If you have never played Doom, but love shooters, you can close this review and run to the store to buy the game (or order it online). If you’ve played Doom, feel free to do the same. If you managed to play a game, then sit back and compare your impressions. And if you are a demon, then I advise you to run away faster, my chainsaw can do “GRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRRZRR!”
The storyline of Doom Eternal
With Mars sorted out, now the hot spot is the Earth, take the shotgun in hand and let’s rock! This is how the new installment of the series begins, the direct storyline sequel to Doom 2016. As it was in Doom 3, the plot in Eternal is not just for show, here we have a full-fledged story, which now smacks of fantasy. The plot is generally simple. Doomguy returns to Earth in his spaceship, Doom Stronghold, and examines the situation through the greenish glass of his helmet. Demons have flooded our (still our) planet and are full of confidence to take over it. After asking the ship’s AI to hold the bottle of beer, the paratrooper in reserve jumps into the portal in the hope of an adventure for 20 minutes but discovers that he needs to find three priests of Hell and destroy them. Although, in general, two: the first priest will be found by Doomguy in 5 minutes, the only thing to do is to find the rest. The plot, unusually for a series, is presented through notes and numerous (more than one) screensavers, without disturbing the player who came to sow death.
Gameplay and Weapons
Developers of the Doom Eternal decided to get rid of the unnecessary pistol from the previous game in the series as a starting weapon, giving the player a shotgun right away. Like any other weapon, the shotgun can be used mainly from two additional modes. So, at the touch of a button, a shotgun can be transformed into a sniper rifle or a mini-rocket launcher, and a plasma gun turns into a spark arc generator or a directed microwave, which incinerates all life in its path.
The battles in Doom Eternal have changed a lot compared to the same Doom of 2016. The game has become much more impetuous: if you hesitated even for one second – restart from the checkpoint. The difficulty curve has gone up a lot, and even in normal mode, you won’t be able to relax. Enemies are pouring from all cracks, the number of ammo is limited, the player is in constant search of both ammo and first-aid kits, but there are not so many of them scattered around. Finishing off critically wounded opponents has not gone away and in a situation of a shortage of first-aid kits are useful – this heals our Doomguy. And with the help of a chainsaw, effectively cutting the demon, you can get yourself more ammo and health. Now the game has placed a lot of emphasis on pumping, because, in addition to weapons, you can improve not only health, armor, and ammunition, but also buff quick finishing moves with runes, improve secondary weapons with crystals, and also pump additional parameters, such as protection against barrel explosion, etc.
Pumping gives another undoubted plus: on the maps, the player can fight back demons in hidden skirmishes or even entire arenas that are much more difficult than levels you need a walkthrough to complete the game. You can win them by fulfilling several conditions: just survive, kill a certain number of enemies in a limited time, or use a certain weapon (the game does not clearly say about this, but you can guess). You can return to some of these tests from Doomguy’s lair, so it is better to postpone difficult battles and thoroughly prepare or visit them during a New Game+. And be sure that you will WANT to play it second (and maybe even third) time in a row. The game is very addicting in terms of gameplay. It can be compared to the new Australian online casino in terms of replayability.
Fans of sniffing every corner in the game will not be disappointed, since each level is stuffed with secrets, and finding every last one is no easier task than killing two cacodemons with one shot. In addition to the hidden battle arenas, the player will have to find a ton of collectible figures, pages with lore, music records, and even … floppy disks with cheat codes. Yes, the developers have officially built cheats into the game, the player can complete the game with them and get all the achievements (easy Platinum Trophy); the only restriction is that the player will not be able to get into the very hidden areas mentioned above. Cheats activate not only ordinary things, like endless ammo but even IDDQD – immortality. Having collected all the floppy disks, the player will even have the opportunity to chop into two classic Doom parts on a special terminal while playing Doom Eternal.
In all this diversity, one shouldn’t forget about the two coolest things in the game – music, and combat. Mick Gordon’s compositions have now reached a new level, they have become even more aggressive, plus some of the tracks used a chorus or just vocals. Of course, these are not the melodic tunes of K-pop groups, but the throat singing that can often be heard in the songs of metal bands. Apart from the game, the soundtrack will be difficult to listen to, but the conductor of Hell gave his best by 146% to make the game sound its best. Meditative music perfectly fits the epic landscapes of the levels, where gigantic humanoid robots pierce demons of the same size who have decided to look at the light of the Earth with a spear. And when the theme changes to piercingly fast and heavy metal tracks during difficult battles, such a contrast gives goosebumps.
The combat mechanics
Doom still does not disappoint one bit with its combat. The beginning of the game is rather unpleasant – there is a shortage of ammunition, low health level – but this strange feeling disappears when the player pumps a little and finds several new guns. No, the demons don’t stop running after you, but this beautiful waltz with a change of weapons, where it takes you about half a second to make decisions, is worth all the difficulty that awaits the player. The further, the more interesting it becomes to play, the bosses do not let you get bored. The design of the locations for the battle is thought out with incredible meticulousness. Also, now there is variety in the form of vertical movement: Doomguy learned to crawl on some surfaces and swing on poles sticking out of the walls – this will give new sensations, although not everyone will like it.
Doom Eternal turned out to be far from what everyone was expecting, but in my opinion, this is the best shooter since Doom of 2016. Feels like – not even a sequel, the game immediately took the bar of the trick, as it became much better than the previous game, which often bored with monotony. The only disappointment was multiplayer: they removed Deathmatch, adding modes where the player can fight on the side of the demons. Eternal is honey not only for ears but also for eyes, owners of powerful PCs can overclock id Tech 7 engine to incredible speeds while getting a juicy picture (where Raytracing will be added a little later), which makes the game one of the most beautiful in this generation.