Doom Eternal's cybernetic heart beats with the rhythm of science fiction – a future soldier, high tech weaponry and an insatiable blood lust for ripping and tearing through the demons of hell.
Eternal, a sequel of Doom that came out in 2016, is a fast-paced shooter focusing on frenzied gunplay and brutal close quarter finishers. It improves on many areas, but the core gameplay loop remains as exciting as its older counterparts.
For those who need a refresher, the Doom series is a modern take on the original Doom which came out in 1993. Doom – which revolutionised not only the FPS genre, but also the whole gaming industry – is widely considered a cultural icon and the grandfather of all FPS shooters.
Doom Eternal, the newest entry in the series, kicks the action up by several notches through expanding nearly every detail – from gameplay to lore.
The human civilisation is facing extinction as the demons have invaded earth. The unrelenting forces of hell are laying waste to once great cities, and the Doom marine responds by launching a genocide against demons and hell priests.
Gone are the claustrophobic corridors of the environmentally sealed Union Aerospace Facility on Mars, the arena is now bigger and better.
The action and surrounding gameplay systems are very much the star of the show, and Doom Eternal nails it perfectly. It focuses on traditional and slightly faster mechanics, but the gameplay is smoother and crispier.
Instead of ducking for cover, you will face your enemies in up close and personal combat. Demons are not known for their patience, hesitate to kill them, and they will kill you in a blink.
Aggressive and relentless attacks are the order of the day here, and weakened enemies can be brutally executed with glory kills, which showers you with healing items and ammo.
Killing demons has never been so satisfying, as they literally fall apart as you blast chunks off them with a shotgun.
There is also a strategic element in the game. Rampaging around with a rocket launcher without situational awareness and a plan is a quick way to die.
Take out enemies with turrets first to make your life a bit easier, or blow off the arm cannons of a Mancubus to prevent it from harassing you from long range. It will be up to you to figure out a strategy that suits your gameplay style.
Doom Eternal puts more of an emphasis on targeting weak points and planning ahead, alongside with cool new execution moves.
The other big changing factor in the gameplay is a larger focus on platforming on almost every encounter. All levels give you a vertical approach to deal with the enemies and traverse the area.
You can double jump, use directional dash twice, use a shotgun with a grappling hook and climb surfaces on some walls. It is really good way to zip around the arena while killing enemies.
You also have more combat abilities at your disposal. A new tool in your arsenal is the shoulder mounted flame thrower, which you can use to burn demons to ash. You also have a shoulder mounted grenade launcher with swappable grenades.
Glory killing powers up your blood punch, which you can use to take down some tougher demons.
Using the flame thrower, chainsaw and glory kills is a necessity, as it is the easiest way to get back some health, armour and ammo from enemies. There is certain level of skill required to juggle all these mechanics effectively, which gives Doom Eternal a pretty good depth.
Surviving hell on earth
Doom Eternal is not a walk in the park. Even on the easiest difficulty, the game will test your patience, skills and tactical capabilities.
Knowing your tools and guns is as important as knowing your enemies. Pick the right tool for the job at hand, and keep moving if you want to survive.
The game has a lot of new enemy types, and part of the fun comes from figuring out their weaknesses and learning how best to take them out.
Many enemies will feel like boss introductions at first. But as you develop skills, upgrade your gear and recognize their patters by progressing through the game, you will learn to take down three of those tougher enemies without breaking too much sweat.
Doom Eternal has a really satisfying learning curve and progression system.
The weapon mod system makes a return from Doom 2016, and upgrading yourself is now broken down into a more detailed system. Sentinel crystals will give you passive bonuses along with improved health, armour and ammo capacities.
You can also find coins which will give you bonuses for your Praetor Suit. Then there are runes, which will give you direct abilities such as a longer window for glory kills. You can also find batteries while exploring the levels, which can be used for upgrades back at your base.
And yes, the Doom marine now has a base floating above earth, called the fortress of Doom.
With its jaw dropping visuals, frenetic gameplay and heavy metal soundtrack, Doom Eternal is challenging and punishing, but also extremely fun and rewarding. Do not miss out on this title.
The game is available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Google Stadia and Microsoft Windows.