The much anticipated sequel to Doom 2016, Doom Eternal hit fan's library's/Shelves on Friday March 20th with a Blood punch of note and believe me, I even felt it. Was the delayed release date worth the wait, well lets gear up Slayers and find out!
We start with the introduction of the games story of Earth's invasion, with the Doom Slayer, along with Vega explaining what has occurred. We soon find out demonic forces have wiped out 60% of the planet's population, under the now-corrupted Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC). There are new entities at play here and it is up to you, the Doom Slayer, to save Earth and restore the balance. There is a lot of collectable Lore throughout the game that is really so well done and explains a lot of History about the Doom Slayer and Doom Eternal's story line.
Jumping straight into the game play and what the player can expect to experience moving forward in Doom Eternal. I was first caught off guard with the new game play mechanics, coming from Doom 2016 and having to wrap my head around the way the game flows now. You need to take a step or two back and get use to the weapons, the lack of ammo, no pistol to aid you and your new best friend, the Chainsaw!
Hugo Martin was right when he said "You start off with your Yellow Belt and as you progress throughout the game, you will get to your Black Belt" and he was not joking either. This is of course not all Doom and Gloom here, it actually makes the game a lot more interesting. I really appreciated the fact that ID Software didn't pour a second coat of paint over what they did previously with Doom 2016, but rather explored a fresh new way of playing Doom.
As you progress, more Demons get introduced and they now have "Weak Spots" which you can use to your advantage. Even when your work area gets busy, I found there was plenty of opportunity to access your battleground and use these weak spots to your advantage. They have included a lot more Demons in Eternal and some are really Bad Ass, like beyond ridiculous type of Bad Ass! The most notable mention would have to be the Marauder Demon. This guy is very fast, he will blast you away with a super shotgun at close range and throw an Axe at you for far range. You have to keep medium distance and move around constantly. He only opens up with a little space to attack, otherwise he blocks everything else. To top this all, he releases a guide Wolf that hunts the Slayer down as well. They really did put a lot of time and thought into the design of the various Demons.
These Demons need to be punished by the Slayer and he has a vast line up of weapons to get the job done. The Weapons have 2 mod attachments and various leveling systems/challenges attached to each one for the player to complete. Later on in the game, they introduce Weapon Mastery Coins, which allows faster leveling up if you so desire. The Praetor suit has leveling options once again via Coins you find throughout the game levels. You can level up your Health, Armour and Ammo by finding these blue crystal stations. Runes are back and you can have 3 active at once. There is a total of 9 to unlock. Over and above this, there is various level challenges and Time Event challenges which will keep you busy.
The Slayer also has some new abilities added to his personal arsenal being the double strafe movement system. This system allows you to dodge a Demon really quickly and adds a whole new dynamic to the mix, along with still being able to Double Jump. These abilities are timed and need a short period to recharged before being used again. One really nice thing is this has been given to the player really early on in the game. There is also a lot of platform jumping and the introduction of wall climbing. This lends to rather interesting movement and creative map exploration.
Furthermore, the slayer has Frag Grenades and Ice Bombs which can be fired off his shoulder, so you can decide which one to use by changing the mod mid battle if you like. There is also a flamethrower mod, which burns Demons and throws Armour at the Slayer and the most loved Glory Kills have returned, which allows Health to drop for the player. All this equipment allows the player to be more strategic when in battle which I really enjoyed a lot.
The Slayer now has a Fortress, where the player goes to after completing a level, in order to explore, unlock new Praetor Suits, view Collectables that have been found during levels and so forth. There is a lot of Collectables scattered throughout the game that you will need to find and everything can viewed in the Slayers Fortress. Anything from Collectable toys, various music from other ID games and Doom, cheat codes, etc ... So start searching!
You also get Slayer Keys in the level, which unlocks a Slayer Gate near by. This is a very challenging area of combat and the Demons are tough as nails, so go in prepared. This will allow you to unlock the Unmaykr with Empyrean Keys you collect and take back with you to the Slayers Fortress. The great thing about all these challenges, secrets, etc is that if you do not manage to compete them all on your first run, you can revisit levels again post game to take another crack at it.
I played the game on PC via Steam and I must say that the performance was flawless for the most part. Yes there was a few areas here and there were a glitch would occur, but nothing that required me having to reload a "last checkpoint" save in order to overcome this. I was playing the game in 1440p, 144Hz with max settings (i7 8086k, 16GB Ram, 2080 Ti) and it ran beautifully and I have to say that people with lower end hardware will not have an issue running Doom Eternal and still being able to soak in the amazing graphics. There is a lot of graphical settings that the player can customize for their personalized experience. Even the areas which got really busy, I didn't notice a huge drop in FPS either. It runs just as well as Doom 2016 in my opinion and especially for just being launched and not receiving any updates as of yet.
Overall I must say that Doom Eternal has really met and far exceeded my expectations. The game is seriously action packed, they have given a really fresh new feel to the game in terms of the game play mechanics, new Demons, weapons, etc. I really just kept smiling and swearing of course at the challenging parts, but it was a breathe of fresh air to experience. They have taken the game in a new direction and I want to keep following in that direction with them. There is a lot more that can be said about Doom Eternal, but honestly you need to experience this game for yourself. Take a double jump in the Slayers boots. you will not be disappointed.
Doom Eternal is available on PC via Steam and Bethesda, Ps4 and Xbox One.