The Doom Slayer is back and he’s serving HELL with an eternal dose of blood and gore. A sequel to Doom (2016), Doom Eternal is the definitive edition of a madman on a one-way road to hell. From the bloody mess of ripping demonic bodies to shreds to the jaw-dropping level designs and cut-throat traversal elements embedded to its roots, there’s a lot of things that makes Doom Eternal a game worth dying for. And it’s those reasons that make the sequel a masterful piece that is both bloody as it is artistic.
Doom Eternal is just viscerally gorgeous to look at. Going from cryptic landscapes to the intestinally and gooey, the world as a whole always feel fresh and new despite its ebb and flow of combat staying just the same yet improving. One of the things that really caught my attention here is the constant need to improve. While the arsenal of weaponry grows bigger and bigger by the second, as a player, you improve alongside it. You’re always taken out of your comfort zone to grasp the best ways to eviscerate your foes quickly and methodically, similar to a game of chess. From focusing on its weak spots, destroying its weaponry or skillfully using the environment, the game always keeps you up on your feet… moving and never stopping.
On a gameplay standpoint, it’s as good as it can get. Undoubtedly giving a run for your money, before your money can ever grow feet of its own. The monster-mashing hardware will also knock your socks off thanks to the vast customization options and loadout possibilities making each run through a level unique if not different. You can run through a level like a penny-punching princess would but instead of punching under capitalism, the loadout is more focused into ground-pounding your way to most foes with an arsenal fit for a reaper near death’s door. While in other cases, an aerial assassin fits the bill just as good. This is one of the strongest points I find that is so rewarding in Doom Eternal.
Amongst the many weapons you get throughout the game, each one will also have very specific mods that you can unlock such as the default gun that can turn into a sticky grenade launcher or go into full auto when holding the alternate fire button. Meanwhile, you can turn a rifle into firing micro missiles or the ability to scope for some precise shots from afar. These are paired with an even greater length of customization due to the different set of suit upgrades or other miscellaneous features like faster dash cooldowns, adding all sorts of effects to your equipment and much more. However, its lowest moments also comes from its early gameplay where everything feels too simple and at times, a bit too frustrating without any sort of evasive manoeuvrability to get out of enemy fire other than your basic strafing.
For the ever-silent Doom Slayer, the story is simply just business as usual, you’re stopping Earth’s destruction and you have a handful of guns that will do all the talking. There’s a multitude of cutscenes and voice-overs but overall, it’s not something you’d come to expect going into a game like Doom. Everything only feels like a bloody good excuse to blow up skulls and dismember some innards and the cutscenes only serve to remind you to take a breather before the next big fight.
But speaking of big fights, every single encounter feels like a boss fight on its own. Although instead of having one overly buffed up boss with its set of underpaid lackeys, most fights early on doesn’t have any specific boss with obviously massive chunks of health bars atop the screen. The way each one of them is played feels like a rhythmic dance alongside the metallic-banging music and booming soundtracks as you dispatch demon after demon in a grandiose fashion. And this is Doom at its finest. You don’t feel like you’re just mindlessly gunning down everything that moves but you’re doing it in a style that rewards your eyes with cherry-popping gore that is befitting of the word doom itself.
Doom Eternal is an inviting gameplay experience that showers you with gore-tastic moments and even after the 17-ish hours of the main campaign, you might find yourself running through the gauntlet again to unlock some collectables, obtain missed power upgrades or even unlock cheat codes to make the game wacky and just straight up nasty. Slayer Gates and the optional Secret Encounters also offer some diabolical good fun to add to the length of the game while challenging the completionists at heart.
Nevertheless, its platforming elements while providing great ways to add fuel to the play times, also seem like a bit of a step back and away from its meaty combat. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing until you find yourself swimming in a pool of acid that would whittle away at your corrosive armour until finally going after your health bar when you find yourself stuck on where to go and forget to look up for the path ahead.
However, the game also offers you with some fun multiplayer battles of slayers vs. demons. Which on its own, does the game justice by also letting you play as the demons themselves if not the slayer in a 2 vs. 1 scenario where two demons would have to defeat a single player-controlled slayer before the slayer kills them on quick succession before the other gets resurrected. Similar to the main campaign, the battles are relatively the same while upholding the fast-paced combat we know and love.
Doom Eternal is the devil incarnate. It provides the gore-y goodness of everything it has to offer and makes it as good as it can be. There’s a lot of things that make this game really stand out from any other FPS titles but it’s the gameplay which really made it shine in the limelight. The freedom of mobility is a nice touch as well that makes the flow of the game really fluid as it is eye-catching. From zipping in and out to flailing around in the air, this is a game that is best experienced firsthand.
Doom Eternal is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC
This review is based on the PS4 version of the game.
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Hell’s armies have invaded Earth. Become the Slayer in an epic single-player campaign to conquer demons across dimensions and stop the final destruction of humanity. The only thing they fear... is you. Experience the ultimate combination of speed and power in DOOM Eternal - the next leap in push-forward, first-person combat.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 54.99