After a dismal start to the year for new releases, id Software has issued the industry with the firmest kick up the arse imaginable. DOOM Eternal is absolutely incredible. In building off of a fantastic predecessor, the Texas-based studio has reached new heights as its equation of intense, fast-paced action and enjoyable exploration has been enriched with new ideas and mechanics. Platforming can now consider itself a part of that core gameplay loop, and the experience is all the better for it. DOOM Eternal is an unequivocally essential trip to hell and back.
DOOM put its FPS competition to shame four years ago, and its sequel has raised the bar all over again. It gets to the point where this has to be considered Bethesda's greatest achievement of the PlayStation 4 generation -- it truly is that good. From phenomenal gunplay right the way through to responsive controls which make the fears of first-person platforming a thing of the past, this is a title which gives the industry's greatest a run for their money.
Naturally, the shooting is at the epicentre of our praise. The no-nonsense Doom Slayer is back to rid the world of demonic evil once more, armed with the sort of weapons only he could even begin to dream of wielding. Whether it's the classic Combat Shotgun laying waste to Imps, a Rocket Launcher locked and loaded with destruction, or the all-new Ballista in prime position to rip and tear, each and every gun feels outstanding in your hands. There's a satisfying weight to pulling the trigger that makes every kill a triumph -- something which truly comes into its own the more you progress.
That's because the closer you come to victory, the more intense fights feel. It goes from clearing a room of Revenants and a handful of Cacodemons to taking on waves upon waves of hell’s fiercest foes. It might sound like a terrifying prospect, and it is, but the Praetor Suit comes fitted with some nifty upgrades to help you handle the onslaught this time around.
DOOM Eternal brings back the concept of the Glory Kill and expands upon it to the point where it is just one of various ways to regain health, armour, and ammo. Disposing of demons in a gory fashion continues to reward health pickups, however, should you be in need of armour on top of that, the Flame Belch will come in handy. Setting enemies on fire procures extra protection once they're dead while a new melee attack named the Blood Punch can be tuned to drop health in close quarters. The chainsaw rounds out your options by sprinkling the battlefield with ammo for nearly every weapon in your inventory all over again.
Working in unison, the four features help to create the need to be constantly engaging in battle. A health pack or two might be dotted about each and every combat arena, but they'll only take you so far in preventing death. As such, getting involved in the action is pivotal to both taking down enemies and boosting your own chances of survival. Approaching a Cyber-Mancubus might sound like a bad idea in theory when you’ve got one foot in the grave, but there's no greater feeling when you come out the other side having successfully circumvented its gunfire to deliver a satisfying Glory Kill -- yielding more health than ever. While other video games ensure security with cover and acts of retreat, DOOM Eternal's safe space is its enemies.
Weapon mods make a comeback, garnering a new lease of life as they take advantage of combatant's weak points. From the Heavy Cannon's barrage of missiles through to the new Super Shotgun's grappling hook, every modification has its use. A Revenant's blasters can be destroyed to turn it into a melee-focused foe, losing its tail is what a Pinky hates the most, and Cacodemons are susceptible to grenades.
The mechanic adds yet another layer to a combat system which can already consider itself one of the deepest and most enjoyable around. It's the quick-fire, intense action which sets it apart from the rest, allowing you to speedily get about the place as you reign down terror from wherever you see fit. With weak points to think about and more options at your fingertips than ever before, engaging in the game's infinitely replayable combat scenarios should be considered a privilege. This is first-person shooting at its very, very best.
And all of that action can be accessed at your leisure from the game's hub. That's right, the Doom Slayer has his own base of operations. Suitably named the Fortress of Doom, the ship orbits the Earth and gives you the chance to replay missions, enjoy music tracks from classic id Software titles, and listen to tongue-in-cheek ARC broadcasts. It's by no means a game-changing addition, but at least it serves as a place to relax and unwind throughout the 15 to 20 hour campaign.
When you are out in the field and not loosening hell's grip on mankind, however, fully exploring the healthy amount of levels is the next best thing. You'll do that through platforming. Equipped with a double jump and two dashes to make use of, the Doom Slayer is incredibly mobile in the air -- allowing him to reaches places no other human being could even dream of. You'll take advantage of that by climbing up designated surfaces to parkour your way to new areas, swing off of poles to gain speed and momentum, and avoid sheer drops through a combination of the two. Covering vast distances in the blink of an eye is especially thrilling as platforming very quickly becomes second nature. It does become slightly tedious when you fail a jump and have to make your way back to the start point, but we could count the number of times that happened on a single hand.
The increased mobility has also allowed the developer to get creative with the placement of its collectibles. Environments can smartly hide vinyls and toys behind breakable walls, discreetly place upgrade points off the beaten path, and even stash cheat codes where you’d least expect them. Putting the in-game map to excellent use, working out how to reach them can be just as enjoyable as any combat arena.
Those environmental puzzles may be a bundle of fun, but that most definitely does not mean that the overall level design has been left by the wayside. Quite the opposite, in fact. No matter where in the universe you are -- whether that’s in hell, on Earth, or anywhere in between -- every mission is assured to come with its own spectacle. Gigantic statues depict battles of old off in the distance while the planet we call home looks almost unrecognisable after being ravaged by the demonic horde. It's seriously impressive to say the least, keeping you guessing as to what's around the corner every step of the way.
Even the narrative which links those levels and set pieces together is surprisingly interesting. It's not going to win any awards, with much of the plot based around pushing back hell's invasion of Earth, but the quest to take those behind it all down is thoroughly entertaining. With some genuinely interesting lore and backstory to uncover along the way, it's a story which certainly makes for a pleasant surprise.
Better yet, the game runs extraordinarily well on PS4 Pro. Aiming for 60 frames per second, there was just a single instance in our playthrough where the game failed to maintain that smooth consistency. It wasn't a big deal, occurring in the middle of an incredibly heated exchange with a huge amount of enemies on screen, making for a reliable title when all is said and done. The visuals aren't quite as impressive, failing to better the likes of God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2, but as id Software has managed to launch an experience completely lacking bugs and glitches, all is forgiven.
Alongside its excellent campaign, DOOM Eternal will also ship with a 2v1 multiplayer offering named Battlemode. Two players take up the role of demons while their opponent controls the Doom Slayer in an effort to take them down. Unfortunately, the servers for this online mode won't go live until the game itself releases and so we haven't had the chance to sample what it has to offer. Therefore, we shall issue a follow-up article in the near future detailing our thoughts on Battlemode.
DOOM Eternal delivers one of the best FPS campaigns of all time. The way it weds fast-paced, sensational action with gratifying platforming makes for a single player experience that will be remembered as one of the PS4's very best. And with a smooth frame rate to boot alongside the phenomenal feeling of handling any one of the game’s weapons, id Software has truly outdone itself. DOOM Eternal is superb.
Hello! As you can probably tell, I absolutely loved DOOM Eternal. If you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to copy me in.
This sounds absolutely incredible. Can't wait to pick it up at some point and blast through it. Great review!
Sounds like they went above and beyond with this.
Great review. I love Doom and I'm super hyped for Eternal!
I borrowed my copy of Doom 2016 to my older brother, the guy who got me started with Doom when I was young, wants to play Eternal more than finishing 2016 lol.
Ahh, I still remember when he got his copy of Doom 3 on PC and I watched him play through the whole game. I had nightmares for a week but it was worth it.
Normally I'd be all over this but I am scaling back my purchases until Resi 3 and FF7. This is getting purchased straight after I'm done with those two.
Yeah this is gonna be a lot of fun but there’s just too many other games for me to justify getting this now. I’ll get it later on!
Goodness, so it's even better than DOOM 2016 (i.e. the previous best FPS of this generation)?
Hi Liam, how's the load times between deaths and levels please?
Can't wait to play this. Still undecided where to play it, on ps4 with 60 fps and big tv or pc with mouse and cheaper price ($39 on cdkeys).
@Futureshark Generally around 10-15 seconds. They're no big deal.
I'm still wary of Bethesda after the abysmal launch for Rage 2 & its terrible optimisation across the board.
Nice review! Unfortunately I have a bit too much on my plate at the moment but I'm looking forward to getting this somewhere down the line! 😁
Thank God Bethesda still has ID Software to prop them up.
That's not bad, sort of game you don't want to be sitting at a loading screen for long isn't it.
N.i.c.e. doom 2016 is amazing.so this one is off the chains legendary also.word up son
I can't believe there was no mention of the sound design. To me, that's what sets Doom apart from all of the other shooters. Mick Gordon's work is phenomenal and a vital ingredient to the whole package.
I'm looking forward to playing this at some point but unfortunately with a busy few weeks, some games can't make the cut. Glad to hear it's a worthy successor though.
Yeah it was this or Nioh 2 this month for me and i chose Nioh 2, now the question is do i get this next month or do i get FF7 or do it get RE3? Honestly these are some of the hardest choices i've made in a while haha. I'm glad its fantastic though and i look forward to playing it when ever that is.
Awesome I can't wait for this, DOOM 2016 was already the best first person shooter so for this to be even better is exciting
Amazing. But had to put a hold on this.
Just started Nioh2 and ORI. And on weekends playing co-op online on Division 2/Destiny2/MHW so I can chat with my co-workers and fiends I do not see now.
I'll get to this next month
was this a digital review or a disc review? if it was a disc review i would like to know if you could play the single player without a patch download and offline.
Loving on some Nioh 2 right now, but it’s going back on the shelf come this Friday... because DOOM Eternal here I come!! Great review Liam!
Well sounds good. Already preordered it... But I think I'll play Doom64 first xD
@Ear_wiG Thank you!
"After a dismal start to the year for new releases..."
Or maybe just a dismal start to the year in general... Anyway, been hyped as Hell for this one. Gonna play the Hell out of it, DOOM 64, and Animal Crossing.
@LiamCroft Does the super shotgun get an upgrade this time that allows it to fire twice before reloading? I really hope not. That upgrade made the super shotgun in DOOM 2016 stupidly overpowered to the point that most of the other weapons (minus the siege mode Gauss cannon and the BFG) became useless. I wish you could just turn that upgrade off.
Sounds great! But I’m not real sure why not bettering God of War’s graphics is a criticism. But I need to play both Doom games sometime.
@LiamCroft OK, the game is good and all that, but i came here to know about performance on the base console. The official website of the game says 1080p 60FPS on PS4, but i wanted to know how it runs...is there anyone from your team that tested the game on base PS4?
@thtrthskr That's what I'm here to find out as well 🤓
@LiamCroft Hi there. Nice review, by the way. The devs mentioned that now they would add some third person view cutscenes. Are they good? Are they action-packed or only for conversation with NPC's?
@WallyWest how are you liking Nioh 2? And definitely choosing FF7R! RE3 can wait 😂
Tomorrow. After work. It will be mine! Oh yes, it will be mine!
@Giygas_95 Nope! That upgrade is not in DOOM Eternal.
@thtrthskr We've only been able to review and test the game on PS4 Pro.
@Tyler_Durden Yeah, they're pretty good. Most of them are conversations or walking away from enemies as you escape inside a portal. Not a lot of actual action.
@LiamCroft Thanks for the reply. Can't wait to play it on the weekend. What about the platinum trophy? Is it too hard to get it or kinda "simple" as DOOM 2016? I hope that when I'm finished with this one, Resident Evil 3 Remake will be cheaper... LOL...
@Tyler_Durden The Platinum Trophy is fairly simple to get. There are progression Trophies, ones for getting all the collectibles and multiplayer ones. The hardest Trophy would be the one for finishing the Extra Life mode with 10 extra lives, I think.
@LiamCroft Thanks, I think I'll give it a try. Umbasa.
@LiamCroft Thank god...I mean I loved the overpowered thing, but it took too much thunder away from the other weapons!
@Ear_wiG I think its fantastic, its tough as steel though but its rewarding with it. If you played and loved the first one then you will love this one.
Wow, Doom sounds amazing, I’m gonna defo pick this up 👍
I'm playing on stock PS4. Buttery smooth. Can't be sure if it's locked 60, but it feels just as smooth as Doom 2016.
@KALofKRYPTON Great! Can't wait until friday Thanks for your reply.
@KALofKRYPTON I noticed a bit of screen tearing in Doom 2016 on standard PS4. Have you noticed any of that in Doom Eternal??
@P4RT1CLEM4N Really? Can't say I saw any screen tearing on 2016, I mostly played the multiplayer though.
No screen tears encountered for the first two missions.
The only performance issue I've run in to, if you can call it that - is that the game seems to shudder a bit if you try and access bits of the environment it doesn't want you to.
@WallyWest I love it too, but waiting and hoping for some more creative level design. Maps and shortcuts are well designed, but can’t help but feel like I’ve seen it all before. Hoping the environments get more interesting as the game goes on...
Been playing it since I got it Thursday. Best FPS of this generation for any platform topping even the brilliant DOOM 2016. I love the pacing most of all, super fast and really puts your skills to the test. Always have admitted I'm an average player at best but with this game it never feels unfair when I get my butt kicked it and when I finally do overcome the challenges it's very satisfying.
@WallyWest these are decisions I’m
Battling with also! Exact same games except I’m too broke to buy Nioh 2. Kinda low key freaking out
If they had only included the classic death match multiplayer I would definitely pick this up. I was really hoping for the return of arena multiplayer on console, but I can't get into the new battle mode idea.
@3MonthBeef Each to their own of course. I loved the frantic, fluid and gorey action it had to offer.
@LiamCroft what a bummer this review is. I can’t believe it! This game is simply awful compared to the 2016 version. I just can’t understand the praise here... everything is worse than in the previous installment( did you play that one?)
For one; when you try play this on the easiest setting and even then struggle to find enough ammo to blast through the first levels, and
constantly need to run around Looking for ammo or fuel in stead of killing demons, you know a lot is wrong in this one. There are several other problems too, but this review deceived me. 😢
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