"And I saw a beast come up from the sea that had ten horns and seven heads, and on the horns ten tiaras and on each head it was written: Doom Eternal is a c *** o cool."
Forgive the introduction but it is practically impossible to remain calm in describing the rough beauty of Doom Eternal, a direct sequel to the shooter that arrived on the market in 2016 leaving a flaming scar in the video game decade just ended. Expectations for this second chapter were obviously dizzyingly high, and Id Software a decidedly difficult challenge was faced, a challenge which was however easily overcome, delivering a work in the hands of the players that it touches perfection.
Angel of Death
The playful formula of Doom Eternal guarantees one of the best experiences ever in the field of shooters in first person, period. And to hell with the preambles. Once the campaign has started, we are immediately introduced to the new mechanisms that make up the solid skeleton that supports the gameplay, facing a wise but unexpected evolution. There is no shortage of loved ones Epic kills, who will glorify the insatiable wrath of the Doom Slayer on the unfortunate demons that are dying and able to restore our health points. This time, however, they are joined by a new mechanism essential to supply our fire mouths with precious bullets. The motosawin fact, it allows us to tear up the enemies and transform them into lively pots that explode in a riot of colored ammunition. Not only that, thanks to the practical multi-purpose shoulder gun we can set our opponents on fire and, by hitting them in that state, get points for the armor. The fiery jet it recharges over time, as well as the chainsaw - which however can be replenished with the cans of petrol scattered around the levels - and only by juggling all the available possibilities can we have the best of the infernal beasts that wreak havoc on Earth. In short, it is created a truculent and addicting vicious circle in which we constantly pass by a method of demonicide to the other, now to escape death, now to supply weapons or armor. To close the circle of this ring of destruction is the mechanics of fist of blood, devastating melee attack that can eliminate a handful of enemies in one fell swoop or enormously weaken the toughest and heaviest enemies, a precious aid that can be recharged through the use of Epic Kills. Although it may seem like one a bit risky choice and bring more than one eyebrow to arch, especially during the initial stages, in which you are not yet used to the rhythm of this frenetic macabre dance, the new "modus operandi" chosen by the development team that must be adopted is shown after a few bars such as incredibly functional, intelligent and immensely fun. In Doom Eternal, those who stop are lost, but if "shooting well and quickly" can be considered an unassailable dogma of production, it is always necessary to keep in mind the corollary implicit in this law, that is "Think faster than you shoot.". Running around and bouncing from one side to the other of the arenas that host the clashes is not enough, it is necessary to constantly keep the brain on and move accordingly, if you do not want to come across an early and repeated Game Over.
This delicious death loop just described is seasoned, there was never need to specify it, by an incessant, angry and magnificent hail of bullets. Id Software now masterfully masters the gunplay of its titles, creating weapons with the perfect feeling, giving us the impression of hearing every single shot exploded. Furthermore, every weapon - or almost - follows an ancient divine law, being therefore "One and three" thanks to the unlockable modules during the campaign, which expand an already well-fed weapons park. So our trusty shotgun becomes a practical grenade launcher or an unstoppable machine gun with automatic fire, while the rifle can take on the role of devastating sniper rifle or throw up a forest of micro-missiles searching for our enemies. The latter create a rich and varied bestiary, which constantly tests our capabilities and the flexibility of our arsenal, dividing it into four categories: Environmental, Slaughterhouse, Heavy and Super Heavy. The former constitute some headache in the exploratory stages - or a thorn in the side during some fights - while the remaining ones constitute the hierarchy of the infernal race that is literally putting our planet on fire. Slaughter demons are obviously the most fragile and hardly prove to be a real threat, their role is in fact that of "itinerant supplies" to never leave us dry during the clashes with their "superiors" or during boss fight. Heavy demons need special attention and have decidedly dangerous weapons and attacks, exploiting their weak points is essential. The Revenants, for example, are equipped with jet packs and rocket launchers on their shoulders, while the Aracnotron can kill us from distance thanks to the cannon placed on their back. A heavy blow taken with the right aim or an adhesive bomb from the secondary fire of our pump can suddenly silence both threats, making monsters if not harmless, much more manageable. Not all our opponents have weak points that are so simple to manage but the greatest difficulty lies above all in having to keep at bay many threats at the same time, giving bottom to all our ability and inventiveness to get the better of it. Although there are many clashes in which we will feel relentless executioners, the bar of difficulty has risen significantly in this second iteration. This renewed sense of challenge does not put a stop to fun but rather amplifies the satisfaction that is obtained at the end of the most violent and punitive battles. The frenzied pace of the experience is incredibly smooth and supported by an excellent difficulty curve, while presenting slight burrs due to a handful of sessions that present an extreme peak of difficulty and a couple of boss fights not particularly successful, unfortunately including the final one. In short, if in the Doom of 2016 the impression was that of being unstoppable death machines, in Eternal this perception changes significantly.
World Painted Blood
The history of Doom Eternal immediately follows that of the previous Doom, and the campaign focuses entirely ondemonic assault on Earth and our pursuit of its salvation. A story unfolds that in part it is impossible not to see how accessory and mere pretext to build a playground of "ultra-violence" but which also proves to be quite layered and full of details, to be discovered thanks to the numerous codex scattered among the various missions, with some intriguing surprise dedicated to fans of the saga. Having said that, what really strikes is the construction of game worlds and above all of the areas devoted to fighting, which perform in a excellent level design, based on the verticality of the spaces and many options to move quickly in the arenas, which always provide the possibility of exploiting the double jumps, the grappling hook and the aerial shots to have control of the battlefield. Doom Eternal lives on a fantastic arcade soul which completely permeates the title, from the aforementioned construction of the environments to the game mechanics - also including extra lives and classic temporary bonuses to our skills - up to the bright colors of the game elements, such as healing potions and ammunition, which detach visibly from the bleak panoramas of the countryside. Without considering the platform and puzzle sections that support our furious slaughterhouse, building an absolutely exceptional play system. Only regret is on little courage exhibited in some cases, the mechanics of the environmental traps, present in some junctures of the countryside, is very pleasant but too little exploited, as well as the grappling hook supplied with the brace, which manages to be the protagonist of the clashes but which would have been much more interesting if its use had been was intended for the platform and exploratory phases.
The growth of our alter-ego is instead almost perfect. Id Software wisely manages to measure the timing with which to expand our capabilities and our arsenal but creates a free and multifaceted system in the "construction" of the perfect Doom Slayer, with a plethora of decidedly admirable options. The Praetor armor can manage two different types of grenades, as well as the Burning Jet, and thanks to the special Points linked to it it allows us to strengthen and expand our mastery, strengthening our defenses or our attack points, thanks to five small skill trees who focus on various passive skills for our Slayer. Weapon modules can also be upgraded with specific points and each death tool has a specific challenge which, once completed, can provide a unique ability to the weapon in question. Not only that, thanks to the Sentinel Crystals, it is given the opportunity to enhance three different aspects: Health, Armor e Ammunition, also getting additional passive bonuses related to the Fire Jet and the Fist of Blood. The great variety offered outside and inside the clashes and the nourished possibilities of strengthening, in short, seal an already excellent experience at the start, which constantly improves up to the end credits.
What is most impressive about Doom Eternal is the factor longevity which proves, frankly, exceptional. The main campaign can take away between the twenty and thirty hours without any problem, depending on the expertise with which the environments are explored and moreover, the replayability component is absolutely amazing. Thanks to an enviable mass of secrets and unlockables, which is divided between mere collectibles and game elements, the amount of time spent in the company of Bethesda's game can easily double. Not only that, thanks to secondary challenges such as timed events and Slayer gates, which in more than one case can prove to be very difficult the first time you come across, the desire to dive into a "Second round" it will be really very strong. Furthermore, with the exception of the Slayer gates, it is possible to face secondary challenges and collect collectibles and secrets by exploiting the tricks of Cheat Mode - such as lives or infinite ammunition - without the latter interfering with the progress of progress. In short, ending the campaign is only the tip of the iceberg, since the feeling that you have once beaten the final boss, is that the game is just started.
Technically, Doom Eternal is absolutely in line with the rest of the production. While showing the sign of the time on consoles, with some streaming texture problems and a not exceptional level of detail, the game remains anchored at 60 FPS also on Xbox One S, making the visual compromise justified. Net of this, the show that moves on the screen is definitely fascinating in the cruel fresco he paints before our eyes. Id Software mixes the brutal dark of the most nefarious horror meanders of hell with strong fantasy, sci-fi and cyberpunk grafts, in a unique and bewitching mix that shows glimpses and panoramas difficult to forget. The glance is always satisfying, as are the particle and volumetric effects that plague the screen and fill our eyes. Excellent also the design of the enemies and supporting actors as well as the construction of the architectures and the game world, which plays again with that union between old and new in a coherent way, also showing in this sense the most old-school and arcade face of production, without forgetting to offer new horizons. The excellent sound design melts like hot metal amazing soundtrack that supports us every moment.
Doom Eternal is an orgy of blood, sweat and all other body fluids that can come to mind. Entering the bloody spiers of the game by id Software means immersing yourself in a bath of bowels and chilling screams, a riot of magniloquent violence that hits the heart like a sharp bullet. Despite not having yet put his hand on the Battlemode and therefore on the online features, Doom Eternal shows himself a title complete and finished even just for the public who only looks at the single player experience, which is and will be the main dish of this production. Honorable mention also to an excellent soundtrack, which accompanies the angry fury of the Slayer with the roaring sound metal, making the ferocious rhythm that unleashes the adrenaline and makes our blood boil while we grind our teeth during the course of the demonic mass extermination that awaits us. Doom Eternal arrives during this first quarter of 2020 and it is already one of the undisputed protagonists of this yearas well as in the Old and New Testaments, in the scriptures of video games there will be a before and after Doom Eternal. So welcome the messiah of the shooters.