Once again it unleashes the hell: DOOM is back, and more than 27 years away from the original title is more in shape than ever. The route we have taken with the reboot of 2016 proved to be the right one, and DOOM Eternal pull straight in that direction , following the golden rule of the sequel: refine, expand and improve without distorting. And he can’t.
- Platform tested: PC
- CPU: Intel Core i7-5820k
- GPU: MSI GTX 1070 8 GB Armor OC
- RAM: 4×8 GB HyperX Savage, DDR4 @2400 MHz
- SSD: Samsung 970 EVO 500 GB
- Controls: keyboard+mouse
- Support for the gamepad
- Hours game total: 43
- Also available on: Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch (more on that later), Google Staff
Even if not immediately, it seems, the changes made with respect to DOOM 2016 are numerous and, above all, very deep. The game mechanics are more refined, reasoned and optimized. The goal is to compel the player to adopt a fast-paced gameplay, without the breath, in which always give the bottom of all their energies. It’s a feeling that I hadn’t felt so intense from the time of Quake III Arena, which was, however, essentially a multiplayer, to the maximum emulated in a single with the bot. Be able to recreate it in a campaign to all the effects the single player is the main reason of pride for id (on the side of gameplay, of course).
Another aspect that has been finished further is the layout of the maps. Typically In a FPS traditional you know that the opponents are scattered a bit all over the place – sometimes many, sometimes few, but in general you will find behind every corner. In DOOM Eternal, instead, sessions combat organised in real arenas (and here, too, the reference to Q3A is not random) if I alternate with other exploration – that help not only to catch our breath, but also to do practice with the “control plane”, including double jumps, the new shots double, rock climbing, bounce pad, and bars that allow you to extend the jump. Also DOOM 2016 was more or less organized as well, but here the separation between the two phases of the game is still more distinct. This does not mean that the areas between the arena and the other to be completely deserted, to be clear, but there is a greater tendency to separate the two phases of the game.
All the mechanics that govern the movement advanced, it is necessarily to learn to bottom to survive in combat, especially in the higher difficulty levels, so it is convenient to have these sort of long “tutorial”, that id has failed to integrate organically and keep interesting filling them with rewards, “secondary”, such as collectible items and power-ups.
In any case, these are the three basic rules to keep in mind in the approach to DOOM Eternal:
- Rule number one: he who hesitates is lost. There are some circumstances in which you can hide in a corner far away and cecchinare like, but they are extremely rare. In general, the approach is: chased in the scrum and processed in a blender human. You have to constantly run, jump, fly, teleport, and shoot from one side to the other of the arena. Compared to its predecessor, DOOM Eternal approach of most aircraft: in arenas you will find a large amount of jump pads, like in the maps of Quake 3, in addition to a double jump and the double shot next.
- Rule number two: the demons less powerful, are irreplaceable sources – and renewable! – of resources. It was already seen in the previous title, but here it is even more important – indeed, is fundamental. All Glory Kill (now faster, to not stop too much on the flow of combat) restores a little life: every attack with the chainsaw generates ammunition; every demon burned from the flamethrower releases flakes of armor. The demons less powerful, like the Imp, the Gargoyle and the zombie soldiers continue to regenerate every time you kill. This allows the player to always have valuable resources to continue the fight – so much so that the pick-up traditional become almost secondary, to be recovered in the stages of an emergency. Of course, this system requires the most attention: chainsaw and flamethrower have time to cooldown, and the window to connect to a Glory Kill is short. And then, behold, those renewable resources will bring you well on the commitment to make you out!
Rule number three: the arsenal should be exploited. Well, maybe not every single weapon upgrade, but we are close. id has attempted to develop an arsenal of well-balanced, which enhances the good in the course of the game; and also added the weak spots for every type of opponent, which are explained the first time you meet them. For example: you can prepare for a Glory Kill a Cacodemon instantly if you make him eat a grenade, or you can stun a Hell Knight rapidly with the chain gun. Every demon, in short, has its own ideal approach; that is easy to put in place when you are one against one, but when you find a group of ten different… Well, let’s say that sometimes there is also the good old “missile in the midst of the slaughter and hope to hit something”.
In general, however, I found DOOM Eternal much more difficult than it predecessor. Mindful of the previous experience, in excess of confidence, I have decided to go immediately to the difficulty Nightmare. Oof, big mistake. You can, of course, but it requires a lot of patience, so many deaths and so many reloads of checkpoints. In other words: there must be time.
In the end I gave in and I lowered the level of hardship to be able to complete the game in time for the expiration of the embargo. And I’m happy: if I had finished it all at once at the maximum level of difficulty I would not have had who knows who wants to continue playing. It is worth to note that complete it to a difficulty less challenging is the ideal method to pick up the pace with the attack methodologies of the demons, familiarize yourself with the controls and understand all the mechanics of the game.
And here, perhaps, there is the unique, precisely, “serious” for the title. There are a few additions that make the list of commands rather crowded – we clarify, in relation to the type of gameplay. From this point of view helps immensely to have a mouse with a couple of keys, like on the back and easily accessible with the thumb. The fact is that there is no time to look away to see where is the button that you need, and if mistakes is the aim of punishment will be immediate and harsh, especially to the more challenging difficulty levels.
With DOOM 2016, id Software has proven to have accepted fully the spirit’s adventures of the franchise , and to be ready to play on in the most brash and self-deprecating as possible; DOOM Eternal has raised the bar. Between self-quotation, easter egg, inside joke, and hilarious skits, there is material in abundance to amuse and galvanize all fans of long date – more than there has ever been so far.
What matters most is that the vast majority of the tricks and jokes are done with taste and intelligence – that is a very, very difficult in this kind of stories, which is always in a precarious balance, trying not to expire in the parcel. In short, if you want to make the hustler you have to do it with style, and DOOM Eternal ranks at the top of the class – I make the comparison with Die Hard the best of times, so to speak.
In all this, it helps immensely the contribution of the composer, Mick Gordon and his eight-string, this time-makes a perfect soundtrack for the title. Perhaps now is a little bit more rational and dare a bit more testing, and at least in the first map seems a little subdued compared to that of DOOM in 2016. But, progressing the atmosphere warms up, the riffs become more bad, and the pattern of the double-bass more tight.
Just to understand, this year Gordon has even used a real choir of metalheads – we are talking (also) of professional musicians of the band, including Static-X, Ministry, the Aborted and the Tengger Cavalry – that has allowed him to experiment with sounds even more particular, but always beautiful and aggressive. Mixed in with the combat involving hectic, a session of combat in DOOM Eternal is the closest experience to the mosh pit of a concert band that you can try while sitting comfortably at home, and in these times (unfortunately) it is a pleasure.
In addition, id is dedicated also to provide a little more body to the universe in which he lives, the Doom Slayer, providing you with a large amount of details about its origins, the forces in the game (not spoilero nothing, but put it this way: for some reason I am reminded of the title of the disc Heaven and Hell Black Sabbath). The entries of the codex are another type of object, a collectable in the various maps of the campaign, and there is so much to read (at least, compared to the previous titles).
In short, it is not that we want a genius to figure out what the overall plot of the game, and how it must all end, but is pleased that we are a little bit more detail and articulation in the storytelling (not that it did not go well with the “demons, I have made it off the bunny and now we’ll kill you all” as he was in the first Doom, but maybe in 2020 we want a little more). From this point of view, fits perfectly with the idea of equipping the Doom Guy of a headquarters, which you can explore and “furnish” with the collectible items found so far. It is a more rewarding experience and interactive of the simple series of menus and galleries that we had in the previous chapter.
The completion of the single-player campaign is only the beginning. The future of DOOM Eternal depends very much on the multiplayer, for obvious reasons. And, I may say, since it was not possible to try it, but I can say that on paper, the idea of being able to control the demons, in addition to the Doom Guy, it seems very fun and different from the usual. There is a section of the country in which you have a brief taste of what that means, and I can see the potential. But in fact, we’ll talk about it eventually in the future.
Side the single player, however, things to do in the endgame there are galore:
- You can test your skills with higher difficulties, and the terrifying mode Ultra-Nightmare, which is like the Nightmare, but with the slight difference of perma-death. Best wishes.
- Explore to the full all maps and collecting all the secret items, or the action figures, the cheat and the soundtracks, by finding all the power-ups, and winning all the fights extra and completing all three challenges specific to the map.
- Strengthen to the maximum its arsenal by winning the Mentor Challenge, that allow you to maximize the offensive potential of the mod of the weapons. Are quite challenging, and during the campaign you can find some tokens that allow you to bypassarle, but their number is limited: in the other cases, we need to get commitment.
- Complete the challenge “seasonal”, which last around 40 days (at least, this early), and Milestones (which are the internal challenges, comparable to those of Steam, and so on). The rewards in this case are the aesthetic, the Fortnite: skins for weapons, skins, and gestures to the Doom Slayer, demons, player profile, and so on.
- There is the level editor Snap Map, but in its place came the Master Levels. It is, according to the game itself, of the original maps “remixed” to maximize the combat experience. For the moment only one is available, two for those who buy the Deluxe Edition, but id promises the release of new content in the future.
My test machine is quite modest – say that was high end a few years ago – and yet I was able to play at maximum detail, FHD 1080p, the maximum fluidity of 60 FPS is perfectly stable. Unlocking V-Sync, just to understand up to which point the system could go, I have encountered frame rate between 90 and 120, great lines. Unfortunately, as in DOOM 2016, is not included a benchmark tool within, then we must have recourse to systems of measurement, imprecise, and inherently unreliable. In any case, below is the graph of a run of one of the levels in the game, the Super Gore Nest, which has a map, rather large, many hazard-fighting, crowded, to get an idea.
In any case, the key point is that no longer are the times when id does come out of a game, you change computers, as the golden age of John Carmack, and of the three Quake. It is not that id has deteriorated, it is simply physiological: the games RPG, open-world are a thousand times more complex and heavy to manage for the GPU and the CPU. In short, the technology has evolved so much to have a few problems in the management of a FPS – which still must be done well, mind you.
At the same time, however, increase the demands of players, which, especially in the competitive multiplayer want the maximum stability and fluidity. From this point of view, DOOM Eternal amazed me already now: the game runs perfectly, at least in single player, as if it were on the market already for a few years, instead of a pre-release without even the patch of day one – and with an entirely new graphics engine, moreover, his debut on the market. I have only had two issues in over 40 hours of game-play: I had to redo the two fights because a daemon has not materialized – or is stuck somewhere not visible, who knows. The end.
DOOM Eternal, as I said in opening, center, fully the traditional lens of the sequel: improves the original without losing its true nature. The combat is even more fast-paced, challenging and varied, the plot has more weight and even in single player there are enough things to do to stay bonded for quite some time. It is not quite free of faults – perhaps some of the mechanics are a bit redundant and, given the fast-paced gameplay, would be nice to be able to give up a pair of keys – and there remains the question of multiplayer, which, however, seems to promise well. For now, however, the title is super promoted, but just chat: it’s time to dive in the book of revelation. Find me is easy: just follow the noise of the chainsaw…
VOTE: ND (waiting to test the multiplayer)