First, you might ask am I a fan of the DOOM franchise? To this, I say why yes I am. Going on 41 years old, I remember when first-person shooters were pixelated PC games like the original DOOM. 2016 saw Bethesda make a joy-filled chainsaw romp through Mars where you try to figure out what the hell happened. The game was entertaining and in typical DOOM fashion, you are given enough of a story to get you involved and the rest is strictly gameplay and demon-slaying.
That brings us to the current release of DOOM Eternal. Talking to a few of my friends and acquaintances, I heard mixed reviews. The more modern FPS players who enjoy Call Of Duty, Rainbow Six, and games of that ilk, seem to enjoy DOOM a little less. The rest seemed to thoroughly enjoy DOOM Eternal for what it is. An updated take on a classic game that started the shooter/demon-slayer craze.
I think the main issue lies within the expectations many had of this title. I know a few people didn’t expect so much jumping and climbing to be an integral part of the game. The thing is, DOOM Eternal isn’t trying to revolutionize FPS video games. DOOM 2016 and DOOM Eternal are just refreshing reinventions of the classic games. It’s fun from start to finish and while its graphics aren’t lifelike, they work incredibly well in setting the mood. This look and feel coupled with the music are just the right ingredients to get you going.
What stuck out for me at first was when I saw a commercial for DOOM Eternal. I was shocked at the choice of music for the commercial. Mainly because Rap doesn’t fit well with the game. With DE, all they had to do was use the score. That was my only gripe with the ads aside from a lack of new footage for each ad. DE and its 2016 predecessor were scored by Mick Gordon. His guitar riffs really fit well with the fight scenes. The music kicks in as fights start and it really ramps up the tension and excitement.
It’s like when Jim Carrey said they needed Battle music for real life in the movie Cable Guy. I found myself headbanging while enjoying waves of demons, pitfalls and a gruesome backdrop of a Hell plagued Earth. The game has an amazing atmosphere. It’s a landscape of ruin death and horror. From the mix of tech and horror to blowing up floating meatball demons by launching a grenade down their throat-holes, there’s tons of action.
Demons will swarm and you will chainsaw them in half. Perhaps a broken arm and curb-stomp or two on some of the weakened demons. Shoot a demon till it flashes and perform an execution move on them. They range from hilarious to I need to see that again. It doesn’t get old at all.
Add in the slayers club for you achievement hounds that need daily goals, more shinies, and accolades. You can also go back to levels that you have already beaten if you missed one of the secrets or a power-up etc.
One of the mechanics that bothered DOOM fans is the lack of Deathmatch. This is because DE launched with what is called Battle and Invasion. Just like they sound, both modes are interesting. In Battle Mode, the slayer is pitted against two other players who control demons(1V2). The slayer is fully outfitted with weapons while the Demon players not only can attack but they can spawn numerous ai demons to aid them in conquering the slayer.
I have not experienced Invasion as of yet, but the idea behind it is that your friends or other players can invade your campaign and actively hunt down and try to eliminate the slayer. This reminds me a little of Left 4 Dead or Dark Souls. It does sound like a fun time though. I’m sure plenty of slayers cursed their friend’s existence for killing them at a critical moment in the game.
There’s not much to criticize with DOOM Eternal for me anyway. The game doesn’t pretend to be anything fancy. It isn’t claiming to change the FPS genre. What it is is an honestly fun time with some damn good guitar riffs and gameplay. The skill choices while not seeming to be important immediately soon enough are. Especially the ones that allow you to jump longer and control your jump direction. I cannot stress enough how you should get those first.
In a day and age when most studios are pumping out games that lack content, aren’t fun, or are just rinse and repeat formulas of previous titles, DOOM Eternal is just a great time. Turn the lights down or off. Load the game up and just remember what gaming is supposed to be…. fun and engaging. DOOM Eternal is this and that’s just my opinion. Stay safe and healthy and remember if you see a demon, grab the shotgun, and aim for the head.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of DOOM Eternal for the Xbox One provided by Bethesda.