The finest shooter we have played all year narrowly cracks our top five.
Doom Eternal's release back in March was certainly one to remember. It provided us with some of the best FPS action that the series has ever seen, as countries all across the world began to slip into lockdown - it couldn't have arrived at a more perfect time, right? We've seen id Software come out swinging time and time again with its releases, but we'd argue that Eternal is among some of its finest work, as well as being a superior successor to Doom (2016), i.e. the title that helped breath life back into the franchise.
Eternal essentially used the 2016 reboot as a blueprint and worked to push the series forward in ways we hadn't seen previously. More platforming elements were introduced to give battles a greater sense of momentum, and to provide an extra flow of change to shredding demons to pieces. Now, Doomguy could climb up walls, spin on beams, and thrust himself into the air to bound across large gaps. This is wonderfully integrated into the combat too as you could use it for a method to escape the many bullets flying in your direction or you could fling into the action headfirst taking your enemies by surprise.
Many of our favourite ghoulish creatures from the series' past made a reappearance here and the combat received a handful of tweaks to amp things up a notch. Players could now grapple towards foes using the grappling hook attachment on the iconic Super Shotgun and they can also roast their enemies alive using the cannons on their shoulders. At its heart though, it's still the same core fun as Doom (2016). It's frantic, it's fast and it will have your pulse-racing as you scramble to gather consumables to pull you back from the edge of fatality. Really, no other shooters manage to get our palms this sweaty.
All of this isn't without mentioning the improved online experience and the excellent first DLC episode, Ancient Gods Part 1. Invasion allows players to wreak havoc and invade other people's games playing as a demon, and Battle Mode is a very unique take on PvP in that it sees two players as demons trying to take down a single Doom Slayer. Fans may have been disappointed not to have seen the return of Deathmatch, but personally, we felt that these two modes were much more distinguished and provided an online experience like no other.
Even nine months on from its initial release, things are still looking bright for Doom Eternal. Fans still have the Ancient Gods Part 2 DLC to look forward to and enhanced versions of the game for the PS5 and Xbox Series are in the pipeline. In addition to this, a Switch port of the game has just recently been released. This has allowed for a whole new audience of gamers to experience its magic for the very first time and to take it on the go in handheld mode.
Doom Eternal is without question the finest FPS that we have played in 2020. It's as chaotic and as wonderfully gory as its predecessor, but it manages to expand upon it tenfold with new platform abilities and a stronger overall online experience. Some sceptics may have labelled Doom (2016) as just a flash in the pan, but Eternal proves that id Software are still some of the best creators of first-person shooters in the business.