A few years ago, I would have scoffed at the idea of Doom being a relevant gaming franchise in 2019. Now I think that Doom Eternal could be one of the best shooters ever.
Doom Eternal is coming out to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia (Google’s upcoming game-streaming platform), and PC. It’s a sequel to the 2016 Doom reboot, a game that shocked me with its quality.
Like it’s predecessor, Doom Eternal takes a retro-inspired approach the FPS genre. You don’t regenerate health, you can’t snap your character behind the safety of cover, and you can carry all of your guns on you at the same time. Doom Eternal inspires you to be aggressive, as the only way to get ammo, health, and armor is by killing things.
Fight to survive
Doom Eternal rewards you with different resources based on how you kill things. If you execute an enemy close to death, you get health. Chainsawing a demon gives you ammo. Using a flamethrower on them gives you armor.
This system makes sure you’re not just using guns to kill enemies from a safe distance. You have to get up close to keep yourself healthy, which also puts you in danger. It makes for a kind of exhilarating shooter experience that no one else matches.
Of course, you are still using a ton of guns. I was switching between shotguns, rocket launchers, and other more alien weapons, each of them with alternate fire modes. For the super shotgun, the alternative fire launches a grappling hook that propels you toward the enemy it hits. It’s a great tool for closing large distances between enemies quickly.
Since ammo can be scarce, you’ve often forced to switch between your weapons. Doom Eternal doesn’t let you pick a favorite and only use it. You have to be versatile. And with so many fun guns, you don’t mind switching between them so often.
More run and jump to go with your gun
Doom Eternal is also upgrading your movement. You can now run, climb, dash, and jump off of walls. None of this is revolutionary, but it makes traversal in Doom Eternal more interesting that its predecessors. The first-person platforming sections between all of those intense fights can now offer their own thrills.
It doesn’t suddenly make Doom feel like Uncharted or Prince of Persia. You aren’t constantly jumping from wall to wall. It’s a tasteful amount of movement flair.
Eternal does feel a lot like Doom 2016. I don’t have a problem with that. That game was great, and Doom Eternal feels like it could be even better.