Let me say before I begin that I only played the single player campaign. I’m aware that there is a whole new set of things to do and unlock in the Battlemode multiplayer, but I messed around with none of it. So the thoughts about the game and the final scores are based on single player only. Because well, single player is mainly what I do.
Doom Eternal is all about managing resources. That’s right your favorite shooter has become kind of a survival game. Instead of your normal FPS, Doom Eternal now almost makes it a point to limit ammo, health, and armor. Not only how much you can carry, but how much you can just find. That’s because in the new play model you can get any of these any time you want; kinda. What I mean is if you need some health then you need to perform a glory kill on a foe, if you want an enemy to drop some armor, you need to set them on fire, no worries you have a flame thrower, or if you are running low on ammo slice someone up with your chainsaw, they will drop something for everything you have and you will always regenerate at least one cell of fuel for your chainsaw.
Sounds like that would make things easier, but it really complicates things. You don’t look for what you need and pick it up, instead you are juggling your weapons to refill your resources for them. To complicate things further many of the creature now have certain weak points that are only vulnerable to certain weapons. So, it doesn’t matter if you really love that shotgun you may need the Ballista to do the real damage to that enemy. Sounds advantageous but there is a whole lot of pausing, pulling up the weapon wheel, and swapping out for the right thing for the right situation.
Once you get your groove down though it can get smooth. You’ll learn where to go to get what you need and it becomes kind of a dance. Until that is you meet the marauder.
I say that because the only opponent I had an issue with through the whole game was the marauder. That’s because he is very specific. He does a lot of damage, has a pet of sorts, a shield, and you need to time your attack. Strike just after his eyes flash, that’s it, anything else and you are out of luck. Even your BFG is pretty much useless. My marauder encounters were frustrating and the only time that my game really was ground to a halt.
On top of all that stuff to juggle while you play there are all kinds of upgrades to worry about; for your suit, your weapons, your base, everything. And this is a Doom game so of course there are a bunch of secret locations where you can find weapon mods and upgrades, but they really aren’t all that secret. They show up for you on your map if you just poke around. There is an upgrade you can get to increase your spread of finding stuff, but it was the last thing I bought because as long as you really just explore, you won’t need it.
A really cool thing that is in this title is the cheat codes. Not in the old school sense, but kind of. There are a number of three and a half inch disks hidden in the levels that equal the cheat codes of the original game. Once you finish a level you can activate any of these codes and go back and play through with the code on. For an old school gamer it was pretty cool.
On the Plus Side
- Smooth controls in a very fast paced environment
- Big levels with plenty to find
- Lots of stuff to pick up once you figure it out
- Lots of upgrades to worry about
- TONS of resources to manage
I was initially worried about this title after finding out a colleague had returned it after deciding it was too hard, but honestly once you figure out how to manage your resources and quickly fill them, it can be a lot of run and gun fun.