DOOM Eternal PC Review: The End Is Nigh

The tagline of the game is “rip and tear, until it is done”, but ripping and tearing is only a portion of what the game has to offer. The DOOM Slayer has been unleashed upon earth to destroy everything that is evil in his path. You can rip and tear demons in half, or pull their freaking head off. You can slash and stab them in the jugular, or in the brain. You can shoot them in the face and break their necks. You can force feed them explosives and pull their disgusting eyes out. You can smash their head with your bloody fists or with your feet, stomping them until there’s nothing left. Hell, you can even reduce them to a puddle of blood and guts.

You play as the Slayer, the one – the only – humankind’s rage, its will to persevere, to overcome that which would threaten its survival. The Slayer is uncompromising; a relentless being of extreme violence that knows no signs of hesitation. He cuts through the demon hordes like a sickle through a field; his fury surpassing their own. He is faster, more unyielding, an avenging angel, the right hand of Doom here to save humanity from its sins. He is the DOOM Slayer and his fight is… Eternal!

Scary Stories For Baby Demons

DOOM is no longer a brainless first-person demon killing simulator. That was DOOM 2016, which was excellent by the way. DOOM Eternal offers the same and more compared to its predecessor. One of these new things the game has to offer is story. Yes, you read that right; DOOM now has a story. A very simple story, but a story nonetheless. I will keep it rather simple as the game has a lot of lore for you to dive into. You can even read a lengthy back-story regarding the history of the Sentinels.

King Novik DOOM Eternal
This is Novik, your King. But no King can hold back the Slayer.

In the time of King Novik, ruler of Sentinel Prime and Argent D’Nur, as the Argenta secured peace through dimensions across time and space, the Slayer is found by the Night Sentinels outside the castle walls. The Sentinels, defenders of the land, found the Outlander bloodied, clawed and near death, mumbling of impending Doom and the forces of Darkness. By Argenta law, he would be given a second chance to fight for his freedom in the Coliseum. With his mind crippled with rage, he proves his worth and emerges victorious. “Rip and Tear” they shouted as he pushed beyond mortal wounds and certain death. And so, the Slayer is born!

“If you continue you will bring down the heaven’s wrath. You are but one man – they are no longer your people to save!”

King Novik warning the Slayer

It’s been eight months since the events of the previous title, when the Slayer awoke to, once again, destroy evil. Demonic forces have overrun earth, wiping out 60% of the planet’s population, under the now-corrupted Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC). The Slayer returns to earth to quell the demonic party by destroying the Hell Priests. The Hell Priests are powerful magicians who work for the corrupted former leader of the Slayer’s society. Her name is Khan Maykr!

Graphics, Controls And OMG The Optimization Of This Game

Visually, the game looks great. It’s not THE best looking game, however, it’s certainly a looker. In some rare occasions, you will stumble upon some low resolution textures. On the other hand, the game uses a brighter palette of colors compared to the prior game which was a bit darker. Locations and enemies also look crispier, though some enemies might look a bit less menacing than before.

DOOM Eternal Demon
In a second this demon will look less menacing without its head.

The controls are perfect and this is probably the first time I didn’t have to change any key bindings. There is no mouse acceleration or smoothing, and to be honest I don’t even remember if there even is such an option in the settings. I only played with mouse and keyboard, so I have no idea whether the game runs/works great on a gamepad.

“Saving your people will not bring you peace, only make the burden you carry worse.”

The Betrayer advising the Slayer

Now what about optimization you might ask. Well, in case you haven’t already read John’s Performance Analysis, it is simply amazing. Seriously, this is probably the most optimized game I played in the last few years. With all the settings maxed, I had stable sixty frames per second at all times. I did not encounter any stuttering, nor crashes or bugs of any kind. The only issue I rarely had was clipping through objects or walls during the finishing animations. That’s about it. Phenomenal work from id Software.

Audio, Music And Voice Acting

The voice acting is all right. Nothing extraordinary and it’s not like the game has many dialogues or cutscenes anyway. While you can see much more of the Slayer this time, you will not hear him talking. At least not in a conventional way. Though, there is a setting that enables “Slayer pain grunts“, meaning you will hear him grunt whenever he receives damage.

DOOM Eternal The Slayer
The game features a photo mode and the Slayer is all about posing.

The music is fantastic and it fits the title just perfectly as long as you are akin to heavy metal music. Most of the music features heavy metal riffs and a choir of heavy metal vocalists. Demonic chanting and loud electric guitar sounds will also accompany you through the slaughter and mayhem.

All weapons feature unique sounds and some of them sound very familiar to the previous title. The rest of the sounds like ripping, pulling or even using the chainsaw on the demons are great as well. There are also sound notifications for equipment recharging, meaning you will hear a sound whenever your grenade is ready for use.

Ripping And Tearing, No Sewing

DOOM is probably among the most legendary first-person shooters in the world. The series always featured exceptional shooting mechanics and DOOM Eternal is no exception to the rule. The game performs and feels great. Shooting demons with any weapon feels smooth and natural. It basically feels just right. All the weapons have unique characteristics, with each having its own strengths and weaknesses. Each weapon handles differently and they all have recoil. And while the weapons do not feel arcade-ish, you should not expect a military simulator.

“If Sentinel holy blood is spilled on these grounds..you will lose all sovereignty here!”

Deag Grav taunting the Slayer.

Just like the previous game, most weapons in DOOM Eternal have two different attachments, which you can find scattered in the world or locked behind doors. For instance, the combat shotgun features a grenade launcher and an auto-loader. The first attachment shoots grenades, obviously, and the second provides the capability of rapid firing. You can change attachments on the fly and all attachments can be upgraded. They even have a mastery challenge. Thus, upon completion, your selected attachment becomes even more powerful. Now some of these challenges might be bothersome for some people. Thankfully, though, mastery tokens can be found scattered around the game’s world, however they are only available in the late game.

DOOM Eternal Plasma Rifle
I never really liked this weapon, but know I do. Microwaving demons was never so fun!

Lastly, what would DOOM be without gore, blood and guts? I adore the gore in this game. It is extremely satisfying watching bullets shred your enemies’ flesh off their bodies, ripping them in half and stabbing them in the ear with their own arm. The visual damage/wound system is spectacular, and probably the best in a first-person shooter. Still, I believe that Resident Evil 2 Remake did it slightly better.

My only gripe is that the bodies of your enemies will immediately disappear after you kill them. I really don’t understand why this happens, especially since the  game runs so well. I doubt it would have made a significant difference in frames, even if they hadn’t removed the ragdoll from the bodies. Thankfully, the blood decals stay a bit longer.

Glorious Glory Kills

Guns are not the only weapons available for the Slayer. Doing enough damage to the enemies puts them in a stun state, in which you can perform a glory kill. A glory kill is basically a very brutal execution. These executions have different animations depending the angle you initiate the glory kill. Therefore, you will see different animations from the front, the back, the side and from above.

DOOM Eternal Demon
Screaming wont help you Mr. Arachnotron. Don’t you know people hate spiders?

Most glory kills are being performed with the newly acquired Slayer blade, the Doomblade. This extendable blade is mounted on the Slayer’s left arm and it can only be accessed and used through glory kills. The rest of the executions are being performed by the Slayer’s hands or feet, and let me tell you they are god – damn – glorious. In case you don’t like them, you can completely ignore them. You can even disable the visual notification glow that appears on enemies when they are susceptible to a glory kill. Just keep in mind that all glory kills provide health pickups.

The Chainsaw, Enemy Weaknesses And Difficulty

The Slayer has a chainsaw which won’t be used to cut down trees. Instead, he can use it to saw demons in half. The chainsaw works almost the same as it did in Doom 2016. You can use the chainsaw on demons and by doing so they will spawn ammunition for all your guns. You can also use the chainsaw on big bad demons, however, it will consume/require more fuel. The chainsaw is a vital part of the game and it’s almost impossible for the player to avoid using it. Still, and if you are brave enough, you can try not to. If you run out of ammo, the game will automatically equip the chainsaw and you can use at any time (as long as you have enough fuel).

DOOM Eternal Chainsaw
It looks like this demon is in pain, but in reality, demons love the chainsaw! Otherwise, why would they leave fuel lying around everywhere?

This time around, most enemies now have weaknesses, especially the larger demons. The Revenant, for instance, relies on its shoulder mounted rockets to deal damage. If you destroy them, it will effectively impair the demon, giving you an advantage over it. On the other hand, some enemies have more specific weaknesses. The Cacodemon, for example, can be easily staggered by throwing or launching grenades directly to its filthy mouth. As such, specific weapons will be more effective to specific enemies. In case you don’t optimize your enemy encounters, and since ammunition is rather limited, you will most probably need to refill your weapons by using the chainsaw. Ultimately, this means that players who like playing the game with only one or two weapons may find it a tad more difficult.

“My soul remains guarded, you can’t…”

Deag Nilox last words before meeting his demise.

Which brings us to the next point; difficulty. The game is not very easy, even on the normal difficulty, and on higher difficulties the game becomes insane. On Ultra-Violence, which is the second hardest difficulty, I had to strategize before engaging in combat. I also had to pick up every available resource I could find in order to survive.

Doom Eternal features many different types and variations of demons. As such, the game will throw you different enemies to slaughter, something you will easily notice in later levels. The enemies are also more aggressive than before. Forget about standing still; you will be dead in seconds. Thankfully, this is balanced by the Slayer’s movement, which is faster compared to the previous game. Also, the double jump and dash abilities are available from the start. Finally, and even though the boss fights are very few, they are quite fun.

Where Does He Keeps All These Stuff

But wait, there are even more weapons with which you can create pandemonium. The game offers two different kind of grenades. The first is the classic explosive grenade and the second is the frost grenade. Another new addition is the flamethrower, or more like the tiny flamethrower, which is attached on the Slayer’s left shoulder. It releases small bursts of flame which can ignite enemies for a limited time. While the enemy is on fire, any extra damage will spawn armor pickups. All equipment have unlimited uses, but they need time to recharge. You can upgrade all equipment with different currencies, and by collecting secrets.

DOOM Eternal Demon
Damn, some demons will eat anything. This Mancubus is choking on his own power core. Bon appétit you big fat ugly bastard.
An Armored Suit Made For A God

What would the Slayer be without his armored suit, the Praetor Suit? Well, a very scary angry naked dude. The Praetor suit is not just cosmetic. The suit can be upgraded via tokens, crystals and runes. You can increase health, armor and ammo capacity. You can also further augment the suit with certain new abilities. The suit is also customizable with different skins, which you can unlock as you progress. You can even wear the original DOOM suit, though please do me a favor and do not wear that pink unicorn Twitch skin monstrosity; I beg of you.

Did Someone Call For Samus?

As I have already mentioned, DOOM Eternal is a bit different than its predecessors. The game now features platform elements. As such, you will be jumping, climbing and solving logical puzzles. Heck, you can even swim this time around. A significant portion of the game is figuring your way to the next fight, and a lot of times you will have to complete a series of challenges in order to achieve that. I am pretty sure many people will not like it. However, and in my humble opinion, it is a nice change of pace. None of these platforming sections are really hard though some of them may annoy some players.

DOOM Eternal Collectibles
Vinyl collection is one of the many pastimes of the Slayer. He loves his vinyls.

There is a ton of secrets to discover, like power-ups, lore, collectibles, and more. Many of these can be found “organically” while you progress. However, some others are well hidden. Extremely well hidden I might add. Not only that, but some are hidden even behind environmental puzzles. Therefore, I would recommend purchasing the upgrade that shows all the secrets in the map as soon as you can. Otherwise, you will be in a world of pain and… well… you are already in Hell. Speaking of map, the game features an awesome and very easily accessible Metroidvania-like map. For what it’s worth, I had zero issues with the map and I never got myself lost. My only issue was with the lore collectibles as you have to open the menu, and read a bunch of text. The previous DOOM game did it better by having real-time narration.

The Floating Fortress

The Fortress of DOOM is a space station designed by the people of Argent D’Nur. It was originally intended as a base of operations for the Night Sentinels. The fortress is the Slayer’s safe haven and he even has his own personal quarters.

DOOM Eternal Guitars
This is the Slayer’s private quarters where he keeps some of his collectibles. Here’s also where he jams!

The fortress works as a main hub where you can initiate missions, master levels, re-play missions, unlock upgrades and collectibles. You can even see some of the collectibles you picked, decorating the walls. There are also several easter eggs to be found within the fortress.

Is DOOM Really Eternal?

The first DOOM is probably my favorite game, and that’s because it holds a very special place in my heart. But, if I had to choose one without being sentimental, I would probably choose DOOM Eternal. I am a creature of habit and I do not usually like change. DOOM Eternal is different, but not in a bad way. The game offers exactly the same as before and even more.

“For millennia, we have survived. Made others sacrifice in the name of our prosperity. Who are you, a human, once a mortal, to defy our traditions?!”

Khan Maykr preaching to the Slayer.

There are only a few new things that aren’t optional; the rest are up to the player. Hell, you can even finish the game in a couple of hours if that’s what you want. You don’t like cutscenes? You don’t like puzzles and collectibles? You don’t like finishers? You don’t like RPG mechanics? Just skip them all.

DOOM Eternal Hell Gate
Are you ready to face your fears? Are you strong enough to enter the gates of Hell? Even if you are not, he is!

Of course there are some things you cannot completely avoid, such as sections of platforming and the use of the chainsaw for ammunition. So, if these are a major issue for you, you should consider keeping your money for something else. Maybe Resident Evil 3 Remake? On the other hand, if you don’t really mind these things, you will most likely have a hell of a time.

Seriously, think of all the games Bethesda released the last few years. Bethesda needs this game to be a success if they ever want to crawl out from the hole of disappointment (in which they already live in comfortably). And, well, here comes id Software and single-handedly saves Bethesda from its… doom.

  • Lots of tools to experiment
  • Great shooting mechanics
  • Excellent wound system
  • Numerous collectibles
  • Amazing optimization
  • Variety of glory kills
  • Superb soundtrack
  • Beautiful locations
  • Enemy variation
  • Superb controls
  • Cool story

  • Bodies vanish into thin air
  • No in-game audio for lore collectibles
  • Platforming might be bothersome
  • Frequent use of the chainsaw can be annoying

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Computer Specs: CPU: i5 4440, GPU: Palit 1660Ti OC 6GB, RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X 16GB, HDD: Crucial 275GB MX300, OS: Win7, 1080p

Playtime: 10+ hours total, this is an estimate since the Bethesda launcher does not keep track of the time played.

Chris Kountouras

Chris was born in the early 80’s along with the very birth of home gaming. After spending many maaany drachmas on arcades, his father decided to buy him a PC instead of going bankrupt. He lived through the advancing and development of the gaming industry, having played TONS of games on all platforms. He is always honest and will never hesitate to give his true opinion on a game no matter what. Loves stealth games and dislikes microtsansactions, DLC and pre-ordering…who doesn’t after all?! Contact: Email