Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part One review

Need to know

What is it? The first half of Doom Eternal’s master-level DLC campaign.
Expect to pay $20/£16
Developer id Software
Publisher Bethesda
Reviewed on Windows 10, Intel Core i5-6500, 8GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 1060
Multiplayer? No
Link Official site

If the Doom Slayer is a race car, as id Software has described him, then The Ancient Gods – Part One is a series of victory laps around three new courses. It picks up right at the finish line of Doom Eternal, and the experience is akin to waking up at the wheel of a Ferrari screaming down the track at 200mph. It’s precisely as alarming and exhilarating as that sounds.

You inherit the Slayer plus all the extras, souped up with weapon mods and ability runes picked up during Eternal’s original campaign. And despite having completed it, I spent the first 20 minutes thoroughly embarrassing myself, thumping at a reload key that doesn’t exist and never has. It’s the shooter equivalent of flicking into sports mode and realising you’ve activated the windscreen wipers instead.

id Software, like the Slayer, is at the height of its powers. 2016’s Doom saw the studio reinvent the wheel—quite literally, building the game around spinning arenas that set you in constant motion. Ever since, it’s been coming up with inventive ways to thrust a stick in the spokes, tripping up players by disrupting the formula.

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Doom Eternal’s most notorious example was the Marauder, a relentless runner who pursued the Slayer like a shadow, if your shadow owned an axe and a bright-orange attack dog. He returns in The Ancient Gods, and exemplifies id’s trend towards enemies who can only be defeated in highly specific fashion. Take the Turrets, new fixed placement shooters that appear like miniature Eyes of Sauron. A couple of shots through the scope of your assault rifle will burst the orb—but take too long during targeting and the ball will retreat inside its pillar, surviving until you can loop around for another try.

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