DOOM Eternal review: Rip and tear up hell on Earth

Photo: Doom Eternal.. Image Courtesy Bethesda Softworks
Photo: Doom Eternal.. Image Courtesy Bethesda Softworks /

DOOM Eternal is the highly anticipated next installment in the franchise, but does it live up to all of the hellish hype?

When I was 7-years-old, I begged my dad to let me play the game he was playing. The incessant nagging of young me won and my dad plopped me in front of the humming PC that he built and let me play DOOM II. Granted, it was pretty brutal for its day (my dad let me play some questionable games now that I think about it) and my young eyes soaked it all in: the blood and viscera, the weapons and the Doomguy’s face as he gets the beat down from demons (because I was terrible at it).

I loved it and it was a gateway to Resident Evil, the game that changed my life. DOOM holds a lot of memories but I haven’t played it since then. I knew with the release of DOOM Eternal, it was time to put on the suit and get down to ripping off some demon arms.

DOOM Eternal was developed by id Software and published by Bethesda. Bethesda was kind enough to send me a review copy of their game so many thanks to them. I can say now that if you can get the Rip and Tear Pack, I highly recommend it for one massive reason. With it, you get the full DOOM 64 game from 1997. That’s right, you can play the entire N64 game and it looks and plays incredibly.

Bethesda’s latest effort takes place two years after the 2016 game. You are the Doom Slayer and all is not well on Earth. Hell has taken over and the survivors need help. You don that suit on your souped up space station and head to Earth to crush some skulls and remove some appendages.

Doom Eternal
Photo: Doom Eternal.. Image Courtesy Bethesda Softworks /

Prepare yourself for one of the most bad a** game intros ever. It gave me goosebumps and had me head banging almost immediately. I have seen many a game opening scene in my day and this just may be one of the best ones I have ever watched.

You are hyped from moment one. Speaking of hyped, I need to talk about the music. The soundtrack was composed by Mick Gordon and it is amazing!

I felt like I was listening to metal from the early 2000’s and I was in high school all over again. It’s a compliment, trust me. The music really kicks in during big battles (of which there are many) and almost keeps you going during the more difficult moments.

Everything looks incredible. The scenery changes a lot more than I thought it would. While you have your standard apocalyptic, hell on Earth type of environments, you also have beautiful snowy mountains, space cult stations and something that looked like it was pulled straight out of God of War.

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What I liked about DOOM Eternal is that I never knew what to expect. They could have just kept the hellish environment on brand but they took it to beautiful areas which kept it fresh.

The gameplay is super fast-paced and the controls, while not buttery smooth, work really well. There are a lot of abilities, weapons and butt-ripping moves that you need to remember and sometimes it can get overwhelming.

I found myself panicking on more than one occasion, only remembering that I had the ability to freeze my enemies after the battle was over. Battles are frequent, so eventually you get the hang of things and then a new weapon or skill is popped into your arsenal.

There are a couple of pretty frustrating things in this game, the first of which is the tutorial text. While you can increase the size of the subtitle text, you cannot change the size of the text when tutorials pop up to tell you how to do things.

Considering those are the super important parts, you would think they would make it bigger. Little did I know, to play the game, I would have to put on that helmet that Rick Moranis wore in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids when he was trying to find his children in the grass.

DOOM Eternal
Photo: Doom Eternal.. Image Courtesy Bethesda Softworks /

The other thing that had me screaming out the window and scaring the children playing outside was the platforming. This is some old school platforming BS that got me so frustrated. There will be many, many, MANY times that you have to platform across impossibly far distances and, sure, you have a double jump and sure, you can super scoot for an extra distance boost but sometimes, it just gets ridiculous.

There are jumps that have to be so perfectly done, you will find yourself trying to get to the next area and it takes longer than a boss fight. With this platforming, the frustration is real.

While there were a few things that drove me nuts, DOOM Eternal is a fun as hell game. It’s gorgeous, for the most part. The controls are complicated but pretty smooth and it is a story we all know and love.

I also respect a game that includes your character’s changed skins in all of the cutscenes. While this isn’t the first DOOM game I’ve played in my life, this is definitely my favorite.

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DOOM Eternal is available today on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows and Google Stadia. Whether or not you have played or liked the previous games, I would recommend giving this one a playthrough. 9/10

Are you planning to play DOOM Eternal? Let us know in the comments!