The next installment in the Doom franchise is finally here and it’s well worth the wait. New gameplay mechanics and level layouts help this game position itself as one of the best in the series. Doom (2016) was an absolute smash hit when it initially released which begged the question, “How could you top this?” Well, id Software was able to do just that while setting the bar a bit higher for the series’ future. Doom: Eternal is absolutely fantastic and plays much better than its predecessor due to its challenging designs, new weapons and progressions, as well as the game’s increase in player mobility. There’s no denying that this entry is a step in the right direction for the franchise as a whole.

Doom Eternal

More of a Challenge

As soon as you start your first run through, it’s quite clear how much more of a challenge this new experience is; Enemies feel a bit tougher, ammo starts to deplete quicker, and health diminishes quicker than before. Normally, this would be a frustrating aspect for any game, yet it feels just right here. Players are introduced to bigger and badder enemies at a steady pace and typically during a one-on-one boss encounter. Almost immediately, though, once you finish one boss the game throws two at you along with some smaller foes to take on. It comes off as natural and never feels too terrifying since you’re the legendary Doom Slayer.

Every level and area is scattered with numerous foes to mow down but the ammo in your guns is never enough. Because of this, you’ll have to utilize the chainsaw to rip up enemies in order to drop more ammo (and health) to gain an upper-hand. New enemy types and weaknesses also play a major factor as various creatures require different weapons to take them down easier. These new aspects create a need to strategize and plot out an attack in the middle of fights. It’s thrilling and adds to the sense of acknowledging the adversity in your path but still knowing you can come out on top.

New Tools for Destruction

In Doom (2016), I was able to get away with using only a handful of weapons to complete the game in its entirety. Here, this is far from the case. Thanks to the depleting ammo and range of enemy types, you’ll get used to using every single weapon the game has to offer. Grappling onto a demon and blasting them with a double-barrel shotgun then firing off a plasma rifle into a huge creature is wonderfully executed and makes you feel like an unstoppable killing machine. Not to mention how many upgrades and customizations each gun has. Knowing your play style, you can unlock various upgrades to enhance weapons to fit your approach. For instance, if you use the plasma rifle in close quarters, an upgrade can be made to shoot off an energy blast which hits enemies around you within a certain radius. On the other hand, if you mostly use that same weapon at a distance, a laser beam can be shot out that immobilizes and explodes the enemy. This aspect is available for nearly every weapon too.

It’s not only weapons that could be upgraded, it’s also the player themselves. Armor upgrades, rune unlocks, and character progressions run rampant throughout the course of the game. There are so many ways to enhance your style of playing and become an epic demon slayer. Choosing from a skill tree to upgrade your Predator Suit can have so many effects on the overall gameplay however, in the words of TV personality Billy Mays, “Wait! That’s not all!” Runes allow for new skills to be used such as moving in the air, and various others like it. Sentinel Crystals are the crucial ones as these permanently upgrade health, armor, and how much ammo you can hold. All of these can be found as you play and add so much more depth compared to that of Doom (2016). 

Doom Eternal

Movement is More Fluid

Lastly, a major improvement found in this entry is the increase in player mobilityDoom (2016) simply had players running, jumping, and sometimes double jumping. Doom: Eternal, on the other hand, has these plus wall climbing, dashes, and platforming elements. Utilizing these to get around enemies and zooming around various sections is fluid and even necessary. It opens up a whole new world of gameplay that I can’t imagine not playing the reboots with now. There are also various sections of platforming that breaks up gameplay smoothly and can soon feel incredibly parkour. Perfectly stringing all of these together on top of upgrades and weapon improvements turn you into what the series has always been at its core: a badass, unstoppable bringer of doom.

Doom Eternal

These improvements help to make Doom: Eternal a better installment than Doom (2016). There’s just so much depth added in this entry that going back to its predecessor just doesn’t feel right. Making the case even stronger is the inclusion of character skins, a home base, hidden collectibles, and an improved online portion. of the game. Yet, at its core, the increase in challenge, improved arsenal of weapons, and player mobility elevate it to new heights. Doom: Eternal is a superb title with plenty of elements to offer which makes this not only of the best entries in the franchise but a potential Game of the Year candidate for 2020.

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