Shooting Evolved And Puzzles Solved
When Doom (2016) came out, I was full of praise that the game stuck to its old school roots while still evolving the gameplay mechanics, and now with Doom Eternal were are presented with the next evolution of the series.
So what has changed since the last game? It has been twenty years storywise since the previous game. Well, instead of Mars we're now on Earth post the demonic invasion. The Doom Guy has learned to climb walls, a new dash has a new flamethrower on his shoulder (great for getting some armour back) and has a new grapple mechanic attached to his double-barrelled shotgun.
The main thing that Doom Eternal adds to the franchise is verticality. You will be climbing and dashing to grab onto walls as you continue to fight demons. If anything, it feels like the shift that Crytek tried with Crysis 2 when they brought the game out of the open jungle of the first Crysis and set the sequel in the urban concrete jungle. They added climbing to the game, and it didn't quite fit, but with Doom Eternal, it feels organic and natural due to the fantastic level design.
Doom Eternal as a teacher tries its best to be firm but fair when it comes to difficulty, but at times can feel somewhat cruel as it throws one bullet sponging enemy after another at you in a gore pit. Late into the fight, a marauder appears. This guy has an axe, a shield, and only opens up to damage if you counter a specific attack with a precisely timed gunshot. So it does add a nice spin to the one-person army who is shooting and slicing his way through enemies when he suddenly has to play a far more precise and defensive gameplan.
With Doom (2016) I love how the story is in the background, it was there if the player wanted it but wasn't the forefront of the experience. Now the story is delivered in a heavy-handed way that at times makes some of the natural humour comes across as dull and cliché, but never affects pacing.
The soundtrack is just phenomenal and does add that extra humph the overall experience. Mick Gordon builds on the Doom (2016) sound with chanting heavy metal choruses and a darker, black metal-adjacent vibe overall. It adds this incredible pulse and undercurrent to the game.