DOOM Eternal is everything a sequel to DOOM (2016) should be. It’s bigger, gorier, and a hell of a lot more intense. id Software nailed exactly what needed to be improved upon, and allows for a new approach that encourages you to incorporate strategy in how you take down the hordes of demons you’ll be facing. DOOM Eternal also merges combat and traversal so effortlessly that you truly feel like the demon killing god the Doom Slayer should be over the course of the game.
The aforementioned merger of traversal and combat is the shining star of DOOM Eternal. This makes combat feel absolutely fluid unlike most First Person Shooters. Because of this, each encounter you have with the legions of the Underworld feels totally different, and as you fight, the loop of chainsawing enemies for ammo, lighting them on fire for shield, and glory killing them (in the most viscous way possible) for health gives you so much control and opportunity for strategy making encounters able to be approached in a variety of ways.
You’ll need all the opportunities to be strategic too. Combat encounters when they mix in tougher enemies becomes intense on a new scale. Thus, you can become overwhelmed quickly if you aren’t prepared. However, the biggest thing for all your encounters is too keep moving because, if you don’t, you’ll be an easy target. Areas are huge and allow for you to fly and navigate around picking off enemies one by one or landing in a great spot to mow the hordes down.
DOOM Eternal gives you an extreme arsenal to face down the hordes with as well. From the guns, grenades, Blood Punch, all the weapons are effective and can be utilized differently depending on the situation. This gives you ton of options and lets you find the whatever weapon you like best. The returning super shotgun is a dream come true with its power and meat hook to pull you directly to your next foe to blast them straight in the face. Weapons can be upgraded to have new abilities that will have you feeling like a monster, and let you take out the tougher demons so much easier as you progress.
One of the only real drawbacks of DOOM Eternal is the story of the game. While the narrative of its predecessor is a straight forward story of stopping a demonic invasion on Mars, the narrative of DOOM Eternal is a bit over-complex and drawn out. You are immediately thrust into what feels like a story that has already been in progress for awhile. Sometimes there are even story gaps that would give the feeling that, instead of being a follow up to DOOM (2016), DOOM Eternal is a sequel to a game that should be set between the two with a plethora of lore it expects you to/should know already. Unfortunately, most of the lore that fills in those story gaps is hidden away in the text based collectibles that you must spend time reading in the menus. This all gets tedious as the game progresses and keeps you away from the combat.
DOOM Eternal also introduces a new type of multiplayer mode to the franchise in the form of BATTLEMODE. Unlike DOOM (2016)’s Death Match multiplayer, BATTLEMODE pits one player controlling the Doom Slayer against a team of two players controlling a pair of demons. The new multiplayer mode allows for more strategic gameplay compared to the typical Death Match or Battle Royale modes in many games with the fact that the two demons need to coordinate with each other to take down the Doom Slayer, and vice versa for the Doom Slayer who can’t just rush in and slaughter the demons.
BATTLEMODE also gives you the chance to experiment with five different demons to play as. (Shout out to the rocket blasting Revenant) Each of these demons have different abilities, thus all can be played differently, and take time to master in how they fair against the Doom Slayer. However, once you figure out your abilities and coordination with your teammate taking on the Doom Slayer becomes a an intense battle of skill. There is plenty of enjoyment to be found in BATTLEMODE, and it is sure to give players an opportunity to test out their skills and merit against each other after beating the campaign.
Overall, DOOM Eternal is a fantastic package. The fluidity, gunplay, and intensity of being overwhelmed by hordes of demons, while still being able to take them all out with your wide array of different weapons and abilities, gives DOOM Eternal a feeling very few First Person Shooters can replicate. The challenges, upgrades, plethora of secrets, optional encounters, and just the overwhelming fun it is to slay demons gives DOOM Eternal a ton of replay value, and is sure to bring you back to the game over and over.
Score: 9 out of 10
Reviewed on Xbox One X