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:

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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!

Developer Appreciation Week: Two For One

The third week of Blaugust was scheduled to be “Developer Appreciation Week,” which is something the blogsphere has put on in the past. I’ve never participated in this particular event, and thought maybe I should make at least one post related to it to not only stick to Bel’s schedule but to also actually show some appreciation. Those of you who have been reading this blog for any length of time know that I tend to only write about games I enjoy, so I have heaped praise on many a title over the years. I’ve not really hyped up a developer before though, and in this case, the one that I’d like to show my appreciation for is Bethesda.

Bethesda is responsible for one of my all time favorites in The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series. As developers of these huge open worlds, they have whet my appetite for a deep single player RPG experience. I’ve had my dislikes too, but overall games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim were amazing titles and gave me a love for single player games that I hadn’t felt since before I got into MMOs. I poured countless hours into their big open-ended RPGs and loved them, and then we got the ability to toy around with mods on top of that and by that point you’re putting MMO hours into a single player game. They got me hyped up again this year with the teaser trailers for the next Elder Scrolls game and another game that’s taking their formula to space, not to mention Fallout 76 which will finally bring a multiplayer aspect to one of their beloved worlds. Bethesda’s been a favorite company of mine for a long time now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Not only are they developers of games that I love, they also publish for another big name in the industry:

id Software is single-handedly responsible for turning me into an FPS fan. Wolfenstein, DOOM, Quake and all of the iterations over the years have been great, and now that Bethesda are publishing them I feel like the quality has gone up a notch or two. I have not been disappointed with any of the recent remakes/reboots of these franchises. The sequel to the last DOOM is coming by next year, more RAGE, Quake Champions is still being developed as we speak (but is very fun already) and the next chapter in the Wolfenstein series is coming as well. Not only do these games push the envelop graphically, they have come a long way in their story-telling and just how damn smooth and fast you can expect an FPS to run. id Software spurned a whole genre that has seen countless copies and iterations but can all be traced back to early 3D outings by this team. Without either of these companies, these genres would not be what they are today and for that, I thank them. Looking forward to making new memories with these companies’ games.

Thoughts on Quake Champions

Quake Champions first came on my radar around this time last year when it was announced at E3 2017. It was shown off a bit again this year during the Bethesda conference, but being an Early Access game in beta it’s not quite done yet. It started off with a buy-in price of $30, but more recently there was a starter pack put up on Steam for $5, which doesn’t come with all of the champions that exist in the game. As a special E3 week promotion, that starter pack was made available for free, so I took my chance to finally experience the game first hand.

Touted as being the same sort of game as Quake III Arena that many of us played back in the 90’s (and was the direct competition for Unreal Tournament) and helped spawn the Arena Shooter genre, it has a modern twist from adding Champions with special abilities (to compete with titles like Overwatch, I’m sure). This claim holds true, as the champions appear to be mostly modeled after the Quake III skins though now they each have a special ability that recharges during matches and can be used to shake things up a bit. Of course, the nature of the game is to grab the best weapons and power-ups to mow down the competition, so the special abilities don’t add too much depth. Still a nice touch though.

The starter pack grants access to Ranger and Scalebearer, while the other champions are unplayable save for whatever the current week’s free rotation is. This is fine if you want a limited pool and would rather save up favor or platinum to buy the champions, but for $20 (currently) you can instantly unlock them all. Like most free to play games on the market, there are most of the expected trappings; you can buy champions for in-game currency (favor) or buy the RMT currency (platinum) for similar use. Skins come in many flavors, from customization options for your champion and the weapons they use. It seems that you can also further customize things with a rune system that I don’t quite understand yet. I assume it’s similar to systems found in League of Legends, though the runes seem tailored to each champion individually.

When it comes down to it though, this is the fast paced Quake that we all know and love straight out of the 1990’s. There are several different game modes and I’ve felt right at home with it. I love a mindless arena shooter, but this adds just enough nuance to make it feel at home in 2018, despite being firmly steeped in nostalgia from the past. I feel like it’s worth the $20 to get all current and future champions; it’s a good deal just like it’s been for other games like Smite and Paladins.

Jumping into the action has been a blast and I truly enjoy this updated version of Quake. I wish we could get a full campaign though, because the original Quake games were epic and we’ve had this new era of DOOM titles coming out so I’d like to see what id Software might come up with, but I’ll settle for the arena shooter that Quake has become. If you have ever loved a Quake title, I’d suggest picking this up now while it’s free, but even if you miss the promotion, it’s worth dropping the asking price for. I imagine it will be out of Early Access soon enough, as it feels polished and nearly feature complete at this point, but I also believe there will be new content added for some time to come.

DOOM Screenshot Dump

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I started off my long weekend by completing one of the games that I’ve been working on for a little while now. That’s the trouble will playing multiple games at once and growing your backlog during sales — sometimes it takes far too long to knock one game off of your list. However, in the past few months I’ve finished several games so I don’t feel too bad, the only trouble is that I could easily not buy anything else for the rest of the year and I might, barely, finish off my backlog. Even then, it’s not likely. It’s also ridiculously unlikely that I don’t buy another game for the rest of the year, especially when you consider No Man’s Sky, Civilization VI, and some other anticipated titles are coming soon. Still, when all is said and done, I can scratch this game off of my list, and can now move onto another game.

This DOOM felt better than any FPS I’ve played in a long time. It had all of that old school feel, but with modern graphics and mechanics. Gone is iron sight aiming, but back is puzzling level designs that make you think and remember where you need to go. Playing it on some of the harder difficulties also meant waves of huge baddies to kill, and nearly non-stop action. I loved it from start to finish, and if you have hesitated to this point because you were skeptical, stop. It’s a fantastic FPS, one of the best in years. It’s also on sale on Steam for another few hours, so do yourself a favor and pick it up! Without further comment, here are some screens I captured during my playthrough (there might be light spoilers here, but there isn’t a whole lot of story to ruin either):