2016’s Doom wasn’t only a return to form for the classic franchise, but perhaps one of the best first person shooters from this past decade. Its classic approach to level design combined with modern aesthetics made it an instant classic. Naturally, creating a sequel to such a resounding success is quite a tall order, but thankfully Doom Eternal is shaping up quite nicely.
The Doomslayer still retains all of his actions from the last game. He can double jump and scale on ledges. New to Eternal is the dash function that allows quick escapes from an onslaught of enemies. It’s also useful in assisting in various platforming challenges. Each weapon in the game has its basic firing capabilities, like traditional shotguns and rocket launchers. Similar to 2016 Doom, they also have secondary options like shooting mini grenades. The rocket launcher in particular has the capability of detonating its rockets mid-flight. However during the tutorial stage where the game tasks players to use said feature to kill an enemy hiding behind a glass wall, the rocket detonation proved to be finicky. Thankfully this was my only issue with the game as a whole, and I am sure they’ll fix this in the final release.
While the E3 playable demo is light on story, it does feature one scene involving Doomslayer marching in a control room looking for a keycard. It’s incredibly humorous to see how the operators look in awe, only for him to drag a keycard by a guy’s neck. Even when asked for his identity by two officers, they quietly let him move forward. This is the kind of tongue and cheek story I love to see in Doom, and Eternal continues the tradition.
Once the level starts proper, the Doomslayer starts doing what he specializes in: annihilating demons in the most visceral ways. Glory kills return to Doom Eternal. This time there are more over the top ways to finish enemies and recover health. Players can also still use the chainsaw to one-shot an enemy, if it has fuel of course. New to Eternal is the flame belch, which scorches enemies in return for extra armor.
I’ll admit, even with my experience with its predecessor, Doom Eternal proved to be much harder, even on normal difficulty. Enemies inflict a lot of damage and would often corner our protagonist and attack ruthlessly. Despite the jump in difficulty, I had a blast with what little time I had with Doom Eternal. The action looks fantastic, running at a smooth 60fps, and all the weapons and actions are as impressive as ever. I really wish I had a chance to test the grappling hook that was touted in the gameplay demos before. I’m sure when the game is finally released on November 22nd, 2019, I’ll get my chance. Doom Eternal is releasing for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Google Stadia.