this in addition to summoning more demons, and buffing them.

Whiplash charging the player while an Arachnotron fires it’s turret.

Compelling Challenges

Doom Eternal can be difficult, very difficult. The game is constantly trying to push you out of your comfort zone, and keep you on your toes. But of course there are many difficulty modes, I have been playing on Ultra-Violence and the game can get pretty rough at times. But for those who aren’t worried about a challenge or just can’t cut it on the harder modes, there are easier difficulties. And the game doesn’t inhibit your progress and makes the game accessible for all types of players.

But for people seeking even more of a challenge, there is a new thing called slayer gates. These are optional combat trials that will test your skills against waves and waves of enemies. But there is a point to this, each slayer gate drops a key, with 6 keys in total. These keys unlock a gun in your fortress called the Unmaykr. Which if the name is any indication, is a wonderfully powerful weapon that you should look forward to using.

And while some complain about the platforming, it adds a new challenge. This keeps the game from having the same shortcomings as Doom 2016, which had relied on the arena fighting for most of the challenge. And while it may not be everyone’s speed, I very much enjoyed it. Exploring and finding secrets became one of my favorite things because of it’s fun movement system and wonderfully designed maps.

Downsides

There are almost too many good things about Doom Eternal to mention. I could spend all day oozing about how it’s fun, fast, brutal, and satisfying. And a love letter to the original Doom games. And about how it still retains it’s familiarity while still being new and unique. But there are some drawbacks.

There are a lot of things to do, and thus a lot of buttons to remember. This is especially bad when you are learning the game and it drops the flame belch and grenades on you. This leads to the biggest drawback of Doom Eternal, it takes some learning. Remembering what mod works better on each demon, or when to toss a grenade, or maybe flame belch for that sweet armor. It all can be overwhelming.

There is also an issue with the story. While this game ties in with the last Doom, it doesn’t feel like it was made with Doom 2016 in mind. Kind of like they tacked on some references to 2016 last minute. Warning ahead for spoilers of Doom 2016.

Doom 2016 ends with Samuel Hayden betraying you because while you stopped the invasions and now everyone is safe, now there is no ardent energy and people will go without the power that they need. So from that you can assume, Earth needs energy, thus it is doing just peachy, and that you will be hunting down Samuel Hayden.

But this is not the case as Doom Eternal opens with Earth almost entirely consumed and you don’t hear mention of Samuel until 6 missions in. Which is almost half way through the game.

Conclusion

Despite Doom Eternal’s drawbacks, It is still an amazing entry into the series. It is fast, fun, brutal, engaging, and is overall a very good game. There is something there for any old fans as well as new fans and for every thing familiar, there is something new and this keeps it constantly fresh and fun.

My favorite part of Doom Eternal is the combat and just as everyone has come to expect from the series, it is absolutely insane. From the movement, to how the guns interact with different demons, everything has a purpose and everything is useful but also has a counter. Like the Carcass can react fast enough to block a rocket launcher, but he places a shield which the plasma rifle can absolutely shred. Thus forcing you to either move fast and take out the carcass with your rocket launcher or switch guns and punch through.

Even the small things like secrets, that I didn’t have time to cover, are fun to find and give nice rewards. Music, suit upgrades, new gun mods, action figures of things in the game. There is so much here and it will constantly have me replaying levels to find that new secret or beat that challenge. I recommend it for any fan of the series and even just people looking for a chaotic but thrilling First Person Shooter. The creators love the Doom series and it shows.

Nathan Lambias
Amateur Writer and Reviewer. I enjoy a wide variety of game genres but my favorites are First Person Shooters, Role-playing games, and occasionally Puzzle games.

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