Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part One ended at an extreme cliffhanger. Players finally meet the infamous Dark Lord, who looks just like the Doomguy, with the adventure coming to a close. Naturally, Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part Two does one and only one thing, confront this massive cliffhanger, going so far as giving the Doomguy dialogue, but is this enough to conclude the story, or does it do more bad than good?
Most of the story is relatively pointless. There are some shocking reveals, something those interested in Doom’s lore will care about, but otherwise, it’s three really long stages leading up to a confrontation between these two forces where these things are said. This makes the adventure feel like padding, though it at least manages to be a set-up from Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part One.
Very early on players are given the Sentinel Hammer, which is a high utility weapon that makes high conflict fights a lot easier. The idea isn’t to just destroy enemies over an area but to extend stun duration to make encounters more manageable. One example the developers show is a Marauder, quite possibly the most difficult enemy you can encounter, getting stunned and dying in a roughly 10-second clip to someone stunning, hitting with a hammer, and swapping between Super Shotgun and the Heavy Cannon’s precision shot a couple of times. When it works, it works extremely well but even if you don’t maximize the tool to this extent, it gives players a panic button to get out of a number of awful situations.
Even without maximizing hammer use, it’s clear all the negative feedback about Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part One being overly difficult was taken to heart. In this adventure there simply aren’t rooms with frequent Marauders or heavy reliance on new mechanics. The only really bad new enemy hits players with a curse and requires players to hunt them down and hit with a Blood Punch melee attack. However, these enemies are few and far between and only one encounter is really difficult in this section.
Despite new settings, enemies, better resources, and even a part where Doomguy rides a demon dragon, the final battle in Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part Two is extremely underwhelming.
Where things fall short is simple. As mentioned above, this two or so hour-long adventure is just leading up to the confrontation between these two forces. There is a lot of build-up to the Dark Lord, to the extent of giving him power armor, in the obviously more powerful red color, sword, and shield. Then, in the end, the fight is the anthesis of Doom Eternal and, quite honestly, extremely tedious.
There isn’t much to Dark Lord and players are told how to defeat him at the start of the battle. Wait for him to flash green, hit with Super Shotgun, hammer, and then damage. He doesn’t spawn many enemies, just a handful of ghosts that largely exist to give players their charges back, pointless enemies to the side to give resources, and a small selection of attacks.
Having the final fight being less about your ability to manage multiple problems and instead show a calm and measured approach to fairly simple mechanics would be inspired if mistakes weren’t heavily punished. Not only does getting hit with the Dark Lord’s sword heal him, hitting him at the wrong time heals him substantially. I believe making that mistake with the Super Shotgun gave him back enough health to basically invalidate a single damage phase. As a result, it just makes the whole thing feel entire too long.
There wasn’t any point where I thought the Dark Lord was actually going to win, at most I would make a mistake and waste time. This really stands out when the previous expansion had an extremely difficult boss fight I vividly remember having to constantly bring my A-game to stand a chance. It just didn’t have that climactic feel that a character this important to the plot really should’ve had.
Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part Two Review – Verdict
I would be hard-pressed to say Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part Two was a bad experience. It honestly made me appreciate Doom Eternal’s desire to make every weapon have some kind of purpose, be it destroying armor or instantly blowing up an enemy, but the conclusion is a mixed bag. At most it makes the seemingly endless waves of demons seem manageable and Doomguy legitimately feels like the killer the story suggests he is, it just doesn’t stick to landing. It doesn’t add much of a new experience and one the conclusion hurts more than it helps. I don’t think anyone will dislike Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part Two, though I also don’t think anyone will be blown away by it either.
[Editor’s Note: DOOM Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part Two was reviewed on PlayStation 5 and a copy was provided to us for review purposes.]