WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE BASE GAME OF DOOM ETERNAL
If you played the base game of Doom Eternal, you know exactly what to expect in terms of gameplay from The Ancient Gods Part 1, it feels like the last 3 or 4 levels of the game, but with a more condensed story and much more challenging gameplay. It picks up right after the ending of the base game, the Icon of Sin and the Khan Makyr are both dead, but their final actions and deaths have left something of a problem in their place.
The holy realm of Urdak, once free from Demons, is now absolutely infested with them, after the Icon of Sin, well, existed, the Demons can now come and go freely from Urdak, and the Khan Makyr no longer exists to slow them down. So, problem, Demons have infested heaven and can use it to easily conquer other dimensions, solution, send the Doomguy to find someone with even more power than the Khan Makyr to stop them and purge Urdak. I won’t go into any more story details, but you won’t be surprised by certain events, and you will be surprised by the ending. Which sets up a very interesting Part 2.
Woah. Hey there big guy. The Ancient Gods takes us to previously unexplored regions of the Doom universe, some of which are, scarier, than others.
Now, gameplay, The Ancient Gods Part 1 is f**king hard! I’m man enough to admit I played it on the lowest difficulty (I want to feel like I’m the one slaying, not the one being slain), and I still got my butt kicked from time to time. The Ancient Gods Pt 1 can be accessed technically as soon as you buy the game, but I cannot recommend enough that you finish the main campaign first, otherwise each combat encounter you will get your own ass handed to you on a blood-soaked silver plate.
You are fully kitted out right from the beginning of TAG (going to abbreviate it from now), with every skill, rune and weapon dropped into your lap with a sticky note saying “Good luck :)”. And one thing I observed, they had preselected all the mods on my weapons, cheeky bastards, but now having finished it I see that these were the mods that would have best seen me through TAG’s insane level design. It’s hard on purpose, keen-eyed players will have a laugh at the cheeky indicators of when s**t is about to hit the fan.
Yep. A shark. In a Doom game. I won’t say where why or how 😉
In one level, while chasing down a secret, I was locked in a tiny corridor with a damn Cyberdemon, by far the biggest of the lot. And in another area, I saw what had to be nearly 2 dozen blood punch pickups, and sure enough, I was bombarded by pinkies and Cyber Mancubi (who have a particular weakness to blood punch). And of course, the infamous double marauder encounter that divided game journalists when the trailer for TAG was released, which, mind you, happens only about 15 minutes into the first level.
Each combat encounter includes 6 or 8 heavy demons and 1 super heavy demon as a MINIMUM, and there’s always either a marauder, baron of hell, or a cyberdemon. But TAG features three new Demons too! The Turret, a new ambient demon that will pepper you with energy bolts and requires two headshots to be killed, The Blood Makyr, a new heavy demon that is invulnerable for about 40 seconds at a time, with brief moments of weakness that opens it up to its weakness, a headshot. And the scariest of all, the Spirit, a new ambient demon that has a strange resemblance to the Summoner from Doom (2016) that possesses and boosts the speed, resistance and damage of demons. Seriously a possessed Demon is truly terrifying, make them your priority targets in every situation, but the Spirit can only be killed after its host is killed, and for a brief moment you’ll be able to ghostbuster the hell out of it with the microwave beam mod on the Plasma Rifle, otherwise it will just possess the next demon in line.
This is what it looks like when a demon has been bulking up on Spirit steroids. Go steady big guy, it’s one hell of a crash…*loads shotgun maliciously*
All in all, The Ancient Gods Part 1 is nothing too different from the base game of Doom Eternal, but its relentless combat encounters, which are spurred alone by new demons that demand new playstyles, scattered throughout three scenic and daringly different levels do start to get a bit exhausting. The story is largely told through collectible Codex Pages, an uninteresting way to tell an interesting story sadly, but the few cutscenes are all worth the wait, and the cliffhanger ending will most likely leave you wanting more, no matter how badly you got your butt kicked.
Alec is a pretty quiet and gentle writer for Gotogame, TAG left him breathless. He’s going to spend the next few days playing Watch Dogs Legion to cool off. Share your thoughts with him @mistahmacho.