Doom Eternal Review: Right hand of God

I know it’s a tall order. Id, after the successful reimaging of Doom (2016), reminds us that video games should be there for entertainment and narrative pleasure. What Doom has always been is often mischaracterized with “fast pace action” and “no story..” A story always existed in doom, but mostly through text. John Carmack, the creator of 1993’s Doom, summarized in the excellent Kushner book Masters of DOOM, “story in a game, he said, is like story in a porn movie. It’s expected to be there, but it’s not that important.” (David Kushner. Masters of Doom. Random House. New York, NY. 2003. P. 128) Carmack is a good designer of levels, and while this may hold true for the original game and sequel, DOOM (2016) proved that story could exist, but through simpler means. Doom Eternal proves that since Doom 3, cutscenes can help a FPS, on a simple but very complex level designs.

What is most prominent of Doom Eternal is its pacing. Doom Eternal wastes no time in delaying the player from entering into the conflict. Earth is overrun by demons, and the opening level of a ravaged earth, is possibly one of the most stunning ways video games are ravaging the movie industry. Even on a 4K PlayStation Pro, the HDR gave me a headache, and don’t set it too high. The presentation of the opening level allows you to strategize and make sure you have all the advantages to stay alive. You are given the guns through your first time at certain parts of the campaign. Later on, you acquire a flame belch, which is accessed through your shoulder, to replenish your shield, while the chainsaw, is used to replenish ammo (and the animation gives you a rush every time), and allows the player to shoot a grenade from it. Also an ice bomb is introduced to allow a moment to wear the enemy down. It allows you to become the power fantasy you never have in real life. Plus, shooting demons is helping out Jesus and God, so it works out.

The hell on earth sequence, in the first level, is why as a gamer, or even an old school Doomer, should not miss this game. To call it a remake of the original sequel is not how most journalists should sell this. Bethesda doubled down on the action and the ability to tell a story that Machinegames iterations of Wolfenstein have done so well to do (Spoiler Alert: Those two games are related to one another). The game follows Doom Guy throughout the galaxy as he is trying to stop the invasion, but even King Novik, a leader of the knight sentinels, does not want Doom Guy to interfere with the invasion of Earth. Heaven and Hell are pitted against the Doom Slayer, as we find out about his past, and what his future may hold for the ravaged earth.

This game is the motherload of first person shooters. It has platforming levels, slayer matches where you fight hordes of demons to get an key that will unlock a weapon, a UnMakyr, (the over powered weapon in DOOM 64) in your Doom fortress (we’ll talk about that later), you have praetor suit points where you upgrade your suit, weapon upgrade points (you will need them), and the Rune upgrades. The game even offers Master Tokens, where you don’t have to work at grinding for the weapon upgrades. Does it offer your character a lovely home?

The Doom Fortress acts as your waypoint, where you can stop playing the game and use Sentinel Crystals, which powers your ship, but secrets are also abound, as it holds many secrets for you to unlock. So find all the Sentinel Crystals and the keys to unlock the UnMakyr. So no spoilers here for the story, although it does share bloodlines with Doom 64, which essentially is Doom 3, to many Doom fans.

This is by far the best game of 2020, and first person shooters need to be better, because Id and Bethesda made sure this game would become the FPS game of the decade. It’s easily the best sequel of a series so far in the current generation of PS4, XBOX, and PC systems (Last of Us 2 has some big shoes to fill). This is the game to play if you want a FPS that let’s you become the right hand of God, and demon slayer of all eternity. A story about how one’s rage can’t save all of humanity, but we can try endlessly to stop it. A classic that will be remembered in the world of Doom and first person shooters.

Doom Eternal is out on March 20th, 2020, for XBOX, PS4, PC, and will be released later on Nintendo Switch, at a later date. Doom Eternal is rated Mature, so this is for the older gamers in your family. But if you are killing demons, maybe it is a game for everyone. Doom 64 is also available for the first time across platforms, for the first time since its release on the Nintendo 64. Also, David Kushner’s Masters of Doom, is available in all modern book stores and Amazon.

 

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