Doom Eternal E3 Hands-On: The most satisfying shooter of the year – by a long way (Pic: BETHESDA)
Its hard to follow up a phenomenon. Im sure Id know this all too well given the runaway success of 2016s Doom.
It came as no surprise then that there was a follow-up, Doom Eternal. True to form, before I walked into the Eternal arena where my monster slaying skills were put to the ultimate test, the PR manager made it very clear that we were going to die… like a lot.
Doom Eternal was described as a “power fantasy combat puzzle” to be figured out by the player – and I hope that ends up on the back of the box – its bang on. The new game gives you a stellar suite of powers, switching up the control scheme and affording the player with more abilities than you can likely handle – its absolutely overwhelming.
The doomslayer now has a shoulder-mounted flamethrower and a chainsaw to mince through his enemies with – but theyre not just there to make things easier – the difficulty has been tweaked so that you can and should be approaching every enemy in a different way depending on your needs.
Weirdly enough, Doom Eternal is kind of a resource management game now. It iterates on the already iconic combat (its still unbelievable fun to smash a demons head into his body with your fists) but there are enough meaningful twists and turns to keep you on your toes. In the sequel, things never stagnate.
If you thought the original was hectic, consider this – within five minutes of the demo, I had to pause my playthrough because my heart rate was going ballistic. I felt like I could see through time – the adrenaline was coursing through me, and I quickly figured out why…
In the original game, you only really worried about death, but now you have to worry about your armor and your ammo, and how to retain those resources when the going gets tough. For example, in Eternal you cant just expect enemies to drop a smattering of resources that should see you along – you actively have to take the resources from them.
If you need armor, you have to burn demons with your flamethrower and then finish them off with your gun. If you want ammo, you need the chainsaw. Health is still retained by glory kills, but by mixing in the rest of these resources (and making them scarce) the developers have created magnificent mayhem.
Another buzzphrase I heard often concerned the Destructible Demon System which adds another layer of tactics to the combat. As well as having more demons in general – say hello to the Arachnotron, the Pain Elemental and the Maraudare to name a few – iD has tried to reinvent how you deal with them.
Focusing on weak points is more important than ever – shooting off guns or hurting a foes mobility can quickly change the tide of a fight for your life – and theres plenty of those.
You absolutely cannot stop moving in Doom Eternal, but by overwhelming you with weapons and new abilities, your brain naturally starts crying as you have to think about what enemy warrants what weapon or ability – if you dont cut the right wire and solve the puzzle, your battle plan immediately starts to crumble.
Even so, the variety of enemies is also worthy of a compendium – you need to learn how each of them tick so they dont surprise you. Youll learned this the hard way when you underestimate some of the less grotesque enemies – bigger doesnt always mean badder in Doom Eternal.
Its truly stunning stuff – it creates more incentive to enjoy the downtime in Doom. If Im being truthful, there were points when the original game waned as the space corridors started to blend together and I became lazy, too used to the satisfying crunch of one weapon – Id fell into a formula.
It would have been too easy for ID to simply create a set of new maps and give people more Doom, but the genius of Doom Eternal is that it doesn't settle for that – it forces you to constantly reinvent your lazy formula as you play, and punishes repetition. This game will chew you up and spit you out until you abide by the rules.
Another ability that changes the game dramatically is the dash, which alongside a healthy double jump and the ability to swing from poles is part of a clear effort to bring some much-needed verticality to the game.
Chaining together movement tech was so much fun it made me think of Sunset Overdrive, which, whilst on the surface appears to be a silly comparison, when you think about it its very much intertwined with Doom Eternal due to its combo platforming and gunplay, albeit from a third-person perspective. IDs sequel feels very much like an arcade game this time around, which is a surprising match for the gameplay.
There are platforming sections but also some that mix in with the combat – on one occasion I leapt from a rock wall I was climbing, dashed in mid air and then used the super shotgun to hRead More – Source[contf] [contfnew]