DOOM ETERNAL: REVIEW
Despite Doom being one of the most iconic first-person shooter titles that propelled the genre into popularity, its developer id Software struggled to create a modern incarnation until 2016. The return of the iconic "Doomguy" was met with high acclaim thanks to a shift to faster-paced action that maintained the original games’ endless hordes of demons, hard-rocking soundtrack and an incredibly fun arsenal of weapons while introducing new mechanics and high-flying mobility. Doom Eternal brings back all the good demon-slaying and improves upon the frantic game-play of its predecessor.
Doom Eternal picks up where the original left off with "Doomguy", now better known as the Slayer, a bad-ass human with godlike powers that strike fear into hell’s armies, landing on Earth. With the apocalypse in full swing, he must continue his mission of beating the armies of hell back where they came from. The story is told through in-game cut-scenes, mostly through the hulking silent protagonist’s eyes, between missions in the game’s campaign. While fairly basic in nature, it sets the adrenaline-fueled over-the-top action movie tone perfectly.
Speaking of tone, the game’s overall presentation is superb, even on the base PlayStation 4 which we used for this review. Demonic foes all look fierce and well detailed with genuinely menacing animations. The overall frame rate is mostly smooth even during chaotic scrums filled with particle effects. There were only a few dips in performance during a few platforming sections but they weren’t severe enough to take away from the experience.
Doom is all about the shooting and blowing up of hell spawn that are out to dismantle the Slayer, and that is where Eternal receives its predecessor’s baton faithfully and with a few more tricks up its sleeve. The way you choose to rip and tear through enemies is now an even more important choice. While ammo can still be grabbed by taking a chainsaw to some fodder demon’s face and performing a satisfying Glory Kill will net some health pickups, there are a few more options at your disposal. The new Flame Belch ability will light any demon scum on fire, causing them to periodically drop armor fragments. Kill an engulfed demon and you’ll be showered with even more fragments. Glory Kills now also recharges a new melee ability called the Blood Punch which can be upgraded in numerous ways to generate more health drops and big AoE damage.
As for upgrades and collectibles, Doom Eternal has those in spades. Aside from the Funko-like toys that are now expanded to include adorable versions of the demons you slaughter, you’ll now also find hidden vinyl records and cheat code floppies. The latter can be used during mission select to help you find any missing items you have without affecting your progression. There are also several ways to power up your Slayer, from suit boosts that enhance your ability to traverse and explore to Runes that allow for significant play-style changes.
Doom Eternal is an intense and frantic first-person shooter experience that takes the fast-paced rip and tear formula of 2016’s Doom and turns it to 11. With metal-head beats, a gamut of weapons and abilities, and adrenaline-pumping combat, Doom Eternal is a game you don’t want to pass on, Socially Gaming gives it a 7/10.
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