Doom Eternal is finally here; the AAA sequel to the immensely beloved 2016 DOOM reboot. While the reboot managed to deliver an experience which satisfied long time fans of the series and newcomers alike, it also had a few shortcomings. Doom Eternal, however, is a different beast altogether. id Software manages to deliver an experience which elevates the series to dizzying heights and delivers what is, in my opinion, the best Doom game ever made.

DOOM (2016) gave us a wholesome helping of the trademark fast-paced, action-packed combat which the Doom series is known and loved for but Doom Eternal turns it up to 11 and delivers a borderline stressful experience with blazing speed action; the type which requires the player to play not in a logical way, but an instinctual one. There is no time to think or to breathe in Doom Eternal’s combat sequences, there is only time to kill. The gunplay in Doom Eternal is so good that it should perhaps be considered an achievement in gameplay, I cannot think of any game in recent memory which has managed to create such a fluid, fun, smooth and satisfying FPS experience as Doom Eternal. Nothing else in the genre can hold a candle to Doom Eternal in this respect.

Despite these massive improvements to gunplay, Doom Eternal is more than just an elevated combat system. The game also brings a surprising amount of brand new mechanics to the core of the game. Platforming sections are now extremely prevalent, something which wasn’t a major focus of the 2016 title. While this may sound like a worrying introduction to some fans, I can assure you that it certainly does not dilute the Doom experience and only enhances enjoyment of the game. Where the 2016 game may have had boring periods of downtime for map traversal in between action-packed fight sequences, Doom Eternal replaces these with fun platforming challenges. Furthermore, exploration of the map for secrets and collectable items feels more fun than ever due to the new opportunities for hiding paths afforded to the developers by the introduction of platforming mechanics. These additions only come at the expense of the loss of the boring traversal sections; an undoubtedly worthy trade-off. With these changes, I can truly say that I enjoyed every moment I spent with Doom Eternal.

The platforming mechanics also creep their way into the combat options. Due to the new jumping and dashing mechanics, the Doom Slayer is more mobile than ever and these added mobility adds yet another layer of combat depth to what was already an incredibly satisfying system. This is due in no small part to the awesome assortment of weapons which will be at your disposal as you work your way through Doom Eternal’s incredible campaign. Returning favourites are complemented by some new additions, however, every weapon feels like it has been giving an extra bit of oomph, much like the game itself. Weapons feel powerful, impactful, diverse and destructive. Your arsenal in Doom Eternal is second to none and reminds me of the likes of Ratchet and Clank’s incredible weapon rosters, but with the brutality slider maxed.

Of course, Doom’s iconic Glory Kill is back and… you guessed it: is better than ever! As in Doom (2016), glory kills are key to refilling your ammo and health stock. The game only litters a limited amount of this around the environment and it expects you to get up close and personal with Doom’s incredible array of dangerous creatures in order to acquire the rest. Did we mention that Doom Slayer can breathe fire now? Well… not literally, but the Flame Belch is a new addition to the game which allows you to expel fire from a shoulder-mounted device. This is another addition to the core gameplay which can combo with other key elements in different ways to give you even more diversity in your approach. The beloved chainsaw also makes a return, of course.

Doom Eternal is also incredibly visually. Both the beautiful graphics and the stunning environments combine to create an atmosphere which fits the game perfectly and will blow you away; if you have any time to admire it! We played on the PS4 Pro and the game managed to stay at a buttery smooth 60FPS at all times. It is an incredible achievement that the game can manage this consistency with the speed of gameplay and the amount of action on screen at times, so props to the developers for their optimisation efforts. Sound design is another key aspect of Doom and the guys over at id Software have delivered in yet another area, giving us an incredible soundtrack to rock out to as we brutally slay the enemies of Doom Eternal. Sound effects are equally impressive, with everything combining together to bring the immersion through the roof. Once you are sucked into Doom Eternal’s world, you will find it very difficult to get out again!

Making a return are heavy customisation options to add further complexity to the core gameplay loop. Weapon mods are aplenty and can be upgraded once more, while the Praetor Suit offers a comparable level of customisation. Mods and upgrades feel more impactful and powerful than before and often become crucial to situations. In Doom (2016), they felt like a modest power boost to the weapon; a nice bonus to have. In Doom Eternal, they’ve become an important part of gameplay, with one weapon offering a grappling hook mod, for example. This is yet another example of id Software taking a system and adding more complexity to it, bringing immense, incomparable depth to Doom Eternal’s gameplay.

While Doom games in the past may have mainly used the story as a vessel for transporting you between levels, Doom Eternal actually has some weight behind its narrative. We found it quite engaging throughout and it serves as a nice complement to the gameplay, which is undoubtedly the primary draw and focus of Doom Eternal. A fun, unique multiplayer mode has also been added to the game which is sure to offer some additional playtime for fans beyond the roughly 20 hour campaign.

We could potentially write praise for Doom Eternal until the end of time, however, it suffices to say that id Software have taken a solid reboot and improved upon it in every manner possible. New interesting gameplay mechanics combine with across the board enhancements to already excellent systems, supplemented by a beautifully crafted world and smooth, stable performance to create a Doom game which surpasses every other game in the series and delivers what may be the best first person shooter title ever made.