When it comes to DOOM, one could argue I am an eternal fan. Having played DOOM on the PSX when I was but a nipper; the game stuck with me. DOOM Eternal was a departure from traditional DOOM but brought something new to the table. The new ‘Story Expansion’ though? Let me tell you about this DOOM ETERNAL DLC, because that’s really what it is; DLC. Anyway, lets get into the review!
-I was playing the game at over 100FPS for about 5 minutes. Unfortunately when streaming via my set-up… it lagged hard. As such, I was forced to underclock my monitor and cap the FPS to 60. It was painful. I’ll link the Twitch VOD here for you to see.
Let’s start this review like we do all reviews, with the system specs.
|Intel i7-7700k (4.8ghz OC)||NVIDIA GTX 1080||32GB|
As I had to play this game on 60fps lock I had to rerun the first level again. The benchmark tool was having issues with the Vulkan only API and only recording some of the time. As such I have no benchmarks at 1080 or 4K but I can say that it ran pretty bloody smooth on the HIGH preset. This was with motion blur and adaptive resolution off. Easily over 100fps.
Where to begin? Well at the end of DOOM Eternal I suppose. So you just beat the big bad and humanity is saved, right? Wrong. Turns out the demons are now hyper aggressive as they have access to the Maykrs world; demons in the plane of the Gods, not good apparently. In the time between the end of Eternal and the DLC, the slayer made contact with ‘The Arc’.
Hayden informs yous that there is an artefact that will the head of the Gods – The Father – to take a physical form and sort all this mess out. As such you take it upon yourself to find this artefact. Well your old friends at the UAC have had it for years. Once in possession of it you also find the artefact that will give the root of all evil physical form.
Now remember, the slayer is a cool and calculated guy, he knows what he’s doing. So he takes the root of all evil and decides: If I give you physical form, then kill you, no more evil. Now, Hayden and the boys at ‘The Arc’ hate this idea. Regardless you go about your merry way back to the Maykrs plane and resurrect the evil. That’s it, we get a big plot twist reveal then a nice ‘To Be Continued…’ followed by some credits.
Good gameplay, negates the need for an enthralling story. An enthralling story, negates the need for good gameplay. I have said words similar to this in the past. Eternal straddled that line rather competently. DOOM (2016) took the good gameplay approach. DOOM Eternal The Ancient Gods Part 1 threw sh*t at the wall to see what would stick.
For all the time I spent playing this DOOM Eternal DLC – because that’s what it feels like- I was always in combat… always. Every room, every corridor, every open space was an arena. This is usually a good thing when it comes to this franchise. What I expected was to rip and tear through some excellent gameplay with a good story.
What I got was maybe 3 tweets worth of dialogue per level explaining what I was to do followed swiftly by a horde mode arena shooter. We’ll drizzle in some Imps, a mancubus or two, maybe 4 revenants to start. Right now 3 Arch-vile, 5 arachnotron, 8 cacodemon, 3 cyber-manubus, some gargoyles, hell knights, 4 buff totems and a few whiplash… and let’s make that round 1 of 4. Oh and a marauder for good measure!
P.A.R is an acronym I learnt in Physical Education in high school. Practice, Action, Response. The idea is, the more you do something the better you become given enough time. After the first half hour of this DLC, I was physically and emotionally drained. Variety is the spice of life as they say. Someone tell Bethesda that though.
When you are getting your ass handed to you on a plate by an army of engraged, empowered and tanky demons… on medium… something is wrong. This game has a difficulty curve that just spikes and plateaus until the final boss fight. Then it has the cheek to double. There are too many enemies, far too frequently and in too many waves.
I want to feel like a ball busting, ass kicking, demon killing one man army! That is DOOM! You are a man who sacrificed himself to fight hell for eternity, You would think the DLC giving you all the runes, all the upgrades and every buff possible it wouldn’t be so hard. But you’d be wrong. This Doom Eternal DLC holds the trophy as the only game that forced me to lower the difficulty, and it turns out… I was fighting the final boss!
No Issues surprisingly. Game ran fine – stream not so much but for the end user experience? Perfect. I played good when streamed on the Medium graphics preset and played just as good on HIGH. Lows of ~80fps and highs of over 144fps. Framerate remained stable even during intense combat and frantic movement.
The new underwater section ran just as smooth with no issues. Honestly I am struggling to find what I can say here. Performance was what you would expect. The game has had some polish and updates since last I spoke about it in March. This is to be expected now that it’s October. Like I said though I am struggling here, nothing went wrong for once.
Well my friends the time has come, a score. I want to quickly refresh you on the DOOM Eternal Scores before we talk about the specific scores for this DLC that has the audacity to call itself an ‘Expansion’.
DOOM Eternal Score
At the time I did have issues with performance but I did not factor that in. The story was passable and did give a bit more lore to the overall universe. I called it Purpose Built and Basic. It was and still is. You can read the review here, or watch it here if you wish for a better insight to the scores. Now we must tackle these scores though.
This was bad. I understood the story but I feel that maybe with some extra polish and more time, the whole story expansion set could be a contender for Doom 3. Why not? Give it some care and flesh it all out and you’d be fine. It honestly feels like DLC and the combat of it feels lazy. It really is a case of what stuck to the wall.
Gameplay was nothing new, SSDD. We still had puzzles and combat and nothing changed. No new innovations. An underwater section that you can miss if you blink is the only addition. You’re on Earth, you go to Hell then to go to the Gods plane. That’s everything you do in DOOM Eternal. Gameplay feels like a cheap imitation of itself. It was not fun but it was passable.
At least they improved the performance and stability.