It’s time my Slayers, time for some blood spurtin’, guts spewin’, demon killin’, guitar riff, rip and tear Doom action. That is the whole game in a nutshell. Yeah, there’s some story in there, but it’s really not important here. Doom knows what it is and is at it’s best when it focuses on that. Put on your Slayer helmet and grab your BFG as we review Doom Eternal.
When we last left Doomguy, he had just saved Mars from the demons but was betrayed and captured by Dr. Samual Hayden. Then… some stuff happens and then we pick up two years later with Doomguy having escaped, acquired his own Justice League Watchtower, and earth in the clutches of a full on demon invasion. I’m getting my gripes with the game out of the way first; it’s so abrupt where the story picks up that it feels like there was an entire game missing that was supposed to bridge the two. I know most, if not all players are not here for the story, and that’s perfectly fine. Doom has never been known for its story. But this game does have a story. It dives into the backstory of this iteration of Doomguy, it world builds with lore and codex… it just left me wanting more. I wish it was presented better and more fully, but it’s a minor gripe. We aren’t here for a bedtime story; WE’RE HERE TO RIP AND TEAR DEMONS APART!!! And this is where the game shines.
Playing Doom Eternal is a visceral and cathartic experience in the best way. The game does not hold your hand. It gives you a shotgun and pushes you off the high dive to belly flop into a pool of demons. The controls are tight, and the gameplay is challenging. When you feel like you’re getting used to all the demons, it throws another one at you to challenge your sanity. As the difficulty ramps up, so does your arsenal. The game gives you plenty of guns and mods so that you always have a fighting chance. Every gun feels polished and great to use. The game isn’t always great when it “tries” to explain how to defeat later enemies and bosses, but it never feels cheap. You always feel like there’s a fighting chance, even when it frustrates the hell out of you.
The only other complaint I have, and it’s a very minor complaint, is that the game can get a little monotonous after a while. There are some levels that are a little boring. You realize that all that this game is is running to an area, shoot everything run to next area, rinse and repeat over and over again. I got bored a few times. But that was few and far in between and it feels like the game knows when it’s starting to get boring and introduces a new gun or enemy. Again, if you’re here for Doom, you know what you’re getting into and the game knows this.
Doom Eternal is the sequel that doubles down on everything that people loved from its predecessor. It’s a fun game that works well in short burst. You bored? Kill some demons. You upset over something? Rip off a head or 10. You got cabin fever from self-quarantine? Chainsaw a few body’s into a bloody pulp. I wish they gave a story a little more care considering all the backstory and interesting lore that’s there, but Doom knows what Doom is about. If you’re a fan of Doom 2016 or Doom in general, this will be a great game for you. If you’re someone who hasn’t played Doom before but you’re interested, I would say check it out, and you’ll have a lot of fun as long as you like a lot of shooting and blood and guts. Stay inside and rip and tear the forces of hell apart.