Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods Xbox Series X Review

Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods delivers on everything a fan of this series could hope for and more.

By Grayshadow, Posted 21 Mar 2021

DOOM Eternal was a smash hit among fans, delivering not only high adrenaline action but a surprisingly deep dive into the universe's lore. Many found the large array of codex entries a treat to read through as it provided extensive details not explained in the campaign. The Ancient Gods continues the fight with Hell as the Doom Slayer takes out his rage on a new opponent to stop Hell's forces once and for all. With an exciting 6 hour campaign that offers the most challenging obstacles in DOOM Eternal.

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Taking place after the events of the main game Hell's forces reinitiate their invasion of not only Earth but all dimensions. This is due to the Doom Slayer killing the Khan Maykr and allowing Hell's forces to take over Urdak, allowing them to travel throughout. To stop the demon invasion the Doom Slayer teams up with Samuel Hayden and ARC scientists to liberate the Slayer's ally the Seraphim in Part 1. With the Doom Slayer eventually coming face to face with Hell's leader and seeking to push the demons back to their realm in Part 2.

The campaign is rich with lore and fits DOOM Eternal's story into DOOM. With the expansion providing context to the Doom Slayer's revival, Samuel Hayden's origins, and much more. Like with the core game players will need to collect codex entries to get the full story although some of the entries artist work will spoil later encounters. Locating these are relatively easy as when you get close the map will expose the general location of these entries and even secrets.

DOOM Eternal,NoobFeed,id Software,

The gameplay is still the same run and gun combat from the previous game. The player has access to all their weapons and upgrades from the campaign with the exception of the Crucible blade since it was destroyed in the fight with the Icon of Sin. Combat is tight and responsive as the player must actively shoot and evade oncoming fire and melee strikes. All while recouping ammo, health, and armor by burning, freezing, and slaughter demons with your trusty chainsaw.

The developers did alter combat by providing new variants of enemies from the existing pool. These enemies have special attacks and can only be killed using specific tactics with the new enemy being the Spirit. A creature that can possess 1 enemy and overcharge them, requiring you to kill the demon before you can destroy the spirit inside using the Plasma Rifle. The only really annoying addition is the Crused Prowler. When hit by this demon the Doom Slayer can only run, loses health constantly, and can only kill it using a Blood Punch. It's rare to recover from this attack and being hit almost always guarantees death due to these strict restrictions, the even larger enemy pool thrown at the player, and the Prowler constantly running as you desperately try to hit it with a rechargeable skill.

The Doom Slayer isn't without new tools for slaughter. The newest addition is a Crucible Hammer that can stun enemies in a wide slam. The double-barrel shotgun also gets a grappling chain for platforming and new mobility combat options. But for the most part, you'll be using the same tools to kill the many demons in your way.

DOOM Eternal,NoobFeed,id Software,

The Ancient Gods does not pull any punches in the difficulty. Hell forces will come at you with force and no mercy is given, with this expansion offering some of the hardest encounters in the game. The most difficult are optional tasks in the locked Slayer rooms but the real challenge is found in Escalation Events in Part 2. These are 2 events, the first offering a Crucible Hammer upgrade and the second being a cosmetic upgrade. The problem of you having to use your base supplies is still present as if you fail you don't regain any lost ammo is still present. 

Support Runes are the latest new upgrades and are just like previous skills. You collect them through the adventure and choose 1 of four to be equipped. Even outside of these obstacles, The Ancient Gods will test your skills with intense arena fights and difficult boss encounters.

The bosses are memorable but don't offer the same excitement are previous DOOM fights as much of the combat focuses less on the boss itself. The game relies heavily on common demons to create challenges during these special encounters. Without these additional demons, the bosses would be incredibly easy showing off how weak they actually are. This is especially problematic in the finale which starts of as this epic 1v1 encounter against 2 titan-level warriors but then devolves into the Slayer having to kill weak variants of powerful demons. They're good fights it's just underwhelming to see that a bulk of the difficulty comes from having to killing the surrounding demons instead of the actual boss.

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The Ancient Gods technical quality is amazing, with an outstanding soundtrack and unique areas to explore. The campaign has its own distinct feel from start to finish. It's clear a lot of passion went into delivering the same outstanding DOOM experience fans loved from the core game. With a finale that will leave you shocked, especially if you've been following the lore since the core campaign.

After completing the adventure you can return to obtain the new cosmetics. Strangely there are specific sections you cannot replay when revisiting chapters. In Part 1 you cannot see the cutscene that bridges the first level to the second unless you start a new game. It's a strange oversight and hopefully, the developers will patch in a solution to this. Also if you've collected the new support Runes in a previous file they'll carry over in a new save but the game will not register that you've completed the tasks to earn these. Even if you redo the optional mission the Rune will be unattainable.

DOOM Eternal,NoobFeed,id Software,

The Ancient Gods is an outstanding expansion that gives players more quality DOOM Eternal fights. The story answers lingering questions from the core campaign and the 2016 game, highlighting how everything has been leading up to this final fight. It's just disappointing that the boss encounters are more about fighting the demons around the boss than the boss itself. DOOM Eternal The Ancient Gods delivers on everything a fan of this series could hope for and more.
 

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PS4, Switch, WII
Publisher(s): Bethesda
Developer(s): id Software
Genres: First-person shooter
Themes: Fantasy
Release Date: 2021-03-17

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