2016’s Doom reimagined the classic shooter into a frantic but modern mold. The bloody escapades of the Doom Slayer were rife with bullets and guts. It was a grimy video game hamburger. Doom Eternal is bigger and bloodier, almost to the point of excess. It’s the same hamburger dipped into a vat of delicious special sauce. Except the serving size is so big that it’s hard not to feel a little sick afterwards.
Nonetheless Doom Eternal is incredible. It is a hellaciously bold step forward from the soft-rebooted series that will satisfy even the stodgiest of old school Doom fans. If you want to rip and tear, there’s arguably no better place than Doom Eternal. It also wants to juggle too many balls. There are additions to the combat system, a slew of unlockable items, online multiplayer pitting man against demons, dozens of gun upgrades, a lot more ancient lore, and story connections to older games that offer surprising revelations. Doom Eternal operates on a single maxim: more, more, more. Much of this works, some of it is a harmless annoyance, and a few things are actively frustrating. The frustrating parts don’t prevent Doom Eternal from being a great game, but they are there. They show themselves with every tutorial pop-up, cosmetic reward, or late addition to the game’s fabulous but increasingly busy combat.
Does it matter if most players are just here for violence and good times, as opposed to all that other stuff? Probably not. Doom Eternal lives by the strength of its shooting, and with a few notable competitors like Titanfall 2, there’s nothing that comes close to delivering this level of excitement.