The Sights and Sounds
One of the major downsides of Doom (2016) is most definitely that way it looks – everything is dull, the settings are pretty similar, enemies will easily blend in with the backgrounds, and the lack of color, although fitting with the theme of the game, could be boring.
Doom Eternal on the other hand is one of the best looking games on the current generation of consoles. The colors pop, the settings are unique and beautiful despite being gruesome and hellish, the enemies are clear against the backgrounds, and all ammo, health, and collectibles glow and standout.
Even when the player is zooming around the platforming segments of the game or running for their lives around the battle arenas, the art of the game is still breathtaking and never fails to make the player stop to witness. A factory with machines and assembly lines making colorful and gruesome devices, a city that has been infested with demons for multiple years, an ancient training ground for the ancient war – all unique and beautiful.
The enemies are extremely interesting to look at as well, with each one being especially designed, with their purpose and status being clearly communicated with their designs. Demons that are just workers are integrated into machines for strength, the muscular demons do not have a need to properly communicate or see and thus do not have eyes or are animals, the leaders are heavily armored with scars and marks to show their history of war. To make matters crazier, every enemy is designed with pieces of armor and muscles that can be shot off and torn off by the Doomslayer, revealing flesh and bones of the hellspawn.
Where Doom (2016) fell short in the visuals department, it excelled in sound design and music, utilizing metal to help keep the player’s adrenaline pumping. Doom Eternal actually drops the ball in the music department, but utilizes it’s impressive sound design to pick up the slack.
The heavy metal of the original game has been replaced with much lighter, chant heavy, cultish music that does not do much to get the adrenaline up. Sure, the music sets a better tone for the platforming and exploration, but this is a game built around adrenaline laced combat, and the music serves to the detriment of that core.
The sound design does however help make up for the hole that the music leaves in the game. Almost everything makes a loud, explosive noise, which means no matter where the player is on the arena, no matter which enemies are on the field, there are explosions driving the player to keep running and stay in the air. The sound of angry demons below the player also help drive the player to keep the high ground and keep moving, rather then landing in front of a group of powerful demons. The satisfying crack of the shotgun and loud rat-a-tat of the heavy machine gun fill the air when the slayer is on the ground, engaging with demons, driving the adrenaline laced combat with more intensity.