Less successful are the things on the periphery of Eternal‘s shooting mechanics. Tonally, it’s a different beast from its predecessor. Doom 2016 had its goofy moments, but Eternal embraces that side of its predecessor and runs away with it. At one point during the game, one of the characters tells Doomguy, “You can’t just shoot a hole into the surface of Mars.” Joke’s on him. I had a stupid grin on my face during these moments. But at the same time, I also missed the cohesion and atmosphere of its predecessor.
A lot of that has to do with the fact you’re not limited to a single research facility and a couple of levels of Hell. Instead, in Doom Eternal, you travel across the solar system and beyond. There’s more visual variety to its play spaces as a result, but that comes at the cost of more linear levels. There’s no mission in Eternal like 2016’s Foundry level where you can approach the objectives in whatever order you want. With a greater emphasis on platforming, you’ll also spend more time jumping between ledges than you might think is reasonable for a first-person shooter.
Eternal isn’t necessarily worse for these the changes it makes to Doom 2016’s formula, but it does feel like it won’t appeal to some players as a result. But you gotta hand it to id. Faced with the dilemma of how to follow-up something so many people love, they made the tough decision to do something different.