They won’t be able to find out for themselves until Friday, but for now they can see what professional outlets have had to say now that Bethesda has lifted the review embargo for id Software’s latest first-person shooter. The reviews that have come out so far don’t cover the entirety of it, however, as the servers for Eternal's online multiplayer aren't set to go live until the game itself launches. For now, all they have to offer is their thoughts on the single-player content.
That’s just as well, since, unlike with most FPSs, most people come to Doom for the intense single-player campaign, and for the most part, it sounds like Doom Eternal delivers in that regard.
IGN (Ryan McCaffrey)
Simply put, Doom Eternal is one of the best first-person shooter campaigns I’ve played in years. As the second game of its kind it’s lost some of its novelty but none of the joy of its intense and furious combat style. This excellent refinement of the already outstanding 2016 reboot makes you an unspoken deal: if you can keep up with it, it will keep up with you. It continually teaches you how to play faster, smarter, and more efficiently, with lots of options at every step of the way to tailor fights to your prefered slaying style, and it’s an absolute blast along the way.
Destructoid (Chris Carter)
Doom Eternal keeps the strong foundation built back in 2016 intact, while adding some of its own panache in the process. I think we can officially declare that the last iteration wasn't just a lone fluke, and that Doom is back in the shooter spotlight where it belongs.
PC Gamer (James Davenport)
Anything less than perfect performance wouldn't do, because Doom Eternal is one of the most demanding arena shooters I've ever played, a game that teases out and hones every muscle memory committed to my right forearm and left hand fingertips since they graced a mouse and keyboard. It's bright and loud, hyper violent yet tastefully refined, and absolutely draining. I can't recall playing a shooter where sensory overload was one of the most common reasons for death.
Polygon (Chris Plante)
Treat Doom Eternal like dessert — something to be savored, not hurried. When you have the rare moment between feeding one demon its own heart and breaking another demon’s arm and hammering the freshly protruding bone through the demon’s skull, take a breath to admire the engineering and artistry that makes your actions possible, how the world encourages playful movement, how the specific design of an arena and the placement of each enemy invites you to chain your violence in one ecstatic flourish. Always be moving, but never rush.
VG24/7 (Kirk McKeand)
When you’re right in the thick of it, zipping around like a toddler after a pack of Smarties, efficiently and methodically laying waste to the hordes of hell at 900 gibs per minute, this is the strongest Doom has ever been.
GameSpot (Phil Hornshaw)
Though it can take a bit to get the hang of it, the intricacies of Doom Eternal's combat, combined with its enhanced mobility and option-heavy level design, create a ton of white-knuckle moments that elevate everything that made Doom 2016 work so well. Its combat is just as quick and chaotic, but requires you to constantly analyze everything that's happening in order to come out victorious. Once you get the hang of the rhythm of Doom Eternal, it'll make you feel like a demon-slaying savant.
Eurogamer (Edwin Evans-Thirlwell)
Still, Doom Eternal leaves me undecided. The game is fundamentally the 2016 reboot again with new props, and its dogged commitment to Doom's narrative universe is as baffling as the firefights are exhilarating. Is this really all Doom can be, nowadays - a cascade of collectables, unwanted cutscenes and the spectacle of a gurning demon face, forever?
TheSixthAxis (Miguel Moran)
Doom Eternal doesn't just set the bar, it breaks it. Many of the best games of the FPS genre do what has already been done, and can do it really, really well, but Doom Eternal does what no other game has done before, crafting a fast-paced power fantasy that sets your brain cells on fire. It's an addictive exploration of the mythic Doomslayer character that delivers hours of blood-drenched fun, dozens of memorable collectibles, and a fan-pleasing story book-ended with gorgeous worlds and unforgettable music. Doom Eternal is a ripping, tearing masterpiece.
If all of this is any indication, any shortcoming Doom Eternal has in regards to gameplay, pacing, or story don’t hold it back from providing players with the brutal, high-speed action that id was going for. All in all, it sounds like gamers who can stomach stylized ultra-violence are going to be in a good time this weekend. As for those who can’t, well, they can always balance things out with the more wholesome Animal Crossing: New Horizons also launching on Friday.
Doom Eternal will be out on March 20 for PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One, with a Switch port set to launch at a later date.