Doom Eternal Review 2021

It is unequivocally the finest FPS released in the past twenty years, in my opinion. This is no understatement. It is better than 2016’s Doom in virtually every way imaginable, and this is a feat unto itself. I cannot praise it highly enough for this game.

A few caveats, though:

It’s hard. Hard at times. If you play on ultra-violence (which is my default difficulty) as you did in Doom 2016, prepare to be cornholed repeatedly. This may not be a problem for some people, but Doom Eternal is not a casual game. It will bend you over and smash your mancavern repeatedly until you master the game. Imagine the skill threshold of Sekiro. Now put guns and demons in it. Same principle. You’ll struggle early game until it all “clicks.” Ultra-Violence in this game is the Nightmare in 2016. You’ve been warned.

The story is divisive. A lot more expansive now. Showy. Hollywood. You know. It’s not terrible or anything—just nothing to write home about. There’s a bit of jerking off Doom Slayer here and there when it comes to lore, but that’s to be expected. Not that big a deal. It’s a Doom game, so that shouldn’t bother you. Go murder demons. That’s all you should care about.

Prepare for some cringey shit like that self-aware “Hey, we read the official Twitter page, guys!” kind of garbage that Wendy’s does. Prepare to hear the joke “mortally challenged” over…and over…and over. It never stops. It was okay once. A little shout-out. Whatever. But they shoehorn it into parts of the story where it sticks out like a sore thumb. Yes. It’s that annoying and recurrent. We get it. You’re trying to annoy people offended with a trumped-up metaphor they invented so they could feel offended about something that had no political statement to make and acknowledge the fanbase at the same time. You’re also annoying the fanbase. Have some goddamn restraint, id. The joke barely elicited a snicker the first time.

Power in the game

Power in this game is slowly acquired. Abilities that make the game far more engaging are gated behind the story. This isn’t that big a deal, but it’s part of what makes the early game so difficult. You have no dash, weapon mods, limited health, ammo, armor, no ice bomb, frag, flame gout, etc. Once you get all your abilities and equipment, the game opens up a lot. It can feel as though you’re ill-equipped to deal with the threats you’re facing until then.

Marauders are an obnoxious enemy type that interrupts the flow of combat by playing by a different set of rules than every other enemy. Once you figure out how to deal with them, they’re easy, but they bring everything down with their presence alone. They’re not fun to fight. They’re invulnerable to most all attacks until their eyes flash green—strategy: Murder everything else in the room first. Wait for the green flash of their eyes. Super shotgun them in the face and switch to the ballista and do the same until you can glory kill them. The marauder boss was fine…as a boss, but he becomes an elite enemy type later, and he sticks out like a sore thumb with how poorly he integrates with Doom Eternal’s combat. Imagine playing stop and go with a cheating ass demon who you can’t hurt otherwise and only after emptying the entire room of other monsters first. He’s lame and doesn’t fit into the dynamic at all.

That’s about it. Other than the above mentioned (of which some could be seen as “features” rather than detracting factors,) the game is about as close to perfect as you can get with this genre and franchise. If you like Doom, go get it.

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