18 March 2020 16:37
DOOM Eternal is coming in just two days, and according to the review-in-progress published yesterday by Chris, it's damn good. Doom Eternal is a brilliant game, one that is a worthy successor to the previous release. Going by the campaign alone, Doom Eternal is well worth your time and money, particularly so if you liked Doom (2016). Well, in case you were wondering, there is no regular Deathmatch mode in DOOM Eternal and Bethesda's Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communication Pete Hines explained exactly why in an interview with Shacknews. Doom Eternal Review-in-Progress – The Doom Slayer Returneth The biggest problem we thought we had with Doom 2016 was that [multiplayer] wasn't done at id, and felt really disconnected from the base game that everybody loved.
Whether you're playing by yourself or with others, we want it to feel like you're all playing the same game. That's as opposed to, 'I'm a badass demon slayer in single-player, but when I go over to multiplayer, there are no demons, and it's just Deathmatch.' I don't know what that has to do with [Doom] other than that, well, a couple of decades ago we had that, so we should just have that again. That said, DOOM Eternal will feature a brand new 'BATTLEMODE' designed by id Software, where one Slayer will face two player-controlled demons in intense matches to the best of five rounds. You can check out a deep dive with the developers on this mode in the video below, captured during the Bethesda Game Days 2020 at this year's PAX East. Talking to Shack News, Hines said that he didn't feel as if Doom Eternal was missing out on anything by not including deathmatch.
If there is one abiding takeaway from every single available critique of Doom Eternal, it's that it manages to surpass the frantic, fluid action of the 2016 reboot--already one of the better first-person shooters of the last five years. "Dealing with a particular demon assortment is akin to a real-time resource management puzzle game" Ars Technica For IGN's Ryan McAffrey, Doom Eternal manages to combine both "thoughtful design" and "dumb fun" with consummate skill. The speed of movement, the feel and feedback of the weapons, the mechanical balance of risk and reward--all of it makes Doom immediately satisfying to play, but Eternal asks for more tactical thinking than its predecessor. "Yes, blasting and ripping demons literally in half with your bare hands is a gleefully, gloriously stupid power fantasy, and Doom Eternal teaches you how to do it better, faster, and in multiple ways as you go--it makes you a smart Slayer." McAffrey added: "And when you've got all those monsters gunning for you, Doom Eternal does something unexpected: it starts to get intellectual in the midst of its carnage. To be effective, you need to start to read the defense like a quarterback at the line of scrimmage, and timing is everything." Ars Technica's Kyle Orland offered a similarly glowing appraisal of Doom Eternal's mechanical finesse. Honestly, you could pick any review at random and find these basic ideas, articulated with greater or lesser style and verbosity, but Orland conveys the thrilling challenge of the game's combat as well as anyone. "Efficiently dealing with a single room's particular demon assortment is akin to a real-time resource management puzzle game," Orland wrote. "Each enemy type has its own particular vulnerabilities-which the game explains to you rather bluntly on your first encounter-so you have to switch weapons constantly to conserve limited ammo. "Keeping all this straight in your head as you constantly bob and weave away from threats on all sides can feel a bit overwhelming, even for veterans of the last Doom. You will become a finely tuned stimulus-and-response machine, flowing through challenges that would have felt completely impossible just a few gameplay hours before. I suspect that, for a large chunk of Bethesda's target market, the confirmation that Doom Eternal provides more-of-the-same-but-better will justify a day one purchase--and that, it should be noted, is a fine achievement for id Software's developers. However, it's impossible to overlook another common undercurrent in the game's reviews; the idea that, in trying to add to the series' rip-and-tear formula, Doom Eternal stumbles a little, even if those missteps are taken in pursuit of worthy goals. VG247's Kirk McKeand noted that, in addition to setting a new standard for the series in terms of gunplay, id Software has also opened up the game's environments. "Here the arenas feel more organic, like part of an environment. "Doom Eternal does not need swimming sections. For USGamer's Mike Williams, the larger environments marr the perfection of the combat due to a greater number of platforming sections--a small part of Doom in 2016, but a major and often unwelcome distraction in Eternal. "You aren't required to listen to the audio diaries, or dip into the codex. "Platforming is a much bigger part of the experience now, and it's not always great, as I frequently found that the level design and environmental art would obfuscate the way forward," Williams noted. "On two of the jumps, I couldn't look around in time to know where the next jump was, meaning I had to take a leap in a random direction or just fall into the bottomless pit. Eurogamer's Edwin Evans-Thirlwell is one of several critics to find fault with Doom Eternal's greater emphasis on lore and world building. The story, such as it is, "feels hopelessly grafted on," and there's a great deal more of it to contemplate than in the first game. Nor are you required to listen to the audio diaries, or dip into the codex. But these elements drag on you nonetheless, like the lakes of purple goop that stop you running or jumping in certain levels. In the parting shot of its review of the original Doom in 1994, the venerable Edge magazine lamented its laser focus on combat with the now infamous line: "If you could only talk to the monsters." More than 25 years later, Doom Eternal's attempts to manoeuvre outside of that finely honed action, to provide narrative weight and character motivation, are the impetus for its only significant flaws.