Against all the evil that Hell can conjure, all the wickedness that mankind can produce, we will send unto them… only you. Rip and tear, until it is done.
Nope, not the Dark Lord this time, but still, bravo to you if you read that in King Novik’s voice! It’s time for another game review and this time it is the one and only DOOM Eternal! This game was released last year just before everything went to hell in the world and funny enough it also released at the same time as the new Animal Crossing game so hence the adorable crossovers on the Internet. When this game was released, that was when I suddenly remembered how much I really wanted to check out this franchise.
Before that, I was considering checking out the 2016 game first (which I got when it was on sale) and remembered all the good things I heard about this franchise which was the brutal soundtrack and gameplay, like it was a shooter I was born to play. But of course, I had not pursued it at that time since I was currently playing other games. I just added them to my wishlist saying eh, one day. But then came DOOM Eternal and when I saw how epic the game was, boom, I bumped the games up to my the top of my play-next list! This game eventually went on sale too and I snagged it. It is a sequel to the 2016 game, so spoilers as usual, possible rambles too, you’ve been warned!
The game’s story has a strong intro taking place 14 years after the events of the last game, now all of a sudden Earth has been overrun by the demons. More than half of the population has been wiped out, the place has been terraformed with the consumption. To me it seems like despite Olivia Pierce’s death, the UAC became corrupt and decided to continue her work and they see the invasion as something sacred. Our Doom Slayer arrives now with a big badass fortress and is ready to save Earth from the demons.
I’m not sure how we got here because the last game ended with him being teleported away to an unknown location by Samuel Hayden, and VEGA is back too now as Doomguy’s AI companion and only source of company in the fortress. I do love that fortress though, especially the room where all the collectables are!
Anyway, in order to quell the invasion, Doomguy sets out to kill the three Hell Priests Deag Nilox, Grav, and Ranak. It is revealed that they serve the Khan Maykr, the leader of the ethereal race known as the Maykrs and she desires to sacrifice mankind in order to save her own dying race, more on that later. She stops at nothing to prevent Doomguy from killing the priests by moving them to hard-to-reach places and taking over the fortress remotely before the final confrontation with her.
I was initially surprised about the story at first because it was a huge jump in the lore content compared to the last game, even if most of it is in the codex entries. Despite the complexity at first sight, I am still passionate about storytelling in video games and I believed that the more that unfolded, the more I was going to love this game so I kept playing, read the codex pages as often as I could and let that new lore process in my brain at its own pace because I really was interested in it all, especially the Maykrs and the demons.
For most players, the increased focus on storytelling can be a turnoff, since they will play these games just to kill demons, but for me, it’s great so I’m always investing time learning more about this particular universe!
The gameplay is definitely harder than the last game even though I was playing on Hurt Me Plenty again. It’s the same combat I know and love, but the demons that return are a lot tougher like the Cacodemons, Mancubus, Barons of Hell, etc. and then there’s new demons like the Prowler, Archvile, Arachnotron, Tyrant (which is meant to resemble the Cyberdemon from the original games in the 90’s), Carcass, Whiplash, Marauder, and once again I find myself running around aggressively shooting at them as they keep coming from all directions and glory-killing as much as possible to get health restored and the happy hormones discharging. Glory kills are much more brutal in this game now that you can break demons’ arms and you have a wrist blade too! Chainsaw and BFG are back, the former good for grabbing ammo and the latter for crowd control. You can also set enemies on fire for armor or freeze them which can turn the tide. Sometimes demons are empowered which makes them stronger but they drop more loot when killed too.
There’s also some emphasis on platforming which is straightforward and often requires timing and patience to get through it successfully as well as puzzles but they are not as difficult compared to what I’ve faced in other games.
Aside from the gameplay being even more intense it’s not always difficult. In the beginning I found myself struggling a lot, but this game also introduces the usage of extra lives so that if you have any, you will respawn instantly instead of warping to the last checkpoint. I took advantage of this before starting another level to go back to previous ones to collect those extra lives, just to ease the challenge a little. Some gamers might laugh at me for choosing to do that but I don’t want to get too frustrated that I no longer enjoy the game! I went into the last two levels with at least 35 lives and finished with 27, so that was a big help.
Even though the enemies are tougher, the game also teaches you how to defeat certain ones when you encounter them for the first time, including bosses which can make things less frustrating such as what their weaknesses are. I like this approach because the fast-paced combat doesn’t give you a lot of time to stop and think, but if you know your enemy’s weak spot, reacting quickly saves you ammo and health. There are optional encounters you can do too, and a fast-travel feature towards the end of each level, allowing you to go back to get any collectables if you’re a completionist.
With regards to characters, there are a few more than the last game. Doomguy has not changed, he prefers to rip and tear demons rather than speak, but he’s also shown to be a wholesome lad given what you can find around his fortress between levels, like a portrait of himself with his pet rabbit Daisy. Despite being part of the Night Sentinels, he is still human and of course that is why he still desires to save the Earth from the demons.
When VEGA returned I was confused because wait a minute, didn’t I just shut him down on Mars? Then I did some recapping and then remembered that when Doomguy destroyed VEGA’s core in the previous game, he created a backup of the latter. But when I went to Urdak and he started muttering something about being the Father, I got suspicious (not to mention the logo on the back of his chip is the same as the one I saw on all the doors and consoles in Urdak too). Is he this Father? Well I’m sure the DLCs will confirm if that’s true.
Dr. Samuel Hayden has clearly been busy forming a resistance against the demonic invasion and corrupt UAC, there’s no explanation how he lost his legs, but he’s still willing to help Doomguy in need which is good, even if some of his lines are repetitive. Oh and am I the only one who wishes I could punch that hologram of that spokesperson? Sure, what she’s saying is crazy but her voice is just so damn annoying!
Valen the Betrayer is an interesting fellow, a former Night Sentinel commander who exiled himself to Hell after making a deal with Deag Grav, one of the priests to bring his son back to life. However that went horribly wrong which resulted in his treachery being exposed to the Sentinels. When I met Valen he gave me something which foreshadowed what was to come later in the game. I must say that was unexpected.
Choosing moments for this game wasn’t easy, most of the good ones when it comes to the story don’t come until later on. The game’s story had its on and off cool moments in the beginning of the game, like once I killed Deag Ranak and his three Doom Hunters, went to destroy a Super Gore Nest, which was also fun, then rescuing Dr. Hayden while that badass The Only Thing They Fear Is You plays in the background. It’s so funny how Doomguy interacts with humans and they’re just all scared of him… well except for this one guy who idolizes him. Anyway, the part where things got exciting was Sentinel Prime.
There’s no fighting as I traveled towards the arena, but the music was giving me goosebumps, the Khan Maykr was trying to dissuade me, and along the way I started to see flashbacks of the Slayer’s past that tie to some of the older games like DOOM 64. When Doomguy spoke for the first time, my heart stopped and then again in the arena flashback until it returns to the present and Deag Grav unleashes the Gladiator.
That boss fight had me jumping around the place to avoid the attacks while waiting until its eyes flashed green so I could shoot him with my Super Shotgun! But the music was epic, especially the first part where you could hear the chanting choir, no wonder Mick Gordon needed more time to put out the soundtrack! The second part got harder and once I put him down, I felt so relieved but knew it was time to leave immediately as the Sentinels were pretty pissed!
Taras Nabad isn’t my absolute favorite level, but it did have a lot of intense moments as well. When the Khan Maykr threatens to awaken the Icon of Sin, Doomguy knows he’s got to arm himself well for that kind of monster. What got me confused about this part of the game is in Arc Complex, I retrieved the Crucible that Samuel took from me and used it to power the fortress after the Khan Maykr shut it down remotely. Then Samuel said I would be going to Taras Nabad to get another Crucible, oh so wait there’s more than one? Okay then…. well I’ll go.
This part of the game also introduced Archviles which are definitely my least favorite demons now, Summoners were a lot easier to deal with. Then there was another flashback where Doomguy sees the Divinity machine and recalls being led to it by a mysterious figure that looked like a Maykr and used the machine to grant him incredible power which led to him being called the Slayer. Of course, I knew they were the same person, I’ve just always called him Doomguy because it seems to be a staple among fans.
I thought that Titan was going to come back to life, and it is apparently the Dreadnought that our Slayer defeated long ago. When I finally got my badass Crucible sword at the end of the level, I felt unstoppable. God, this game was definitely robbed of so many awards it deserved! It was fun to test it out in the battle afterwards, and the other levels to come.
My journey through Nekravol and Urdak is when I realized the game was going to get a perfect score from me. It went from simply amazing to outstandingly beautiful albeit some of it is either disturbing or suspicious. It’s like Samuel knows everything about these worlds, either he’s been busy studying them or he’s not telling me something I should know.
In Nekravol, the deeper the went the more shocked I became seeing all those humans packed in cages barely alive. I didn’t want to picture them being tortured, all I saw was them being shipped from one place to another, some of them were even falling into pits of blood, and then I saw the Soul Extractor. Not sure how it connects to all those cages, but maybe I don’t want to know. The worst part is after the souls are extracted, the remaining bodies eventually turn into demons. The more I ascended, the more souls I saw being compressed into Argent Energy and the top looks like a Maykr citadel with two Titans to top it off.
It turns out that Argent Energy isn’t just something renewable that the UAC got from Hell. It is the combination of Hell Essence and Sentinel Energy and has been used for many things that have resulted in miraculous results such as healing terminally ill and allowing the Maykrs to continue to prosper.
Upon entering Urdak, it looked so beautiful there, how could it possibly be a dying world? The score for Urdak is eerie like you know it may be beautiful, but something is wrong and that is that the Maykrs are relying on Argent Energy to survive now, otherwise they go extinct.
I definitely like the Khan Maykr as a villain, sure she does everything remotely for most of the game which is something I have seen a lot, but there’s just something about her that interests me. One thing for sure is that I really like her voice and that’s when I discovered it’s the same voice as Asajj Ventress from The Clone Wars. She may look pretty, but after you defeat her, you realize the Maykrs just use their pretty armor to make themselves look angelic, they’re all just flesh and exposed cortex underneath. I like to also think that prolonged exposure to Argent Energy has corrupted her appearance without that armor.
Before the Seraphim stole the Father’s essence, the Maykrs relied on it when it was time to form the next Khan, but when it was stolen during the time the current Khan was in power, she no longer had a successor, allowing her to rule without any limit. But the Maykrs are not immortal and are a hivemind based society solely relying on a Khan Maykr to survive and to obey. This particular Khan Maykr took the opportunity to spread her people’s influence throughout different worlds. However, during this time she realized she needed to find another way for her world to continue to prosper.
When meeting the Doom Slayer for the first time, the Khan Maykr became interested in the demons and Hell and learned of its essence. While she had an alliance with the Sentinels of Argent D’Nur, she continued to search for a solution and secretly made a pact with the Dark Lord of Hell to create more Argent Energy to allow her people to flourish, in exchange for giving the demons more worlds to invade and consume, which of course, included Earth. From there, the Nekravol facility was born and all that torture and extraction just make more Argent Energy so she can save her own world. I can understand her motives, I mean she really cares about her race and is willing to do anything for them, even if it means sacrificing others, but given what was happening to humanity, no wonder this resulted in the alliance with the Argenta being broken.
Fighting the Khan Maykr was a challenge but an enjoyable one as I had to watch my step with the parts of the terrain she electrified and get close enough to drop her shield and Meathook/Blood punch. Who was that crying out after she died anyway? I had no time to ask more since there was still the matter of the Icon of Sin which I will have to talk about a little since it is the real final boss of this game!
The Icon of Sin in reality, is supposed to be Valen’s son resurrected but Deag Grav tricked Valen into believing that he could help the latter but instead turned his son into a massive Titan which the Khan Maykr used as a weapon to destroy Earth. This battle was absolute chaos with me spending most of it trying to find a spare moment to shoot at the Titan when demons were not pummeling me, or scavenging for ammo and fuel from those demons! But, it definitely was ten times more fun to fight than the Spider Mastermind from the last game! What can I say? I’ve wanted to fight a Titan in this game the moment I saw one! The score for this fight is also, no doubt, ten times better than the Spider Mastermind.
So, final praiseworthy things of this game: graphics are absolutely stunning! Every place is beautifully detailed, even Hell! Soundtrack, excellent as usual, I really hope the dispute regarding it can be resolved soon because it will make a fine addition to my collection. The fortress is such a wholesome place like I said, not just with Doomguy’s collectables and Daisy portrait but also hilarious books on the shelf, its general layout and lower area you can practice fighting demons in. I even found an Easter egg of Daisy on one of the levels too!
The game also has a leveling feature with cosmetic items you can unlock too, but I’m glad that leveling up and obtaining these items, is not restricted to the multiplayer Battlemode, and can just acquired by doing campaign levels if you like.
Favorite levels: Doom Hunter Base, Super Gore Nest, Arc Complex, Sentinel Prime, Taras Nabad, Nekravol (Part I and II), Urdak, and Final Sin.
Favorite weapons: Plasma Rifle, Super Shotgun, Ballista, Crucible, BFG-9000, Unmaykr, and Chaingun.
Favorite demons: Cacodemon, Pain Elemental, Pinky, Dread Knight, Baron of Hell, Doom Hunter, Tyrant, and Marauder.
To conclude this review, yes it was a lot of babbling but I thought a lot of my words through before typing it up here and I’ve had some followers tell me they like how I do that. So, this game is definitely a fantastic work of art with heavy metal and big freaking guns, just like the last game. The last game will always hold a special place in my heart because it is what got me into DOOM in the first place. But DOOM Eternal, baby this game is absolutely even more phenomenal than ever, the devs really poured their hearts and souls into this one and it was and still is worth every moment to play! It goes leaps and bounds with story, gameplay, and everything in between.
The story did leave me with some unanswered questions in the end, but I have no doubt the DLCs will address them for me. Fantastic game, practically a masterpiece in shooters and melts away my stress and rage from reality.
Too bad I can’t give 666 stars! Well, let’s hope I can survive The Ancient Gods next!