Coming off of Doom 2016, I was left feeling a sense of bittersweetness. This awesome nonstop series of escalating, adrenaline-pumping action set pieces culminated in an epic finale that left me wanting more. But could they possibly reach the highs that I had just played through? At Quakecon 2019 I got my answer, that answer is f**k yes. The Doom Eternal demo shattered any doubts I had and raised my anticipation to all-new levels.
The game is fully aware of what it is and throws aside any of Doom’s shortcomings and unashamedly embraces everything is known for and cranks it up to 11. The Doomslayer feels like even more of a demon-killing God with the addition of a built-in flamethrower and chainsaw (which instantly kills most if not all non-boss demons) each having their purpose, glory kills give health, flames give armor, etc. This built-in move set means that outside of the arsenal of weapons you are given you are never in a helpless position and you can punch your way back into the fight tooth and nail to get that ammo to back to unleash a full salvo into the next demon to cross your path.
Doom wouldn’t be doom without an impressive array of weapons to vanquish the demons that lay in wait. Eternals offering is no different and front and center are the shotgun this thing never ceases to impress be its regular fire or its alternative fire the shotgun is just a joy to wield. It sounds amazing. It feels amazing. Besides the mouthwatering fan favorite, there is a host of standard Doom weapons on offer which all feel unique and have alternative fires that change the pace of the game for the better. Everything you do in Doom Eternal is constantly pushing you forward and it is exhilarating.
It is in this relentlessly intuitive forward progression that the game just absorbs you into its mentality at various points throughout the demo I would get lost in the chaining together kills with the music pumping only to take note of what I had actually just accomplished when everything in my way was dead. It’s this surreal feeling that you only take a breather when the Doomslayer gets a breather which is rare. It really helped emphasis the threat of the demons. Outside of non-stop demon-killing, there are some platform sections that were really enjoyable. Utilizing a wall climb and dashing around really opened up ways of traversing levels and in turn finding those ever fun collectibles.
Mick Gordon is back here providing the amazing soundtrack that is in no small feat a key component of what makes this Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal entries so exciting and visceral. It entices the player to keep pushing subconsciously psyching the player for whatever the game has to throw at them. Mick’s music is essential to the miss en scene for the game and I believe everyone knows this so he’s back doing his thing and it is just a beautiful thing to behold especially with a good set of headphones on.
The story was being kept fairly under wraps for the demo and I was okay with that one thing that surprised me about Doom 2016 was how engaging the story was more so the backstory of what was happening but the main narrative that was unfolding was also pleasant. The same can be said for Eternal the environmental storytelling is still present and I am sure the main plotline will be at worst serviceable to the next piece of the action, which is a Doom game is why you are playing.
I left my time with Doom Eternal in awe of what I had just played this honestly feels like the perfect evolution to Doom 2016 which I never thought I would be saying. Doom Eternal is set to launch on November 22nd and although I always advocate against pre-orders, this is definitely a day one buy for myself and based on this hour demo, a potential game of the year contender.