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AtimZarr1

The Ancient Gods 2 - Impressions and Story Spoilers

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Posted (edited)

I've just finished TAG2 on Nightmare. Took me about three hours and, not counting Extra Lives, I died only twice (both times to the Dark Lord).

 

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1 - Gameplay

 

In order to avoid the rude awakening that was TAG1's opening map, I had been playing Doom Eternal with the enemy randomizer mod for a few weeks now. I don't know if it's just that or a combination with the "better pacing", but TAG2 was actually easier than I had anticipated. The encounter design is fine and there's still the effective wave combinations from TAG1. However, there were rarely any "stand-out" challenge moments like TAG1 somewhat defined itself in (Edit: World Spear has the most interesting fights, Reclaimed Earth and Immora are lacking in this regard). That's a plus for the people who didn't like fog sections or small rooms with a Tyrant/Marauder or even the Spirit-buffed Tyrant. The most memorable fight would probably be double Marauder + Screechers, followed by a swirling cloud sequence with an out-of-sight Buff Totem. The Escalation Encounters are indeed the hardest fights, but I found World Spear's to be the toughest surprisingly. The "peak" difficulty in regards to arena encounters don't reach the absurd heights of the Holt Slayer Gate or even the Super Gore Nest Master Level, I'd say. And while there are no fog sections as I had mentioned, there are the return of purple goo sections. This one is a bit confusing - these were absent from TAG1 so I presumed that the environmental challenge was swapped to fog encounters considering the reception to purple goo in the base game. Now they're back and they're still not as interesting, but at least you have all your tools. The one time I liked them was a purple goo + swirling cloud section that was comprised solely of Possessed (and a lone Mancubus). I thought it was an amusing way to make these fodder dangerous.

 

I was able to 100% the secrets this time around on my first playthrough, there just isn't that many exploration items which is a bit disappointing. Not sure if I collected all the Extra Lives or not though. With Escalation Encounters present, Secret Encounters and Slayer Gates are absent. Despite the name indicating it might be different, Escalation Encounters are a sort of combination of the latter two Gore Nests. Strangely, the "first" Escalation Encounter is mandatory - reminiscent of 2016's plethora of Gore Nest encounters. I'm somewhat confused by this because Doom Eternal discarded that mandatory design in favor of more natural arenas filled with enemies, not sure why they decided to bring them back here. I didn't mind that design in 2016 but I didn't miss its absence in Eternal's base campaign either. Once you complete the first Escalation Encounter, a second one will spawn and this is optional and much more difficult. Completing the first Escalation Encounter grants Sentinel Hammer upgrades while completing the second one grants cosmetics.

 

Sadly, there are no Berserk power-ups in TAG2. Also, completing the various Milestones for TAG2 unlocks gold skins for all your other weapons. Which I also found a bit odd because I figured they'd save these for Master Level rewards since the precedent was set with the Gold Combat Shotgun from the Super Gore Nest Master Level. In terms of encounters, turn out there actually wasn't a buffed Arch-Vile fight.

 

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2 - Levels

 

World Spear - I quite like the aesthetic of this level, in comparison to many other Argent D'Nur locations like Exultia or Taras Nabad. Its serene and lush environments reminds me of Serious Sam: The Second Encounter in a way. You'll notice the "better pace" immediately, the first fight you engage in is comprised just of wandering Soldiers - whereas TAG1 opened with a bunch of Heavies. You later enter a snowy region, which is also nice and somewhat follows UAC Atlantica Facility's "changing environment" as you progress through the level motif. The final section is the World Spear itself, which looks quite alien and mesmerizing in its own way but unfortunately you don't get any fights here.

 

Reclaimed Earth - While possibly generic (ruined city with overgrown vines), I do like the aesthetic of this level too. Reminds me of the canceled Doom 4.0 project design with a more grounded Earth and less fantastical like Hell on Earth or Super Gore Nest. You could also view that as a downside. You mostly just go through ruins and jump from building to building, it doesn't "progress" in the same way as World Spear does which is a bit disappointing. You arrive at an ancient teleporter to Hell at the end of the level. Interestingly, the level pulls you into the portal once it's activated - which might've made for an interesting encounter opportunity I think (or maybe it wouldn't have).

 

Immora - The barren wasteland parts don't appeal to me as much as the first two levels did, but I really do love the skybox. It's a constant war going on between the Sentinel and Hell armies. While trying to examine with the Scope, I did notice most of Hell's forces were just compromised of Soldiers / Imps. Which I guess is to be expected considering the complexity needed to show multiple and unique demons - but that would've been cool anyways. You eventually enter into the Immora city itself, which is a futuristic techbase of sorts, somewhat similar to Maykr design. I wasn't really sold on this aesthetic much either though, for the "last capital of Hell", it just seems very unremarkable. There's a lore reason for the way it is but I'll get to that.

 

The Dark Lord - A boss level like Sentinel Prime, but not really. It's just the boss fight. There's no build-up or anything like with the Gladiator. Interestingly, the Dark Lord changes the surroundings throughout the fight, which sounded like an opportunity for some crazy fantastic visuals as you progress phase to phase. Unfortunately, it only changes twice - the Super Gore Nest background and Ingmore's Sanctum background. Feels like there was an opportunity to really go out there but they didn't take it.

 

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3 - Enemies

 

One of the praises I had for TAG1 were the addition of the new AI that made the player re-consider their tactics in arena fights. I also liked that they weren't simply "enemies but different" like the addition of new enemies from Doom 3's Resurrection of Evil. However, TAG2 leans more in the direction of RoE's additions - just "enemies but different". They're not as engaging or interesting as the Turrets, Spirits, and Blood Maykrs - which themselves have some issues but I much prefer that approach to new AI design over TAG2's implementation.

 

Demonic Trooper - "Ambient" Immora soldiers with a Robotic armor set and Reaper gun from 2016's Multiplayer. I was quite excited that they were actual enemies after seeing them in the trailer but was a bit disappointed they are "ambient". First, they're not really ambient - they are capable of movement and shooting a projectile. They die to one hit however, cannot be chainsawed, and cannot be glory killed. They do drop ammo when you do kill them, so they essentially act as a mobile ammo supply. Unfortunately, they also don't get mashed into the rest of the arena fights in the remainder of the level. Would've been an interesting encounter if you only fought Heavies / Super Heavies with no fodder but a bunch of Demonic Troopers assailing you at the same time. I think that might've been unique at least - currently these enemies are just "there".

 

Screecher - Hell Zombies that Buff all nearby demons when killed. Design-wise, they are a bit disappointing as well. Was hoping for an interesting design that would fit their name or slow-moving nature, maybe one of the Carcass draft concepts. Instead, they're just regular Hell Zombies with a purple burning glow. Interestingly, the buff they provide to demons is not the same as the other two buffs. While the demons do gain increased attack and movement, they also gain significant damage resistance. I wasn't able to really tell how much this resistance this. Fortunately, this buff actually fades away on its own with time. I think the concept of the Screecher is interesting, I feel like the monster itself could've had an improvement. What about a fast-moving enemy or an enemy that poses danger to the player with attacks? That would've created an interesting dilemma in regards to trying to kill it or just fend it off with Ice Bomb as you dash away.  The current implementation is just a mobile Buff Totem really and something to "look out for" but not really engage with.

 

Riot Soldier - These are your Chaingunners, but they're more like Shield Soldiers with a decently high firing rate attack. I honestly think Mecha Zombies better fit with the "annoying ranged attack" bit that Doom 2 Chaingunners are known for. The quirk with Riot Soldiers are the yellow shield and maybe higher health - they are immune to Plasma and cannot be hit with any weapon that "locks on", like Super Shotgun's Meathook or Plasma Rifle's Microwave Beam. Again, I feel like there are missed combat encounter design opportunities. Would've been really nice to get a "death squad" of Chaingunners appearing out of nowhere like from Plutonia. The closest you get are four Riot Soldiers in a small corridor. But almost every other time you face them are in open-spaced arenas, which mitigates their invincible shield quick and rapid-firing attack. I do quite like their visual design though - I was personally hoping for a potential Chaingunner AI to be combined with the Hell Razer's visuals, but this approach is a lot more faithful to the source material (except for the lack of dark skin).

 

Stone Imp - Despite the name, these Imps don't seem to be made of stone. They're mostly recolored, and a decent recolor, but a recolor nonetheless. In terms of combat AI, this is perhaps tied with the Cursed Prowler for being the most pointless new AI added. The quirk these Stone Imps have are a spinning charge attack that knocks you back. That certainly demands some attention from the player. There's also a fight with just Stone Imps and lots of Shells and one Overdrive - that was neat and wished they tried to go with that more unique/unusual encounter design with the other enemies. The "weakness" to Full Auto is essentially a requirement to fulfill, these enemies are definitely tougher than they seem but die almost immediately to the Full Auto. While I did gain a newfound appreciation for the weapon mod, I'm not really convinced on the AI itself. It's just an obligatory Full Auto session whenever they appeared. At least the Spirit from TAG1 had you engage with the buffed enemy and have to weigh your options if you released the Spirit early in a fight or if you had enough cell ammo to handle it. The Stone Imp is just sort of there and I think it would've benefited if they simply appeared more often during arena fights, their current use is rather unremarkable outside of that one "Stone Imps only" fight. Interestingly, their Codex entry suggests that demons do "die" but are reborn into different forms (Imps -> Stone Imps).

 

Cursed Prowler - Probably even less interesting than the Stone Imps. These Prowler variants are just colored green and apply a "curse" when damaging the player. The curse deals damage over time and prevents dashes. You can only lift the curse by Blood Punching the Cursed Prowler. Perhaps the idea is that punching/swiping transfers the curse? I personally don't mind the concept of enemy variants and I think they are an interesting addition to the bestiary and an opportunity to try out new variations of pre-existing AI concepts. I think the impression of having only enemy variants being added to the DLC just seems somewhat lackluster and not very exciting. Unlike the above three enemies, there aren't even any stand-out fights with the Cursed Prowlers that I can remember. They just sometimes spawn in an arena. Would've been interesting if we had to face multiple Cursed Prowlers at least. The gameplay design of Cursed Prowlers isn't very conducive to creating unique encounters though, so I'm not really sure what they could've done here.

 

Armored Baron - Out of all the enemy variants, I actually like Armored Barons the most. They are heavily armored which can be temporarily removed in two ways - shooting their charged fist attack when it flashes green or hitting them with Plasma (extra damage from the Microwave Beam). You then have a timer until the now-regular Baron returns to its Armored status. Besides the benefit of giving players a choice in how to engage with them, I do like the "timer" nature of the Armored Baron and trying to inflict as much damage as possible before it's armor returns. If you're skilled enough, you can destroy it before it even has a chance to return to its armored state, which is quite exhilarating. While effectively a "Baron+" in terms of design, I do like the gameplay of the Armored Baron, especially in comparison to what the other enemy variants offer.

 

Dark Lord - Firstly, I'm quite disappointed there was no mid-DLC boss in TAG2 like the Trial of Maligog from TAG1. While perhaps annoying like the Spirits or Blood Maykrs, I still appreciated and enjoyed the unique gameplay design of the Trial of Maligog. In TAG2, there are no other bosses except the Dark Lord. I was hoping to fight the demonic dragons or Maykr Archangels that were shown in the final battle of Immora but unfortunately they remain skybox decor.

 

Now, the Dark Lord boss fight itself is essentially a Marauder+. You can only attack the Dark Lord when he flashes green for an attack. Keep that in mind because he actually sometimes attacks without flashing green. And keep that in mind because the Dark Lord heals health when he damages you with a melee attack. And he heals a lot. If you get hit, he is capable of restoring his health back to full, which can be really annoying. Thankfully the fight is broken into phases but the checkpoints are only applied past certain phases (whenever he changes surroundings). If you do hit him while he's flashing green, he becomes stunned for a few seconds for you to attack. The idea here is probably do as much quick-swap damage as possible. You can extend the stun duration by using the Sentinel Hammer. That's very much worth it because the stun duration is exponentially increased with the Hammer - while technically not needed to defeat the Dark Lord, his default stun duration is very short. The Dark Lord periodically spawns wolves, less erratic than Marauder wolves, that drop a Sentinel Hammer charge when killed - so you don't need to charge up the Hammer each time you want to go in. And something to keep in mind is that the Dark Lord's green flashes increase in frequency if you stand closer to him - I didn't realize how important that was at first because he basically never does a green flash attack if you're too far.

 

The Dark Lord has a variety of abilities, with more added throughout the phases. Besides his green flash and non-green flash melee attacks, he shots a barrage of laser blasts from his equipment cannons. He can periodically summon wolves to recharge the Sentinel Hammer with. Later on, he can develop a shield charge attack (similar to the Gladiator) and drop timed bombs (usually right after a charge). In his last phase, he can summon demons to aid him in battle. Interestingly, all the demon spawns have the holographic wolf filter - which was confusing at first because my initial thought was "oh maybe these are invincible" but instead they're just weaker regular demons with less health. The summoned demons die instantly to the Sentinel Hammer and there's a lot of high-health Heavy and Super Heavy demons - prompting my only use of the BFG the entire DLC run at one point. In a massive contrast to Samur's boss fight, there are a plethora of Zombies somewhat standing around in the outer edges of the arena for you to regain resources from. That actually makes this fight much easier than Samur's in my opinion - you aren't dependent on one or two Zombies in a tight maze of varying heights but instead in an open chamber with around 4-5 Zombies at any given time.

 

Overall, I didn't really enjoy the fight. His healing is absurd and very punishing. Having a melee attack that doesn't flash green is also annoying - I can only imagine how much more annoying that would be against a regular enemy like the Marauder. Most of the fight was spent "platforming" around the arena: dashing to avoid projectiles, swipes, charges, and bombs. I'm fine with "stand-and-wait" enemies in the arena fights because there's usually other enemies for me to fight in the meanwhile and it becomes a strategic game of macro-management. Here, I'm just waiting for stuff to happen. I spent more time waiting than I did fighting. The two times I died was because of how rare his green flashes can be, it feels like he is obligated to go through each of his other attacks at least once before giving a chance to counter. While being able to go all-out during his stunned state is fun like with the Armored Barons, it's just a bit disappointing that's the only way to damage him. At the least, you can inflict around 40% damage to his health in a single cycle if you combine with the Sentinel Hammer and solid quick-swapping. It's also a bit strange to have a cutscene play randomly during the fight when he switches phases at one point but I don't really mind that. The fight overall just isn't very satisfying. It's an alright fight, but I don't really think it's amazing either. I think it would've been better if they had a "no-holds-barred" sort of approach with fewer telegraphed attacks and counterattacks - rather both the Slayer and Dark Lord are constantly healing/attacking, competing for resources from nearby fodder, and so on. Would've been a lot more intense at the very least. I'm also let down by not having a "man vs man" phase of the fight where the Dark Lord leaves his power armor, but that was more of a personal expectation.

 

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4 - Sentinel Hammer

 

You get the weapon early on in World Spear. The idea is that you charge up the weapon by destroying weak points or performing glory kills. At full charge, you press V to unleash the weapon for a slam attack. The slam damages and falters enemies, and also multiples resource generation that you gain from these stunned enemies.

 

On my first playthrough, I actually didn't use it at all except on the Dark Lord boss fight. Now that I've used it more on repeat playthroughs, I like it quite a bit. If anything, it seems overpowered from being able to charge up from destroying weak points and only requiring two charge-ups (two weakpoints and/or two glory kills). Maybe those numbers should've been higher because it's really easy to fulfill the requirements and get several uses in a single fight. Combined with Equipment Fiend + Flame Belch, and you're almost unstoppable. At the least, it's pretty satisfying to use (even if I feel like the sound effects / stun visuals are a bit weird).

 

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5 - Escalation Encounters

 

Like I said before, it's a bit strange they make the first encounter "mandatory". I had figured they made the Gore Nests optional in Doom Eternal (Secret Encounters and Slayer Gates) in response to player feedback from Doom 2016. They kept the "pause the screen to tell the players about their rewards" thing from the TAG1 Secret Encounters, which I still wished they just made it a side notification (or hide it on repeat playthroughs). Speaking of hiding things you're already aware of, for some reason the warning for the second version of each Escalation Encounter plays even if you've already seen it before. I'm really not sure why, it's not necessary unless they believe players are going to forget and interact with Escalation Encounters when they don't have to. I guess that would've been solved by making them optional, but I also don't understand why they replaced Secret Encounters or Slayer Gates for this. It's effectively the same thing but without the timer from Secret Encounters or the specialized arena location from Slayer Gates. It's just another way of presenting a fight, which is fine - it just doesn't seem to justify cutting out Secret Encounters or Slayer Gates to me.

 

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6 - Story

 

Summary:

 

The Slayer is unable to harm the Dark Lord in the Luminarium, and the Dark Lord teleports to Immora for a later battle. The Slayer heads to World Spear and lights the Torch of Kings, rallying the remaining good Sentinels to his side in the coming conflict. The Slayer takes a dragon (with a Slayer's mark on its forehead interestingly) to the World Spear itself. There are mysterious gatekeepers watching over the site. The Father grants him access and the Slayer takes a crystal. On Reclaimed Earth, the Slayer fights his way to the Gate of Divum, a mysterious gateway to Hell created by The Father long ago to access Immora. When the Slayer arrives on Immora, the Dark Lord sends an entire army after him. The Slayer is backed up by the arriving Sentinels and a war breaks out. The Slayer enters the city and heads to the Dark Lord's chambers. There, they battle and it is revealed that the Dark Lord is the true creator - The Father is his creation. The Maykrs betrayed Davoth and sealed him and Jekkad away. The Dark Lord seeks vengeance for the betrayal of his Maykr creations who denied him of the answer to his people's mortality. Davoth guided the creation of the Slayer to become his ultimate weapon against the Maykrs - manipulating the Khan Maykr and Samur Maykr from the shadows.  In the end, the Dark Lord asks if the Slayer has any words to say to his creator, to which the Slayer replies "No." and kills him. As the Slayer is a creation of the Dark Lord, he begins to faint after Davoth's death and is taken in by the Seraphs. He is sealed away once more into a cursed sarcophagus and left behind on Ingmore's Sanctum. The 2016 lines "May the blood on your sword never dry and may we never need you again" comes up.

 

Thoughts:

 

I do like the idea of heaven and hell at war with each other and both sides manipulating the Slayer to do their bidding. However, I'm not sold on the execution. Especially when the first Codex entry that goes into this "correct" version of history starts with "seems the Hell Priest texts were incorrect, THIS actually happened...". That's bizarre. They had already set up a story established in TAG1 and now we're being told it wasn't true and it was something else instead? Maybe I missed something but couldn't they have hinted at this conflicting history angle from TAG1 so it feels like a natural evolution of the plot and not the impression of random retcons? They need to set up these twists in advance for them to feel satisfying. Twists for the sake of twists isn't satisfying and makes it harder for people to become invested in a story where things become regularly discarded or randomly added with almost no rhyme or reason.

 

I actually don't mind the ending although I imagine some people might view it negatively. The Slayer being sealed away against his will fits into Doom's cyclic conflict across their games. (1) Doomguy ended the Phobos invasion but Earth was invaded by Hell. (2) Doomguy defeats the Mother Demon but has to exile himself to Hell forever. (3) The Doom 3 marine ends the demon invasion but Betruger was still alive and stronger than before. (4) The Slayer ended the demon invasion on Mars but Hayden sends him away and takes the Crucible. I guess the difference here is that all these stories do continue to show the protagonist is eventually successful - (1) Doomguy reverses Hell on Earth, (2) Doomguy eventually leaves Hell to join the Argenta, (3) Betruger is slain by the Resurrection of Evil marine, and (4) the Slayer is able to return to Earth to save it. While there's likely to be more Doom games in the future, we don't know the Slayer's future. Will there be DLC 3? Will we see the Slayer ever again? Being sealed away into a sarcophagus like that almost seems inconclusive from that regard.

 

Speaking of inconclusive, there's some loose ends that are never addressed. What happened to Samur? They made a point in showing The Father saves him at The Holt but he's not seen or heard from again in TAG2. What happened to the Sentinel armies on Immora, or to Urdak, or to The Father? What were the Elemental Wraiths - were they also creations of Davoth? I'm presuming the mysterious gatekeepers at the end of World Spear were related to the Wraiths but I'm not really sure how. Why is the capital city of Hell (Immora) a futuristic base with people inside? Not only is the concept not explored more deeply, it just seems really random. It seems inconsistent with every other portrayal of Hell we've seen in the past two Doom titles. Wouldn't the demons outside of Immora despise Davoth for leaving them out there? It's implied that Davoth chose the people of Immora to keep pure and everyone else in Jekkad apparently transformed into demons.

 

There are some 2016 loose ends too - we still don't know who is the "wretch who shall not be named", nothing of importance happened to the demonic Crucible, and the Kadingir prophecy from 2016 turns out to be non-relevant as well. We also don't find out what happened between 2016 and Eternal either. These are all pretty disappointing not to cover, especially considering we're at the end of the Slayer's arc.

 

id Software spends a lot of time and effort into creating the Doom universe, full of factions, characters, and conflicts. But it just seems really inconsistent with itself and not very interested in setting things up for a pay-off later on. It feels like they re-defined the lore after 2016 in Eternal. Now it feels like they've re-defined it again after Eternal in the DLCs. We went from "Sentinels are a Wraith-worshiping tribe that fights demons from Hell" to "Sentinels also worshiped the Maykrs and the Maykrs made an unholy deal with Hell and the Sentinels didn't know about that" to "The Father of the Maykrs actually created Hell and sealed them away without the Maykrs or Sentinels knowing" to "Hell's Dark Lord actually created The Father and the Maykrs (and the Sentinels too I guess) and the Maykrs/Father lied about it". That's a lot of lore getting changed without any sort of build-up from the previous interpretation.

 

Edit: I much prefer the demonic/satanic lore of Doom 2016. I liked that game's mysterious yet intriguing story. It shrouded the Slayer in legend and badassery. And back then, the story seemed to imply he was just a fighter who was so good, that the demons nicknamed him the Doom Slayer. Even the seraphim descended from the heavens to bless him on his crusade. But ever since Eternal, the legend of the Doom Slayer has kept getting deconstructed and demystified into a contrived origin story. Now Doomguy didn't earn the Doom Slayer title from years of conquest - he literally was given the Doom Slayer power by a machine operated on him. And now in TAG2 we learn that was pre-planned all along. It just really makes the Slayer seem less badass. In TAG2, we learn that the capitol city of Hell is a techbase with people inside and that Davoth had a noble yet ambitious goal to grant his people eternal life. This new lore doesn't lean into the Hell aesthetic at all, it rather feels like something out of an unrelated sci-fi fantasy story. What happened to the demon lords, Hellish rituals, evil cults, and warring clans? It's fine to add new angles to the pre-existing mythos, for example I'm really fond of the Sentinels and their lore (except the civil war). The Sentinel lore mostly feels at home in the Doom universe despite its fantasy focus that isn't found much elsewhere in the Doom franchise. But the new lore in TAG just doesn't feel at home. Most of the new lore doesn't even hit the landing like 2016 did. There's a reason people still quote the Slayer Testaments. There's a reason why TAG2 even ends on a line straight from 2016. The presentation, style, and storytelling in 2016 was really fantastic and fit Doom very well. In the future, I would like if they re-oriented back to that angle. The new lore isn't anywhere near as badass, interesting, or memorable as 2016's lore and that's a shame because being invested in the lore is a great way to elevate the combat and gameplay in my opinion.

 

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7 - Multiverse

 

A Codex entry mentions "Our research shows that Maykr history and lore holds truths that are not consistent with passages found in the Hell Priest texts, revealing the true origin of Hell and all surrounding dimensions. This revelation would explain why Hell is the single dimension that connects to all others, and why it's the oldest in existence - the first world."

 

While this Codex entry does confirm that Hell is the dimension that binds to all others, it doesn't mention the "Hell with no variations" part that Hugo had alluded to in a livestream. Being the original dimension that binds to others doesn't necessarily confirm a multiverse - Urdak is considered the 6th dimension for example, while the deleted Khan Maykr voice line describes Earth "in the 7th dimension". For all we know, dimensions could simply be referring to a plane of existence or reality, as opposed to alternate universes. This is important because the timeline between the new Doom titles and the Classic games doesn't make a whole lot of sense if Doomguy is from New Earth and not Classic Earth. For example, the demon invasion on Earth in Doom Eternal is played out as if it's happening for the first time - suggesting that Doomguy's experiences are from another universe, and Hell being the binding to all universes, had Doomguy slip from the Classic universe to the Slayer universe after the ending of Doom 64. However, since the above quoted passage doesn't explicitly mention alternate universes or that Doomguy came from another Earth - we still don't know if that's the idea with the story. Like I said, perhaps the passage is just referring to Hell's ability to enter other worlds/dimensions.

 

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8 - Music

 

I didn't mention music in my TAG1 impressions, mostly because it wasn't as memorable as the base campaign's tracks. I did like all of Blood Swamps soundtrack and the combat section of UAC Atlantica Facility. Wasn't a fan of The Holt's tracks or Samur's either.

 

In regards to TAG2, it similarly doesn't leave much of an impression on me. I've gone back to the levels with cheats to listen to the musics more carefully, and none of them still stood out to me. The Reclaimed Earth heavy combat track is pretty decent though. I also like the Dark Lord's later phase music (it intensifies as you progress). However, most of the other tracks weren't very noticeable. They lack the explosive feel of the base campaign music. I don't feel like I'm being pushed into "becoming the Slayer" with the music, it just feels like it's there. It's a shame because I really like Hulshult's Dusk OST and the Goroth track from Quake Champions. I'm not familiar with Levy's work to be able to compare his though. Perhaps as the tracks get uploaded to YouTube, I might develop a newfound appreciation for them like I did with the UAC Atlantica Facility's combat track.

 

They also strangely replaced the main menu music. No idea why they would do that, I really liked the Opening to Hell rendition from Mick Gordon. Wish they'd let us pick between the two tracks in the options menu, the current track isn't as attention-grabbing.

 

Edit: Playing more of TAG2, I actually quite like the heavy combat tracks for all of the levels. I still think The Blood Swamps has the best DLC track. My stance remains the same that the base campaign's music is more pulse-pounding, but TAG2's music is better than I gave credit for. I think the issue is with mixing, the music is very quiet for some reason. I had to reduce the sounds to 30 to be able to properly hear the tracks.

 

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9 - Conclusions

 

TAG2 does more Doom and it is satisfying in that regard. The high quality environmental exploration and combat design still make it enjoyable to play. It just never exceeds beyond what is initially presented, unlike TAG1. While there are a few stand-out combat moments, the DLC rarely pushes the player or presents unique or interesting encounters (Edit: as I wrote above, I think DLC 2 does have more interesting encounters than I initially gave credit for). The addition of Escalation Encounters feel very arbitrary. It's not that it's not challenging, it's that most of the fights don't leave much of an impression. The new enemy variants don't do much to add to the gameplay beyond some arbitrary weaknesses that you're obligated to fulfill whenever they spawn. The lack of truly new AI, a mid-DLC boss, and the lack of a more intense "no-holds-barred" final boss are all some personal disappointments of mine. With the exception of "The Dark Lord", all the other levels are really fun to navigate through and admire the visuals - with environments that haven't been explored in Doom Eternal or TAG1. That's a double-edged sword because Immora's inner city failed to impress for me, as unique as the concept was. The story unfortunately comes off as haphazard and random, plot twists with no build-up or reason. And while the ending is fitting for a Doom title and I actually like it, it seems rather inconclusive considering the remaining loose ends and unexplained elements in the Doom universe.

 

TAG2 gives you the opportunity for more Doom gameplay but does not push much else beyond that. The less intense pacing may be more appealing to other players, especially considering how unforgiving TAG1 was. Even the final boss isn't grueling like Samur, he just takes a while to kill. The return of purple goo, the return of mandatory gore nests, and more weakpoint-centric gameplay may turn away some as well. I'd still recommend TAG2 overall for great gameplay and levels - it's just that as a dedicated Doom fan, especially of the Doom Slayer games, invested in the lore and mastered the gameplay - I'm just left rather whelmed by the end of it.

 

In the future, I'd like to see more gameplay modes for single-player, like Arcade Mode or even Horde Mode. Or bring Classic Mode to the DLCs and other Master Levels.

 

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Ultra-Nightmare (Used Saving Throw on the first arena fight of Reclaimed Earth - also had a very close against the double Marauder fight on Immora after a series of mistakes. As an aside, I'll be shocked if the Chaingun's Energy Shield doesn't get nerfed for its interaction with Stone Imps):

 

 

Edited by AtimZarr1 : Some final edits + Ultra-Nightmare video

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Posted (edited)

When i thinking more and more about dlc2, its obvious that it was rushed.

Enemy types seems really uninspiring.

Riot soldiers - literally just standing turrets with shields.

Demonic trooper - its just a some kind of joke. Dies in 1 shot, doesn't have any death animation and just explode after death for some reason.

Cursed prowler - probably most hated new enemy. I just dont understand what's purpose in it from gameplay point. For example scratcher forces you to change your tactics against certain enemies, and what exactly cursed prowler forces me to do? Dont get hit from his attacks? Whole curse mechanic feels like some kind of bullshit. You lose a great amount of your mobility and it forces you to run through whole arena to bloodpunch prowler (which still move fast and teleporting through arena).

Stone imps and scratchers - just ok addition. Doesn't change much in gameplay.

Armored Baron - best new enemy in whole dlc. Have a interesting mechanic with regenerating shield, and also rewards your skill by being killable in 1 between-armor cycle.

From level stantpoint i feel they are more abstract than usual Eternal levels. There was a couple of places where i thought to myself "What this room even suppose to be?". And in earth level there is power switch (that open gate to punchable train) placed in middle of room for no logic reason.

From story standpoint i dont understand what the hell happening with consistasy of Doom story. Like i get it why Doom 2016 is much different from Eternal and i don't have problem with that. But why Eternal doesn't have consistancy with itself? Like if whole Eternal plot was plan of Dark Lord, why he shouted "Nooooo" when we kill Khan Maykr?

If all creations of Dark Lord should die/disappear from everywhere but hell after his death, doesent it mean that maykr shoud affected by his death too? And other plot holes which mentioned by AtimZarr1.

Despite im pretty much liked dlc 2 gameplay wise, im really disappointed in whole dlc 2 story. But i like ending though.

Edited by Frank Harper

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spoilering in case someone's on All Activity feed or something (though i guess they should uncheck 'Eternal'? anyway)

Spoiler

holy CRAP the dark lord fight is the angriest i've been at anything in such a long time

There is NO sentinel armor (yes I've died at least 20 times, some on purpose thinking the game would give me the usual assist, but no)

I appreciate the challenge that Eternal always brings, but having a boss fight that's this difficult and inescapable on ITYTD is too much. 

I was glad when i thought it re-spawned me on the current dark lord fight round. At least it gives me that.

But no. I'm on phase 3 and then it puts me back on phase 1.

 

I'm on the lowest difficulty. I'd use cheats here if I could but the console is useless as always in a first-time playthrough.

Yes, i'm following the instructions. I've tried hammering the dogs. That gives me hammer ammo back, however once I hit the dark lord I've used up my hammer and won't get another unless I chainsaw a zombie or shoot another dog (which i can't hammer because i used up the current hammer on dark lord!)

 

Of course I haven't mentioned it but having the boss regenerate health constantly when I get hit is a recipe for extreme anger and frustration, unless done really well, which this really isn't. Maybe i'll appreciate it by the time i finish it.

I've only skimmed you guys' posts so far but the bit i've seen I do agree with what i've read. 

Along the lines of this boss fight i'm still stuck on, a lot of the changes have not increase the fun like in Ancient Gods 1, they just are throwing whatever at the wall just to be different. And a lot of times it doesn't work that well. The stone imps I like what they tried to do. And I am getting better overall at playing the game having to pull out the auto-fire shotgun and whatnot.

But it's such a thin gimmick. It's obvious what they're trying to do and feels cheap, unlike in the base game and Ancient Gods 1.

 

If anyone has a quick tip or something to help get through this last boss fight let me know.

 

My opinion subject to change. Just angry right now lol

 

 

RANT PROBABLY NOT OVER

 

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So the game just does not bother explaining why Doomguy looks like the Dark Lord?

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Posted (edited)

@DuckReconMajor I am with you 100%. Total bullshit fight. I quit in phase 2 when he was reading my inputs to hit me with his dash attack. Too much. The window to stagger him is crazy small and doesn't match at all with his huge sweeping animations that ought to leave him wide open. It's just more Marauder-style bullshit with an impervious shield.

 

If they don't fix this, then the game has been ruined for me.

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5 minutes ago, Quasar said:

@DuckReconMajor I am with you 100%. Total bullshit fight. I quit in phase 2 when he was reading my inputs to hit me with his dash attack. Too much. The window to stagger him is crazy small and doesn't match at all with his huge sweeping animations that ought to leave him wide open. It's just more Marauder-style bullshit with an impervious shield.

 

Exactly, one marauder and shield mechanic is cool to fight against from time to time but then there is the gladiator, there are blood maykrs and turrets and now we have the biggest bullshit of them all the dark lord boss fight. Stupid darksouls influences.

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So somebody tell me, all those Endgame-like armies teased on the trailer are just mere skybox props with looping animations?

You never really get into an epic warzone?

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Rudolph said:

So the game just does not bother explaining why Doomguy looks like the Dark Lord?

They explain in the ancient gods part 1 that the dark lord is basically the Doom Slayer of hell, or I guess, Doom Slayer is the Dark Lord of earth. I'm not really a lore head, but its basically explained in the codexes as far as I know.

 

Anyway, about the DLC, I really like it for the most part, there were a few additions that really threw me for a loop and one addition that kind of enraged me. For context, I played on Nightmare, and it took me around 5 hours. Lets start with the cursed prowler, I really dislike the debuff he gives you. I never survived a single curse, he would teleport away and I would be fucked. Stone imps are alright, basically forces the player to swap from the sticky bomb launcher. I actually really like the addition of the hammer, as it makes marauders a non issue as long as you can get them alone, its basically a free one cycle. Its also useful for killing another new addition, the armored baron, who was fun to fight, but I really didn't feel like he brought a lot to the table.

Onto the main event, the Dark Lord. I'm going to put this in a spoiler out of courtesy.

Spoiler

The Dark Lord is easily the most rage inducing fight in the entire game. I died quite a few times to the guy, and when I succeeded it was because I got good RNG, because, despite being as close as I can be without instantly dying, sometimes he just didn't feel like giving me the counter. My two biggest problems with the Dark Lord is that he heals a bit too much when you he hits you or you accidentally shoot him when he isn't countering, and that there's only really a single window in which you can attack, and, unlike the marauder, he does this fairly infrequently.

15 minutes ago, Stoltzmann said:

Stupid darksouls influences.

I would argue the fight is nothing like Dark Souls, in most every Dark Souls fight, you are waiting for openings, but the enemy is not invincible otherwise. You can get hits in even when there isn't a clear tell. And even then, in a lot of encounters, particularly in Dark Souls 3, you can play super aggressively and get attacks in as long as you dodge at the right time. This fight forces you to play passive. This is more like... simon says, you can only attack when specifically told to, and this works on a smaller scale with the marauder, especially since the hammer makes it so you only really have to wait for him to attack once. But on a boss with multiple phases, and spawning minions, and feints that can leave you healing the guy, its a little infuriating, to say the least.

 

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22 minutes ago, Stoltzmann said:

Stupid darksouls influences.

Its kinda obvious that you have not played Dark Souls. Dark Souls bosses are nothing like the Marauder.

 

But i guess everything that is Hard is Dark souls these days. Smh

I do hope more games do take influences from Dark souls because they are amazing games.

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10 minutes ago, Sergeant_Mark_IV said:

So somebody tell me, all those Endgame-like armies teased on the trailer are just mere skybox props with looping animations?

You never really get into an epic warzone?

 

I don't quite get the expectations some folks set for themselves. It's just another 3 maps with some minor additional mechanics.

 

It may be a triple A game but it's only DLC

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, jazzmaster9 said:

Its kinda obvious that you have not played Dark Souls. Dark Souls bosses are nothing like the Marauder.

 

But i guess everything that is Hard is Dark souls these days. Smh

I do hope more games do take influences from Dark souls because they are amazing games.


That's correct.
In Dark Souls if you are good enough you can beat the Lord of Cinder naked and with a stick of wood.
The simple fact a game forces you to use some playstyle and weapon modes to be able to beat the game already makes it not like Dark Souls.


 

3 minutes ago, Cantleylads said:

I don't quite get the expectations some folks set for themselves. It's just another 3 maps with some minor additional mechanics.

 

It may be a triple A game but it's only DLC


Well, then why they tease these stuff in the trailer if they deliberately plan to not deliver? 

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2 minutes ago, Sergeant_Mark_IV said:


That's correct.
In Dark Souls if you are good enough you can beat the Lord of Cinder naked and with a stick of wood.
The simple fact a game forces you to use some playstyle and weapon modes to be able to beat the game already makes it not like Dark Souls.

People gotta find a scapegoat somewhere, "blame dark souls"

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Posted (edited)

@DuckReconMajor @Quasar

Spoiler

The easiest strategy for me personally in that fight is to use the "blood-fueled" rune and stick to the edges of the arena, constantly glory-killing the possessed spawning in while keeping your distance from the Dark Lord.  The blood-fueled rune alone makes this fight considerably more manageable when trying to instigate and avoid the Dark Lord's attacks, the saving-throw rune also really helps when you're inbetween waves and haven't hit a checkpoint. 

 

Since the waves of possessed are never ending, you want to make sure you are constantly glory-killing them to activate the much needed speed boost for the vast majority of the fight. If your speed-boost begins to wear off while you are trying to get close, you're better off going back to the edge of the arena to get another glory kill to try again, rather than taking the chance.

 

Once you have a few possessed glory-killed through your plasma rifle or heavy cannon to soften them up first (both to charge your hammer and getting your speed boost), you want to carefully close the distance to him and get a feet away from him to instigate his "green light" attack to flash.  If you keep your distance he'll never make his green light attack.  Be careful not to get adjacent to him though as he'll shock you with his shield.

 

After getting a few hits on him through quick-swapping, immediately use your hammer to stun him while dealing SSG + Ballista or whatever combo you use.  After his stun duration is over, immediately go back to the edge of the arena and repeat step 1.

 

In the later stages you particularly want to keep an eye on your hammer more for the heavier waves of "spirits" he sends out on you, all of which can be killed by a well placed hammer shot.

 

Edited by STILES

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Damn, there's a lot of hate on the Dark Lord fight in here. It is my favorite boss fight in Doom Eternal. He does punish screwing up more than any other boss in the game, since if you fail to dodge his attacks or try hitting him when he isn't flashing green he heals. It means you can't brute force your way through it, and you have to learn his patterns to succeed.

 

I am a bit of a masochist though, and I don't mind dying over and over on a tough boss fight.

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31 minutes ago, Sergeant_Mark_IV said:

So somebody tell me, all those Endgame-like armies teased on the trailer are just mere skybox props with looping animations?

You never really get into an epic warzone?

Just like that, everyone is battling on their own in the background, while you keep progressing through the center of the map alone.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, BerserkerNoir said:

Just like that, everyone is battling on their own in the background, while you keep progressing through the center of the map alone.


Welp, so Doom dies not with bang, but with a whimper in the wind? Literally no attempt at doing something different? That's sad.
The overuse of "fake action" in the base game is acceptable because they were being crunched and probably were running out of budget. But after making hundreds of millions they could had at least tried to put a bit more effort on the DLC and give the series a memorable ending.

I'm not even going to waste my time with this.
People can talk shit about Serious Sam 4, at least they somehow delivered what their trailers promised.

Edited by Sergeant_Mark_IV

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7 minutes ago, LVENdead said:

Why does the voice now known to be the Dark Lord go "NOOOOOOO" when you kill the Khan Makyr if it was his intention all along for you to kill the Khan Makyr?

 

I gotta say, I loved the game, but the lore is utter nonsense. What began as a somewhat convoluted but still interesting sci-fi saga turned into a "whatever shit sounds cool today" pile of retcons and incomprehensible twists. Oh well. 

Yes, thats what doesnt make sense.
Just as the OP said, they just did a plot-twist because "plot-twists are cool".
But some things do not have any sense, the other thing that they never explained was: Who is "The Wretch that Shall not be named", he allegedly adorned the Slayer with his Armor, and there was a potential explanation to explain that the same Wretcher made the Dark Lords Armor as well.
But Meh, potential lore was wasted here.
When I saw the World Spear I was thinking "Oh so we might see a Wraith or something similar" but nope, Another letdown.

 

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42 minutes ago, Sergeant_Mark_IV said:


Welp, so Doom dies not with bang, but with a whimper in the wind? Literally no attempt at doing something different? That's sad.
The overuse of "fake action" in the base game is acceptable because they were being crunched and probably were running out of budget. But after making hundreds of millions they could had at least tried to put a bit more effort on the DLC and give the series a memorable ending.

well ending with what is considered the best game in the series with a boss fight against the dark lord and finally ending doom guy's quest sounds like a bang to me

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34 minutes ago, BerserkerNoir said:

When I saw the World Spear I was thinking "Oh so we might see a Wraith or something similar" but nope, Another letdown.

Was that not what the 'dragons' were though? Okay, they're larger and with legs instead weird tentacles and a couple more horns, but they're not that far off. They at least seem similar enough they might be related.

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9 minutes ago, omalefico32x said:

considered the best game in the series

By who? I'm seeing a lot of people calling this a letdown when compared to TAG1, which already had a lot of people calling it inferior to the base game, which even had people calling it inferior to 2016.
 

Quote

with a boss fight against the dark lord and finally ending doom guy's quest sounds like a bang to me

Are you sure? A buffed Marauder sounds like a huge step down from the IOS battle.
 

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2 minutes ago, Sergeant_Mark_IV said:

By who? I'm seeing a lot of people calling this a letdown when compared to TAG1, which already had a lot of people calling it inferior to the base game, which even had people calling it inferior to 2016.
 

im talking about doom eternal in general

it has loads of content good levels weapons and generaly faster gameplay and seens like the majority of the fanbase regards it as the best game (even if my favorite is still doom 2)

i wished more franchises i liked ended on such a high note as doom did

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6 minutes ago, Sergeant_Mark_IV said:

By who? I'm seeing a lot of people calling this a letdown when compared to TAG1, which already had a lot of people calling it inferior to the base game, which even had people calling it inferior to 2016.
 

Are you sure? A buffed Marauder sounds like a huge step down from the IOS battle.
 

I mean, sure, but there were also lots of people who think Eternal is superior to 2016, and that TAG1 was superior to the base game. And while I personally prefer the first DLC to the second one, I still had a lot of fun with TAG2. Not every piece of content has to out do its previous iteration. 

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Not finished it yet (just got mid-way through the hell city, then it crashed), but my impressions so far: 

 

Pros: 

 

- MUUUCH better encounter design than TAG 1. I haven't had a "That's BULLSHIT" feeling thus far, and I had a LOT of those in TAG 1. 

 

- Environments are gorgeous. Reclaimed Earth is kind of so-so, but not bad for what it is. World Spear and the initial battle-scape outside the hell city are -awesome- . My only beef with that latter one is that I wish we at least encountered a few squads of Sentinels to fight alongside, but I'm not surprised we aren't in the thick of the clash. 

 

- Love the music, as I did TAG 1's music. 

 

- New enemies are not as irritating to fight as some of the TAG 1 new stars. 

 

-Escalation fights are intense but again, not BS like the last expansion. 

 

- The hammer mechanics do have a more direct role in the combat loop than the sword did. 

 

- Levels don't overstay their welcome like in TAG 1. 

 

Cons: 

 

- Aside from the armored Baron, the new enemies are a bit uninspired. I frankly would not have noticed their absence. 

 

- Escalation fight difficulty is kind of inconsistent; I swear the first one was waaay harder than the latter ones. 

 

- As epic as the big battle in Hell looks, I maintain what I said when the trailer dropped; it looks way more at home in Warhammer 40,000 than Doom. It's epic, it's neat, I'm glad I got to see/ play in it.... but it's aesthetics' are a far-cry from Doom/ Quake as we know them. 

 

- The sword is still cooler than the hammer, visually. 

 

- While I like the length of the levels more than TAG 1, they do sometimes feel a little on the overly short side. 

 

- The lore makes absolutely no damn sense at this point. Granted, this was starting to happen in TAG 1 (and arguably in Eternal), but at this point it's just "everything and the kitchen sink". 

 

 

Overall; I'm enjoying this way more than I enjoyed TAG 1, though I think I'll be ready for a return to a more heavy/ gritty shooter in the future. 

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3 minutes ago, Taurus Daggerknight said:

Overall; I'm enjoying this way more than I enjoyed TAG 1, though I think I'll be ready for a return to a more heavy/ gritty shooter in the future. 

and there is no shooter thats is heavier or grittier then quake

i want id to make a quake reboot next now that doom is over (at least for now)

or better yet make a new ip been some time since we saw a new one from them

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Hunting4r2d2 said:

I mean, sure, but there were also lots of people who think Eternal is superior to 2016, and that TAG1 was superior to the base game. And while I personally prefer the first DLC to the second one, I still had a lot of fun with TAG2. Not every piece of content has to out do its previous iteration. 

Don’t listen to Sgt Mark, he forgot to consider that there are 7 billion people on earth and 7 billion of them won’t even have the same exact thoughts on the quality of Doom Eternal.A1968C86-4FE1-4CC1-83DD-F9C2978461E9.gif.a9173a7814c00e2e8a0b888336ddf419.gif

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, omalefico32x said:

im talking about doom eternal in general

If TAG1 has shown me anything, is that the DLCs are not the same thing as the base game, neither in matters of gameplay, plot, or level design.

And to be honest, the base game could had been a perfect ending for the series. You just kill the Icon of Sin, a big mean boss, at an "end of the world" battle scenario. Earth is saved. Doomguy goes back to his fortress where he rests Eternally. The end. This ending fighting cheap pallete swapped enemies and a buffed Marauder seems quite unnecessary.

 

 

28 minutes ago, Hunting4r2d2 said:

I mean, sure, but there were also lots of people who think Eternal is superior to 2016, and that TAG1 was superior to the base game. And while I personally prefer the first DLC to the second one, I still had a lot of fun with TAG2. Not every piece of content has to out do its previous iteration. 

Of course there are people who thinks this and people who thinks that. But analyzing from Steam user reviews, which is a reflection of the satisfaction of paying customers, you can notice a decline on the public's satisfaction of the game:

2016: 96% positive
Eternal: 90% positive
TAG1: 74% positive.
TAG2 is currently at 86%, but as the second wave of people that were less hyped plays it, it's expected to lower.

So I believe omalefico32x's statement "the majority of the fanbase regards it as the best game" is grossly exaggerated.

Edited by Sergeant_Mark_IV

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1 minute ago, Sergeant_Mark_IV said:

If TAG1 has shown me anything, is that the DLCs are not the same thing as the base game, neither in matters of gameplay, plot, or level design.

And to be honest, the base game could had been a perfect ending for the series. You just kill the Icon of Sin, a big mean boss, at an "end of the world" battle scenario. Earth is saved. Doomguy goes back to his fortress where he rests Eternally. The end. This ending fighting cheap pallete swapped enemies and a buffed Marauder seems quite unnecessary.

 

 

Of course there are people who thinks this and people who thinks that. But analyzing from Steam user reviews, which is a reflection of the satisfaction of paying customers, you can notice a decline on the public's satisfaction of the game:

2016: 96% positive
Eternal: 90% positive
TAG1: 74% positive.
TAG2 is currently at 86%, but as the second wave of people that were less hyped plays it, it's expected to lower.

So I believe omalefico32x's statement "the majority of the fanbase regards it as the best game" is grossly exaggerated.

Welp, no arguments there I suppose. I do agree with people saying 2016 is the overall better experience, but I find myself coming back to Doom Eternal more, I mean playing 2016 without the dash feels empty:

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Egg Boy said:

They explain in the ancient gods part 1 that the dark lord is basically the Doom Slayer of hell, or I guess, Doom Slayer is the Dark Lord of earth. I'm not really a lore head, but its basically explained in the codexes as far as I know.

Okay... But then how does that work with the revelation that the Dark Lord is actually God and that the Doom Slayer is basically his creation?

 

Am I supposed to understand that Doomguy is God?

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