2016 Doom was one of the early games reviewed on this website and it remains one of the very best examples of a game that has no pretences or aspirations other than giving you exactly what you expect. Doom Eternal takes this principle and dials everything up a notch.

From the early scenes on a hellscape of ruined earth to the epic second level assault on the demon base Doom Eternal feels like a continuation of Doom 2016 rather than a new game. There is little in the way of a tutorial and even less in the way of easing you into the action. It begins with the difficulty of a later level in the predecessor.

Immediately the new demons make their presence known. The cacodemon a Doom favourite is equally as annoying here as it has ever been, flying around and hitting you with accurate long-range shots or close-range devastating bites and the Marauder would be the equivalent of an end of level boss in many other games. Doom Eternal has no qualms about throwing these at you in multiple combinations.

The flying annoyance Doom Eternal
The old annoying enemy from Doom 2

the glory kills that make you dive headlong into combat to get more health have returned and are more responsive than in the first game, the animations trigger from a variety of angles and trigger context-sensitive kills. There are still few better feelings in modern gaming than seeing an enemy flash when you on your last scrap of health and triggering the kill that recharges it.

Ammo seems to be in shorter supply forcing you to use the chainsaw more often to refill your arsenal of weapons. Although this isn’t always possible leaving you flailing about waiting for some sort of miracle to get a bullet in your last gun as seemingly all the demons in hell are at your heels. The introduction of a flame thrower on the triangle button to set enemies on fire for armour shards is a nice touch but is often forgotten in the heat of battle. Similarly, the new recharging grenades and ice grenades can be easily forgotten as you are blasting everything in sight.

One area of difference is in the overall design. There is a story, a plot and an objective in most levels. Achieving these and finding sentinel batteries allow you to get different upgrades on your floating spaceship. it is worth getting these as soon as possible as the game even on the default difficulty will hammer you until you get the super shotgun. When you get this weapon it allows you to deal far more damage to enemies that are up close meaning you can go in hard with it and use another weapon to finish them off.

Doom Demons
Doom Eternal has all the demons

The other main difference is more controversial than storyline or level hub design and that is platforming. The original Doom had elements of platforming but here they are taken to Mirrors Edge levels of Parkour. You have a dash and a wall climb and these combined with dash boost pickups mean the Doom Slayer can traverse great distances when necessary. Much like the combat you often have to throw yourself into the platforming and see where you end up rather than taking cautious jumps. Flinging yourself off the edge of a structure and having to dash maybe 4 times in different directions is thrilling as well as different. It will certainly alienate some of the fans of the first game but n my opinion the use if it in puzzles is both challenging and inventive and sets the bar for this in first-person games.

Other than that Doom Eternal will be exactly what you want from a Doom game. The combat is brutal and punishing, the gore and lore are on-point and for people looking innovation, the weapon combinations and platforming will surprise you more and more as the game goes on. Like the first game, it is highly recommended and should help pass the time if you happen to be in isolation.

 

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