On Mar. 20, “Doom Eternal” was released for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Back in 2016, video game companies id Software and Bethesda Games Studio released Doom (2016), a soft-reboot of the Doom franchise. “Doom (2016)” received much praise as its portrayal of hell brought to life gameplay that represented what fans loved most about the series: killing demons and feeling badass. Four years later, “Doom Eternal,” the sequel to “Doom (2016),” showcases how amazing video games can be. “Doom Eternal” is by far the best video game yet of 2020 and easily surpasses its predecessor in so many aspects.
Starting with the gameplay, it is incredible how gratifying it feels to slay demons. Differing from “Doom (2016),” the pacing of the game is insanely fast as there is a new dash mechanic that can be performed on the ground and in the air, balanced by a plethora of new demons that will get in the player’s face. The demons in “Doom Eternal” are more aggressive and at times it feels like they are always breathing down your neck. The glory kill, a cinematic moment where you brutalize demons, returns from the previous game and is immensely satisfying. The chainsaw also returns; however, in “Doom Eternal,” it is used as an essential source to stock up on ammo, as ammo shortage is prevalent throughout the game.
“Doom Eternal” also features an abundant number of ways to upgrade the Doom Slayer’s (the protagonist) weapons. For example, if you upgrade the default shotgun, you can choose to attain sticky bombs or a machine-gun enhancement. This offers more replayability and refreshes the gameplay. There are also upgrades to make the Doom Slayer stronger as the difficulty increases throughout the game. Another lovely addition is a shoulder cannon attached to the doom slayer: it shoots either a frost grenade, which freezes enemies, or a powerful grenade that annihilates them. If all of this in the Doom Slayer’s arsenal wasn’t enough, he also has a flamethrower, which when used will cause enemies to drop armor. Armor makes a comeback in “Doom Eternal” and is essential for surviving hordes of demons. To sum up the Doom Slayer’s arsenal, you are given a whole bunch of weapons and gadgets that will need to be utilized to survive—I found myself switching back and forth among every single one.
There are several boss fights throughout the game that will test your ability to act fast without getting hit. Each of them is a threat to battle against due to how well they are designed. Overall, the gameplay in “Doom Eternal” is more brutal, fast-paced, and difficult in a satisfying way.
The graphics and design are complete eye candy in “Doom Eternal.” In areas where it is hell on Earth, it is astonishing how good it looks. Giant demons in the background, destroyed buildings, and a blood-colored sky personify what hell on Earth could look like. I found myself taking a breather from the action just to look at the terrifying, yet beautiful vistas present in levels. At one point in the game, you shoot a hole through Mars and it is a spectacle to behold. The design is amplified to look amazing as the game is optimized very well. I played the game on PC and had little to no issues with my game stuttering; as a result of the optimization, the frame rate was super smooth and further led me to believe that I was in the game. The graphics and design immerse the player in its chaos-filled levels.
In “Doom (2016),” the musical score of the game was handled by Mick Gordon. In Doom Eternal, Gordon turns up the notch of the cyber metal/heavy metal soundtrack. The soundtrack is super aggressive, which makes it sound like it’s straight out of hell. Each track flows seamlessly throughout the levels and pumps you up to slay demons. Before playing this game, I did not like the heavy metal genre of music. However, as I played the game, I realized that I was enjoying the music! It grew on me and made me feel like a badass-demon-killing machine. The soundtrack in “Doom Eternal” is one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard in a video game.
My only gripe with “Doom Eternal” is its campaign. Although the introduction sets up the game perfectly, I found myself getting lost in the story as it wasn’t focused; there was not enough context behind some parts of the story and those who did not play the previous game may be completely lost. Although the campaign was a mixed bag for me, that does not take away from the fun of killing demons, which is the focus of the game.
When I think about the greatest video games I have played, none of them have been in recent years. After finishing “Doom Eternal,” I can say that it is a masterpiece. I never thought that bumping my head to a thrash metal soundtrack while killing demons could be so fun! Although the game may lack in its storytelling, it makes up for it with its stellar soundtrack, gameplay, and visuals. “Doom Eternal” is an unforgettable experience and a must-buy for all gamers alike.