Everybody knew that 2016’s DOOM was going to be good, but nobody could prepare for just how good it was going to be. Deliciously over the top with its ultra violence, DOOM was a love letter to a genre that was sorely in need of a kick up the pants with a boot that had an oversized chainsaw attached to it. Chances are that DOOM Eternal will be one of the games of the year,a return to action that takes everything that made the last game so good and runs wild and polishes it to a mirror finish.
You could say that we’re really really excited for DOOM Eternal. So excited in fact, that we’re about to wax lyrical about the sequel that is a confident follow-up to one of the best reboots of all time.
Well…duh. In the grand history of reboots, few games have come close let alone touched what 2016’s DOOM did when it was unleashed upon the world. Instead of taking the original source material and adding unnecessary new systems on top of it like some unholy layer cake filled with demon blood and arcane rituals gone horribly awry, DOOM stuck to the basics.
It was speed and power, amplified and let loose on a world that had forgotten just how vicious the first-person genre could be. It’s absolutely tore apart anything else on the shelves, mercilessly sticking to its guns and never looking back. This was a game that was designed to be brutal, aimed at a market who had become jaded with the current status quo of the first-person genre and who wanted to return to the glory days of run and gun action.
The point of all this?
DOOM Eternal builds upon that foundation, it takes the DNA of the previous DOOM and tinkers with its gruesome genomes even more to dial up the action to 11. There’s a legacy at play here, one that DOOM Eternal wants to do proud as it aims to become the benchmark in action once again. And that alone, has us very excited for a game that proudly wears its pedigreed status on its sleeve.
It looks downright gorgeous next-gen visuals on current-gen hardware
Yeah let’s not beat around the bush: There isn’t a single game on the market today that can make demonic devastation look as pretty as what DOOM Eternal does. You look at the last DOOM game and even after four years it happens to be more gorgeous than the sun setting over a chainsaw dripping with cyberdemon blood.
DOOM Eternal looks like an even more delicious showcase for developer Id software, building upon the latest advancements in graphical technology to create something that looks devilishly handsome. While it’s a given that PS4 Pro and Xbox One X players will have something amazing to gawk at, special mention has to be given to the PC version which is throwing even more options into the pot than ever before.
With Id Tech 7 on full display, DOOM Eternal is basically a brand new engine that throws next-gen detail at your eyeballs within the confines of present day hardware. There’s an obscene amount of detail littering every corner of the screen, a staggering amount of overt and covert additions to the game engine that unfold across massively gargantuan maps.
That layer of detail has been fine-tuned even further, with demons now having more heft and presence to their animation while also looking the part with gruesome attacks and exceptional rendering that makes them look more grotesque than ever before. All this and a new eye on how the visuals of violence are delivered as the Doom Slayer rips and tears through demons, his actions annihilating anything in front of him and transforming even the mightiest soldiers of hell into nothing more than a pile of bloody chunks.
Whatever your platform of choice and the options available to you, chances are that DOOM Eternal is going to look hellishly good no matter what you play it on.
Movement and action evolved
Two factors that defined DOOM in 2016 and have now been heightened to new levels of ferocity in DOOM Eternal. While the core focus of DOOM Eternal is a constant motivation to bulldoze your way through the hordes of the damned, there’s a new element at play here with a mid-air double dash that propels you headfirst into a Cacodemon and eviscerate it with a gung-ho attitude.
This time Hell is prepared for you, but the rage of the DOOM Slayer is one that cannot be contained by a mere horizontal plane of enemies, instead giving you a vertical arena with which to ply your deadly trade and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. It’s up to you to mix and match these new traversal mechanics, helped by a gory new grappling hook at the end of your shotgun and push past the pain to chain in a glory kill that rewards you with health and armour to keep fighting.
Back at QuakeCon 2018, DOOM Eternal creative director Hugo Martin still described these mechanics as something that would make the game and its world feel bigger than ever. “If you make a faster race car, you gotta build a bigger race track,” Martin said at the time. The man may have been on to something, because the very second that DOOM Eternal starts, it does so with all cylinders blazing.
It’s Metal AF
I mean how can you look at DOOM Eternal and not want to don a battle jacket while busting out your Zippo lighter while blasting a bit of Slayer’s raining blood in the background? DOOM Eternal picks up right where the 2016 game left off, but this time the action shifts away from the red sands of Mars and straight to Terra Firma.
Hell has come to Earth, and the infamous realm of suffering has unleashed eons of torment on a planet ill-equipped for the infinite army of the damned. Naturally, cities have been painted red with the blood of millions, demons now rule the land and everything is on fire. That doesn’t just make DOOM Eternal metal to the max on the visual side of things, but it’ll also sound the part thanks to Mick Gordon returning to put his own devilish spin on the sequel.
Give me a hell yeah and throw some horns if you’re ready to experience hell on earth with a shotgun at your side.
The multiplayer looks like an absolute blast this time around
Right, let’s be honest here: DOOM 2016’s multiplayer was perfectly alright, but it never set the world on fire. With DOOM Eternal, Id Software is looking to make up for that misstep by going all in on a new mode that is bold to say the least. Called Battlemode, DOOM Eternal’s take on multiplayer is akin to a game of cat and mouse, if the cat was an obese demon waddling about with massive plasma cannons and the mouse was an immortal soldier with an undying rage that even an ocean of blood could not quench.
Battlemode is a two on one game of survival, where players can step into the skin of demons such as the Revenant, Archvile, Pain Elemental, Mancubus, and Marauder while a player-controlled DOOM Slayer hunts them down. It’s easy enough to understand: Kill or be killed, but with enough strategy thrown into the mix to give this mode a hell of a lot of depth that’ll remain fun long after launch day has come and gone.
Everything has an upgrade
DOOM 2016 didn’t just give you a shotgun with which to rearrange demon faces. It gave you a weapon of mass destruction that could be augmented to deliver almighty surgical strikes to anything foolish enough to get in your way, an idea that every gun in the game benefitted from as new attachments were unlocked and your arsenal improved with every kill.
DOOM Eternal doesn’t stray too far from that path, as weapon upgrade points allow you to tinker with your favourite death-dealers and transform them into two-handed extinction events. The Praetor armour hasn’t been forgotten about either, as you’re now able to enhance your overall pool of health, armour and ammo storage wit sentinel crystals.
Lastly, Runes allow you to augment your natural ability to slay like there’s no tomorrow, adding new abilities to the mix that’ll once again transform you into a one-man army. Like a good Daft Punk song once said, you’ll be fighting Harder, Better, Faster and Stronger the further you descend into the pits of hell.
DOOM Eternal drops on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on March 20. A Nintendo Switch arrives later this year for hell on the go.
Last Updated: February 28, 2020