DOOM Eternal test: Hell paved with (very) good intentions

The new DOOM is back. Four years after a surprise opus, id Software has redone the FPS release. Let us especially remember that almost thirty years after the release of the first opus (1993), the studio wants us to believe that DOOM is … Eternal.

Remember, in 2016 was released DOOM, a reboot imagined by id Software and thought to make forget a third episode – released him in 2004 – not so bad as that, but so out of step with the rest of the series that he had largely disappointed. At the time, hardly anyone would have wagered a kopeck on this new album except Bethesda. The publisher will not have had to regret his bet, because not only id Software has managed to develop a technically very successful game, but the gameplaythis time was largely level. Critics have welcomed this vigorous return to basics and players have not been asked to ensure it a great commercial success: more than 500,000 PC copies sold in less than 15 days! Inevitably, after such a success, we want more and – too bad for id Software – we risk being even more demanding.


Hell and DOOMnation

In July 2015 when he was in command of DOOM (2016), Marty Stratton explained that the recipe for the solo of the franchise is ”  badass demons, big effing guns, and moving really fast  “. What we can schematically translate by “very  nasty demons, whores of big guns and very fast movements  “. A recipe that the guy applied to the letter on “his” opus and that his friend at the time – Hugo Martin – decided to reuse for this new suite. So it’s true, we like to force the line and it is not entirely correct: there is a real little scenario in this campaign, but you will admit that we do not play a DOOM so that tells us great stories … We want to kill the monster, the chubby, the beefy,

To put it simply, know that we play a man named Slayer whose objective is to defeat a kind of hell council. Not nice guys led by a certain Khan Maykr who seems to want to enslave humanity without anyone finally knowing why. No doubt a mixture of oversized ego, violent father and badly digested taste. The fact is that this scripting framework allows you to fix things a little and that, for those interested, id Software has still made some efforts. Thus, the staging is interesting and multiple cutscenes are there to advance the scenario. Note in passing that the VF is very successful and that multiple elements of lore are scattered throughout the levels: this will at the same time delight completists and context enthusiasts.

Here we are, we have planted the framework, now we come to the heart of the game: its gameplay . First of all, it should be stressed that id Software did not have the idea of ​​making a clean sweep of the past, quite the contrary. The studio thus endeavored to keep all that had made the success of the previous opus and it would have been wrong not to do so. All the salt of the game therefore rests on the most effective use possible of these famous glory kills which have done so much for the reputation of the game of 2016. For neophytes, remember that it is a question of finishing a wounded monster in performing a particularly gore movement, like tearing off an arm to push it into the left orbit or so it makes him happily return the head into the rib cage.

“Tasty” on the aesthetic level, these violent deaths are not only intended to satisfy our most beastly urges. In reality, they are part of a whole that aims to push the player to “think” his actions once released in a level. Once achieved, the glory killallows you to get small bonuses to lift our life. In the same way, it is possible to use a chainsaw – if one has enough fuel – to finish a monster and recover this time ammunition. Finally, the use of the fiery spitter – that is the nice name of the flame thrower attached to the Slayer’s shoulder – makes it possible to flame enemies who will drop armor bonuses this time. For the player, the trick is to alternate between these different bonuses to never be short of bastos, to reassemble your armor or to avoid dying, quite simply.

Where things get particularly tricky is that the DOOM Eternal levels are obviously designed so that everything works as well as possible … well, at least in the highest difficulty levels. Of course, if you opt for the simpler – blue – the game is more forgiving, because there is something for everyone and all talents. The difficulty gradually rises as the campaign progresses, but we feel very early that we will necessarily have to think about its progress and not (too) rush headlong on the first creatures to come. Chain here a glory kill , there a chainsaw hit and there, finally, a small barbecue must allow to get out of the toughest clashes in one piece and with more ammunition for the next festivities.