DOOM Eternal Impressions Thread

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Nodima

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There is more video game here in every sense of the word - more cosmetics, more collectibles, more cheats, more detailed level design, more combat mechanics, more enemy types, more lore...more, more, more! It feels like this game is just oozing with game design, which is kind of fascinating in its own way but I've noticed some little things like "View Content" for the lore collectibles that's just so designer-y it breaks the immersion a little and makes the game feel more like a toy or something I guess.

But the way it just kind of...drops you into things, I know it's supposed to feel super cool and badass (starting with a shotgun instead of a pistol and killing one of your three main targets immediately in a cutscene? badass!) but something about the experience of the whole first level just left me feeling a little cold. It didn't help that, like I think Vinny said on the podcast earlier today, this game's a lot meaner than the previous one. I replayed about half of DOOM 2016 a couple weeks ago in joyous anticipation of this game and noted how, after getting back into FPS games thanks to that game and Apex Legends, the default difficulty felt super manageable. It was really delivering a power fantasy and the story is just so tightly wound and fun to unpack.

I got caught on level geometry multiple times during the first level of DOOM Eternal, or seemingly outflanked by multiple fodder enemies while exiting a glory kill animation, and I'm really struggling to land the grenade on the spider's turret which is making them a huge pain in the ass. I'm constantly out of ammo and chainsaw stuff and just barely stumbling into a health pack before I die which, yes, means I'm likely experiencing the game as intended. It's just all kind of overwhelming right now.

There's a room in particular during the second level that had me call it a night right as I was starting to get into the gameplay loop and really made it clear why Alex was so ready to drop the game to the easiest difficulty. After gaining the dash ability, you're sent into a small room you've been in before where the floor is suddenly lava for no real reason other than "hey, here's a challenge for you!" and tasked with taking out a couple Hell Knights and a Cacodemon with the usual fodder lingering around. I went into that room with five extra lives on top of full health, shields, ammo and came out of that room restarting from my last checkpoint with no desire to immediately jump back in and give it another try. Before I'd even lost a life I'd fully run out of ammo for both my guns, had no fuel for my chainsaw and all I could do was hopelessly try to punch the last Hell Knight through all six of my lives. I never once felt so hopeless in the last game, it felt like they always left an out for you somewhere if you were clever enough to find it.

I'm sure I'm going to have tons of fun with this game once I've got the full arsenal unlocked, some of the upgrades activated and have gotten my mind back into rip and tear mode. But I think it's fair to say that DOOM Eternal's first impression is a lot more clinical than its predecessor and it has me worried they took the this is goddamn video game ethos just a little too far in the wrong direction, losing some of the soul and charm this reboot had.

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Humanity

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I haven't bought it yet but yah.. something about all the preview footage feels like maybe this won't be as fun for me as the last. Specifically as you mentioned this idea of "more" that a lot of games have been doing lately. I've said it elsewhere but it feels like Doom Eternal is a Speed Mod made for the 2016 release. There are more enemies, there is more movement, but the level design feels a lot more like unapologetic arenas rather than places where you happen to be fighting. Everything feels like an arcade mode. This is all going off the long video Brad posted but in pursuing a more nuanced and hardcore gaming experience it really looks like they sacrificed a lot of the stuff around the edges that made Doom 2016 work so well. The blending of solid world building and great combat. In an effort to top themselves I think they might have forgotten to take a step back once in a while and realized they are fundamentally shifting into a very niche direction of hardcore shooter enthusiasts.

Like you I will probably end up enjoying this because the action does seem one of a kind, but it is definitely completely different than what I thought it was going to be.

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Jesus_Phish

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#3 Jesus_Phish  Online

@nodima: I agree that the first level isn't particularly great. There's way too many enemies and you're constantly running out of ammo. And because you've no pistol you have to rely on the chainsaw, which it's nice that it auto-refuels to at least one bar, I've already found myself trying to chainsaw something bigger and being told no you don't have enough fuel, which is instant death because now you're standing next to something big and mean.

There's just not enough ammo lying around that level and hopefully it gets better or the upgrades to hold more ammo start coming in soon.


There's also some weird monster box spawning going on. I just replayed Doom 2016 before this and in that you never get the feeling that monsters are just popping up from behind corners, even though you know they can because they all mostly just teleport in during battle. But you usually see them teleporting in. In one of the first rooms after you get the chainsaw, it felt like there was just an endless stream of enemies coming in, which you couldn't have enough ammo for, and the ones that you could chainsaw only gave you a minimum amount of ammo, which led to this constant cycle.

Also, I don't know how it changes later, but some of the art direction looks a bit worse than Doom 2016. The hell barge looks worse and some of the possessed look goofier than they did before. They certainly look more like an accurate remake of the original monsters from how I remember them in Doom II, but I still prefer their redesign in Doom 2016. The city mostly looks fine, the the research base on Mars just looks better.

But I only had time to play the first level before I had to go to bed and I am excited to play more.

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ALLTheDinos

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@humanity: I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who got that impression from the QL. I have a feeling the platforming will end up making or breaking this game for me, especially the parts Brad mentioned were finnicky. There was also this weird “you’ll never get past my trap puzzle this time!” Saturday morning cartoon vibe that, while fun in a different way, is definitely not what I expected.

I’m still going to play (and likely enjoy the shit out of) it, but while the game is downloading, I feel like I have reason to be skeptical I’ll enjoy it more than Doom 2016.

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TheRealTurk

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#5 TheRealTurk  Online

@nodima:

There's also some weird monster box spawning going on. I just replayed Doom 2016 before this and in that you never get the feeling that monsters are just popping up from behind corners, even though you know they can because they all mostly just teleport in during battle. But you usually see them teleporting in. In one of the first rooms after you get the chainsaw, it felt like there was just an endless stream of enemies coming in, which you couldn't have enough ammo for, and the ones that you could chainsaw only gave you a minimum amount of ammo, which led to this constant cycle.

My understanding from some of the other preview stuff is that there literally is an endless stream of enemies coming in. The fodder guys will spawn endlessly until you kill the bigger demons, which are the ones that actually control the encounter. I think that's how they are balancing the constant lack of ammo and pickups - you're supposed to use the little enemies to refill your health and ammo during longer fights.

As for my impressions, I have played very, very little before bed last night, but I already hate the platforming. It controls badly - using R3 to grab walls was a real bad choice - and even if it were the best platforming of all time that just isn't what I'm coming to DOOM to do. I want to shoot big demons with big guns, not hop around like Mario.

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Jesus_Phish

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#6 Jesus_Phish  Online

@therealturk: I'll give that a shot next time. I suppose it makes sense because there was a few times that it felt like I was just going to run out of ammo and if there wasn't a mook to easily dispatch with the chainsaw I was just out of luck.

@allthedinos: They're very much leaning into that. The cosmetic skins are shown in action figure boxes, the collectors physical edition has a cassette tape and I wouldn't be surprised if at some point I found a box of ceral in the game called Doom'o's.

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gkhan

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I think the "constantly running out of ammo" in the first level is intentional. My hunch is that most people didn't use the chainsaw in the first game very much, so Doom Eternal is very eager to teach you "hey dummy, use this to refill your ammo!!!". Since the chainsaw fuel reloads on a cool-down this time around, it's much less of an issue to use it.

I have tiny complaints here and there (in particular, I'd say that the last game had a much stronger sense of place than this one), but I'm basically loving it. I'm playing on Ultra-Violence, and finishing the first Slayer Gate (on like the fifth or sixth try) was basically one of the greatest moments in a video game I've ever had. It was such a rush.

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gkhan

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Oh, and one more constant annoyance: I'm playing on Xbox, and Y is "fire belch" and RB is "switch weapons". Virtually every other shooter in the universe has those the other way around (i.e. grenade or some other AOE on RB and switch weapon on Y), so I'm CONSTANTLY messing that up.

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Humanity

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@gkhan: You could potentially go into the XBOX peripherals app and make a custom button layout for doom switching those two around

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Jesus_Phish

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#10 Jesus_Phish  Online

@gkhan: I recently replayed Doom 2016. Once you get about 3/4 of the ammo upgrades you don't ever really need to use the chainsaw. I mostly just ended up using it to dispatch enemies that I wasn't bothered spending an entire guns worth of ammo to kill.

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theuprightman

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I just found the Doom guys home office, made me chuckle. I am really enjoying the game so far but the story seems a bit too complex for its own good.

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Casepb

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I only got to play a little but holy shit I can't believe how good it runs. I only have a 7700k but with a 2080 and I'm on 1440p and I'm staying around 165fps going down to 150ish during combat. Everything is on Ultra Nightmare except shadows which I put on high, wondering if shadows are even all that demanding.

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Colonel_Pockets

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Played about 2.5 hours last night. I think the game is incredible. It's a very hard game, but once you give in to the hints they give you early on, you'll start to get in the groove. It's basically necessary to shoot the grenades into the caco-demons or shoot off the turret. Otherwise you're going to get screwed. The chainsaw is basically necessary at this point because that is your way of refilling ammo. DOOM ETERNAL has a strict set of rules and once you start to abide by them the game is a blast. I can't believe how many little things there are in this game. It's a video game with a capital V in every sense.

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ColonelSanders21

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I’ve only played the first two levels at this point. My biggest gripe is that they seem to have built off Doom 2016’s narrative in the worst ways.

Having cutscenes be third person gives it this completely different vibe. Take the opening intro cutscene, for instance. It’s trying to mirror the iconic shotgun cock that kicked off the first game, but it feels like a pale imitation of that moment. Seeing a dude put on his helmet and cock a shotgun before cutting away is not exciting. Seeing YOURSELF suit up and cock a shotgun and seamlessly transitioning into gameplay — that gets you pumped. YOU are the Doom Slayer, and the only way you should be experiencing this story is first person, in my opinion.

I also think this game needs a Hayden or someone similar in your ear. Vega is okay, but it lacks those little bits of exposition. Everything seems to mostly be in the codex entries now, as opposed to Hayden adding small bits of backstory here and there throughout the first game. I guess this is too early to really criticize, we will see whether this changes later.

I think a lot of the combat changes were really smart (I LOVE the blood punch, since I was always glory killing anyways), and in general the game itself plays good. It feels pretentious to be knocking the game on narrative presentation so hard, but it’s missing that tone 2016 just absolutely nailed. Guess we will see how the rest of the campaign goes.

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bicycleham

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it’s missing that tone 2016 just absolutely nailed

I think this is my problem so far. Doom 2016 was gritty but it had moments of ridiculousness wrapped around its gritty core. This game just kinda seems to be taking the meta stuff too far to the point where it feels like Marvel's Doom Eternal.

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Lajiaya

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I was kind of anticipating that people might have issues with the complexity of the combat in this game compared to 2016 when Hugo Martin was describing this game as "the thinking man's action game" and comparing it to chess.

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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Haven't played it yet but mostly from reading comments it sounds like they just brought the feel and ethos of the Ultra Violence difficulty mode of Doom 2016 to the masses. The way in which you had to manage enemies and how you killed them to get resources and health sounds exactly like my experience with that game, just now with the added Armor/flamethrower part.

And as far as story, I thought Doom 2016 was fun but got too much credit for being no nonsense and irreverent of its story when, if you wanted to, there was all that codex/stand around and watch holograms shit that other games do. I appreciated some of that Doom guy "fuck this" response to the story because it was exactly how I was feeling in response to their attempts at story, which again are absolutely there. I feel like on GB they have given the game way too much credit for having it both ways.

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NTM

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#18  Edited By NTM

I am playing on Nightmare. I think it's good so far. I couldn't get 100 percent into it as I was hoping for a first time play because I stopped earlier as I wanted to go to work early for a couple of hours and I am getting a new soundbar today, so I will continue playing after I set that up. The game plays extremely well and sounds great. Visually, of course, it looks great (I love the vistas) but the jump over Doom 2016, in my opinion, isn't huge; it seems incremental. Not a complaint or issue, just an observation. Also, so far I am not as opposed to the way the story is represented as it seems others are. I like it. I will say this, and it seems some others may disagree? But, the character movement, despite being faster than most fps', feels kind of slow at times.

There have been several times (in combat encounters) when I'd click the left stick in hoping to sprint, and that's somewhat ironic. When it comes to difficulty, playing on nightmare, I find it incredibly fair, but I also go in knowing there's a chance that I may die in some of the encounters. The only time it frustrated me was when I was lazily playing and going back to the same ways I played 2016. Once I said 'okay, the game wants me to do this and I should have been doing this' I get through it. Honestly, it's easier than I was expecting, at least so far. It can bring a bit of sweat to my palms and my heart pumping just like a Souls game or the recent Nioh 2, but never am I like 'this is too demanding'.

The game has more abilities you have to wrap your head around, so the challenge comes from using all those abilities as well as guns at the right times, and when you do all that, it works. The health, armor, and ammo are pretty lenient. Even if you enter a combat encounter with very little health, you can still make a comeback. I had to remind myself that just because I was near death, I didn't have to give up and let them kill me so I can just start fresh.

I'm still early in it, but I stopped at the part where you come out of a small tunnel and an Arachnotron is shooting at you from a distance. So far the biggest challenge for me was the encounter that starts with an Arachnotron and a Revenant. I just wasn't playing it that well at that moment, and it has been the part so far that had the most enemies.

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citan359

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Doom 2016 is probably my 3rd favorite game of all time.

I've only played a little over getting the dash in this one but I've hated every second of it. Hoping it grabs me at some point, but after a few more levels I'm likely just going to shelve it and cut my losses.

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MerxWorx01

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@humanity: I've been watching more videos since release and I realized that the maps sort of remind me of all those snapmap demos showing how to make areas more arcadey.

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liquiddragon

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Is the map any better? Not the in-game layout of the levels but the map you bring up in the menu. That's the one thing I couldn't fathom how bad it was in 2016.

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Jesus_Phish

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#22 Jesus_Phish  Online

@liquiddragon: the new map is you bring up is much better this time around

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OtterChaos

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@colonelsanders21: Very well put on the story narrative. I was thinking the same thing while watching the intro. Plus why wait until 60% of Earth has been destroyed before grabbing your shotgun and heading down? It lacks any charm that I found in Doom 2016. Gameplay seems ok and I've only played the first section of the game so I guess there is room for improvement but as I said in the poll thread it feels more single player Quake rather than Doom to me. I only watched the very beginning of the QL Brad did as I didn't want to see too much gameplay but that room with all the mobs just didn't look very interesting (sorry Austin) to me. Not in a rush to get back playing it.

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rorie

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#24 rorie  Staff

I am only a couple hours in but it's hard not to feel a little disappointed. I get the emphasis on weapon switching and chainsawing but it's just not super fun to me. Also don't feel like the traversal really adds much to the formula. It's early days yet, though, and I hope it comes around on me.

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SethMode

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I love it so far, but I had to stop after 2.5 levels. I'm on whatever is above Hurt Me Plenty (I can't remember the name), and there was only one part that I felt like I really was just in a "what the fuck, game" moment in the second level but it also made me feel like a million bucks when I finished it.

I personally don't get the disdain for the platforming? I haven't had a problem yet. A bigger issue for me is that I just can't outrun any shits and on this difficultly it means every hit fucks me up. Funny how that feels like the shotgun fucks in original Doom, honestly. Not in a good way, but in a way.

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NTM

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#26  Edited By NTM
@humanity said:

@gkhan: You could potentially go into the XBOX peripherals app and make a custom button layout for doom switching those two around

I believe I remember seeing a way to fully customize the controls in the game. I haven't edited my controls, but I agree that not only are they set to somewhat awkward placements, but there's just a lot to juggle with. Before I entered a few combat encounters, I was drawing blanks on what I needed to press to achieve my goal. Maybe I was just tired; I don't know.

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jamesyfx

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Played a couple of hours last night.

It definitely feels more mechanical than Doom 2016. The combat difficulty is increased, you're absolutely forced to play the way they intended. I'm not sure if I prefer it or not as I've not really spent enough time on it to make an informed decision.

On the plus side.. it runs fantastic. Everything cranked up smooth 60fps.

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Efesell

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#28  Edited By Efesell

The ammo concerns just sounds like Ultra Violence from '16 Doom to me so I'm all for it. That game was always at its best when you have no resources and have to frantically claw your way through each encounter.

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Lajiaya

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I just beat I think the fourth chapter of the game on "hurt me plenty" (second difficulty of four) on PC and haven't actually died yet except for losing some lives. I also beat both of the slayer gates I've come across so far.

It's a lot more frenetic than 2016 and it seems like there's a lot more unlockables. I'd say I'm enjoying it at least as much as 2016.

I know a lot of people a voicing their dislike of the overall new aesthetic of the game, but personally I like how it has a lot more colour to it than 2016; a game I thought was a bit too red/brown/grey most of the time.

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Justin258

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#30 Justin258  Online

This game is fucking great. If I have one complaint, it's that it feels like they skipped the middle chapter of some grand story that we've never heard. How did Doomguy get a new suit? Where did this fortress come from? What are these Hell Priests and why are we chasing them? What the fuck is a Khan Maykr?

I'm not terribly concerned about any of that, though, because the things I bought the game for are here and they are excellent. This game feels incredible to just play on a mouse and keyboard, and it feels really demanding. You have very little ammo, so you have to get in there and you have to take full advantage of glory kills and your chainsaw, grenades, and flamethrower to actually keep going and keep moving. And I'm playing on Hurt Me Plenty, so I know it's gotta be even more intense on higher difficulties. I want to stay on Hurt Me Plenty, though, because this is where I'm just having the most fun (and also I can easily see later parts of this game getting so hard that HMP is perfect for a first run).

Frequent complaints I've seen about low ammo are because the developers want you to get in there, to chainsaw things, and to take advantage of enemy weak points. Don't dump ammo into Arachnotrons. Do use the shotgun's grenade launcher/heavy cannon's scope to destroy its turret. You're going to be going from full ammo to no ammo and back to full so many times during a fight that you shouldn't even be thinking about conserving stuff. Just get in there, get close, be brutal and intense, make frequent use of all of your tools and not just basic "point and shoot", and ammo won't be a problem.

Frequent complaints about getting stuck on geometry are fully in YMMV territory. I haven't had a problem with it yet, but it seems like some people have and that actually is a problem.

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Paddles

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#31  Edited By Paddles

Overall I'm actually so disappointed in the game at the moment (I've gotten just past the cultist base). I was expected a modern mainstream-afied version of the old school shooter style with some new mechanics and while on the surface that what i think it is, it's really isn't implemented well as I would of hoped.

Playing through the cultist base for example I kept on getting disappointed. There is way more platforming than I expected. I don't mind platforming to the extend of Doom 2016 or something like Shadow Warrior 2 with ledge grabs, especially traversing combat arenas during combat tactics, but these platform areas keep killing any momentum of combat highs. I actually thought to myself "Wow, I'm not playing a Doom Game, I'm actually playing a Darksiders game from a first person perspective".

And when I entered the next level and saw that I had to do more platforming after a quick train ride, my heart actually sank, and I just quit and booted up Serious Sam and Amid Evil just to perk myself up again. And while they can have platforming to them, they are more just platforming traversal than a puzzle that kills the momentum.

And speaking of that train ride I actually enjoyed it an extent, because hey, a combat arena that was open and not just the same claustrophobic set of ramps, stair and walkways. Maybe things open up later on but the whole level design philosophy seem changed from 2016 which was a cleverly modernized, more broader audience friendly version of old school shooter philosophies. Eternal at the moment feels like a action platformer area, and a miniature Unreal Tournament deathmatch level sequenced together.

And I'm not liking the combat flow. Maybe I've played too much Serious Sam/Painkiller and such I ain't feeling the rhythm of the combat, there feels like the is almost no spacing and almost no way to alter the speed of the combat and I just getting bull-rushed all the time in the most obnoxious way. The ammo loop can be good at times but often I've run out of ammo with just a bigger demon left and not enough fuel in my chainsaw to kill him and no fodder demons to use it with, so have to die and start again (and my abilities are recharging btw). The traversing in those combat arenas can be super annoying. I was jumping for some armor and accidentally fell on one of the those swing poles and it flung me out into a lava pit. I mean how about letting me press E if I want swing on a pole if I go past it so I have more control over the situation (and yet I have to press E for a wall in a crappy platforming sequence where 99.9% where I would want to grab it anyway).

And to be a little picky the UI HUD is semi-obnoxious, I'm sick of the low ammo on my screen all the time, just have it come up when I'm shooting or something, and not have it stuck there in another platforming sequence where I cant do anything about it anyway. Also, why not put a thing in the middle of the screen that my flame thrower ability isn't ready yet if i try to use it (and maybe a timer/meter when it will be)for a second or two, instead of a tiny icon in the bottom of the screen which I have spend a precious second looking for in a combat arena scenario.

As for Art and Story I have little to say, I like the Art even though its more cartoony than 2016, but I like how referencial it is to the old games (I still have a copy of Doom2 on Floppy disk). Story has been put onto the back of my mind due to much frustration in gameplay.

Its not all bad and I'm waiting for a "clicking" moment as I will still plug away at it, but if I could talk to myself a few days ago I would of told myself to wait for a sale.

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TheRealTurk

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#32  Edited By TheRealTurk  Online

I've played a few missions in and . . . I think it's sort of disappointing? The combat is frenetic, but not necessarily in a good way. There's just too much going on control wise between grenades and the flame belch and the chainsaw and the jumps and the dashes. I'm finding myself hitting the wrong button at least once or twice a fight.

It doesn't help that I can't parse the UI all that well. While colorful, the contrast is poor and everything is so tiny that I'm finding it really hard to read. I tried turning it up to the largest setting in the options, but it's still too small and buried in the corner. The combat is fast enough that I really don't want to have to be looking at the corner of the screen constantly to see if my chainsaw or flame belch is off cool down. The whole system needs to be a lot bigger and more centrally located, or have better sound cues when something comes of cool down.

But for me, the platforming is what is making me want to stop playing. It just isn't very good and I'd go so far as to call it borderline terrible. You never feel like you have control of what you are doing or where you are going. I've had the dash send me in unexpected directions more than once and there's a huge amount of inconsistency in how it works. Sometimes it feels like you can change direction mid-air instantly and then other times you've got all this momentum behind you and trying to change course just sort of causes you to hang there.

Plus, there's so much of it. Even if it was the best feeling platforming ever, I really don't know what made them think that these massive platforming sequences would be a good idea. If I wanted to jump around, I'd go play Mario. This is Doom, I should be using big guns to shoot big demons in the face. The end. All the platforming does is break up the momentum.

Ugh. It makes me angry just thinking about it. I'll give it a few more hours this weekend, but I'm already starting to think this is on my short list for "Most Disappointing" this year.

I think I'll just go back to Nioh 2.

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Efesell

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All the platforming seems serviceable but unnecessary? I don't see a great reason for it to be there. There's a bit too much of it just to feel like its breaking up the pace between encounters.

But it doesn't matter all that much since the encounters are rad as hell. Constantly switching weapons and dealing with hard counters to various enemies is a great dynamic. I'm always running low on ammo but rarely running OUT of ammo which is a good tense feeling.

The story feels as though I've completely missed a secret second game though.

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Honestly, the only negatives I have are the bizarre story (it makes more sense later, but even then, there's a lot of "What"s, "Why"s and "How"s that they don't bother to explain in the least) and the surprising amount of bugs. Everything else is golden. I do think the platforming can be a bit much, but it's all so forgiving that I don't mind.

I will say that I'm not surprised at how divisive it is. This is a really weird game in a number of ways, especially coming off of Doom '16. And it's NOT newcomer friendly. This is a lot of people's first Doom, and holy shit, I can't even imagine jumping into Eternal like that. It must feel like just a nonsensical explosion of noise, colors, and chaos. I almost feel like the box art/store page should have had a warning on it saying "Don't play this until you're intimately familiar with the franchise, and even then, don't expect it to play like any other shooter".

Personally, all of that is exactly what I wanted. This is a truly incredible game... for a highly specific set of tastes. Whereas Doom '16 was a truly incredible game that appealed to a wider audience overall. I'm extremely curious to see what the next Doom is like, because I can't imagine how you follow a game like this up. Do they dial it back a bit, or do they go Saints Row 4 on it and just embrace chaos completely?

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militantfreudian

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#35  Edited By militantfreudian

I realized after replaying Doom 2016 last year that part of why I loved it was its novelty, which, to me, masked some of the game's flaws. They were definitely more noticeable and felt on a second playthrough.

So far, I think Eternal is doing everything better than 2016, with the sole exception of story and tone. Eternal has the ethos of the previous game, but whereas Doom 2016 gave you leeway in how you deal with enemies, this game certainly does not. It punishes you for using the wrong weapon or tool, for not disabling heavies or prioritizing the right targets, and for not adjusting to the more complex resource loop.

At least in this way, Eternal has the same sensibilities as say, Sekiro: both demand you play them the "right" way. And since, for me, it feels good and looks good to play that way, I'm totally okay with it. Combat encounters have consistently been edge-of-your-seat thrilling. The levels are unpredictable and the soundtrack is a banger. Honestly, the last I had this much fun with a game, it was probably Sekiro.

Platforming in Doom 2016 was there almost by necessity to break the monotony of combat. In Eternal, however, it's been a key aspect of the game. It varies from one level to the next, and it's generally more involved. I actually like it.

Like I mentioned, my only complaint has been the narrative and tone. Well, the history of the different races is mildly interesting. At the very least, it gives an excuse for having different types of enemies and environments. But when the game attempts to be overtly funny, its jokes are groan-worthy at best — at best! Those awful UAC public announcement... yikes. The sly humor of Doom 2016 is not completely absent though. I chuckled when all of a sudden an objective popped that read something along the lines of: "punish demons in prison." The story's nowhere near as self-serious as some reviews have indicated, it's still goofy and always self-aware.

Even after my second playthrough, I thought Doom 2016 was the best shooter I've played. Five levels in, the changes have been a net positive for me. That said, I'm not surprised by the mixed reaction. In fact, I fully expected it not two hours into the game.

Edit: I replayed a level because I didn't complete one of the challenges. I completed the challenge less than halfway through, but proceeded to play most of the level to go through the Slayer Gate encounter again. That's how much I like the combat, haha.

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I hate the platformimg, in combination with some pretty awefull checkpointing.

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#38 Jesus_Phish  Online

At least in this way, Eternal has the same sensibilities as say, Sekiro: both demand you play them the "right" way. And since, for me, it feels goods and looks good to play that way, I'm totally okay with it. Combat encounters have consistently been edge-of-your-seat thrilling. The levels are unpredictable and the soundtrack is a banger. Honestly, the last I had this much fun with a game, it was probably Sekiro.

So I've been thinking about Sekiro as well but in how it did it much better. In Sekiro you don't ever need to use the items or gadgets like the spear or the fire crackers. But if you do, it makes the game easier. In this, it feels almost mandatory to use the right weapon against the right enemy or else you waste too much ammo. There's a bit too much, IF X THEN Y in this game.

Also Sekiro had designed encounters, not randomly spawning enemies constantly to make up for the fact that if you run out of ammo you need something to punch to get some more.

I've played more of it now and honestly I'm pretty let down by it. Every time I'm on the verge of enjoying the combat it does something to annoy me. I'll finish it out, but I'm super glad I went for the cheaper option instead of the one with the season pass.

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#39  Edited By briarpack

I just finished a playthrough on Nightmare. I wasn't the biggest fan of Doom 2016, so it's not a surprise that I don't much care for Eternal either. Ammo scarcity as a core mechanic is just not what I'm looking for in a fast-paced shooter and Eternal is more about resource management than shooting or moving good.

More minor nitpicks include the UI, some questionable enemy design (Marauder) and an absolutely atrocious final boss.

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#40  Edited By Nodima

EDIT: Also, I just remember the other thing I keep thinking about that keeps me from jumping back in: all the purple goo and fire ball traps! Certain parts of this game seem intentionally designed to suck, and I do not have the reaction time to handle the tentacles so certain goo sections were just guaranteed to chip away half of my health.

@jesus_phish said:
@militantfreudian said:

At least in this way, Eternal has the same sensibilities as say, Sekiro: both demand you play them the "right" way. And since, for me, it feels goods and looks good to play that way, I'm totally okay with it. Combat encounters have consistently been edge-of-your-seat thrilling. The levels are unpredictable and the soundtrack is a banger. Honestly, the last I had this much fun with a game, it was probably Sekiro.

So I've been thinking about Sekiro as well but in how it did it much better. In Sekiro you don't ever need to use the items or gadgets like the spear or the fire crackers. But if you do, it makes the game easier. In this, it feels almost mandatory to use the right weapon against the right enemy or else you waste too much ammo. There's a bit too much, IF X THEN Y in this game.

Also Sekiro had designed encounters, not randomly spawning enemies constantly to make up for the fact that if you run out of ammo you need something to punch to get some more.

Yea, this goes back to my designer-y comment. I still haven't had time to get back and start level 3 yet, but part of the small time I have had to think about it I start to get worried I'll already have forgotten what works best for what and have a bad time. My brain just doesn't always think that way, it's more in best-to-worst case scenarios where just because I didn't take the most efficient route, I should still be able to proceed if I just play well. But in this game, it gives the impression the only way to play well is to know exactly what it wants you to do. In that way it almost feels like a small indie title at times, which again is kind of fascinating! But it's not very friendly.

I was no fan of Sekiro either once the boss rush aspect of it really ramped up, I realized I enjoyed wandering the estate while it was on fire figuring out the most efficient run for mining coin and materials than any of the Ashina boss battles. But at least the dynamics of that game were relatively simple. Attack, block, jump/dodge, repeat. Here I have to be pressing L1, holding R1, pressing up on the d-pad, pressing triangle, pressing R2, holding L2 and then pressing R2, pressing circle, double-pressing X then pressing O or pressing R3 almost like it was a rhythm game without the track to guide you. It's just so much to process; I think the most important thing to dial in is going to be realizing I need to almost exclusively be chainsawing zombies, flaming medium enemies and special attacking large enemies.

Lastly, it's a shame you can't actually "punch something to get more" anymore. Punching a zombie twice for a glory kill in DOOM 2016 was a go-to tactic for me but non Blood Punches do absolutely zero damage to all enemies, even zombies. Maybe it stuns them? Weird decision to even let you punch without a charged BP in that case.

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SethMode

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#41  Edited By SethMode

@briarpack: I loved Doom 2016 so we aren't going to agree overall regardless, but I am always so shocked and crazy impressed when people are just casually like "just beat this game that just came out on an insanely hard difficulty". I feel like I am having borderline heart palpitations on Ultra-Violence and I've gotten yelled at several times already by my wife for swearing and yelling at the TV.

Anyway, well done duder! Sorry you didn't enjoy it more.

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Hugo basically laid bare prerelease why these gameplay/design changes were made (not that you have to like the changes or the reasoning, but just for the sake of illumination).

They felt that one of the biggest flaws of 2016 was that you could just get through the entire game using one gun (specifically the Super Shotgun) and walk up to everything and shoot it at point blank range. Whereas they want people to be moving around and switching weapons (Hugo said he calls this the "fun zone", source being Noclip's interview with him on Youtube).

So the way the game gets players to do that is to give the demons weak points that would be prudent to exploit (I can't imagine fighting an Arachnatron in this game without first taking out its turret), and to make ammo more scarce so you can't just rely on one gun all the time.

When I watched that video before the game came out, I could potentially see how people who see DOOM as a series about shooting anything with whatever would not like this game at all. I mean, you can do that in this game, but its more punishing if you try to play like that.

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#43  Edited By Casepb

Around 6 hours in now and I have to say I'm unfortunately on team disappointed... I don't like the super low ammo pools on guns. Being forced to use the chainsaw is a drag. I'm always forgetting I have a flamethrower to give armor, and I also forget about the grenade a lot. So I'm sure I should be using those 2 things more then just depending on the shotgun so much. I loved just using the super shotgun all the time in 2016, and in Eternal you just can't.

I'm also getting really frustrated with the glory kill health system in this game. I'm either completely killing an enemy so I wasted the health chance, or I'm trying to melee them thinking I have the blood punch thing and I don't so I usually either get killed or get seriously hurt. I also feel like I'm getting stuck on everything in the more arena type levels. I'm jumping and dodging around so much the arena feels way too small. (not small but crowded I guess is what I'm thinking?)

I don't hate all the platforming really, but like someone else said it feels like I'm playing a Darksiders FPS instead of a Doom game. They kinda went overboard with it.

Loving the music and graphics though!

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@lajiaya: I think that in the pursuit of of this fun-zone they inadvertently boxed people into a very specific play style which isn’t going to work for everyone. I saw the interview you mention and Hugo mentions this shotgun issue in a lot of pre-release interviews but I don’t really think it was a problem. I used all of the guns and preferred some over others but I was always able to play the game my way which made it fun. Eternal is not flexible in that regard and it’s to the games detriment because the extremely technical game of keep away and resource management you have to engage with now is going to appeal to a lot less people who just want to kill some demons and have a fun time.

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I guess I don't really understand the people who just pick The Soldier in every class based game and maybe I feel the same way about these weapon switching complaints.

It feels boring to just have a gun that you can rely on for every situation.

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#46 Justin258  Online
@lajiaya said:

Hugo basically laid bare prerelease why these gameplay/design changes were made (not that you have to like the changes or the reasoning, but just for the sake of illumination).

They felt that one of the biggest flaws of 2016 was that you could just get through the entire game using one gun (specifically the Super Shotgun) and walk up to everything and shoot it at point blank range. Whereas they want people to be moving around and switching weapons (Hugo said he calls this the "fun zone", source being Noclip's interview with him on Youtube).

So the way the game gets players to do that is to give the demons weak points that would be prudent to exploit (I can't imagine fighting an Arachnatron in this game without first taking out its turret), and to make ammo more scarce so you can't just rely on one gun all the time.

When I watched that video before the game came out, I could potentially see how people who see DOOM as a series about shooting anything with whatever would not like this game at all. I mean, you can do that in this game, but its more punishing if you try to play like that.

I also saw a similar, maybe the same, interview before release and I've seen enough gameplay footage before release to know that weak points were a big deal in this game. Maybe that's why it hasn't been a problem for me at all? I knew going in this was going to be a tougher experience. I guess if you were expecting to just shoot whatever enemy with whatever weapon and win, you might be getting a little frustrated.

@nodima said:

EDIT: Also, I just remember the other thing I keep thinking about that keeps me from jumping back in: all the purple goo and fire ball traps! Certain parts of this game seem intentionally designed to suck, and I do not have the reaction time to handle the tentacles so certain goo sections were just guaranteed to chip away half of my health.

@jesus_phish said:
@militantfreudian said:

At least in this way, Eternal has the same sensibilities as say, Sekiro: both demand you play them the "right" way. And since, for me, it feels goods and looks good to play that way, I'm totally okay with it. Combat encounters have consistently been edge-of-your-seat thrilling. The levels are unpredictable and the soundtrack is a banger. Honestly, the last I had this much fun with a game, it was probably Sekiro.

So I've been thinking about Sekiro as well but in how it did it much better. In Sekiro you don't ever need to use the items or gadgets like the spear or the fire crackers. But if you do, it makes the game easier. In this, it feels almost mandatory to use the right weapon against the right enemy or else you waste too much ammo. There's a bit too much, IF X THEN Y in this game.

Also Sekiro had designed encounters, not randomly spawning enemies constantly to make up for the fact that if you run out of ammo you need something to punch to get some more.

Yea, this goes back to my designer-y comment. I still haven't had time to get back and start level 3 yet, but part of the small time I have had to think about it I start to get worried I'll already have forgotten what works best for what and have a bad time. My brain just doesn't always think that way, it's more in best-to-worst case scenarios where just because I didn't take the most efficient route, I should still be able to proceed if I just play well. But in this game, it gives the impression the only way to play well is to know exactly what it wants you to do. In that way it almost feels like a small indie title at times, which again is kind of fascinating! But it's not very friendly.

I was no fan of Sekiro either once the boss rush aspect of it really ramped up, I realized I enjoyed wandering the estate while it was on fire figuring out the most efficient run for mining coin and materials than any of the Ashina boss battles. But at least the dynamics of that game were relatively simple. Attack, block, jump/dodge, repeat. Here I have to be pressing L1, holding R1, pressing up on the d-pad, pressing triangle, pressing R2, holding L2 and then pressing R2, pressing circle, double-pressing X then pressing O or pressing R3 almost like it was a rhythm game without the track to guide you. It's just so much to process; I think the most important thing to dial in is going to be realizing I need to almost exclusively be chainsawing zombies, flaming medium enemies and special attacking large enemies.

Lastly, it's a shame you can't actually "punch something to get more" anymore. Punching a zombie twice for a glory kill in DOOM 2016 was a go-to tactic for me but non Blood Punches do absolutely zero damage to all enemies, even zombies. Maybe it stuns them? Weird decision to even let you punch without a charged BP in that case.

What difficulty are you on? I'm on Hurt Me Plenty and I don't feel like you ever have to follow an "exact" sequence of events. I generally feel like there are multiple ways of approaching any situation, but you can't approach it just "any" way (example: Always blow up Arachnotron turrets, but with a shotgun grenade, cannon scope, or rocket launcher). Also, I feel like these battlefields are big enough for you to get away and take two seconds to think "what do I need" and then go get it. I feel like this game is balancing an extreme tightrope between being too frantic to be humanly possible and being too slow for it to be exciting.

I wound up writing way more "hints and tips" than I meant to so I'm putting that in a spoiler block. These are just what have helped me get through the game.

If it helps at all - I think the automatic shotgun mod is damn near useless and micro-missiles aren't really doing anything for me either, so on those two guns I would suggest keeping the grenade/scope equipped at all times. That should cut down on the complexity and when you see a Mancubus, Arachnotron, or Revenant, you'll know that you need to equip one of those two weapons and then you only have to worry about aim and movement.

If you see a shambling zombie, immediately chainsaw it. Enemies can't attack you when you're in a glory kill or chainsaw animation and you have a (literal) half second to dash away after the animation. If you get the notification that you're out of fuel, forget about that enemy and just keep moving for the moment.

Imps/Soldiers/those zombies that have a gun are all fodder you should just shoot with whatever you have equipped until you can glory kill them or they die. If you accidentally kill them "the normal way", just move on. The priority here is making sure fodder enemies can't swarm you while you're trying to kill the heavy enemies.

I personally have been trying to get in the habit of pushing the flame belch button before doing any glory kill. There's no reason not to - you aren't punished for not having fuel and there's no consequence for using it. Still, I forget about it all the time.

Lastly, don't be afraid to turn this down to the easiest difficulty, and make sure that Sentinel Mode is "on". That option - I think that's it's name? - gives you some extra armor and such to help you if you keep dying at a particular checkpoint.

Also, I certainly agree that the default punch is amazingly weak. Why does this guy who literally rips demons apart with his bare hands have a default punch that feels like a wet fart?

Again, on a personal level I'm enjoying this game immensely. It feels damn near perfect as far as I'm concerned.

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#47 Jesus_Phish  Online

@efesell: I would say it's boring to have to bring up specific weapons throughout the fight.

There's a Caco so time for the shotgun with the grenade launcher. Now a Whiplash has shown up so time to get the freeze grenade out. Two Arachnos have shown up so it's time for that shotgun or the sniper mod on the rifle, which is way slower and more boring than it was in 2016. Oh it's a guy using an energy shield, plasma time. There's a mancubus, better get the sniper machine gun out again, and he has two Revs with him so I'll need it for that too.

Rinse and repeat for every fight. I think that's actually my biggest problem. In 2016, not every demon showed up in every fight or they'd showed up between waves of regular enemies. In this, the whole gang is knocking about all at once and they all require me to pull out a different weapon to handle their weakpoints, most of which actually just make them do less damage but don't actually significantly hurt them in most cases it seems.

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Finished the game last night and honestly once you get down to juggling weapons a bunch of times and chainsaw every little zombie to make up for the scarce ammo the game's pretty fun. I think I enjoy Doom 2016 more just for the atmosphere and style but this game's still really solid. The overall story and writing in the game is honestly pretty bad though.

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#49  Edited By Paddles

I've gotten further and I'm enjoying myself more but am still coming across frustrations in the design philosophy. After watching some other people playing who seem to like it more I've adjusted how I play a little by not moving around the entire combat area so rapidly (but still be moving). This may seem antithetical, but areas where I was having more became easier by allowing the demons to stay in front of me more often.

But, I am still disliking some design philosophies and I've played some other frantic shooters to try figure out why and I've come up with a sort of analogy. I hear the argument about making you switch weapons (not that I didn't in 2016) but thought myself playing hard solo and co-op in Serious Sam I always and have to switch up weapons but never felt I had no agency or freedom in the situation. Now I know SS is a different game with different philosophies, but the are some very generalized philosophies that can apply.

So the analogy is think of a weapons as a particular food for a meal. In SS I'm look at the encounter which is my appetite and the weapon system in SS is like a Buffet. So I'm gonna take some shotgun which is low in calories (kamakaze guys), but is BBQ night so there's a lot of meat (large biomechnoid at a distance) so I want a decent portion of rocket launcher etc.

In Doom Eternal I don't get a buffet (at least in the first third, and without a certain amount of upgrades). What there is one meal with a certain amount of portioning for each food on the plate. And when I run out I can go up to the server, chainsaw them and get the same meal again.

I don't know that reading that analogy gets my idea across, but it makes me feel like I like I have less agency/freedom in the scenario in a generally bad way. Maybe it's there to force me to learn and "git gud", but then in the first boss fight it gives me a video tutorial on how to beat it. Wait What.

Unless it's simple traversal, platforming still sucks, kills momentum and still stinks of not coming up with enough engaging variety of combat scenarios (play other frantic shooters and each room is a new fire fight). Also, in other shooters including SS and the original '93 doom I can see ammo levels for all my guns so I have more info to strategize my ammo collection. But in Eternal I have no idea of how much rockets I have while holding shotgun so have to best guess to constantly repeat when to collect ammo.

However, there are diamonds in the rough and been moments where I've been grinning ear to ear. The Super Shotgun with a Grappling Hook is fucking genius, it's so fun grappling to Mancubus's, shooting him and then landing on him with Glory kills, while simultaneously distancing yourself from a swarm.

I've heard it gets better later and when you've open up upgrades, so I'm hoping I still enjoy it overall in the end as there have been many game in the past I've simultaneously enjoyed and been disappointed about (Mass Effect 3, Diablo 3, Serious Sam 2 etc.)

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So I was replaying Doom 2016 in the lead up to this just so I would have my Doom legs firmly under me. Playing on Nightmare and was like "this feels about right" in terms of speed/ balance/ difficulty and then I hit that first slayer gate and beating it after idk 10+ tries the base game feels too easy now which is weird but still overall enjoying the breakneck frantic combat and Mick Gordans excellent soundtrack