Four years after Bethesda and id Software released the acclaimed DOOM (2016), they’ve jumped back into the pits of Hell with DOOM Eternal. If you thought 2016’s DOOM was good, DOOM Eternal elevates the demonic shooter to bigger heights in every satisfying, gory way. This is our review of DOOM Eternal.
A Story 27 Years in The Making
After all these years, DOOM finally feels complete to me and it was amazing. When DOOM (2016) was announced I honestly just thought we were getting another reboot in the gaming world. I really wasn’t upset about it, but I should have known id Software had something up their sleeves. DOOM Eternal is not just all I have ever wanted from a DOOM title, but it is also the culmination of over 27 years of id Software titles colliding in one game.
Set only eight months after the events of Doom 2016, we see the Doom Slayer come back from hell to take his vengeance against the demonic threat that has overtaken Earth. The story in Doom Eternal is by far the most lore-filled story we have had in a DOOM title since the creation of the series. The ARC and Allied Nations forces have failed to hold back the demonic invasion and now it is up to the Slayer to end this mess before the human race is wiped from existence.
As we go through the story we finally learn the origins of the DOOM Slayer and without spoiling it too much, let’s just say this dude has been around for some time now. Doom Eternal does a great job of bringing the story of the Slayer to life, making anyone that plays the game feel like a god. No matter what challenges the Slayer faces, he always prevails. A mortal man that not only is trying to destroy HELL but save humanity on his own is not just a hero story… it's basically God of War on PCP with a hint of speed.
Characters like Samuel Hayden and Vega are back with the addition of main characters like The Father, The Betrayer, Khan Maykr, and many others. The addition of these main story characters really adds to the lore of the game and makes you feel more connected to the Slayer’s journey. Level by level we see the lore and the universe grow, making DOOM Eternal the one title that really showed how the DOOM Universe was all connected. This was a genius move by id Software. Fans of the series have been asking for some time how the DOOM games are connected, and id Software really hit it out of the park connecting the universe.
One cool thing about the DOOM titles is finding all the secrets while playing through the story. You can find secrets like easter eggs, cheat codes, collectibles figures and more! One of the coolest things about the levels was scouring every nook and cranny trying to find as many items as I could while destroying the hordes of hell. The placement of these secrets was at times hard to find but fret not. If you can’t find them all on your first playthrough you can find more on your second playthrough, while using cheats you make it a bit easier on you the player.
Every little subtle thing in DOOM Eternal was a shout out to fans and the history of DOOM. Amazingly, when you find the cheats they are on a little floppy disk, previous soundtracks are vinyl albums, and you can even play DOOM 1 and 2 in the Slayer’s Man Cave on a classic PC! id Software did all they could to make gamers feel like this was the DOOM of old. From the addition of classic looks to health vials, medkits, armor, and ammo, it all had that classic DOOM feel.
id Software even brought back classic looks to their enemies. Characters like the CyberDemon, Mancubus, Archvile and many others all delivered that feeling of nostalgia, as I was pulling out their entrails.. This change in design really made this game feel more connected to the original DOOM series. They even decided to add boss battles back in the game making them grander than ever. One of the bosses you face is the Gladiator, a new demon that resembles The Baron of Hell from DOOM II. This battle was very cool and gave me the feeling like I wasn’t playing a shooter, but an action-adventure title. I know it may not seem like much to some, but just this small addition really makes the game feel that much more special.
Hell Sends Its Most Challenging Demons
Since we’re talking about the enemies, let’s talk about the new challenging baddies brought to DOOM Eternal, for the first time. There are roughly 27 different types of demons in Eternal, but there are a few that really pushed me to the limit. First, the returning Archvile was a really big challenge to get used to. He not only deals a ton of damage but has fire spells, can make a shield out of the fire of hell, and he can spawn other demons out of thin air to attack you. Though this was a challenge, it is a demon class that fans rejoiced when id Software announced its return.
Another challenging demon was the new Marauder, this demon is a former Night Sentinel who turned against his allies and joined forces with the demonic ranks. The Marauder is one hell of a foe. He has his own super shotgun to deal close range damage, can send projectiles hurtling at you from his ax, and has a spirit wolf that can slow the Slayer and blur his vision. That doesn’t include the fact that he can melee the shit out of you and is super fast. A lot of the community said this demon was way overpowered but I have to say I disagree.
Now, admittedly I did play the game on Hurt Me Plenty (Normal) so it was a bit easier for me to beat, but it was hard to get used to his fast-paced attacks...but due to that I strategized and was able to beat the hardcore SOB. There were many other challenging demons, but I really don’t want to spoil much cause it could give hints to the story.
The demons brought back and improved upon in DOOM Eternal really show how much id Software not only loves their fans but loves this game. After playing DOOM 2016 I really didn’t know if Eternal could fill the shoes of its predecessor, but as always id Software blew me away with the crazy new demons and the return of fan favorites.
Rip and Tear With Glorious Verticality
The gameplay of DOOM Eternal is some of the best in the history of the franchise. Man is it fun as hell! DOOM Eternal adds more speed and crazy action than ever before. No matter the situation the Slayer is in, you always feel like you have a one-up on the demon horde. With a wide selection of weapons to choose from, the Slayer can mutilate his enemies in many different ways. What also helps the Slayer kill his enemies is the new level design brought to Eternal. One of the issues with DOOM 2016 was the close-quarter levels, Eternal fixes this by making the level more open, with the addition of platformer gameplay mechanics.
These mechanics add in stuff like wall climbing and grappling poles that keep you moving and high up in the air. Thus, making it harder for enemies to attack you and easier for you to kill demons while mid-air. This really makes the gameplay and combat seem faster (if that's possible) and makes you feel like a true god amongst mice.
Something that is back in a big way is the bloody and gory glory kills. Most people don't particularly like "quick-time" events, but id Software made these so much better by making the transition from combat, to quick-time kill, back to combat super smooth. It's literally done so well it makes you feel like you're controlling the Slayer during the process.
The overall pacing of the combat and gameplay really makes me think this has to be the best DOOM in the franchise and probably the best FPS title I have ever played. Every moment of the game I was on the edge of my seat, biting my lip, cursing and thinking I wasn't going to make it to the best part of the level. Then with 10% health left and barely any ammo, I somehow made it through. There were even times the gameplay was so fast and fun that once I got done with a horde of demons I stood up and screamed in excitement I’M THE FUCKIN DOOM SLAYER BABY!
Head-banging While Killing The Slayer
Well, Mick Gordon has done it again. The DOOM Eternal soundtrack is some of the best music I have ever heard in a video game. Like DOOM 2016, this entire album had me headbanging from start to finish. Walking up on a giant horde of demons fighting each other, then dropping in from the top of the level and hearing the guitar riff start makes your blood start pumping uncontrollably. As I played through DOOM Eternal the music really made me appreciate Mick Gordon and iD Software even more.
Not only did they make an epic soundtrack and bring together a ton of bands to make a heavy metal choir, but they also decided (as said earlier) to bring some of the best music from DOOM Universe. The vinyl records you can find in the game are songs from previous DOOM games, Wolfenstein, Quake, and more! This is such a cool add-in that shows how much the dev team appreciates everyone that has supported and loved the DOOM franchise. Another thing great to do while listening to the ultra metal soundtrack is playing BATTLE MODE.
BattleMode is a unique multiplayer experience that pins two demons against the one and only DOOM Slayer in a handicap style deathmatch battle. Each level is themed around story locations but designed specifically for BATTLE MODE. It comes with all the bells and whistles of the single-player combat but adds some challenges. If you are the Slayer, your mission is to kill both demons as quickly as possible, but if you’re a demon, if you strategize properly, you and your partner can easily take down the Slayer.
You and your partner have your own powers but also have the ability to call upon other demons to take on the Slayer. These abilities are easy to use but must power back up overtime during the match if you use these abilities to quickly, you can kill your chance to kill the Slayer away pretty quick.
When I got into a match this was probably some of the most fun I have had in a deathmatch style game in some time...but that is the issue, getting into a match. I don’t think it is a game issue, I believe the issue is with the players. I can’t count on my hands how many times I connected to a game and was then disconnected do the someone leaving the game or not finding enough people to play. It was a bit upsetting but does not change my mind that this mode is very fun and is something I will play a lot off over these next few months.
DOOM Eternal is something pretty special, not only did we get a fantastic game with an amazing story, we got one of the best DOOM titles ever made. This is by far the best FPS title I have played in recent years and is at the top of my list for Game of The Year. The love that iD software has poured into DOOM Eternal is something like I have never seen before from any dev team out there. iD and Bethesda truly love the DOOM franchise but love their fans more and DOOM Eternal is the perfect example of that.