DLC Review – DOOM Eternal: Ancient Gods (Part 2)
When we reviewed DOOM Eternal just over a year ago, we gave it a perfect 10, and called it our overall Game of the Year. We called it masterful showcase of FPS design, and one of the most insane action experiences in years, blending some of the best level design in recent memory with energetic shooting gameplay. Not only that, it looked really good and kept a steady 60FPS at all times, no matter which platform you played it on. Well, except the Switch port, which is a miracle of its own. Now we are at the end of DOOM Eternal’s life with the release of the Ancient Gods Part 2, the second part of its expansion DLC.
The Icon of Sin is dead and the Doom Slayer sets his sights on the Dark Lord himself. In the first half of Ancient Gods, the Dark Lord Davoth has returned to his physical form, a form similar to the Slayer himself. Davoth’s goal is to wipe out all of existence and it’s up the Slayer to put an end to Hell’s armies once and for all in an all-out epic final battle.
As is typical with a DOOM game, the story is pretty much there to push the action along. The Doom Slayer is still angry as ****, and Hell is in his crosshairs: “rip and tear until it’s done” is pretty much all of the instructions you need to know. There’s some truly awe-inspiring and epic moments with one that feels pulled straight out of Avengers Endgame, in an assault on Hell’s stronghold. However I was expecting a little bit more here: this is the end of the storyline set-up back in 2016’s entry, and I honestly don’t think the ending managed to stick at all.
Whilst the story might be disappointing, that is not why we play DOOM games. The amazing gameplay is, so expect a lot more of what made DOOM Eternal so great. You will be ripping and tearing into hordes of demons, more than ever before seen in a DOOM game, Approaching Serious Sam levels of lunacy. We do have a couple of new additions, however. The Crucible from the main game has now been replaced by the Sentinel Hammer, which stuns enemies, adding to the game’s resource management portion. A new grappling hook has also been added for the Super Shotgun, creating some great momentum based jumping puzzles and arena scenarios. New enemy types are also present and whilst they are mostly variations of previous shown foes, they do add an interesting new layer of challenge. There’s just enough new here to make this DLC standout.
When the Ancient Gods Part 1 was first released, it was famed for its brutal difficulty, taking the challenges the base game presented to the next level. I played both expansions on Ultra-Violence, and this one is definitely held back a bit. This might be a disappointing or a welcome decision for some players, depending on how they felt about Part 1. I was personally hoping that we would get a steady increase in difficulty, but that’s fine. Even though I had more fun with the previous half, this was still an excellent addition well worth playing and some of the most fun I’ve had with this game. Though the final boss will leave a lot to be desired in terms of both difficulty and design.
That’s not to say difficulty has been abandoned completely. Some of the later stages really start to live up to Ancient Gods Part 1. Then we have the Escalation Encounters, which are the new versions of Slayer Gates from the base game. The first escalation encounter in each level is mandatory, but the second one is optional and boy, it’s tough. It requires complete mastery of Eternal‘s combat loop to survive. Weapon quick switching, flame belch, smart grenade usage, target priorisation are all essential to survival especially on higher difficulties. As someone who typically plays on Ultra-Violence, I am excited to attempt a full Nightmare run of these new DOOM games from beginning to end. It’s going to be a rough ride with the Ancient Gods being a true test of skill and patience.
DOOM Eternal: The Ancient Gods Part 2 is a brilliantly designed expansion providing some of the most fun and fast-paced shooting action I’ve ever seen. Each of the DLC’s main missions provide plenty of variety and challenging encounters to really dig into.
Final Verdict: 9.0
DOOM ETERNAL Ancient Gods Part 2 is available now on PC, Xbox One/Series and Playstation 4/5.
Played on an RTX 3060, Ryzen 5 3600X and 16GB DDR4 RAM