It’s no secret that I’m all about a game where I can switch my brain off for a while and enjoy a wild ride without complications. Obviously that makes the 2016 DOOM reboot one of my favourite games of this generation. As you can imagine then, I was pretty excited to get my hands on DOOM Eternal at EGX!
When we came across the booth set up by Bethesda to show off the latest blood crazy game in the franchise, it was clear they had gone all in on what makes those games so popular. With hanging chains, demolished walls, and the constant beat of Mick Gordon’s heavy and chainsaw riddled soundtrack emanating in the background, I was in Heaven. Even before seeing the booth I was taken aback when I saw the actual Doom Slayer himself walk past me. A 6ft 9 giant in full armour and with biceps like tree trunks! I’m tall, but by hell I was still impressed…
Waving our press passes like the cool kids we are, Luke, Jav and myself settled in to share our 30 minute slot on one PC running the allocated section of the game. Luke took first ups so I got a few minutes to appreciate just how good the game looks, running on a powerful gaming rig it runs smoother than the Doom Guy’s fist through a demon’s meaty midsection, and the colours pop off the screen like so many Hellbeast eyeballs!
When I got my turn I settled in, and things felt immediately familiar. The overall controls have been lifted from the 2016 game, and the Slayer still moves around the map with reckless abandon. Stop moving and you die is both the simplest and best advice anyone can give you about this title, as stopping to admire the scenery mid-fight will just leave you a well built target for the Hellish nasties surrounding you. Weapons feel satisfyingly weighty and powerful, with the bigger demons now having chunks of flesh ripped off by your shots as you try to bring them down. Glory Kills are back, and are aided in their cinematic brutality by Mr Doom Guy now having a collapsible blade strapped to his forearm.
The first new mechanic I noticed came about with my first death, as I watched the screen turn to black and white and the player character fall, the screen pulsed and suddenly I was back in the action with a small amount of health; we have extra lives now people! Just like the old days… Also new is the better air control with Doom Guy’s double jump now also accompanied by an airdash to send you flying across the battlefield; and when you land? How about popping out your shoulder mounted flamethrower for some flambe’d hell beasties? Basically it comes down to making the Doom Marine more dangerous even without his weapons, another example being the chainsaw, where you’re no longer relegated to having to equip and trigger the treefelling gore machine. Now you just tap the button and you’ll swing that thing like you’re going for a grandslam.
I only had ten minutes on the game, but even in that short space of time I can tell you, it’s more of what you love from 2016 dialed up to 11. Expect more blood, more metal and a lot more sadistic smiling on your part as you Raze Hell!
DOOM Eternal releases March 20th 2020Become a Patron!