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Old 03-31-2020, 10:53 AM   #1
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The Evil Avatar DOOM Eternal Review

Title: Doom Eternal
Platform: PS4,Xbox One, PC
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Developer: id Software
Publisher: Bethesda
MSRP: $59.99
Writer: Aaron Birch

Doom Eternal Review

Rip and tear into a nigh-on perfect action FPS

Despite a troubled development, the eventual arrival of the 2016 Doom reboot was met with nothing but pure, unadulterated acclaim. Doom fans, FPS fans, and new fans praised the sublime horror show of guts, gore, and decapitations, and its simply stunning blistering and smooth shooting. This was a reboot masterclass, showing exactly how an old classic should be brought into the modern day gaming era. Before this, and the likes of Capcom's also excellent Resident Evil 2, many reboots simply failed to not only deliver the flavour of the original title, but also to modernize it correctly. Bethesda, and more importantly, id Software had no such problems, and Doom 2016 was just fantastic. Now, some four years on we finally have the next instalment in the new coming of Doom and, well, Doom Eternal doesn't merely live up to the previous title, but surpasses it in almost every way.



Whereas the 2016 Doom was a spiritual reboot of sorts to the first Doom, Doom Eternal is, as expected, the same treatment for Doom II. Set partly on Earth, it sees the Doom Slayer once again take on the forces of Hell, only this time there's much more in terms of story, and a greater amount of variety, not just in locations, but also in enemies. As Doom II upped the ante on Doom by adding more complex and varied locations and a few new enemies, not to mention the iconic Super Shotgun, so too does Doom Eternal.

Once again id has delivered a sublimely fast and silky smooth FPS that just can't be beaten in terms of sheer performance, even on console (PC players can get even more out of this beast). Running on the latest id Tech engine, The game isn't a huge improvement on the 2016 out visually, but as that already looked excellent, it's no great loss, and the quality of the art direction here is just off the charts. It mixes apocalyptic Earth locations like crumbling cities and besieged military facilities with demonic Hellscapes, the wastes of Mars, and whole new alien locations that not only deliver some variety and changes in environmental challenge, but also help to further flesh out the lore of the Doom universe, a major focus of this installment.



You see, although classed as a reboot of sorts, it turns out, without wanting to go into spoiler territory, the original PC releases do fit into this universe and the story of the Doom Slayer as a whole, something you'll uncover with glee as you play through the game. Yes, it's a Doom game that actually has substantial story elements, complete with a handful of cut scenes, but don't think this is Doom 3 pace, or the developers are shying away from the action. Oh no, Doom Eternal is even faster and more balls to the wall action that ever, it's just now been expanded on with some new features and content that only helps to solidify it as an FPS great.

The core action here is exactly as you remember it from the first game, with combat being a constant tactical reaction-fest, as you kill and main demons, use your chainsaw to get ammo, execute Glory Kills to get health, and use the flame-thrower attachment to get armour, alongside all sorts of pick-ups, of course.



The level of speed and potential for a high skill ceiling here is excellent. Although lower difficulties allow anyone to enjoy the hectic action, the higher difficulties really will give your skills a masterful workout. This can be a brutally tough game if that's your preference.

Accompanying the core combat is a range of additional mechanics, such as the return of weapon mods and weapon mastery challenges, Praetorian Suit upgrades, powerful Glyph abilities that can augment your skills, and other upgrades that help you carry more ammo, and sport more health and armour.



It's a deceptively deep system, and the Glyphs you find can only be equipped three at a time, meaning there's some room for basic character builds. Add to this your choice of weapon mods, and you've got plenty of flexibility. Weapon mods can, of course, be swapped out mid combat, giving you a myriad of ways to dole out torment.

Adding to the Doom Slayer's generally superhuman ability to cause pain and misery to demon-kind are a host of traversal abilities. You can swing from horizontal poles to reach higher grounds, stick to and climb some walls, jumping off to other walls, Uncharted-style in some platform puzzle areas, and even the Super Shotgun has a grapple that can pull you enemies, giving you an easy way to close the gap to your soon to be buckshot-filled foes.



Calm down, though, as those worries of Doom being crammed with shoehorned in and annoying platform sections can be alleviated. Even these sections, which can so easily become annoying and despised are done excellently, and they never overstay their welcome. Indeed, most of the required jumping and climbing sections are fairly easy and you can breeze through them, it's the optional, often more difficult assault courses that lead to secrets and hidden areas that can take a little longer to master. Doing so is still enjoyable, though, and often leads to one of the game's many cool new collectibles, such as the return of the Funko Pop-style figurines, original musical scores, cheat codes disks, or additional upgrades.

The challenge areas return too, this time in two different styles. The hidden encounters are found secreted in levels, and once activated give you a short time to eliminate a wave of foes. These often require quick and careful use of specific tactics to take out your foes as quickly as possible, and are part shooting and puzzle.



The slayer Gates are the major challenges. Found in each level, these gates require a hidden key to be found. Once you have this, you can opt to give the challenge a go, after which you'll reap the rewards. Both types of challenge don't refill your supplies or health should you fail, so it's a risk/reward gamble you have to consider.

And there are many rewards to be had. Along with the aforementioned secrets, there's a season-pass style collection of new skins, character poses, taunts and other items to be earned. These can be earned through story progress, completing various challenges and milestones, and in the new Battlemode, which pits one player as the Doom Slayer, against two players taking on the role of various demons.



It's this mode where the skins and other unlockables are most relevant, although should you wish to, you can also play through the campaign as a differently-skinned Doom Slayer, and he'll gladly wear this apparel in the cutscenes.

There's also the, wait for it, Fortress of Doom (so metal!) which serves as the Doom Slayer's HQ and is where you'll occasionally take a break between levels. Here you'll find a host of unlockables that can be accessed by using power cells found in the world or earn from challenges. These unlockables include weapon modes, suit tokens, and upgrade crystals, as well as a few new suits for the Doom Guy to wear, including the original 1993 Doom suit. Nice! In fact, the fan service is pretty extensive here, with plenty of nods to all classic id games, not just Doom. It even pokes fun at other big name games from other developers. Take a stroll around the Doom Slayer's quarters in the hub, and you'll find all sorts of coll little details, especially his taste in books...

When all is said and done, though, all of the extra features and content isn't simply pushed in to bloat the game and promote a fake sense of the game being bigger or better. Id Software has shown a great deal of care with these additions, and have managed to add features that only enhance the game, not reinvent or clutter it, and this has produced a sequel that surpasses its predecessor, and really doesn't put a step wrong. This really is as close to a perfect action FPS as you an get, it's that good.



If I were to nitpick, I'd say the game does tend to give too much away in terms of tactics. Every time a new enemy is introduced, the game halts, and a pop-up tutorial is shown that not only interrupts the flow of the game rather jarringly, but also tells you exactly how to kill each enemy. I'd much rather have figured that out on my own, and not have the interruptions every time a new foe entered my cross-hairs.

I'm also unsure of just how much point the weird battlepass-style reward system is. As the game has no actual battlepass or microtransactions (thankfully), it's a strange addition to have, with seasons being cycled much like those seen in the likes of Destiny or Apex. Of course, it's all free, earned with XP earned by playing, so really, I can't complain. I just found the implementation odd.



Doom Eternal is everything I'd hoped for in a sequel to the 2016 title, and much more. The addition of story and lore elements don't detract in any way from the brutal action, and when measured in terms of sheer polish and technical achievement, there are no other FPS games of this ilk that can hold a black candle to it. Doom Eternal is, simply put, a brilliant game that deserves your time, and will no doubt be a prime GOTY contender. Rip and tear, until it's done, then rip and tear some more.

Score: 5 out of 5



The Good
  • Flawless, fast and smooth FPS shooting
  • Greater variety of foes and locations
  • new features only enhance, and don't detract
  • Spectacular Soundtrack
The Bad
  • Tutorials can be overbearing
The Ugly
  • Poor Commander Keen
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Old 03-31-2020, 11:41 AM   #2
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Nice Review, Evil!

Also, great screenshots, ha.

My son bought the game and I saw him play it for about 15min and it looks amazing.

I really don't know why I haven't bought it yet.
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Old 03-31-2020, 12:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by brandonjclark View Post
Nice Review, Evil!

Also, great screenshots, ha.

My son bought the game and I saw him play it for about 15min and it looks amazing.

I really don't know why I haven't bought it yet.
That review is from our regular guy, Aaron Birch. Though, I did take a bunch of those screenshots myself, including the DOOM Unicorn guy and the Zombie Slayer. HaHa.
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Old 03-31-2020, 10:47 PM   #4
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It was pretty good, but Half Life: Alyx is much better.
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:33 AM   #5
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That review is from our regular guy, Aaron Birch. Though, I did take a bunch of those screenshots myself, including the DOOM Unicorn guy and the Zombie Slayer. HaHa.
So is the Unicorn guy just free with it, or do you have to get it via some deal? I noticed that it's available if you have Twitch Prime, but I was wondering if they were just making something that was already generally available seem like a good deal.
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Old 04-01-2020, 07:43 AM   #6
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So is the Unicorn guy just free with it, or do you have to get it via some deal? I noticed that it's available if you have Twitch Prime, but I was wondering if they were just making something that was already generally available seem like a good deal.
Link your Slayers Club account to your Twitch Prime account.
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Old 04-01-2020, 08:33 AM   #7
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It was pretty good, but Half Life: Alyx is much better.
Really?

Not exactly the same style of gameplay. It's like saying you enjoy peanut butter but like a ham sandwich more.
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:30 PM   #8
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Really?

Not exactly the same style of gameplay. It's like saying you enjoy peanut butter but like a ham sandwich more.
Valve fanboys are the worst.
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Old 04-01-2020, 09:02 PM   #9
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Link your Slayers Club account to your Twitch Prime account.
And you get the Zombie Slayer skin for signing up for the Slayers club. I unlocked the classic DOOM guy using the batteries in-game and I unlocked the 2016 DOOM guy (though he looks almost the same).
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Old 04-02-2020, 01:59 AM   #10
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Really?

Not exactly the same style of gameplay. It's like saying you enjoy peanut butter but like a ham sandwich more.
Not the same, just played them at the same time.

There really is no contest though. Doom Eternal is pretty good, but Alyx is like a genre defining game. There is nothing like it including other vr games.

Fighting face huggers and zombies in vr is fucking intense. Then they put you in pitch black rooms with a flashlight on your left arm that is fucking shaking because of how intense/real it feels.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:17 AM   #11
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I'd agree with the review. At first I was put off by the jumping but I couldn't put it down. Now it's my favorite Doom game.
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