Published on March 26th, 2020 | by gareth0
DOOM Eternal Sets A New Standard For First Person Shooters
DOOM has always been a very special franchise for me especially considering it was the first game that I played online and have watched it go from matches on local bulletin boards to the onset of Internet gaming. Bethesda’s reboot breathed new life into the franchise which while iconic; have largely been dormant since the early 2000’s.
DOOM Eternal brings the DOOM Slayer back to very intense, challenging, and visually spectacular new adventure which will challenge and delight fans of the series.
Players must face unending legions of demons and other creatures as they battle through multiple locales to save humanity.
While the core concept of getting to an endpoint in the level remains the same; the approach is far more difficult and complicated this time around than any other game in the series. The levels are stunningly gorgeous and this visual splendor offsets the unending waves of enemies that come at you with relentless attack after attack.
Players do have the ability to jump and boost their way across areas which does allow them to make some quick getaways; but when the enemies often use a swarm tactic; a hit-and-run approach is essential.
Players have an impressive arsenal of weapons ranging from shotguns, plasma weapons, rocket launchers, machine guns, and more all of which can be upgraded by acquiring tokens throughout the game. Upgrades allow for greater diversity such as taking a weapon from a sniper configuration to a rocket launcher complete with unlimited rockets until your ammunition supply is depleted. Many weapons also have an alt-fire mode such as having a rapid fire vs a launcher mode for a shotgun.
The player also has a suit mounted grenade launcher which can be toggled from a standard explosive to Cryo grenade which recharges over time. Like weapons; players can also upgrade their suits with tokens found throughout the game and one upgrade allows players to drop two grenades prior to recharge. The suit also offers a flamethrower which is good for keeping enemies at bay and getting them to release valuable armor when set ablaze.
One of the biggest challenges I found was that ammunition often ran out and in the midst of a prolonged battle; having to rely simply on my Blood Punch, grenade launcher, or flamethrower was tricky. Thankfully my good friend the chainsaw comes into play as not only does it allow players to brutally cleave enemies; it allows them to recover all sorts of health and ammunition from the eviscerated foes. When enemies have reached a staggered point if they had not been destroyed out right; players can do a brutal finishing move on them which is as gory and amusing as you could possibly imagine. I can tell you that I took no small amount of joy in taking down some of the larger opponents in the game with a brutal finishing move. Later in the game players will get a couple of very special weapons that really help even the score as the intensity mounts and this is something that I’m sure all action fans will truly delight in.
It should be noted that DOOM Eternal does have quite a few puzzles most of which are of the “timed jump” variety. This is a very frustrating aspect of gaming or me as I enjoy a run and gun approach and having to do precision timed leaps across great distances and onto moving and dangerous objects repeatedly was at times highly frustrating. More than once I found my gameplay grind to a halt by simply trying to make a difficult leap. Fortunately I found that often just taking a break from the game had miraculous results as I amazingly seem to conquer all my frustrating challenges the very next time I played the game.
I put in approximately 24 hours of gameplay into completing the game but it should be noted that some of this was taken up with my exploration of my Fortress as well as time analyzing my various update options.
The game does have an adjustable skill setting which is ideal because even season gamers may find the standard difficulty of the game overly challenging because it is incredibly fast and intense and sets a new standard for first-person shooters.
Aside from the time jumps the biggest difficulty for me was adjusting to the new style of multiplayer. I had long enjoyed co-op and various forms of Deathmatch in my DOOM games but when Bethesda and gamers expressed disappointment on how this mode was outsourced and not up to standards in the last game; Bethesda opted for mode that allows three players; to playing his demon bosses to challenge a Demon Slayer.
While it is enjoyable for me in small doses; it did not draw me in the same way that traditional multiplayer has but I am more than willing to stick with it and see if it grows on me. I also hope that somewhere down the line Bethesda will consider adding in a more traditional multiplayer mode perhaps as part of the planned DLC for the game.
In the end DOOM Eternal sets a new standard and is a very strong candidate for Game of the Year as it is a very beautiful and engaging adventure that mixes adrenaline rushes and competitive frustration to create something truly special.
4.5 stars out of 5