DOOM Eternal: inside the game

DOOM Eternal had a lot of hype to live up to. A follow up to 2016’s reboot of the classic series, Eternal doesn’t drastically change the formula, but tweaks it enough to stand out as the superior game.

While many of these improvements aren’t felt immediately, they become apparent early enough as you begin to acquire the Doomslayer’s arsenal of weapons. Core systems from the first game have carried over, like glory kills granting health and chainsaw kills granting ammo.

The new flame belch ability allows the player to set enemies alight, dropping armour pieces when damaged. Combining these systems together, the player can create intricate loops of refreshing armour and health, while keeping your ammo well stocked.

Double jump and dash are the newest mobility options, which can give Eternal an absolute breakneck pace in combat. It also has a lot of utility for the platforming sections of the game, which can be some needed downtime from all the combat arenas.

The main suite of weapons from DOOM have also returned, with fan favourites like the plasma rifle and rocket launcher receiving new mods. One such weapon is the super shotgun, which now has an underbarrel grappling hook, allowing the Doomslayer to grapple enemies and draw himself towards them for a quick one-shot kill.

While this might sound like a small change, it can speed up gameplay considerably, especially when combined with double jump and dash.

New weapons are also available, with the Doomslayer’s crucible sword a welcome addition. The sword can one-hit kill almost every demon in the game, from the heavy mancubus to a lowly imp. The catch here is that power is limited, so should be used sparingly.

The story of Eternal isn’t anything to call home about, but it’s interesting enough to keep players engaged, with the main character being tasked with eliminating the demonic threat that has almost completely consumed Earth.

The kicker for this is that very little of the game actually takes place on Earth, with more missions taking place offworld in places like Hell, Mars and ancient cities from the Doomslayer’s past.

New to the series is a hub world, the Fortress of Doom, where the player returns to after every mission. The area is chock full of collectible items that can be used to upgrade your character, change their appearance and improve their weapons.

Mission design within Eternal is also excellent. The new movement abilities really shine here, with players able to traverse combat arenas with the greatest of ease, all while taking out demons with the assortment of weapons.

The levels themselves are also really well designed, from picturesque ancient cities to a crumbling molten Earth, to the blistering gore-filled pits of Hell.

Eternal also nails the atmosphere of a game all about beating back hordes of demons, with the soundtrack featuring nothing but metal tunes.

Overall, the game is a joy to play, with the new systems and levels working alongside one another to create a sequel that surpasses the original.

Tadgh McNally

Image Credit: DOOM Eternal