Doom Eternal: Ripping and Tearing has never been better!
By Rafay Faheem 12 Apr, 20
A video game series as iconic as Doom is bound to be held to an immensely high standard with each entry in the series. Being hailed as the “Godfather” of FPS games, the 2016 Doom reboot achieved what many would consider being a perfect comeback worthy of the franchise name. Blending pure gameplay satisfaction with a story that manages to just stay relevant throughout the game, finding an optimal balance was key, and Doom 2016 did just that. When the sequel, Doom: Eternal, was announced at E3 2018, I was already itching to rip and tear some more demons after running through the campaign of the first game several times over. After being delayed for almost four months, it’s finally here. And it’s definitely an intricate form of art.
A Swift Ride Through Hell
My 26 hours spent playing the story mode in Eternal, I never once felt that any aspect of the game pulled me out of the action. The great thing about Doom (and possibly the most differentiating) is that the combat puts you directly into the rage-fueled badass that is Doom Slayer. A wide variety of weapons made sure that nothing felt too overdone or repetitive. Actually, the arsenal of guns that we get throughout the game overwhelmed me at times because I kept forgetting what to use when or where for maximum efficiency. Regardless, blasting through hordes of hellspawn with a collective of three different alternating guns still felt very smooth and satisfying. The ‘punch’ that each gun holds really gives you a sense of the damage that you are dealing with an enemy, and in a game like this where it can use very well-tread the line of “damage sponge” enemies, kills were quick and clean if you knew what guns to utilize with the different types of enemies.
Guns, Gore and a whole lotta’ Metal
It would be criminal to say that the soundtrack in Eternal doesn’t do the game justice. My favorite part of every demon horde encounter is the heavy metal theme blare on in the background as I traverse through fields of demon-infested Earth blasting and blowing anyone in my sight. Mick Gordon (Music Composer) has effectively enabled the fusion of two forms of entertainment to produce an experience that comes once every few years.
I like the guns that are available in Doom: Eternal. What I don’t like is the fact that I have to remember which key most of them are binded to in order for them to be useful in a combo-chain situation. The only complaint that I had throughout my playthrough was that the gun wheel did not respond as fast I needed it to during battles. While this did not take away anything from experience, it did render my moments where I thought to myself, “Hey, I could’ve used THIS weapon too if I wasn’t busy trying to tap the number keys for the weapons that I do remember the bindings for!”. It’s a small complaint, but it is there.
The gunplay, however, feels like they took whatever made Doom 2016 so addictive and polished it more and packaged it well. And that is the single best reason why everyone should play this game. The guns feel weighty, the shooting mechanics are fluid and fast and don’t punish you or missing a few shots here and there. The Doom Slayer moves like you would expect him to, traversing laterally as much as on the floor. Sidearm abilities and grenades feel worthy of being used rather than just being a useless attachment that you would only use to complete a challenge. Killing demons in Doom: Eternal is going to be the most fun you’ve had in a very long time while playing a video game.
Enemy types vary considerably throughout the game, and it got to a point where I kept asking myself whether I’ve seen this kind of demon before or not. Keeping track of each demon and their weaknesses to certain guns kept me engaged in the tactical side of the game rather than just turning my brain off and spamming left-click until everyone was dead. Design choices were unique and cartoonish rather than realistic, but that felt right with the rest of the game art direction. I had never imagined I would see this many vibrant colors in a game about ridding Earth of demons that have invaded from Hell.
The Plot Shape
Doom: Eternal’s story picks up exactly where the first game ended. The story, for the most part, does not make you do tedious stuff that detaches you from the gameplay in any sense at all. Instead, the story compliments the Ripping and Tearing and allows you to delve deeper into the lore of the world in an interesting fashion. If I want to learn more about the Doom Slayer’s past, I just have to parkour my way up a certain ledge while still killing demons to grab a codex entry. Collectibles feel worth it to collect, and that’s a huge thing in a game that could have very easily been a completionist’s nightmare. The roughly 20-hour long story answers a lot of questions that the previous game skipped out on, and it very rarely feels like plot points are being dragged. The narrative of the game never shifts too much, and that’s a good thing because “If it ain’t broken, don’t give it a story DLC!” always works in our favor.
Doom: Eternal is a very worthy sequel to the Doom 2016 reboot in that it holds itself up and manages to outshine the first game by a large margin. Everything from the story to the gunplay and the music will keep you hooked till the very end of the game. Some minor design flaws absolutely do not contest the fact that this game is one of the best titles that we have seen so far in 2020.
A work of art
**This review has not been sponsored in any way, and all thoughts on the game are my own and have not been influenced by the game developers or any third-party. There are also no story-related spoilers in this review.**