How Doom Eternal Sets Itself Apart

How did id Software craft another satisfying player experience out of Doom?

Why Doom Eternal Feels Different
Why Doom Eternal Feels Different

With the recent release of the Doom: The Dark Ages trailer, I think this may be the right time to look at the previous entry in this franchise. Doom is finally heading towards a much melee-focused combat system. However, Doom 2016’s brutal reboot reignited the franchise with its fast-paced action and aggressive gameplay.

Key Takeaways
  • Doom Eternal builds on Doom 2016’s fast pace with even more movement mechanics like dash and grappling hook.
  • Unlike the cryptic story of Doom 2016, Eternal features frequent cutscenes and explores the Doom universe lore in more depth.
  • The game takes players to various locations on Earth instead of just Mars, offering visual variety.
  • Classic demons get a visual update resembling their arcade-style roots, while new demons add combat diversity.
  • Doom Eternal offers a graphical improvement compared to Doom 2016.

Its sequel, Doom Eternal, takes the formula further, introducing new mechanics, a more complex narrative, and a frantic dance with demons that pushes the player to become a more strategic and agile Slayer. 

Much More Movement 

Grappling GUn
Grappling Gun

Doom Eternal is like the bigger and better version of Doom 2016, with everything dialed up to an 11. This is also one of the major reasons I recommend players start with Doom and then move on to Doom Eternal.

Everything from Doom is present in Doom Eternal. But, there is so much more new stuff that players will need to learn.

You have your classics like constantly sprinting so you can be all over the map. You are granted the ability to Double Jump from the start this time. In Doom Eternal, even the maps and arenas are built in a way that encourages constant movement. 

Furthermore, the Meat Hook injects a thrilling new dimension. This grappling device allows the Slayer to close the distance with enemies instantaneously. You can yank demons towards you for a brutal point-blank execution. This device has to be my new favorite mechanic from the game that fuels the game’s emphasis on constant movement and aggressive tactics. 

However, this is not everything. Doom Eternal also adds a double dash to its arsenal. Two dashes grant the Slayer even greater maneuverability. This allows him to dodge attacks, reposition himself strategically, and maintain a constant flow during combat. 

Throne Room
Throne Room

New players should adapt all of these new movement mechanics. The moment you stop and stand still, Doom Eternal will punish you and send you to your early death. So whether it is the new grappling hook or the double dash, if you need to survive, you must learn to use them properly.

The Story Has Cutscenes


Another one of the big things most players will instantly notice is Doom Eternal’s focus on narrative. Doom 2016 did come with a story thread to tie everything together. However, the story did come in a much more cryptic way with like two or three cut scenes. Most of the story was told through on-screen text and mission logs. 

Doom Eternal, however, expands the scope of the story. While the core objective of thwarting demonic invasion remains, the narrative delves deeper into the lore of the Doom universe, introducing new factions and complexities. You get to meet much more NPCs with actual dialogues and motivations.

Cutscenes, while more frequent, are handled well, offering a glimpse into the motivations and struggles of the characters, including the previously silent Slayer himself. Even the opening of this game, in my opinion, is one of the coolest introductions to the character.

The Betrayer
The Betrayer

You see Doom Guy without his helmet looking at an Earth invaded by Demons. Then he simply puts on his helmet, grabs his shotgun, and single-handedly sets out to stop the demonic invasion.

This also means that you are no longer stuck with the orange palette of the planet Mars. Instead, you are taken all of the Earth, from white snow-covered mountains to green and exotic forests.

So not only are you allowed to uncover the Doom lore, but also get to experience new arenas and settings.

The Updated Look

Revenant in Doom and Doom Eternal
Revenant in Doom and Doom Eternal

Even though the difference between the release of Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal is not much, the game receives a significant facelift. There are obvious graphical improvements, however, the game quite significantly updates the design of demons. You do have your classics like Imps and Pinkies, but they do look quite different from Doom 2016.

I mean the Mancubus from Doom 2016 feels nothing like the Mancubus from Eternal. The game designers were trying to create much more arcade-like classic demons and it shows. The demons may not feel as realistic as they did in Doom, but they do feel a lot more like something out of the classic Doom games.

Eternal also introduces a few new demons that weren’t present in Doom. The game introduces the Pain Elementals, Archvile, and even Carcass along with many others.

This allows players to experience more variety during combat. So you do have a lot more demons that are good are ranged combat.

Pain Elemental Doom
Pain Elemental

This is also one of the main reasons that players are given so many movement options. So you can constantly be around the arena, taking out any enemy you see in your way.

More Doom To Come

I have been big a fan of what id Software has done with the modern rendition of the Doom and can not wait for the next entry in this franchise. Whether Doom: The Dark Ages can translate the series’ modern formula into a medieval setting is a question only time can answer.

Doom Eternal carves its path while staying true to the core tenets of the franchise. The revamped movement mechanics empower the player, the expanded narrative adds depth, and the evolution of the demon bestiary keeps the combat fresh and challenging. Doom Eternal updated the franchise quite successfully so why can’t the Dark Ages?

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