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Review: ‘Doom Eternal’ – one hell of a great game

“Doom Eternal,” released on March 20, is the sequel to the critically acclaimed “Doom” (2016) and the latest entry in the “Doom” video game franchise. Just as the original “Doom” defined the first-person shooter genre back in 1993, “Eternal” demonstrates why developer Id Software knows exactly what makes not only a great action game, but a near masterpiece of a shooter.

In “Doom Eternal,” players assume the role of the series’ iconic, silent protagonist, “The Doom Slayer” aka “Doomguy,” and it is up to you to rip and tear your way through demonic hordes to stop the literal forces of hell from conquering a futuristic Earth. “Eternal’s” epic, science-fantasy, action movie plot strikes the perfect balance of not getting in the way of gameplay while offering a fun and interesting story for those that seek it out.

As the Slayer, you are armed to the teeth with a diverse arsenal of weapons, equipment and abilities, all of which, combined with a variety of movement options, make you a one man army that not even hell itself can stop.“Doom Eternal” is an extremely well-developed game and nothing exemplifies this more than its masterful gameplay. “Eternal” pays homage to the classic “Doom” games while building upon and improving the formula with the modern standards set by its 2016 predecessor as a foundation. “Eternal” then cranks the quality and intensity up to 11. The game runs extremely smoothly, and controls feel as tight as ever. 

The game’s creative director Hugo Martin described “Eternal” as a “fantasy combat puzzle” where every combat encounter is a unique challenge that players must solve using every tool at their disposal.

The game throws a wide variety of enemies and hazards at the player, aggressively and constantly. There is no time to stop and think, and players are forced to assess unique threats and respond using individual skill and their understanding of the game’s mechanics, all while running and gunning.

For example, at the core of the gameplay is the “Unholy Trinity” system of resource management. Health, armor and ammo are vital to players. The primary way to regain all three is by brutally killing demons and harvesting these resources from them. Players are constantly losing and refilling all three in the middle of combat, creating a persistent metagame players must account for.

The game offers excellent replay value. Whether it’s the game’s unique 2 vs. 1 multiplayer mode, or the plethora of in-game collectibles and secrets to find, the game incentivizes players to keep coming back while making each repeated playthrough feel just as fun and engaging as the first.

Mick Gordon returns to compose “Eternal’s” soundtrack, delivering yet another incredible heavy metal score to accompany players on their brutal journey.Eternal offers the best experience of any “Doom” game before it and one of the single best shooter experiences to date in the gaming industry.

“Doom Eternal” is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and will launch at a later date for the Nintendo Switch.

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