13 Days of Halloween – Game Review: Doom Eternal (Xbox One X)

Doom Eternal is a first-person shooter video game developed by id Software and published by Bethesda Softworks. It serves as a sequel to Doom (2016) and the fifth main game in the Doom series. Doom Eternal was released in 2020 for multiple platforms as well as coming to Game Pass in October of that year. The game is set some time after the events of the 2016 game. Once again, it follows the Doom Slayer on a mission to end Hell’s consumption of Earth.

If you played Doom (2016) then this sequel will feel very familiar. The gameplay and weaponry are practically identical with a few minor tweaks here and there. The player has access to various firearms, such as the Combat Shotgun, Super Shotgun, Heavy Cannon, Rocket Launcher, Plasma Rifle, Chaingun and BFG 9000. There are melee weapons such as a chainsaw and the “Crucible Blade” energy sword. Also, the Doom Slayer’s armour now includes a shoulder-mounted Equipment Launcher with the ability to lob grenades and ice bombs. Additionally, the Flame Belch is a flame thrower which causes the enemies set on fire and drop armour pickups.

New movement mechanics such as wall-climbing, dash moves, and horizontal bars to swing from are introduced as well.

Also, there is a multiplayer mode that I did not get around to playing. My experience with the game is based solely on the single player.

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It may surprise you to find out that I didn’t really get the hype surrounding Doom (2016). Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s quite clearly a very good video game. However, as fun as the combat and executing demons can be, I found the whole thing extremely repetitive. Literally, you go from one battle arena to the next with few if any breaks in between. It wore thin for me very quickly regardless of the highly satisfying gunplay. Also, I found the story dull as hell. I know most people enjoyed it but I never really felt like this was the type of game that needed a proper narrative.

Anyway, I’m happy to say that Doom Eternal rectifies my grievances. The monotony of the gameplay is broken up by platforming sections. The new movement mechanics work really well and I found it a lot of fun. There’s some puzzles along the way and in general, the battling felt spaced out much better than before. There’s a story but it’s as barebones as they come. The Doom Slayer goes from location to location killing everything in sight and that’s all I need.

Once again, the gunplay is fast, fluid and super satisfying. I just love how huge and bulky the guns are in these games. You feel their weight and they pack a bloody punch. There’s an even greater variety to the brutal executions. Talking of variety, Doom Eternal takes you to a big number of unique locations. Again, in my mind this helped keep things far fresher than the predecessor managed. Some of these places are stunning to see. One of my favourites sees you in orbit over Mars. Your mission? Blow a hole in the surface of the planet and then launch yourself into said hole. Everything Doom Guy does makes you feel like a badass.

Doom Eternal is a very pretty game. The way the blood glistens in this game is something else. Everything is highly detailed, so much so that some of the gore is just straight up nasty. There are a great number of different enemy types. They force you to mix up your combat style and utilize every weapon at some stage.

There’s a nice challenge to proceedings. I played on medium difficulty and had my fair share of struggles. Also, the map is filled with secrets and collectibles which helps with the replayability. The map system in the game makes finding them enjoyable rather than a chore.

Overall, when I first started playing Doom Eternal it felt like more of the same. If that’s what you’re looking for then you’ll be very happy. As I played on I realised that the developers had improved the game in the areas that I hope they would. I didn’t intend on blasting through the entire game but I was having so much fun that before I knew it, the credits were rolling. If you’re looking for something to switch your brain off to and just eviscerate hordes of demons to a kickass metal soundtrack, look no further.




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