By Dylan Del-Rio
With classes online for the rest of the semester, and students having much more free time than normal, there needs to be a way to pass the time while stuck in quarantine. “Doom Eternal” is a great way to do that.
“Doom Eternal,” which launched March 20, is an incredibly solid follow-up to the 2016 reboot of “Doom,” improving on several aspects of the original while continuing to deliver the brutal fast-paced combat that made “Doom 2016” so beloved.
Plot-wise, the game takes place two years after the events of the first game. Earth has been overrun by demonic forces and mankind is facing extinction with their only hope laying in the Doom Slayer who has returned with a wider arsenal of weaponry and equipment. While there is a little more focus on the story this time compared to “Doom: 2016,” it still is not that big.
It serves its purpose without being too intrusive, and some elements introduced to build the world are rather interesting. One example is prerecorded messages from a Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) spokeswoman who spreads incredibly disturbing propaganda that also comes off as darkly humorous.
“Doom: Eternal” is incredibly similar to “Doom 2016.” The Slayer is controlled from a first-person perspective and explored through the ruins of Earth (and a few other planets) slaughtering demons and looking for secret collectibles (like weapon upgrades, coins, figures, cheats and records).
The main focus is the fast-paced combat. The Slayer is often pitted against dozens of demons at a time and, in order to get by, the player must use a variety of weapons and “glory kills.” These are a series of finishing moves that kill weakened demons and heal the Slayer. You start off the game with a simple shotgun but soon enough you’ll get access to a variety of other weapons, including a plasma gun, a chainsaw and a rocket launcher.
One of the biggest new additions to the game is dashing. Early in the game, Doom Slayer gains the ability to “dash” twice, either in the air or on the ground, which is mainly used for exploration. This mechanic is useful in combat, constantly moving or else you’ll be easily overwhelmed.
There is also the flame belch, a small flamethrower that when used sets nearby enemies aflame and causes them to drop armor, which buffers some of the damage you take. It is great in an emergency when you need more armor but, as a weapon, it isn’t that powerful.
Finally, there is the meat hook, a shotgun with a grappling hook attached to it. When used it latches onto enemies and pulls you into them, allowing you to deliver a shotgun blast right to their face. It’s incredibly fun to use and further builds on the kinetic combat.
The only major gripe with the gameplay is some of the platforming sections. While this was also a problem in “Doom 2016,” there is a heavy emphasis on it here. The main reason this is an issue is because trying to precisely jump from one area to the next in first-person games is always a pain due to the restrictive perspective. It can cause a lot of frustration, especially later in the game, but thankfully they are not that long compared to the combat and exploration.
“Doom Eternal” is a worthy follow-up to “Doom 2016,” expanding on several of its strengths to deliver a challenging but rewarding experience.