DOOM Eternal Complete

I apologize for the late post today, I ended up deciding that I wanted to complete a game in order to have a post, and rather than scheduling this for later, I wanted it to come out today. I guess what I’m saying is that I started playing last night, and before I knew it, it was pretty late in the evening and I knew that I was nearing the end. I tried to push through to complete the game so I could have written this post earlier in the day, but it was starting to get late so I just called it a night. Today I woke up with the intention on completing the game but lazed about for a bit and then had a couple of errands to run. Regardless, I have since completed DOOM: Eternal and I have some final thoughts along with a gallery of cool shots from the remainder of the game. You can catch up with my initial impressions in this post.

So I should preface my thoughts with the fact that I’ll be discussing parts of the game that could contain spoilers, including the screenshots below. Honestly anything that I might spoil isn’t integral to your enjoyment of the game, but I thought I should give you the chance to check out at this point in case you want to experience things first hand. Otherwise, if you’re on the fence about the game, perhaps I can further convince you of its worth.

I guess the main thing that would matter most is if you enjoy this style of fast-paced FPS. The action is even more over the top than the 2016 version, and there is a lot of depth to the combat. I will say that this game is significantly harder than the 2016 version as well, but that could be due to the fact that I’m four years older and perhaps my twitch reflexes aren’t as good. Or perhaps it’s just harder. It took me longer to complete as well, with 2016’s DOOM taking me 10 hours to complete, and DOOM: Eternal taking 14 hours. It didn’t really feel longer, and I don’t recall getting stuck anywhere, but it did feel like a fuller experience. I liked the fact that your spaceship is a hub zone and that finding items in the world (sentinel batteries) could be used there to further unlock upgrades and/or cosmetics.

As far as story goes, it felt more involved as well. VEGA, and to a lesser extent Dr. Hayden, make regular voice communications throughout each mission. There is more interaction with the villains because they actually communicate, rather than just being blasted. Well, the main character demons that is… the normal fodder is just there to be exploited.

Without a doubt, it was fully worth the $60 price tag. There is a fast travel system that allows you to go back and gather all the collectibles and things, so I might have more motivation to play in the future, along with the season pass giving some new campaign experiences. I thought it was a great game and I recommend it highly if this is your thing. Here’s some screens of my experience, in chronological order:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pick this up ASAP if your’re a DOOM fan, or a fan of shooters in general.

First Thoughts: DOOM Eternal

I absolutely fell in love with DOOM 2016. It was a reboot of the series to some degree, basically starting over what began in the 1990’s and updating it with modern graphics. At the time, my computer had just been built a few months before, so I was able to run this at Ultra settings and though I was still running my rig in 1080p, it was gorgeous. The action was fast paced, the glory kills were over the top fun, and overall it hearkened back to a simpler time when we played games by ourselves. The follow-up to that game was announced a couple of years ago as DOOM Eternal, and it was instantly a part of my most-anticipated games list. Slated to release in November of 2019, it ended up being delayed to March 2020, just in time for us to be cooped up in our houses with plenty of time to play games (or at least, this about the most positive thing I can say about the current circumstances of the world). Sadly I would not have been able to pick the game up on release, but was lucky enough to be gifted a copy regardless, so I thought I’d share some thoughts on my first 5 hours with the title.

This time around, there is a bit more focus on the story, with a multitude of cutscenes, set pieces that want you to wonder about what’s going on around you, and collectible codex entries that shed some extra lore on an otherwise straight forward demon slaying experience. Apparently the original DOOM games also had a bit of story to them, though it was never really well conveyed in-game. I suppose this is an attempt at creating a story you kind of care about, despite the fact that all of the glory takes place during combat — which is still this series’ strength. As it goes, this title follows the story of the original DOOM II: Hell on Earth from 1994. Its uncertain if this is meant as a reboot sequel as most of us expected, or if this is sort of a separate more detailed timeline. However you want to look at it, at the end of the day DOOM 2016 ≥ DOOM as is DOOM Eternal ≥ DOOM II: Hell on Earth. That isn’t to say either is better than the other, but they are certainly good examples of how a game that pushed boundaries in the 1990’s can still do so in 2020 but with far more realistic graphics. So we know that while the Slayer was out and about on Mars taking care of business a few years ago, he’s now come back to earth and shit has hit the fan. So it’s up to him to get down to slayin’ business immediately.

Unfortunately, being such an action packed experience, I was unable to get many action shots, but the backdrops I managed to capture are fascinating. Some of the same mechanics from DOOM 2016 have returned, and some have been expanded upon. Not only do weapons get upgrades via modifications found in the world, but then you can spend weapon points on additional modifiers for those mods. Once unlocking everything on one weapon you’ll be able to then complete a mastery challenge that will unlock another perk for the gun. From there, you can also put points into your Praetor suit, which are passive bonuses that mostly have to do with your auto-map amongst other things. Runes can be found that give you further passives depending on which ones you have equipped (max 3 out of 9 at a time). There’s another layer of perks called crystals that you can equip which increase your health/armor/ammo maximum amounts, but also grants bonuses to your equipment, which is a shoulder mounted grenade launcher, frost bomb launcher, and the flamer. There’s a lot of depth here despite it just being another FPS in a long line of games that you’ve already played. In a sense it’s more of the same (which was good) but takes things just that much further. I can say for sure that the movement around maps is vastly changed, with many more open spaces to jump and dash around in. This means some creative level design was in order, and I find myself having to back track a lot less as a result. However, there is a fast travel system and because of the sheer amount of collectibles and secrets you’ll want to use this system to go back and finish the content presented.

Challenges are still a thing, but this time they’re called Slayer Challenges and you have to find a nearby key before being able to access the special zone. Once you have access and head in, you’ll be in for a challenge. I think now I could probably go back and complete a few of them, but on my first attempt I was stomped. Beyond completitionist status, there is a Battlemode that I have yet to check out, but also already included with the deluxe edition, you get access to future campaign and multiplayer content. I’m looking forward to having a reason to come back to this title beyond just deathmatch, as DOOM 2016 included but I wasn’t really a fan of. Here’s hoping the multiplayer here is better, but I can already highly recommend this title just for the single player alone. Well worth the investment price, and if you can get it on sale, even better!

E3 2019: Most Anticipated

The 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo has wound down to a close and just like years prior, I thought I should give some commentary based on what we saw. This is the first year in a while that I didn’t actually watch the live streams, so I don’t have any commentary on the show itself, the presenters, any of that. Instead, I have a list of games that interest me the most, and some commentary along with a video for those curious to learn more. This has become an annual affair, and as such I thought I should probably collate all of the past years’ posts in one place so we can see how things line up.

E3 2014

E3 2015 (Podcast Episode)

E3 2015 (Written Post)

E3 2016 (Podcast Episode)

E3 2016 (Written Post)

E3 2017

E3 2018

Looking back through these lists, there are a couple of things I can glean. First, this is the only year from this selection that doesn’t have Sony present at the conference. They have started doing their own thing for the last few years at a later juncture in the year, but this is the first time I can remember them not being at the show. It also appears that I have played/own all of the games on these lists outside of the ones that haven’t released yet. Some of those games are coming down the pipeline sooner than later, finally. I suspect Sony is saving their big PS5 announcements for their own conference, as rumor already has it that we’ll see the console’s release in 2020. Now I just have to decide if I should grab a PS4 Pro this holiday season when the deals come around, or just say fuck it and wait for the new machine. Whatever the case, despite Sony’s absence there were still quite a few games and bigger updates that were worth taking a look at, so let’s dive into the list!

CD Projekt Red has a pretty decent reputation due to the success of their The Witcher series. I hadn’t played it, but grabbed the GOTY edition of the third entry in the series — I couldn’t get over the wonky combat mechanics and uninstalled it. Initially hearing about Cyberpunk 2077, I assumed it would be a similar type of game in a different setting, and so I didn’t have any excitement for the title. However, after seeing some gameplay footage and seeing that it’s an FPS in a cool setting, I became more interested. Seeing Keanu Reeves’ involvement doesn’t really sway me one way or the other, but I like most of his movies so that’s a plus I guess? Whatever the case it looks like it’s going to be a fun game so it makes the list.

I mentioned this title in prior E3 posts, as we were teased with information about it in years past. It’s finally coming out next month, and it looks to hold true to the standard the recent Wolfenstein games have set. I loved both The New Order and The New Colossus and to a lesser extent The Old Blood. Adding co-op is cool but I’ll likely play through it solo. Still, I’m ready and will be picking this one up day one if I can help it.

My girlfriend actually bought me a copy of Fallout 76 for my birthday last year. I played it for just a couple of short sessions before putting it down. One of my chief complaints would be the lack of a cohesive story and NPCs. It felt like a typical sandbox game with very little direction and I was disappointed after being hyped for the game since it was announced at last year’s E3. Apparently there have been a succession of good and bad patches/changes in the time since, and like No Man’s Sky before it, this is a game that is likely better after a year or more of development compared to the release product. Apparently they are changing up the story and adding NPCs, along with adding a Battle Royale mode (yawn). I’m hopeful that it can eventually be called a “good” game, but whatever the case we always have The Elder Scrolls VI (which was missing from this year’s show) to look forward to.

This is probably the game I’m looking forward to the most. The DOOM reboot was fantastic and made me fall in love with the series all over again. This being the sequel to that reboot, I think we’re in for a treat. I can already tell that it’s more of the same but the graphics and animations look kicked up a notch and I already know I’ll be paying $60 for this on day one.

Star Wars games tend to be pretty awful. Apparently Knights of the Old Republic was good but I never played it. Battlefront was fun for a minute, but it’s not story driven and thereby you don’t really care. I didn’t care for the MMO despite being a Bioware fan. This game looks pretty good, all things considered. I’m cautiously optimistic. We’ll see when it releases what the kids are saying about it.

I’ve talked about this one before, and holy hell does it meet and/or exceed my expectations! Finally being able to see combat and more of what this game will look like, I’m sold. Final Fantasy VII was my first game in the series, and as such has a special place in my heart. The only confusing part is that apparently it’s being released episodically, so I’m hoping that they split up the game into thirds, and just use the original break points between discs (the Playstation version had 3 discs). Anything more than that might ruin the experience, but it looks pretty sweet at this point.

The only game I probably won’t ever play unless they port it to PC, but still a game I remember with a mixture of fondness and hate. The original Battletoads on NES was a painfully difficult game that was a childhood rite of passage. This game doesn’t look like it will be remotely as difficult, but still hits me in the nostalgia feels. As of now I believe it’s only slated to release on Xbox, hence why I’ll probably not end up playing it.

Another title I talked about before, I enjoyed playing the original and think this one looks familiar but intriguing nonetheless.

Panzer Dragoon was one of my favorite games on my Sega Saturn, which was the system I backed during those console wars in the 90’s. Sony was the new kid on the block but they ended up causing the demise of the Saturn, and as a result a bunch of unique and cool games never saw the widespread fame they deserved. This one being remade is interesting because it was such an unusual title. I might get a Switch someday, but I’d hope this gets ported elsewhere.

Borderlands 3 is another hotly anticipated game for me. It’s been a long time since Borderlands 2, and The Pre-Sequel didn’t hold my attention in the same way the original two did. There isn’t much to say here, as it’s not really anything new but it’s a great looter shooter and something I co-op through with friends, so I’m in!

Strangely enough, a new DLC for Borderlands 2 was announced as well, and this time we’ll be getting a story bridge between 2 and 3. Coincidentally (or maybe not?) the PS4 version of the game, The Handsome Collection was just given away for free via Playstation Plus, so we should all be able to try out this new DLC before the new game drops.

A new game by From Software? Typically that’s an automatic win. Demons’ Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne were all excellent games, and though I’ve heard mixed reviews with Sekiro, I can’t imagine it’s bad, just misunderstood. The only difference here is apparently George R R Martin has something to do with the story telling, so perhaps it will be something completely different. I imagine Souls gameplay will still be present, and I look forward to hearing more.

So there you have it. These are the games that I’m looking forward to most from this year’s conference. What are you looking forward to most?

Most Anticipated: E3 2018

The Electronics Entertainment Expo for 2018 is over, and with it I’m left with a sense of excitement for the coming years. Games are releasing at such a rapid pace these days that it’s hard to find excitement for many, considering you could literally spend every waking moment playing video games and not complete every one that’s out there. This means many of us find our niche titles or genres that really speak to us and look forward the most to them. Some people are out to write about everything that was discussed during E3, while others (like myself) are going to cherry pick what they’re looking forward to and talk about that only.

Generally speaking, I feel like for the last few years Sony has taken the crown when it comes to their E3 presentation. This year things were skewed a bit differently. I only had the time to watch the Bethesda conference, and in my opinion they “won” this year. However, I did hear good things about Microsoft’s presentation along with Nintendo and the PC Gaming Show being decent. Overall it doesn’t matter who “wins” but it was odd to see that Sony was kinda meh this year. At the end of the day, I still only cherry picked titles I was interested in, and I’ll share those with you now!

Devil May Cry 5

I’ve been a fan of this series since #2. I remember one of my good friends picked it up on his PS2 and we played the hell out of it. I played the 3rd entry as well, but never did play number 4. I did finish the DMC reboot a few years back and that was a good time, and it’s hard to tell by this trailer if DMC 5 is keeping with the original Dante or moving forward with the rebooted version. Honestly he looks more like the new version, but still different. Either way it’s the same sort of action oriented combat game that fans of the series will know and love. I look forward to some mindless button mashing.

Dying Light 2

Still working my way through the first game with my best friend, as we are playing strictly co-op and don’t play it otherwise, but we should be able to complete it before this one comes out. It looks like more of the same, but the graphics look better. I assume the trailer is running on a high end PC though, so mileage may vary.

Anthem

We heard about Anthem last year and didn’t see much but teaser information. This time there’s a nice trailer with combat and it’s definitely a co-op game. I really want to play this one! Bioware games will always have a special place in my heart and this one looks like no exception.

Wolfenstein Youngblood

I’m not really hyped for this game, I played The New Colossus, but have yet to play Wolf2. I never played the little spinoff called The Old Blood, and this appears to be that same sort of thing. Perhaps I’ll get through those other titles before this one comes out, and in that case I’ll jump on it, particularly if it has a lower price point like The Old Blood did.

Starfield

This is a teaser and nothing more. Still, a Bethesda game in space? Sign me up!

The Elder Scrolls VI

Speaking of teasers, we finally got the one we’ve been waiting around for. TES6 is coming, but it’s probably a couple of years off at least. I cannot wait.

The Last of Us 2

We’ve known about this one for a while now too, but it’s looking gorgeous as ever. Naughty Dog has been producing amazing games for a long time now, and TLOU2 looks incredible. Just watch the trailer and be in awe like the rest of us.

Beyond Good & Evil 2

Another long awaited sequel that became a meme. It’s real now, but we still haven’t seen much in the way of gameplay. I’ll jump on board even more once that day comes, but the hype is still real!

RAGE 2

RAGE came and went before I really noticed. I’m a fan of id Software games, but this was already sort of old news by the time I heard of it. As a result I never played it, and now seeing the sequel I’m intrigued. I’ll pick this one up on sale and it looks like a blast.

DOOM Eternal

DOOM’s reboot from a couple of years ago was flat out the best FPS I had played in years. The visuals, the speed of the game, everything coalesced into a near perfect experience. It was also refreshing to go back to level maps that weren’t so damn linear and required some thought to navigate (and also backtrack). This is the sequel to that reboot and it’s going to be great, I can practically guarantee that.

Fallout 76

Last but certainly not least, we have the main event from the Bethesda conference, Fallout 76. So rumor had it before the show that this was going to be a Battle Royale, then people said it was a Survival Sandbox. At this point the devs themselves have called it “Softcore Survival.” What I have gathered from watching and reading about the game, it seems to be a traditional Fallout game with the same sorts of RPG elements and progression, but there is some co-op functionality and some pvp functionality. Apparently there are areas on the map where you can grab nukes and blow shit up, you can build bases, etc. etc. It sounds like Fallout 4 with co-op and I’m all about that. It was said that even if you die you don’t lose progression, so that would make the pvp less painful for people who don’t want it. It was also said you can play the game solo, so I assume then it would play like a normal Fallout. Hard to say at this point really, but I still look forward to a Bethesda RPG world that has some multiplayer in it.