Doom Eternal – Campaign Review

Rip and Tear

Best first-person shooter campaign in recent memory.

There is little flaw in its pacing and execution. It perfectly blends fast, frenetic action with surprisingly solid platforming. Surprisingly lengthy and filled to the brim with content, Doom Eternal is one of the best FPS campaigns in recent memory.

When the Doom reboot released in 2016, it did something unexpected. It added narrative weight to the surrounding chaos. Now, it wasnt going to win any awards or break new ground, but to see lore in a Doom game was shocking and refreshing. It may have taken 4 years, but Doom Eternal has arrive and it does an even better job in fleshing out the established lore.

Seriously, the world building in this game is fantastic. Environments are diverse and well-designed. The architecture of some of the different worlds, Sentinel Prime in particular, will leave your jaw on the floor. Almost every new area left me surprised as I didn’t expect a Doom title to be this colorful. You even get your own hub world to explore and it is pretty damn awesome. The scale of everything in this game will leave you in awe.

While the narrative will shock you, that isn’t the main draw of the game. Doom Eternal’s cycle of combat and exploration never got stale through the 14 hours or so it took to beat the campaign. There are so many hidden items that the game practically begs you to find them. Every hidden item or secret is in plain sight of the player, you just have to look for the path to get there.

In terms of combat, you will be overwhelmed constantly. But luckily for you, Doom Eternal provides a number of methods to even the odds. You’ll have access to a shoulder-mounted grenade launcher, flame thrower, chainsaw, and a plethora of familiar weapons with alternate firing modes that will help you rip and tear through the masses. Melee attacks have been upgraded with the blood punch, an area attack that can clear weaker enemies and do massive damage to larger ones.

The combat is brilliant and difficult, requiring you to be quick on your feet as you should never stop moving. Because if you happen to get cornered, it’s practically game over. While you may expect to reset a bunch, the game will grant you multiple opportunities as long as you acquire a 1-UP. Yes, there are 1-UPS hidden in every level to assist you and considering how hectic encounters can become, you’re going to need a few.

Early on, you’re given the ability to dash and double-jump. Mobility matters in combat and the air dash is particularly useful when getting away from some nasty situations. As enemies are introduced throughout the game, you’re given a quick tutorial detailing their weak points. They’re fairly easy to remember but crucial toward success.

It may be strange to hear that Doom Eternal isn’t a mindless arena shooter, but its 100% true. Almost every encounter past the first few levels will require strategic thinking. You will constantly need to monitor your health, shields, and armor aa glory kills and the use of your tools will help replenish them during combat.

Once the combat starts to click, the game takes off. It’s highly addictive and realky difficult to put down. Finding hidden paths can lead to specific coins or batteries to upgrade your different abilities. This helps greatly during the later sections as the intensity ratchets up considerably. At that point, the game will throw the toughest enemies at you in waves and while this seems a bit unfair, by that time you should be more than prepared.

Now, when the game slows down, which happens to be when you’re traversing a level, you’ll more than likely be treated to a platforming section, which Doom Eternal handles fairly well. It’s far from perfect, sometimes the next grappling location isn’t easy to spot. Fortunately, the game doesn’t punish you harshly if you fail, though it can be somewhat frustrating at times when a jump is just out of reach or isn’t in your line of sight.

If there was a part of the game that’s a bit of a letdown, it’s the boss fights. They aren’t terrible, but they aren’t memorable. Its disappointing considering Doom 2016 had some excellent boss encounters and while the number has doubled in Doom Eternal, these felt like the least tense moments in the game. Sometimes, they can even be a bit of a drag.

However disappointed I was at the boss fights, I will say, the music in the this game is nothing short of phenomenal. It will get your blood pumping and will motivate you throughout the game to slay demons to the best of your ability. I loved it, please inject this shit into my veins as it is truly masterful.

Campaigns like Doom Eternal are rare. It’s darkly funny and filled with a number of unique and awesome moments that will please both existing fans of the series and newcomers wanting to see what all the fuss is about. The Doom Slayer just so happens to be the hero we need right now and the super shotgun is the best weapon in gaming.

Do yourself a favor and play this now.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Ross Stuart says:

    The last boss took me forever to beat, not with difficulty, time-wise. Maybe I was doing something wrong…

    Like

    1. Ken D says:

      It took me some time as well. I had to scour the level for ammo multiple times because of how the Icon of Sin can tank damage.

      Like

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