DOOM Eternal Xbox One X Review

DOOM Eternal is an outstanding FPS with a bloody single-player campaign, just don't expect much from the multiplayer.

By Grayshadow, Posted 21 Mar 2020

DOOM Eternal takes everyone players loved about DOOM and gives us more. With the Doom Slayer ripping and tearing through hordes of demons in various closed arenas. DOOM Eternal provides classic FPS action for the modern age that demands precision and mobility as the demons of Hell try to tear the flesh from your bones. But despite the strong campaign issues with how the lore is delivered and lacking multiplayer options hinder this incredible title.

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DOOM Eternal takes place years after the first game. Hell's demonic horde have invaded and overtaken Earth. What's left of humanity now live in isolated shelters or attempt to fight back the demon horde. The Doom Slayer has come back to kill the demon horde and remove Hell's influence over humanity.

Unlike DOOM 2016 DOOM Eternal has a dense array of information, providing context to unanswered questions from the first game. Such as what has been happening on Earth between the 2016 game and DOOM Eternal, and even the Slayer's origins. The issue with this being that most of this critical information is locked behind optional codex entries found in the environment. Most of it is easy to unlock but missing even one means losing out on crucial knowledge. In addition, there's a lot of reading. Be prepared to dedicate about 1-2 hours to read the various codex entries regarding the game's lore and characters. Especially if you want to get a full understanding of what's happening since the cutscenes don't provide any context outside from what's currently occurring.

This is DOOM and the primary gameplay focus remains largely unchanged. The Doom Slayer travels to various locations including Earth, Hell, and other places killing demons. The primary goal being to eliminate Hell Priest to stop the demonic swarm. Each map is littered with arenas designed for fighting a specific set of demonic enemies and interconnecting tunnels that often house platforming challenges and secret items.
 

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Most of the game will have you killing the same demonic enemies. By the mid-point, you've encountered most of the enemies you'll face throughout the game, with the exception being boss encounters. Many of the targets have been featured in past games, which is a bit disappointing, but they're still incredibly designed and animated. Each requiring specific tactics to take down and id Software has added a weak point system. Some demons have vulnerable points that limit their offensive capabilities such as the Revenant's turrets. Destroying them greatly limits the demon's attacking options. Added to the mix are Buff Totems and a powerful demon that can improve the strength of the demonic horde and revive them until destroyed. These encounters can be frustrating since you have to search for these specific targets. To keep things from getting stale the run and gun mechanics have been refined with more mobility options and the constant need for supplies.

The Doom Slayer constantly needs ammo and id Software limited to what the Doom Slayer can carry. You constantly need ammo, health, and armor as enemies can make short work of the Slayer if cornered. Because of this, the player must map out escape routes, supply placements, and common enemy types. Unlike the first game, the Chainsaw plays a critical role in obtaining supplies as killing a target with a chainsaw attack provides ammo, health, and armor. Stronger enemies need 2 or 3 fuel charges to kill and the chainsaw only charges to 1, requiring jerry cans of fuel to kill larger demons. So you'll always want to know where weaker enemies are so you can chainsaw them for a boost in supplies. And yes, the controls are perfect, allowing players to switch between weapons easily and the game offering an option to automatically switch when a weapon is empty. 

Glory kills are still here and bloodier than ever. Weakening a target to its critical point will allow the Slayer to perform a bloody and violent takedown, allowing you to both save ammo on the killing blow and yield health pickups. This is constantly encouraging as chaining together Glory Kills not only looks incredible but can provide the added health boost to survive the onslaught.
 

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Outside of combat, the player will need to complete basic platforming challenges with a small mix of puzzles. These sections range from extremely easy to vexingly specific. There are a handful of jumps that require near perfection to complete and it can be extremely annoying when failed. Oh yea, and there are swimming sections where the Slayer has to swim into radiated waters that require constantly collecting radiation tokens to stay alive. All while locating walls to break down to lower the water level. These sections are the low-point the entire game and slow down the action to a halt. 

All of the game's environments have sections where you'll find all the secret areas and arenas. The Doom Slayer can collect vinyl records, toys, and unlock hidden areas for optional encounters. These encounters provide the player with challenged timed or combat situations against hordes of difficult demons. When completed you're rewarded with keys and tokens but these optional tasks do not refill your supplies so taking them on has a risk to them. The game does provide a helpful list of everything hidden in each level, which is ideal for those wishing to100% the game.

A massive improvement from the previous game is the in-game map. This sounds small but those who played DOOM 2016 know how terrible that in-game map was. Here id Software made massive improvements, making it much easier to navigate and locate hidden items. Showing where you have been and key items that may be of interest.
 

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New to DOOM Eternal is the FORTRESS OF DOOM. This area serves as your base of operations to train and look at your collectables. It's also here that the Slayer can use Sentinel Batteries found throughout the game to unlock additional upgrades, cosmetic changes, and train in his own personal prison for demons. It's a very cool area and excellently designed with a variety of rooms. You also get to see what the Slayer likes, outside from killing demons.

The Doom Slayer can upgrade himself with Predator tokens from fallen Sentinel warriors, tokens from completing challenges, and weapon mods and mastery tasks. You're given plenty of weapons to choose from and most are from the existing pool of known DOOM weapons such as the shotgun, rifle, and more. With the exception of 2 weapons, each set of 2 guns use the same ammo type. Each weapon, with the exception of 2, has 2 weapon mods that can be swapped out at any time in gameplay. You can upgrade theses further using challenge tokens earned in-game which when fully upgraded requires the player to complete a specific challenge to obtain the last option. But you can bypass this with a mastery token obtained within the game.

I did wish there were more unique weapon options instead of just the recycled ones but they do the job. The Doom Slayer isn't picky with his weapons and has a specific taste. With each weapon serving its purpose and eventually you'll learn what weapon is ideal for each situation. And there's plenty of varied situations in DOOM Eternal.
 

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id Software went above and beyond with the environmental design of DOOM Eternal. Each area is intricately designed with details that breathe life into this incredible world. Often I was in awe of the environments, especially towards the end. A specific theme that complements your actions is always present. Whether it's in the heat of combat or exploring the area for that hidden item, Mick Gordon did an outstanding job with the music in DOOM Eternal.

The enemies themselves will often be seen fighting one another, showcasing their violent nature before the Slayer arrives but this is merely cosmetic. No damage is taken between them but it does add to the atmosphere as these are violent monsters. I did wish id would've shown human soldiers fighting in the background instead of just demons. It would've added weight to the conflict, showing that even though humans are at the brink of extinction that some are still fighting. After all, you do see humans in this campaign and even get radio broadcasts of the resistance trying to fend off the demons.
 

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DOOM Eternal's multiplayer mode is lacking in comparison to DOOM. Currently, only BATTLEMODE is available. Here 1 player takes control of the Doom Slayer and 2 players take on the role of a powerful demon from the main campaign. The Doom Slayer player must take down the demon players, who have the benefit of respawning and enemy adds to aid them in battle. The Doom Slayer is fully equipped with almost every weapon. With each round, both teams select 1 upgrade regardless of who won.

Playing as the demons from the campaign is thrilling but the mode isn't balanced like the multiplayer was an afterthought. Since demons have the benefit of respawning within 30 seconds of death and have access powerful adds such as the Arachnotron and Hell Knight the demon players can easily lock down the Slayer into a corner. This is why most of the matches I played had the Slayer player leaving almost immediately before the match even began. There's no team deathmatch, domination, capture the flag, no anything. This is very strange considering that DOOM 2016 launched with a robust collection of multiplayer options. Another stranger decision is that you cannot see all the cosmetics. Gamers usually like to see what they can earn, and in turn, this creates a desire to encourage players to keep playing.

When you get into a match often demon players will charge the Slayer since both players can move before a match officially begins. The Slayer has his the default dash ability and little health recovery when killing demons. The enemy team, especially Marauders, will often take the Slayer out within ease because of these disadvantages. Especially since demon players have such powerful adds charging the Slayer. Despite demons being unable to recover health, unless you're playing against an incompetent demon team being the Slayer is nearly a guarantee loss.
 

DOOM Eternal's single-player is fantastic. The fast-paced campaign offers a lot of highs and a few lows. With incredible arena-style battles and some frustrating platforming sections. The narrative and lore, while a benefit for the franchise as a whole, needed to be delivered better. Focusing less on optional narrative codex entries that are easily missable. And the few platforming sections that required near-perfect jumping should've been revised to allow for easily jumping. But the low point of the package has to be multiplayer, which is a step down from DOOM in both variety and balance. DOOM Eternal is an outstanding FPS with a bloody single-player campaign, just don't expect much from the multiplayer.

Adam Siddiqui,
Senior Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

DOOM Eternal

80/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher(s): Bethesda
Developer(s): id Software
Genres: First Person Shooter, Action
Themes: Fantasy, Science-Fiction
Release Date: 3/20/2020

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