DOOM Eternal Review
Enter The Doomicorn
The legendary Doom Slayer returns in DOOM Eternal. A title that claimed to bring a story as dynamic and bloody as its gameplay. This fast paced First Person Shooter got a lot of pre-release build up from fans and Bethesda alike, as the game offered character customisation, a full story campaign and new ways to play in larger, more immersive environments. Along with the return of Mick Gordon Composing the soundtrack DOOM Eternal was set out to be one Epic title, but was it truly a success story for developers ID Software and Bethesda or was it an over hyped disappointment? Check out the review below to find out in our review of DOOM Eternal.
Gameplay- 100% more Jump Puzzles 50% less Combat
DOOM for me has always been about fast paced brutal combat, with a vast array of weapons as you rip and tear through the forces of Hell. But for the first 50% of the game it felt like I was playing a first person adventure game with more jump puzzles and walking. Rather than the epic combat I was anticipating, with a few puzzles to break up the intense game play. Eventually the jump puzzles did begin to bring in enemies but even with combat being introduced it still felt like filler to the gameplay in place of progression. DOOM Eternal’s combat has not evolved much since DOOM 2016. You get ammo from using the chainsaw, armour from your shiny new flamethrower and health through the violent deaths of your enemies. The method of gaining these is absolutely perfect for DOOM Eternal, as you do not have to worry about chasing down health kits and throwing yourself out of the rapid blitz against hordes of demons … when you actually get to fight them. DOOM has always been about fighting Demons and locating secrets, both are key gameplay aspects, and regrettably both seem to be lacking in certain areas. Such as most secrets being incredibly easy to locate and collect, with little to no challenge in doing so, taking away from its rewarding element. Whilst the combat was a different story entirely. I no longer felt like I was playing as the immortal DOOM Slayer, but rather as a bog-standard space marine with a lust for extreme violence. The controls would often feel heavy, even with sensitivity maxed out and the reactions of our protagonist often felt slow, for example in the case of going for a “Glory Kill”, there would occasionally be a delay in performing the action, which on a couple of occasions resulted in my demise. It was not until much later in the game, when I had acquired pretty much all the weapons and a vast majority of upgrades that I felt like a truly unstoppable juggernaut again. With more enemies and abilities, the combat finally picked up its pace and when I passed the halfway point the game became a challenge during combat. Though I understand DOOM Eternal needs a progression system, I feel that having the DOOM Slayer start from scratch even though this is a direct sequel from DOOM 2016 is a weak one. I would have expected there to be a story aspect that either weakened the DOOM Slayer or sent him right back to square one like in DOOM 2016.
What I did enjoy about DOOM Eternal was its new line up of enemies, although I did have to wait a while to find some that were actually impressive, such as the Doom Hunter and the Marauder. These new enemies alongside returning monsters from previous DOOM incarnations made for some challenging fun, which at times was also quite frustrating. And I say frustrating because of the layout of the arenas you fight monsters in. In the 2016 reboot of doom we saw a lot of open area which allowed for freedom of movement around the hordes of enemies, whilst in doom eternal we see the opposite, with a lot of arenas, albeit bigger, actually feel smaller as they have packed in so many new bits of scenery that it ends up just slowing you down, leaving you to be cornered. My final point on the gameplay is about the weapons that are available in DOOM Eternal. The first being that there is a lot of choice with some new improvements to be unlocked, this is absolutely fantastic, however the one weapon I was extremely excited to use and fight with was extremely limited in it’s usage. I am of course talking about “The Crucible”. The Crucible is a sword that was heavily featured in the trailers and like most people I assumed doom was adding the option to hack and slash through hordes of monsters. This would’ve brought a whole new dynamic to DOOM, however it was not to be. The Crucible appears late in the game and with only 3 uses before you must find its incredibly lucrative ammo, making for an incredibly underwhelming experience. Overall Doom Eternal has some Incredibly fun moments of gameplay. However, during the earlier segments of the campaign these moments are rare unfortunately allowing them to become are overshadowed by tedious jump puzzles and a distinct lack of fast paced combat.
Graphics- It’s Definitely not as friendly as Animal Crossing.
Immersive environments and bloody deaths are just some of the incredible visuals DOOM Eternal has to offer. When it comes to graphics this is one area in DOOM that has been done right. The environments in every location suit the theme of the Doom Franchise, with some incredible scenery making up the surroundings of well-build, yet very crowded levels, along with some great designs on the new enemies, along with re-skins on those that have re-appeared from other titles. The levels are incredibly well made with buildings and environments keeping with the titles running theme of Hell on Earth (and everywhere else). But the biggest element to the game’s appearance was the introduction to customisation. DOOM Eternal allows you to edit your characters appearance, which you will see throughout your time playing in doom, sometimes in subtle ways, such as when grabbing onto a ledge, and other times in more obvious ways, during cutscenes where your full outfit is on display. Though the customisation is limited to pre-set designs, which can be unlocked in various ways it is still a nice touch to make the DOOM Slayer your own character. One such example was the incredibly popular DOOMICORN, a costume which was exclusive to Twitch Prime members but gave a quirky and fun side to the overall gameplay. The games gore and graphic detail was absolutely spot on for a title of this calibre too. Each action had an equally bloody reaction to it, as you damage your enemies you will rip away chunks of their flesh, if you cut them with the chainsaw you will see their insides spill along with all the ammunition you have earnt from their gory death. The most graphic however is the Glory kills. These glory kills are performed as the enemies are in a state of low health, they are a short-animated sequence where the DOOM Slayer will perform an action of extreme violence. One Example is when killing an Imp, the Slayer will break its arm and ram the fractured bone into the terrified face of the Imp. Unfortunately, DOOM Eternal has missed the mark here as a lot of the kills are recycled from the 2016 title and though there are many different classes of monster the animations appear to repeat among several of them. In the cutscenes we see a lot more detail in everything as the combat slows down and everybody is a lot less mobile we can see the smaller details of metal and flesh alike giving a nice touch to the overall game, I just wish there was more of it as the cut scenes were very limited and very short.
Audio- A few numbers short of 666
Now this is where DOOM Eternal gets Controversial. For those who played DOOM 2016 I am sure the one thing you will remember above all else is Mick Gordons heavy metal soundtrack which really got the blood pumping during the intense gunplay and bloodshed. In DOOM Eternal Mick Gordon Returns to compose another brutal soundtrack, however something is distinctly different the tunes feel muted and incomplete. But it also feels like the soundtrack overall has been rushed and even implemented incorrectly. During combat there will be some incredible music blaring however halfway through the fight it will suddenly calm, becoming more electronic, and in some cases, it sounds ambient, even as more waves of monsters’ approach. This really throws you out of the immersive environment the soundtrack has created prior to its sudden shift in the mood. If anything, you can tell the overall soundtrack was incomplete just through how it shifts so harshly between various styles, was one of the main factors to what let the latest title from ID Software a disappointment. When I looked further into the soundtrack of DOOM Eternal, I found my suspicions were indeed correct, Mick Gordon did not finish the soundtrack in its entirety and in fact was finalised with support from ID Software’s lead audio Designer. For me this was incredibly disappointing as Mick Gordon was a huge part as to why DOOM 2016 was so incredible and it is a shame that he will no longer be working alongside ID in the future content for DOOM Eternal. Aside from the Soundtrack the audio in DOOM Eternal is actually good, with spectacular sound effects, vocals and ambient background noise, though the latter is a rarity.
Story- A Legacy Unworthy of Doomguy.
As far as first person shooters go, I honestly do not expect a lot in the way of story, the bar was set low in terms of what I expect yet DOOM Eternal did not hit the mark, with some incredible short cutscenes offering very little to the overall progression. Most of the lore and story came through menu-based collectibles, in the form of short written logs. If ID Software and Bethesda had not hyped up the story driven campaign so much, I would have been content with what was given. But a story driven campaign was what was promised and honestly for the most part it felt like I was back in DOOM 2016. The cutscenes were distinctly lacking in anything you would expect, there was little to no interaction with people and monsters alike, bringing very little new to the DOOM Slayer or the franchise. There was no WOW moment or shocking twist throughout the campaign and as you fight tooth and nail right to the very end the final cutscene leaves you feeling empty and unrewarded for the amount of effort put in. The fact is you could remove all the cutscenes and leave the in-game dialogue and the game would still be 99% the same. I appreciate that DOOM is all about the gameplay, and the combat, but the addition of an actual campaign with some interactive cinematics', rather than the brief moments we actually got could have brought a lot more to this title both in the way of immersion and in to the entire lore of DOOM. My biggest gripe with DOOM Eternal's campaign was its ending, the end is supposed to be victorious. I defeated the Final boss, I finished my tasks, but there was very little build up as to what is next for the DOOM Slayer or for earth. The campaign just ends, with no cliff hanger, no conclusion it just ceases to be with a very dry and brief monologue. If anything, I am disappointed with the campaign for DOOM Eternal there was a lot of potential and even the promise of learning a lot more about the iconic DOOM Slayer. However, there was very little delivery to the promise of it's story driven campaign. I hope that if we see future releases from the DOOM franchise, that story is the one thing they focus on a lot more.
Summary- Jump and Dash Until it’s Done.
Overall Doom Eternal is not the epic title it set out to be. Its subpar story, incomplete soundtrack and tedious puzzles made for at most a mediocre game, when paired with its impressive combat, new enemies, and brutal graphics. I loved a lot of the new features brought in with this title, along with a lot of elements it brought back from other titles. However, it was those disappointing elements that led to DOOM Eternal receiving a lower score and we here at 3-Bit give it a 6 out of 10. If it wasn’t for the strongly disappointing ending and the constantly being taken out of the moment, through boring, repetitive challenges, DOOM Eternal would have been an incredible game and would have scored a lot higher than it has done. I do hope that ID Software continues to work on and improve the DOOM IP so that the next title can truly be the masterpiece this one had set out to be. Don’t forget you can let us know what you thought about DOOM eternal on any of our social media below.