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If you told to be back in 2013 that this generation would see first-person shooters return to frenetic retro experiences as tongue-in-cheek was they were colorful, I’d tell you to stop making shit up. Doom 2016 was the start of realizing that dream: the return to form for id Software’s iconic “daddy-of-first-person-shooters” was also the return of an often sidelined method of presenting an FPS. If you thought that 2016’s return to the demon-infested UAC was the true return to Doom, you haven’t played anything like Doom Eternal. While four years ago we were treated to a smidge of what the series could be again – complete with gruesome combat and pumping heavy metal – Eternal’s amp has been cranked up not just to eleven, but away past it. While the last outing of the demon-massacring Doom Slayer ended with the raging marine being sent back to Hell, Eternal instead begins with everyone’s favorite angry-man tackling the rise of the demon horde on Earth. It begins immediately: after steadily shooting your way through a few linear paths, the open combat arenas begin to show their antsy faces. Eternal’s first combat arena is by sure it’s smallest, but it makes a hectic first impression. In comparison to its older brother, this beginning section feels like a mid-game gore nest from Doom 2016. There are imps, zombie soldiers and even an Anachnotron to deal with. For the beginning of a game, Eternal holds no punches and as the game continues its arenas only get bigger, more populated and tougher. That’s not to say that Doom Eternal ever becomes too difficult. We played through the entire campaign on Ultra-Violence, this series’ version of hard mode. As the horde of demon foes expands to include Pinkies, Mancubi, Cacodemons, Tyrants, Archvilles and more, your arsenal of weapons will expand alongside them. As you speedily skate out of the training level, Doom’s combat becomes an eloquent display of ultra-violent gunplay amid grotesque homogenized environments that see their base design overwrought by the unstoppable infection of Hell. The strong core of 2016 lays the unshakable combat foundation that Eternal gleefully builds upon to craft the best shooter this generation has seen. Each combat arena no longer feels like a beautifully choreographed dance; each fight is more akin to a glorious display of freeform combat parkour as you hastily rush to change your direction and approach in a split second. Your core movements of double jumps, mantling, boost-dodging, wall-climbing, and monkey-bar-swinging are constantly in use as you skate around vast demonic warzones and blast away at the ever-oncoming danger. Every gun, from shotgun to plasma rifle to rocket launcher, shreds away the flesh of your foes. Every bullet that blasts against the hardened flesh of the demons takes away a chunk of its target. Eventually, as larger targets with more health take center stage, their bodies become horrifying walking carcasses. It’s a gruesome, barbarous addition that never needed to be added, but it makes combat so much more visceral. There's more to this review posted on OUR FORUM.
 

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