It’s judgement day for our favourite demon slayer.
DOOM Eternal has had me nervous for some time now. The reboot that came around in 2016 was one of the best shooters in a long while, providing a fantastically cathartic and rigorously metal mess of gore and pinch ultraviolence, capturing everything that made the 1990s games so popular while updating the franchise to fit in perfectly in the modern era. So, suffice to say, the idea of a sequel had my heart pounding and my fists clenched.
But then, came Wolfenstein: The New Colossus. Sequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order, one of my all-time favourites, this game was #1 on my hype list for 2018. Shame it turned out shit, eh?
Yes, ‘Wolfenstien’ as a series saw something of a dip in quality with its most recent instalment- a campaign that was far too short, a far weaker villain, exceedingly poor level design that made it easy to get yourself stuck on a level that simply hides the door to the next room, and an overreliance on the cutscenes that had admittedly worked very well in its predecessor, Wolfenstein’s sequel simply did not hit the high marks we’d all expected. That’s not to call the series dead- after all, the upcoming expansion/mini-sequel ‘Wolfenstien; Youngblood’ has me hyped regardless, just that we were all left wanting as of yet.
As such. the latest entry in Wolfenstein’s sister series, ‘DOOM: Eternal’, has some big boots to fill. But there are a few cues that lead me to believe that DOOM: Eternal will be the best game of the 5, period. Three, to be exact.
The game is built on player feedback
Specifically, DOOM: Eternal is rehauling its Multiplayer aspect, which was by far the most criticised aspect of the original. A competitive multiplayer of some kind will indeed return, similarly to DOOM 2016, but this time it’s to be developed in-house by ID Software, not farmed out to Certain Affinity, meaning the core vision for punchy, push-forward shooting action will consistent across all aspects of the game; this shows not only that DOOM is now united under a core creative vision, but that ID has been listening to consumer feedback.
With luck, this should mean that the few kinks DOOM had – the slightly milquetoast alt-fires, the game getting too easy toward the ends, etc – should be ironed out this time around. I’m expecting the later levels to be as hard as nails and make full use of every kind of combat the game has to offer.
It’s not made by MachineGames or Bethesda Game Studios
A big one, this. There’s a common misconception that DOOM as a franchise is run by the same studio as Wolfenstein. This is not the case; whilst ID software did originally create both Wolfenstein and DOOM, the former has since been handed to Machine Games, a separate development studio in Sweden. Thus, DOOM is not privy to the same creative mistakes made by its sister series. There will be no focus on a slow and dull narrative, no temptations to eschew politics into the marketing (Although FYI: fuck Nazis) and certainly, no new characters distracting from the heart of the series. This game is about shooting the fuck out of Demons and nothing else, just like ID know is right. DOOM 2016 was all about making a fantastic video game first and everything else second.
Furthermore, whilst ID and MachineGames both exist under the ‘Bethesda’ umbrella, neither was made by the same guy as Fallout 76. That’s a massive thing to remember. Fallout 76, quite possibly the most abhorrent release of 2018, was made as a spin-off experiment (Most likely on the whim of clueless publishers), whereas DOOM: Eternal is a direct follow-up to a single well-received product. Bethesda Softworks (The shared publisher) isn’t run by monkeys, just some occasionally silly humans. They know that the takeaway from the Uber successful DOOM 2016 was ‘More please’, and I’m fairly sure they’re happy to oblige.
Everything we’ve seen so far looks fantastic
Wall climbing. Grapple hooks. a BFG the size of a skyscraper. This game takes DOOM (2016)’s dial, which was already set to 11, and cranks it up to 17. The Doomslayer’s armour has gone from generic power armour to the shell of something so frightening you’d call it the final boss of a lesser game. Humans in this world are shown to shit their pants at the sight of you – Even though you’re on their side. You’re equipped with a 20-inch saw blade on your wrist and a grappling hook affixed to the bottom of your shotgun.
This game looks intense in every conceivable way. Every element of DOOM has been improved upon, further developing the core that has been built and refining it into its most pure elements – Whilst DOOM 2016 was an update of DOOM, ‘Eternal’ is an update of ‘DOOM 2: Hell on Earth’, the game that saw you murder John Romero’s severed head on a pike, hidden behind an Icon of Sin, as the final boss. If that’s not the most metal shit you’ve ever witnessed, I’d like to know what it’s like living in the solid core of the planet. This game is going to be pure Grunge, Violence, and another Mick Gordon soundtrack. Just what the doctor ordered.
Do you have any predictions or thoughts on DOOM Eternal? Too bad. See you in Hell.