Oh hey, I'm back, sort of. Thanks to PR for the code!

DOOMed AGAIN

DOOM 2016 was a blindingly good game, a ballet of bullets, and glory kills that created one epic battle after another. There was a purity about it, a simple yet addictive quality to the visceral combat that made you feel like an unstoppable demon-slaying badass aka: Doomguy or the Slayer. I often wondered what id software might do to improve on, or follow this stellar achievement in the coming years.

Finally, now I know.

The Tale of DOOM Eternal

I am not going to talk story here; I want you to experience the game's story yourself because this time... there are actual cut-scenes and plot points that aren't just told through environmental storytelling.

There are some twists, turns and revelations that dive deeper into the backstory of DOOM and shine a light on some answers that might have been hanging around for a while.

All of this is something I never expected from a modern DOOM. Perhaps it slows it down for some, but not for me. I actually rather like the cut-scenes and exposition in the game.

The short version then: DOOM Eternal takes place after DOOM 2016 and you're back as the Slayer. That's all I'm going to say.

A New Dance

If DOOM 2016 was a first person focussed ballet of bullets and gore, then DOOM Eternal is probably something akin to a maddening mosh-pit of uber-violent demon slaying that never ever gets old. There's still an element of the graceful about this one, but it's more about keeping moving than ever before and switching up your arsenal and tactics constantly. Ammo is sparse in this one and the reliance on a single weapon is futile, you're going to need to adjust your DOOM brain and treat each encounter like a microcosm...

Each battle, even the minor ones, is a puzzle of sorts and it challenges you to think outside your comfort zone.

Each arena has a number of environmental challenges too, again, I'm not going to throw down details and create a guide... more an overview of the kind of thing you're going to deal with. Much of this game is best experienced out of the demon gate, and that's half the fun.

That said, expect to find arenas where it's possible to get punted off the edge and fall, as well as launch around from horizontal bars and other features to get some DOOM parkour battle going on.

There's nothing quite like rushing headlong at a bad guy, blasting them in the face with the shogtun, and then jumping up and off onto some bars to sail through the air and come crashing down in a glory kill on another demon you've just lit up as you were flying through the air.

Then there's the key to all this... the ultimate weapon and the trick that will keep you alive.

CHAINSAW TIME!

DOOM 2016 had the saw tho, right?

Yes, but it wasn't as glorious as it is in DOOM Eternal. Why? Because this thing has an auto-charge and always racks up at least one notch of saw fuel in about 60 seconds. This allows you to chainsaw the weaker demons and get your health/ammo/resources back when you might just need a breather.

This is where you can get through the toughest fights if you pace yourself with the saw. Running low on one kind of ammo, switch to a new weapon, then grab some fuel or wait for the recharge. Unleash the saw, get your ammo back, maybe empty that new weapon or switch back to your favourite weapon again... rinse and repeat.

SO good!

Want to know what else is uber-good?

The Super Shotgun and the Meathook... this is the very reason you want to keep your saw humming. This weapon is GODLY, and made out of the dreams of Slayers everywhere. Once you unlock it, you'll open up new and exciting demon slaying opportunities and be able to turn DOOM Eternal's fights into beautiful fluid moments of extreme vengeance.

There's nothing like blasting a zombie in the face, then using the bars, sailing up into the air and meathooking into a marine to smush them into a blast of gore. Switching quickly to the combat shotgun and popping a grenade into the mouth of a Cacodemon that's just about to bite down, finishing that off with an eye-popping glory kill and landing on the ground ... ready to fire up the saw and slice an Imp into ribbons.

New Paint Smell

DOOM Eternal has been tweaked from DOOM 2016, you can see this in the way everything's structured. The GUI, the level design, everything has been either changed or tweaked in some way.

You now have the Fortress of DOOM. A hub you can explore and poke around for secrets and rewards... that also functions as a breathing space between hectic demon-laden missions.

Demons, thousands of em...

DOOM Eternal throws more demons than ever before at you, that's all you really need to know. Battles are fast, furious, fun, and brutal as the hordes of Hell keep on coming until you finish the arena room and put the last one to rest.

Not just one either, there'll be multiples of them and this forces you to think outside the box more than you did in DOOM 2016.

Weak Points: Weak Points are ways to swiftly pile on the damage and sometimes you can put a demon into a stagger state almost instantly. This leaves them open for a glory kill, and some life saving drops.

Equipment: From a shoulder mounted grenade launcher to a flame burst, Doomguy has a few tricks up his sleeve. The flame belch is great to set demons aflame and when they're on fire they bleed armour drops... useful if you're running low on that green stuff.

Upgrades Upgrades Upgrades!

From weapon mods, to praetor suit points, to runes, the game's packed with upgrades and things for you to unlock.

A new map...

Yep, the map's been updated too and it's easier to navigate and find the things you're missing. Upgrades to the suit make this even easier.

Cheat codes...

WOO, find them in the level and you keep them. Better still, use the mission replay function and enable the cheats you want. Now you are set, because these things don't block progression... you can whip back through levels and get the pesky things you missed the first time around.

Caveat: Slayer Gates are disabled with cheats on.

A minor thing when you can spend time chewing through the level again as an unstoppable badass with a Super Shotgun full of infinite IN your FACE Mancubus AMMO!

The demons, they have new tricks, and there's a few new ones too.

Marauders... they're... tough and they can be beaten but expect them to chew through your resources until you figure their tricks out and send them packing. It'll take a few tries, but they are a cheese-demon of an enemy that many folk who I've spoken to want toned down by id.

We shall see!

Other things... which you can find out for yourselves!

There's also a lot of platforming in the game, with some really metroidvania style jumping puzzles. I'm not sure this level of platforming and parkour are warranted in a DOOM game in 2020, but hey, I'll take it if it means I get to mulch more demons. Again, YMMV!

Multiplayer

Yeah, there's a battle mode, it's 2v1 and it goes like this: One player is the DOOM Slayer and the others are demons, they can summon AI, block the Slayer from pickups and the matches are the best of 5. Apart from that, play the campaign to learn the demon tricks and weaknesses for playing as the Slayer and you'll do OK.

Really though, I kind of miss the Snap Map stuff and a proper co-op... the mode's OK but I really was just drawn back into the campaign ... that's where the fun lies for me YMMV.

I note that it's a quality fast experience and there was only one disconnection as I was playing, which wasn't too bad to be fair. There are five demons at launch, and the Slayer is fully amped up, with everything unlocked.

Good luck!

Unlock to Shock

There are ZERO microtransactions in the game. You unlock everything by playing, using XP to unlock cosmetics in the menu and apply them to Doomguy in the campaign or to Battlemode. There is a Year One pass for DLCs that you can buy, but that's in the Xbox store ... there are no actual in-game buy for real cash mtx.

I like this.

Lookin' Fly DOOMguy!

I didn't think they could get DOOM to look any better than it did for 2016. Yeah, DOOM Eternal changed my mind on that one. Everything has a brand-new coat of graphical paint and it looks really good on the Xbox One X. It's smooth, it runs lighting fast and there are no noticeable frame drops. From the lowliest demon to the mightiest boss, everything looks really great in the game with detail galore.

The animations are also impressive, with new ones for old foes and a level of lethality in the combat that brings the glory kill system into life with even more dynamic and brutal demon slaughter.

The Sound of Violence

Hello Doomguy my old friend, I've come to blast with you again. The sound design here is fantastic, and there's special mention to the weapon sounds, especially that of the combat shotgun and the Super Shotty, these are meaty sfx and they bring home the fun of blasting an Imp in the face with a magazine of shotgun pellets.

Soundtrack to Oblivion

Just when you thought the game couldn't get more badass, along comes the soundtrack to underscore all the moments in the battle with pitch-perfect, grinding, and glorious music to get the blood pumping and help you rack up an utterly impressive raft of kills as you mulch demons to this superb score.

DOOM GUY!

A Worthy Sequel

DOOM Eternal is one of those games I can go back to, time and time again. It's fun, packaged with more fun, laced with an extra amount of fun and ... wait... there's one thing we missed...

FUN?

Super fun?

Super Shotgun Fun!

Seriously though, this game is excellent and even the jumping puzzles aren't too heinous once you get the hang of them. They do provide a bit of a break from Shotgun meets Face action and for some folk they might just be seen as a way to make the game artificially longer.

It's a pretty big campaign, with big maps and a lot of stuff to add to the replay value. Plenty of secrets to uncover and much action to be had.

Perfect for those isolation days.

Stay safe!