PAX EAST 2020: Rush Into Hell Head On In ‘Doom Eternal’

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Doom Eternal

DOOM Eternal is a first-person view shooting game published by Bethesda Game Studios and developed id Software. The demonic hordes have overrun the earth. With the death tool already in the billions, humanity is on the brink of collapse. If the people of the world are to survive someone is gonna need to wade in, get dirty and clean up this mess. That’s where you come in.

My demo opened with a short introductory cutscene set in space. As radio transmissions crackle in the background, numerous calls for help are heard. While this audio plays out I watch as my character gets suited up for battle. Once the prep is complete I’m teleported to the surface of the earth. That’s when DOOM Eternal shows me what it’s got.

I’ve heard lots of talk about how kinetic and high octane the gameplay is, but this was my first experience with it. I even missed playing its predecessor DOOM when it released a few years back. With this being my first experience with the highly touted run and gun gameplay I was thoroughly excited to see if it would live up to the hype. In short: it does.

 

DOOM Eternal definitely captures the fast pacing I’ve heard so much about. With lots of enemies on screen, the player is forced into constant motion. That, coupled with the need to charge at stunned enemies to acquire ammo through glory kills, created a truly unique shooting experience for me. Yet, on the medium difficulty, I had my demo set to, it never felt overwhelming. I had to keep my eyes open and my gun blasting, but never to such a degree that I felt like a missed shot was the end of me. And what I liked even more than the combat was the weapon modding, an aspect of the game I had not heard about before.

Occasionally, I would come across a package floating in place in the level. Upon interacting with the package I got offered one of a couple of mods for my shotgun. During the demo, I was only offered the choices of sticky grenades or a full auto mode for my shotgun. I first chose the grenades. They offered me a more long-range option as well as a way to clear out choke points. Later on, I also got to pick up full auto mode for my shotgun. This functions exactly as it sounds.

What made these options even better was the one button press needed to swap them out. I could lob some grenades, fight off some baddies with a few normal blasts and then as the enemy closed in, swap out for full auto to make my stand. It was awesome. That id Software has incorporated this kind of on the fly customization without slowing down the combat experience is a masterstroke of game design. 

With on the fly customization, combining with the high-speed gunplay DOOM Eternal has definitely jumped up a few notches on my must-watch list. Coupling all these great gameplay elements with a gorgeous visual style that revels in the gore-filled campy carnage and you have what looks to be one helluva a game experience.

DOOM Eternal releases on March 20th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Stadia and Nintendo Switch.