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‘Doom with a view’ : Doom Eternal gets your adrenalin pumping

Artwork for Doom Eternal

Artwork for Doom Eternal   | Photo Credit: Bethesda Softworks

The much-awaited follow-up to the successful Doom reboot, Doom Eternal, is finally here. Does the experience live up to the hype?

As a veteran gamer and connoisseur on the art of video gaming, I thought I had come to a point in my life where I had seen everything in that there were no more surprises in terms of level design. Then I saw level 2 of Doom Eternal which felt like a punch to the sternum.

I rexperienced the sense of wonder from when I first booted up DOOM way back in 1993. Demon and machinery come together in Eternal, expanding on the mythology they set in the 2016 Doom reboot.

Wolfenstein 3D and Doom were both the founding fathers of the first person shooter. Launching in 1993, Doom had a popular online distribution system called Shareware. Doom also was the first game to introduce network multi-player making it a best-seller of its time. While it did have its share of controversies — especially with all the satanic stuff — it put PC gaming on the map, in a world largely dominated by consoles.

Screenshot of Doom Eternal

Screenshot of Doom Eternal   | Photo Credit: Bethesda Softworks

Doom Eternal brims with bass, energy and aggressiveness right from its menus to the speed and the feel of the controls as you guide the Doomslayer (aka Doomguy) through the fetid ruins of Earth after underworld is invaded. Just as you are grasping the story, you are shoved through something about Hell Priests, a blur of exposition and then into a burning city. Pausing only for the occasional tutorial, Doom Eternal hurls into battle after battle.

‘An elaborate and bloody puzzle’

That is part of Eternal's aggressive design. Battles play out in sandbox-style levels, where you have to apply pressure while constantly starved of ammo or health. . In a way, the action plays out like an elaborate and bloody puzzle, complete with violent glory kills. You need to use certain attacks against the powerful demons to give you an edge. Thankfully, the weapons are fantastic, with some fun alternate firing modes that you can swap out at any time.

One of the bosses in video game Doom Eternal

One of the bosses in video game Doom Eternal   | Photo Credit: Bethesda Softworks

When you are not massacring enemies, you turn into Doomguy Mario. Apart from stomping on goombas, many of the obstacles feel like they're twisted versions of Super Mario obstacles — much like platforms that fall down into lavaor a large tentacled plant monster that appears out of a hole in the ground. Platforming is the only time you are going to get to let your heart rate rest in time for the next battle.

Screenshot of Doom Eternal

Screenshot of Doom Eternal   | Photo Credit: Bethesda Softworks

The game controls great, and considering it confronts you with enemies, Doomguy moves fast. The AI always tries to corner you and the only way to beat it is to play aggressive and forward at all times.In one particular level, firing at a glowing button had these wicked blades just slice through demons leaving nothing but gristle.

The verdict...

Doom Eternal is not for the faint-hearted or weak-stomached. There are a lot of demonic entrails, some as big as buildings as parts of levels are just set in demonic innards. This is a gory game with stunning vast set pieces. Using clever world-building and environmental storytelling, the developers communicate more about this biblical-end-of-the-world mythology than the actual story. The id Tech 7 graphics engine pumps out amazing graphics, even on consoles and lower spec machines.

Screenshot of Doom Eternal

Screenshot of Doom Eternal   | Photo Credit: Bethesda Softworks

If you loved Doom and want more, do not miss out on Eternal. Just make sure you stay off the caffeine.

The writer is a tech and gaming enthusiast who hopes to one day finish his sci-fi novel

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:56:47 PM |

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