Monday, April 6, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 281 - Doom Eternal

Doom Eternal is the kind of risky "AAA" sequel we don't really see much anymore. Instead of just giving us more Doom 2016, Doom Eternal radically changes the gameplay flow, introduces (crap) platforming, and tells an epic (confusing) tale of gods and demons instead of just pointing you in a drection and telling you to rip and tear. It all somehow works. Mostly. Read more and watch gameplay here.

While Doom 2016 was a pure oldschool arcade-style shooter, Doom Eternal changes things up. Now the gameplay has a rock-paper-scissors approach where you have to glory kill for health, chainsaw kill for ammo, and burn enemies for armor shards. At first it is kind of confusing and I really struggled for the first couple hours. But once you figure out that you HAVE to use all of the abilities, and start to use them effectively, Doom Eternal is really enjoyable. I kind of like the fact that they made the changes because it encourages you to be much more mobile, to use all of your weapons, and to take advantage of everything the game has to offer. 

A less successful change is the terrible, terrible, awful platforming where the game wants you to swing around and double jump and boost around huge sections of the maps. I. Freaking. Hate. This. The platforming controls are semi-unresponsive, and some of the sections are long and you have to pretty much do every step perfectly, so dying and trying over and over again because the game didn't automatically grab a horizontal bar it was supposed to or your button presses didn't register properly is a huge pain in the ass. The game would be better with none of this.

The strange focus on story is also not terribly successful. In Doom 2016 the Doom slayer wakes up and goes on a fun happy killing spree for no reason other than demons are ugly and needed to be taken care of. In Doom Eternal you're dropped into the middle of an invasion of Earth by the mobs of Hell and somehow there are evil demon gods and also the Slayer is a demigod that has a kickass space station all to himself. What the fuck? When did all this happen? What hugely important comic of straight to DVD movie did we miss that would explain all of this? It's all total nonsense that is completely unnecessary. Just let us rip and tear and get out of the way.

Despite of a couple of stumbles, the whole package does come together fairly nicely. The gameplay is fun and the change in flow works well. The visuals are amazing and the music is perfect, too. All in all, it's a fun shower of blood and gore and demons.