Doom Eternal – Review

Doom Eternal is a fast-paced shooting game with a focus on exploring the map. This game does not disappoint when it comes to graphics, sound or gameplay. The story is interesting, but it can be a bit hard to follow at times. However, this does not detract from the overall experience. I would recommend this game to anyone who likes sci-fi action games with lots of gore and gore (which is what Doom Eternal is all about).

Doom Eternal - Review
Doom Eternal – Review

Doom Eternal is a game that has been a long time coming. After the amazing success and critical acclaim of the 2016 reboot, Doom Eternal had a lot to live up to. This game promised a bigger campaign, more demons, more weapons, more ways to kill them in, new mechanics and more secrets to find. It’s safe to say that id Software have delivered on every single front.

As we all know the campaign of Doom 2016 was very short, but it was not all about length. Yes it was short but what made it so good was the quality of the experience. It’s hard for me to say if Doom Eternal has topped the quality of its predecessor but what I can say is that this is one of the best campaigns I have ever played.

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From start to finish Doom Eternal is full of surprises and keeps you guessing what will come next. The story itself is nothing special but at times it does get interesting and there are plenty of secrets for you to find if you want to take a break from all the action.

The world that id Software has created is massive and filled with plenty of hidden areas for you to explore and discover some really powerful upgrades for your equipment or suit. Some areas also tie into some really cool platforming sections.

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Initial release date: 20 March 2020
Engine: id Tech 7
Series: DOOM
Composer: Mick Gordon
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia
Developers: id Software, Panic Button Games

Gameplay

Eternal features a number of improvements over its predecessor that make it feel more like a proper sequel than a spiritual successor. The melee system is much more fleshed out this time around, allowing you to chain together glory kills as you dash between enemies with your chainsaw and blood punch abilities.

Glory kills are still amazingly satisfying, but they’re also much easier to pull off now that the game gives you a window of invulnerability when an enemy starts flashing red (even if you can’t quite reach them).

There are also some new weapons and abilities, including an ice bomb that lets you freeze enemies in place and then shatter them with another weapon or ability. But my favorite addition is easily the flame belch, which lets you spread fire.

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Doom Eternal is a very familiar sequel that brings back a lot from the previous entry while adding some new twists and turns. Like last time, you play as the Doom Slayer (or Doomguy), a really angry space marine armed with a shotgun and a whole mess of bad guys to obliterate.

While the story is somewhat convoluted—the end result is that hell has come to Earth and you need to shoot your way through demonic hordes to stop them—the plot is only there so there can be reasons for you to kill things in increasingly inventive ways as fast as possible.

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I’ve been a fan of the Doom series since I was a kid, and I’m still amazed at how well it holds up. There’s something magical about the way id Software keeps pushing the envelope with its unique brand of frantic, fast-paced first-person shooting.

The 2016 reboot was a fantastic return to form for the series. It wasn’t just a great shooter, but also an excellent modern reimagining of a game that helped define the genre in the 90s, as well as a helluva good time. The follow-up, Doom Eternal, is even better in every way.

Doom Eternal is absolutely stuffed with a huge variety of different activities, weapons and options. There are always multiple ways to approach every fight and tons of toys at your disposal to help you do that.

It’s one of those games where the best way to play is the one that’s the most fun for you, and there’s so much versatility baked into it that I never felt like I was being pushed into a specific style of play. If you want to maximize your high score, you might prefer a very calculated approach to taking out enemies in order, but if you just want to blow off some steam, there are so many ways to go crazy.

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Doom Eternal starts relatively small, but by the end of it things have gotten absolutely bonkers. The weapons you start with are essentially upgraded versions of Doom 2016’s shotguns, pistols and minigun-style chaingun.

You can unlock three new weapon upgrades each by completing Slayer Gates (mini arenas where waves of increasingly tough enemies spawn until you kill them all) and killing demons in novel ways in combat, which encourages experimentation and rewards different styles of play. Want more health from Glory Kills? Play aggressively. Want more ammo from Blood Punches? Use your chainsaw.

The fast pace is kept up by your need to constantly stay on the move in order to keep up with the always-challenging enemies and their constant barrage of projectiles. 

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You’re always encouraged to go in guns blazing because you’ll replenish your health by performing glory kills on staggered enemies, while chainsaw kills will grant you ammo for your more powerful weapons. 

This works in tandem with a new feature called “destructible demons,” which means that shooting different parts of an enemy will do different things. For example, consistently shooting an enemy in their legs will slow them down, shooting them in the arm will drop their weapon, and so on. 

This is incredibly useful for planning ahead against new enemies or even when replaying encounters.

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The highlight of Doom Eternal’s multiplayer is a new mode called Battlemode. Rather than pitting two teams of players against each other, Battlemode puts one player in the role of a Slayer against two players that control demons. 

As the Slayer, you have access to all the weapons and equipment you’ve unlocked in the campaign, but as a demon you have much more limited options. 

Each of the game’s demons has a set of abilities and equipment that look different than what we saw in Doom 2016, but their basic function is pretty similar: One demon is great for close-range combat where it can use its mobility to avoid being hit by the Slayer’s powerful weapons, another excels at long-range attacks, and there’s also one that sucks up health from enemies so it can be healed. 

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In addition to your typical demon abilities, each demon can also equip an artifact to help it out in battle. These artifacts give you access to extra abilities like being able to see where the Slayer is moving or even call in reinforcements like other demons or a barrage of rockets from above.

It’s a cleverly designed mode that offers each team unique strategic opportunities. The Slayer runs around the map trying to kill the demons with his armory of weapons and Doom-style glory kills, and the demons try to capture control points around the map to summon reinforcements and make the Slayer’s job more difficult.

Doom Eternal’s Battlemode is a clever asymmetrical battle that pits one player-controlled Doom Slayer against two player-controlled Demons. It’s a brilliant addition to Doom Eternal, and it’s a strong example of how to bring asymmetrical multiplayer into an otherwise traditional game in a way that feels true to the core experience.

As the Slayer, your goal is straightforward: kill both Demons before they kill you. As the Demons, your job is to prevent the Slayer from doing this. The Slayer is aided by his superhuman reflexes and massive arsenal, while the Demons can use their unique abilities—as well as the environment—to turn the tables on him when he least expects it.

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It’s a cleverly designed mode that offers each team unique strategic opportunities. The Slayer runs around the map trying to kill the demons with his armory of weapons and Doom-style glory kills, and the demons try to capture control points around the map to summon reinforcements and make the Slayer’s job more difficult.

When it comes to getting the most out of Doom Eternal’s multiplayer, you can’t simply jump online and expect to dominate. There’s a much steeper learning curve in Battlemode, which pits one player as the mighty Doom Slayer against two players who control a variety of demons. 

Each round has the two demons work together in an attempt to kill the Doom Slayer while he tries to hunt them down and slaughter them both. While I’m not usually a fan of asymmetrical multiplayer games, I have to admit that Battlemode is pretty fun because it feels like a natural extension of what makes Doom Eternal so great in the first place.

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The Slayer takes control like he does in the single-player campaign, with a variety of guns and abilities at his disposal, but the demons are where things get interesting. 

The initial cast of available bad guys includes the Revenant, Mancubus, Marauder, Archvile, and Pain Elemental. Each demon controls differently and has its own distinct abilities that allow it to serve a specific role on the battlefield. Some are more offensive while others are better at support or defense; they each come with three different abilities that can be used repeatedly as long as your energy bar holds out.

Storyline

The story picks up pretty much immediately where 2016’s Doom left off, with a new threat emerging from Hell after your heroic efforts in that game. As you battle your way through Earth and Heaven to take on this new menace, the gameplay is a constant escalation of intensity. 

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It always seems like just when things are getting to their most hectic point, another layer or mechanic is added or a powerful new enemy type is thrown into the mix—but since they’re revealed gradually over time and you always get plenty of practice before being forced to use them in combat, they never feel overwhelming.

Eternal wastes no time in letting you know that it means business from the outset. Where Doom opens with a brief tutorial before letting you loose on the demons that threaten Mars, Eternal begins by throwing you into hell itself for a frantic chase scene that serves as both an introduction to all your abilities and a demonstration of how much faster and more aggressive this game is than before. 

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The Marauder is among the first enemies you face, a horned demon wielding a massive axe who can also shoot fireballs from his other hand.

As the hero/iconic space marine of the game, you have to single-handedly exterminate a demonic invasion on Earth. You’ve got a whole arsenal of heavy weaponry at your disposal, including the new and improved “ballista” crossbow and a chainsaw that can fire explosive rounds. What makes Doom Eternal so fun is how you chain together all of these weapons with frenetic movement and close-quarters combat to make every encounter feel like an intense ballet of violence.

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The Verdict

Doom Eternal is a welcome evolution for the Doom franchise. While the game doesn’t exactly revolutionize the first-person shooter, it does provide players with just about everything that made the last one a success—while introducing some new quirks and features of its own. Devotees of the series should have a blast, and if you’re new to Doom or don’t have too much experience with it, Battlemode is an accessible way to learn how combat works in these fast-paced action-packed shooters—and also a great way to blow off steam after a long day at work.


The Doom Slayer has never felt more alive, and it’s impossible not to love the invigoratingly kinetic combat that the pace of Doom Eternal demands. It may be too much for those who want a little more flexibility in their movement, but anyone willing to invest themselves in the thrill of facing wave after wave of demon spawn will find that this sequel more than earns its status as a modern classic.


Doom Eternal is brutal, but in a good way. And the brutality doesn’t come from the violence. The violence is gruesome and fun, but the confidence and refinement of Doom Eternal’s combat has more to do with it being a brawler worth playing through again and again, just as its predecessor was.

In the end, Doom Eternal is a hell of an experience. It continually throws out different scenarios and maps them together in a surprisingly coherent manner by the time the 15-or-so-hour campaign wraps up. Despite the occasional difficulty spike and boss battle that feels like it’s contributing too little to the overall run, I was never bored with the game’s action. 

A few more secrets here, a better sense of progression there, and maybe just a touch more polish and Doom Eternal could have been something truly special, but as it stands it’s one of the best single-player shooter campaigns I have played in years. 

There are some missteps along the way, but overall, playing Doom Eternal made me feel like a teenager again, learning how to play a videogame for the first time and being captivated by what it had to offer. If you enjoyed 2017’s Doom then you’ll thoroughly enjoy this sequel.

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