DOOM Eternal was released on PS4 and Xbox One back in March 2020 and now makes its long awaited appearance on the Switch. The series was successfully rebooted in 2016 with DOOM, to which Eternal is a sequel - developed by First Person Shooter royalty id Software, let’s see if this game is as badass as many of it’s predecessors!
Spoiler alert – DOOM Eternal is indeed badass! This game is an assault on the senses in a good way. Eternal keeps up the relentless nature that other DOOM games are famous for – wave after wave of demonic enemies in a hellish and gory setting. You again play as the legendary Doomguy and work your way through various levels (referred to as ‘campaigns’) tied together by a hub level, which in this case is Doomguy’s ship called the Fortress of Doom. The introduction of this hub ship is probably the biggest difference between this and DOOM (2016). This game is also HUGE from a memory point of view. In fact, I think they packaged it with DOOM 64 just to give you something to do while it downloads…
Each campaign is sprawling and consists of a number of battle grounds, which is basically an arena within which you must eliminate all of the enemies and once all enemies are cleared, a passage opens up to the next area. There’s a choice of four difficulty levels and I went for the easiest – called I’m Too Young to Die – because I’m a scaredy cat, but this difficulty level was still a challenge. There are plenty of RPG elements which allow you to upgrade your suit, weapons and abilities and a whole host of unlockables which will keep you coming back for more. There’s also plenty of nods to the original DOOM games and why not when you have such an iconic IP to call upon. Also, it’s easy to think of DOOM Eternal as a mindless shooter but the platforming in this game is genius too; you really have to think about how best to traverse some platforming areas of the game which are almost like giant interactive puzzles.
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There are a couple of negative points but not many. The game can feel ever so slightly repetitive at times and you collect so many different weapons and abilities in the game, which is good in one sense, but it also means that pretty much every button on the controller does something during combat; it’s almost impossible to remember what everything does. Therefore in certain heated combat moments, I found myself panicking and just mashing the buttons as I knew that some button would do something exciting to bail me out.
Story / Personality
I was a huge FPS fan in the 90s and there were three dominant series at the time – Duke Nukem 3D, DOOM and Quake, just before the likes of Half Life, Halo and Turok came along. I always found DOOM and Quake games too dark (in more ways than one) and depressing, and was also frustrated with Doom in that you couldn’t jump or look up and down. That said, DOOM is still a masterpiece of course, however for these reasons, Duke Nukem 3D and its various expansion packs was by far my favourite series because there was a lot more freedom of movement and it was also a lot more light-hearted. Sure Duke Nukem 3D had some scary bits (like the Octobrains which terrified me and still do), but it just felt a bit more cheery to play. Whilst the DOOM series reboot fixes all of the mobility issues, it’s still pretty dark and yet, if moody, gothic and apocalyptic settings are your thing, then this is most certainly the game for you.
For me, Doomguy is one of the most underrated video game protagonists of all time. He’s hard as nails but not flashy about it, and it’s fun to follow him making his way through the universe slaying whatever has the misfortune of getting in his way. The story and environment has an almost Metroid Prime feel about it which is really cool. The story is not necessarily why you would play this game but id Software makes an admirable attempt in setting up a story that basically just serves as a vehicle for Doomguy to do his thing.
Graphics / Sound Design
The graphics are gory-geous (get it?), and very in keeping with the apocalyptic theme. The walls around you often seem to be a mass of living matter and/or corpses and you get the feeling that the world you’re exploring is actually alive itself. Given the concerns over how the game would perform on Switch, there don’t appear to be any lag issues at all that I’ve noticed. Panic Button, who oversaw the port, deserves a round of applause for this. They also ported Rocket League, DOOM (2016), Wolfenstein II: New Colossus, Warframe and Torchlight 2 to the Switch and have knocked it out the park each time - Bravo!
The sound is, for me, one of the best parts of the game and I don’t often say that. The music is incredible – when you’re in a battle ground and are overwhelmed with enemies left, right and centre and the game’s epic rock-driven soundtrack is pounding away in the background, there’s not much more that gets the old pulse racing as much as this - Awesome (if sometimes stressful) stuff!
Click here to read our review of Monster Sanctuary
Final Score: 89%
I can think of so many superlatives to describe DOOM Eternal: epic, fun, terrifying, bonkers. It’s not for the light-hearted but it really is an experience that you must try and one that you’ll remember for years to come. Tell your friends about it, make sure they play it and they will (probably) thank you for it.
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