Doom is back once again on current gen consoles. After the great success of Doom (2016),Doom Eternal follows the age old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
If you’ve never played a Doom game before, the setup is simple: Devils and demons invade Earth, you as “Doom Guy”, kill them. While Doom Eternal is a sequel to the 2016 reboot, you don’t need to have played it to enjoy Eternal. Though the story is interesting at first, and the cutscenes look gorgeous, I got kind of lost and bored with it around the halfway mark, as the bulk of the plot is told through logs and documents you pick up throughout the playthrough. I was far more interested in the next lot of new demons and monsters I would be slicing and dicing my way through.
Doom Eternals gameplay is by far one of the more interesting things to talk about. I think over the years I’ve gotten used to in depth equipment loadouts and having to think about what kind of “build” I would be running. The “best” shooters of the year all have some sort of management, like in Fortnite, Apex Legends and even Call of Duty. With Doom Eternal, you’re taken back to a simpler time and homage clearly paid to the grandfathers of 3D first person shooters, Wolfenstein 3D and the original Doom. Back then, you picked up a gun and kept firing for as long as you have ammo. There were no 30 different scopes or extended mags to worry about. The game focused on what’s fun: Shooting bad guys. Doom Eternal gives you bigger and better guns over the course of the story mode and each of those guns comes with three slots. There’s a mod slot, which gives you the choice of two alternate fire modes, an upgrade slot, to boost its damage, and my favourite, a mastery slot. The mastery slot is a different challenge set for each gun which will unlock an awesome new ability for the weapon. The game focuses on just making you more badass and deal more damage, there’s nothing to think about besides what you think looks cool and what matches your play style.
One of the most common misconceptions about Doom Eternal is that it’s just a mindless shooter. This game is far from mindless. The levels in Doom Eternal can be boiled down to two main tasks, with a different number of each scattered about each level. There’s a little bit of platforming and puzzle solving, and then there are the battle arenas, where you’re usually locked into an arena and a bunch of monsters will spawn and you have to clear the area before you move on. When you’re in combat, you’re given the tools to ensure there is no downtime and you can focus on killing demons. These tools are your flamethrower, your chainsaw and your fists. Each of these tools allow you to grab what you need when you need it, in any scenario. Need a bunch of ammo? Chainsaw an enemy and they’ll explode with ammo drops! Need some armor? Toast some enemies with your flamethrower and armor drops will fall right off of them! Need some health? Melee a monster when they’re flashing blue and orange, you’ll get an awesome execute animation as well as a bunch of health drops!
Each of the combat situations will soon become a juggling act of managing these three tools to ensure you can slaughter forever as you run around the map rocking out to the awesome metal tunes.
The platform and puzzle sections are a nice reprieve as they usually come after an intense battle arena. This time is also usually spent exploring the map and looking for secrets, of which there are a lot. These secrets range from little vinyl figures of monsters in the game to soundtracks you can listen to on the Doom fort. There are even challenge arenas that will test even the most veteran Doom players.
Doom Eternal’s brilliant visuals, excellent soundtrack and simple but deep combat make this game well worth jumping into. The main story will take about 15 hours or so to beat, but with tons of secrets and challenges for each level, there’s a lot to go back to and replay. If you’re looking for a taste of some classic FPS action, born of the founding fathers of the 3D shooters, look no further than Doom Eternal.