Sunday 12 July 2020

Doom Eternal ★★★★☆

‘Doom Eternal’ is everything that the 2016 remake of ‘Doom’ was, but turned up to maximum on the crazy and gore scale. That's to say, if you loved ‘Doom’ then you will absolutely adore this sequel that makes changes to the core systems in all the right ways. The story follows on from the 2016 reboot and now takes place as Earth has been overrun by Hell’s most heinous demonic creatures. You, of course, play as the Doom Slayer who is here to do one thing… Rip and tear!

If you played the 2016 reboot then you will feel right at home here. The combat feels a lot like the first, fast and fluid but with some new added toys and mechanics. For instance, the Doom Slayer has some new toys to play with such as the flamethrower, which lights enemies on fire and lets you shoot them to allow armour to explode out of their bodies. Combat is always a balancing act of running and gunning in the ‘Doom’ series, getting glory kills to refill health or using the chainsaw to make your enemies shatter into supplies such as ammo or health.

This, for lack of a better word, seesaw gameplay is really intuitive and makes you think about all your moves during a combat encounter. It is the smart person’s first-person shooter and, even on normal difficulty, if you just run expecting to blast everything away then you will be in for a rude awakening. I will say that, having not played ‘Doom’ since its release in 2016 I was a bit rusty to start off with, and the developers throw you right in at the deep end at the start of the game. If this is your first ‘Doom’ game it might be a bit bewildering and turn people off if they are dying over and over again on the first encounter.

The graphics are absolutely top tier, with every environment carefully thought out. There are some truly hellish vistas to look out upon – one, in particular, was gruesomely striking (and you’ll know which one I mean if you’ve played it already). The creature designs are so grotesque, especially when you are completing glory kills and literally ripping heads off them or severing their bodies in half with a chainsaw. If I’m honest I’m surprised that the graphics can keep up considering how much can be happening on screen at any one time, and the pace at which the game moves.

The length and repeatability of the game are also excellent. The game will take you through 15 - 20 hours of action-packed nonsense and maybe even more if you are trying to find every secret available to 100% the game. There is also an extra life mode which has more of an arcade feel to it – you start the game with one life but find extra lives hidden throughout the levels. Once you run out of lives then it is game over. There is also a player vs player mode that feels a little bit like an afterthought if I’m honest. I haven’t spent too much time in it but it is quite fun, especially playing as the demons that you spent so long killing in the main story!

At the end of the day, Doom wears its pro's and cons on its sleeves. It's very obvious that they are trying to be one thing and that's a gamers’ game. It holds nothing back and is pure fun in all of its grotesque ways. If you loved ‘Doom’ from 2016, then you will adore this game, but if you weren’t into it then I doubt there is anything here that will change your mind.

I will say though, this is the most fun I have had in a game in years. I didn't really get into the story (it’s 100% not a story-driven game), but it is so entertaining that this honestly doesn’t matter.

Hannah Read

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