- virtually all elements of the previous game were revamped;
- the extremely dynamic and fluent combat requires putting all your arsenal to use;
- all resources harvested from spectacular executions of demons;
- demons under fire gradually disintegrate;
- a notable expansion of RPG elements – our character is getting stronger as we progress;
- sensational atmosphere and design of locations, especially hell and cities on Earth;
- lots of details and references to the classic Doom II;
- a real easter egg mine in the fortress;
- great soundtrack;
- smooth animation and almost no bugs;
- much more thoughtful, exciting and challenging multiplayer mode…
- ...but not for everyone;
- not very exciting, a little overblown storyline;
- Slayer Fortress should have been just a secret level to explore;
- platformer elements can sometimes break the pacing.
Hell on Earth, a sequel to the original Doom released in 1994, was often referred to as an additional mission pack, but both games were so sensational that no one considered it a drawback. The latest Doom Eternal draws a lot of inspiration from that game, and it's obviously very similar to the 2016 reboot, but calling it "just a set of new levels" would be a bit of an understatement. Doom Eternal improves all the mechanics of the previous game, adding several new features, as well as significantly expanding the Doom lore.
I even got the impression that there were too many new elements, and they didn't all fit the simple and proven formula of Doom. This particularly includes the slightly over-complicated plot and unmemorable storyline, some garden-variety sword-and-magic-fantasy locations, and a few platform sequences that required some serious agility. But I write this as a Doom veteran, whose taste was formed in the 90s., precisely on this franchise – a shotgun and a horde of wild demons was completely enough for me.
Fortunately, the very quintessence of Doom – massacring the hellish abominations – gives you a sense of nostalgia, and it's polished like never before. The authors managed to achieve remarkable harmony between dynamic action, spectacular, and somewhat comic, cruelty and the need to use all Doom Slayer's gadgets. This feels like a perfect symbiosis of continuous movement, shooting and hitting at point-blank, and the principles of extremely smooth combat are understood in an instant. Doom Eternal is a festival of slaying hellish monsters!
A TRIBUTE TO THE CLASSICS
The new Doom Eternal recalls the classic hits of the 90s much more often than the 2016 reboot. The appearance of some demons was slightly changed, such as the Mancubus, to more closely match the sprites of Doom II; others were added in the most iconic forms (Arch-vile). The ammo and first-aid kits that you can find around the world also match that game. Some locations also hark back to the classic (taking the invasion of demons to Earth), same as one of the bosses. You can also find the green armor of then-Doom Marine, as well as enable a set of classic weapon sounds from Doom II. The game as a whole has become more colorful, which also makes it more like the original.
Developers from id Software compare the battle in their game to speed chess. They improved the mechanics that combine killing demons with acquiring specific resources: health, armor, and bullets. A chainsaw, available from the very beginning of the game, turns monsters into ammo, a flamethrower into armor, and spectacular glory kills complement health. Some of these solutions were already implemented in the previous part, but now they're much more relevant. All these actions form a continuous chain of interdependencies, and in order to survive, you have to take advantage of that.
This is a fantastic, high risk, high reward system, where acting with immediacy is tantamount to survival. Dynamic movement through the arenas is now more dynamic with trampolines and rails mounted on the walls. In practice, only the former can provide a real edge, as they require less precision and keys presses to be used. Another great addition is the hook that you can fire from the shotgun – it pierces through enemies, instantly pulling you towards them for even more damage. This way, you can combine escaping from a hot pit with restoring health points. The dash, replacing the unnecessary crouching from the previous part, is equally handy. As soon as we realize that all these elements seamlessly merge with each other, we can start going with the flow of this game, which isn't seriously disturbed even if we die.