Doom Eternal Review: The Hell Yeah!
After the revival of Doom within all its greatness, which took place four years ago, Id Software returns to the glorious franchise to follow up on the success collected by the successful reboot, making an even more extreme and aggressive game system even more brutal. If Doom was an insane ride in the bowels of hell, Doom Eternal is a train without brakes and on fire that darting against a supernova. Exaggerated, frenetic, explosive and galvanizing, this sequel demonstrates how much the genre itself has pushed towards new peaks of excellence, surpassing in every respect the 2016 prequel.
Doom Eternal is set eight months after the previous chapter, with demonic forces that have now conquered over half of planet Earth and have almost completely subjugated the human species. To try to reverse the trend, restore balance and drive away from the horde gone mad with demons, the Doom Slayer returns with the task of hitting the heart of hell, defeating and killing the three great priests.
Although from Doom Eternal - and in general from every Doom- we did not expect who knows what narrative qualities, it must be said that also from this point of view there have been important steps forward. History, however, remains the weakest point of production, especially considering how much the series has not yet managed to detach itself from the great clichés it has been carrying since its dawn. Moreover, Doom Eternal makes the mistake of condensing all the most important information in the final phase, literally throwing a fair amount of text files on you that place the magnifying glass on the most relevant elements.
Beyond that, it is really difficult to find something out of place at Doom Eternal , which fortifies and evolves the concept of the reboot by maximizing the frenzy, the technique, the precision of the commands required and the overall quality, inserting mechanics that push the player to the pure exaltation of the senses. In a riot of explosions, ruthless massacres, obscene orgies of offal and blood, and a continuous storehouse of demons capable of making the very concepts of death and genocide pale, Doom Eternal becomes the new benchmark for old school FPS. In this regard, the greater movement speed of the Doom Slayer and of the enemies, together with the possibility of performing a double click, greatly expands the overall mobility, aimed at maneuvers as fast as possible and with limited margins of error.
Increasing the difficulty, Doom Eternal turns out to be truly prohibitive, touching extremes peaks in which even by acting almost perfectly you can end up being overwhelmed in a few moments. The demons introduced in the reboot were not enough, in Doom Eternal debuts opponents such as the doom hunter, leathery and able to move very quickly on a wheeled cart, and the raider, an enemy who will obsess you and make you scream of anger because vulnerable only during short windows where he is about to attack you.
Doom Eternal, relentless slayer
For the avoidance of doubt, Doom Eternal is not just a cicerone shooter where you just have to take care to shoot everything that moves on the screen; by doing so, you would have very little chance of surviving the hordes of demons. On the contrary, Doom Eternal proves even more technical than the previous one, above all thanks to the introduction of some mechanics that force the player to carefully evaluate how and when to use the available skills and arsenal. In addition to the epic kills and the use of the chainsaw, respectively essential to recover health and ammunition, it is now possible to ignite the enemies with the jet of fire, so as to obtain partial refills for the armor. The fist of blood instead it is a violent short-range attack capable of literally pulping some enemies, while the butcher hook with which the shotgun was equipped serves to instantly reduce the distances between the Doom Slayer and the opponent.
Mix all these new ingredients and add the functionality of the weapons, the different move sets and attacks of the enemies, the crazy density of the arenas, a greater verticality of the movements and the radius of action, and you will have a clear idea of how much Id Software has filled with steroids his creature. But that's not enough, because the bloated hypertrophy of the gameplay requires that each weapon has two interchangeable modules, extra power-ups that change its functionality, runes that more accurately direct the style of play, and passive skills that can further speed up the killings epics and reloading weapons, grenades, and shooting.
The integration of the platform sections took place painlessly, without distorting the heart of the series in the least: in Doom Eternal, these phases are actually not so pre-eminent and act as an interlude between one arena and another. In fact, it will happen that you have to climb on walls, launch yourself into the void, take double shots and cling to the next wall; or, having to jump from platform to platform to reach areas otherwise out of reach, where usually secrets, extras, and goodies nestle that Doom lovers will certainly appreciate. The amount of secrets is quite high and is not limited only to collectibles, but expands to some optional mini-events with difficulty modifiers or requirements to be met within a limited time. From this, it can be seen how much the replayability of Doom Eternal is really high, even net of a campaign that easily exceeds 15 hours (especially if faced at a demanding level of difficulty). The endgame then allows you to face the missions again to find what has been left behind, or the master levels, alternative versions of the missions designed to put the player even more on the ropes.
The world is on fire
We have not been able to try the Battlemode , that is the awaited multiplayer mode that promises to improve what was seen in the previous chapter by virtue of the great innovations made. The servers will indeed be open to day one, which is why we have not even been able to verify the effectiveness of the invasions and the variety of challenges that will be proposed from time to time.
What hasn't changed much is the basic structure, firmly anchored to inelastic conduction of play that continues to offer arenas divided into watertight compartments. One could say that Doombasically this is it, and that it would be wrong for such a conservative series to get off the rails, yet it is a formula that will not be able to hold for a long time, also because in different situations it shows the side to a certain repetitiveness.
Not bad at the moment, because Doom Eternal certainly does not skimp on the variety of the arenas and the world in which the map design has been adapted to the new features of the Doom Slayer is also forward-looking . There is never a moment when the rhythm drops: on the contrary, it is a crescendo of pure adrenaline, brash and brute arrogance, supported by a soundtrack never so inspired and over the top. Mick Gordon's music alternates between sci-fi synths and death metal riffs that ignite the battles in a few moments, underlining the most important moments with rare skill, without ever being repetitive.
All in all the style has remained unchanged, the epic-dark fantasy inspirations as well, with glimpses that reinforce the imagery of the series and the already decisive imprint of art design, truly impeccable and with a clear and strong impact overall vision.