REVIEW -The new DOOM has blasted itself in, and I could write a book about it, but I shouldn’t spoil all the fun, and also, after Pathologic 2, this is another one of those games where it gets a recommendation. It is a good game, but I have found a few things that were bothering me.
I repeat me.
After DOOM’s 2016 reboot, the story starts a bit differently, and it felt somewhat weird. Still, DOOM Slayer (no, his name is not DOOMguy), who now has a face and voice (you can turn off the latter), grabs his helmet to save the Earth (too) from the demonic forces, and it follows somewhat the same formula as the predecessor nearly four years ago: an empty region with pickups and secrets, then an arena section with enemies and a rushing soundtrack, then rinse and repeat, it starts all over. This formula might be resembling a bit like Serious Sam now that I think about it: you have to constantly be on the move, otherwise, your character will quickly die. Sure, the glory kills have remained (which, in my personal opinion, doesn’t fit the original DOOM, and now the pickups are much more rainbow coloured), which got more animations as well.
As a sort of a weapon dance until death, you have to keep on doing the rounds for your life, and if you get the rhythm, then it’s an extremely good feeling, resulting in excellent gameplay and ambience, causing the player to stick to their display for longer periods, especially if they are stuck at home. I’m not exaggerating if I say that DOOM Eternal will be the next period’s cult game. (Or it might be Call of Duty: Warzone, but that is a free-to-play title, and pricing in these times are key…) Part of the dance will be the flamethrower that can get you some armour, and the expansions to your weapon also playa role in your survival, except if you imitate Scorpion from Mortal Kombat by using the meathook on your shotgun and scream Get Over Here to knock their lights out. Learning the timing is also necessary for your chainsaw, too.
And meanwhile, you might die a few times if you aren’t prepared. The pachinko-like KRRPLUNK sound might be a bit annoying – this is what you’ll hear when you are running low on ammo (and its font looks a bit like Arkanoid…). It could be annoying when you don’t move how id Software expects you to do so. You can gain an advantage by upgrading your weapons or suit… or at least get on the same level as the otherworldly enemies. The upgrades are hidden here and there, and you will need to do some platforming to reach some of them. That doesn’t necessarily resemble the classic rules.
My problem with DOOM Eternal is that Bethesda has skipped the classic deathmatch because that wouldn’t have been DOOM. I’m saying that Battlemode, where you can invade other players’ games as a demon, isn’t DOOM. I don’t mind levelling up to gain only cosmetic upgrades for the DOOM Slayer, and it could make him turn into a unicorn if you desire so. You can also get some cheat codes here and there, there are also soundtrack extras, as well as small figures of each enemy in the game. There is replayability without a doubt. Meanwhile, our character became more dynamic – aside from the double jump, there’s also the wall climbing and that fast move forward that resembles Dishonored’s blink, without a big distance. You have to learn these as well, as the game is ruthless, and while you may not instantly die after failing, you might get significant damage that could make or break the next battle.
I also have to mention the audiovisuals – the graphics are quite demonic, thanks to the id Tech 7 engine, and the developers thought ahead by putting the frame rate limit to one thousand frames per second. Because of it, it could be quite fluid later on, and it will be a pleasure to see. Today, it can even run on a potato, if said potato is a nearly six-year-old PC build. Thankfully, the PC version had Bethesda include a Denuvo-free exe in the Bethesda.net version, meaning you can get rid of unnecessary cancer and just have a „betnet” account. What’s the performance on console? It’s surprisingly good: on PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, the frame rate slightly (!) drops from 60 FPS, but the frame rate is mostly stable. On the regular PlayStation 4/PlayStation 4 Slim and Xbox One S are also close, but the frame rate has bigger dips on these consoles. The soundtrack, in my opinion, is good, but it’s a question of taste. The sound effects are also good, aside from the previously mentioned KRRPLUNK sound. The loading times felt solid as well. The HUD is very colourful, but again, you can customise this as well.
The demons will act depending on your chosen difficulty level, and as you get closer to the Nightmare difficulty (Ultra Nightmare = permadeath, one life is all you get), they will damage more, attack more aggressively, and they will adapt their style to you. Even the second difficulty level could provide a challenge for the unprepared. DOOM Eternal deserves a nine out of ten. It’s a recommended title for purchase, but it might be a bit different from what made DOOM DOOM. The lack of ordinary multiplayer is stupid, and I’m not going to play Quake Champions when there’s Quake III Arena. So this is a good game. Let’s hope that the Nintendo Switch port will be just as good – it’s a good idea to trust Panic Button (the team that handles the port).
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– It might be a bit too different from 2016’s DOOM
– No „regular” multiplayer
Developer: id Software
Genre: FPS, platformer
Release date: March 20, 2020 (Nintendo Switch port „later”)