The first DLC for Doom Eternal has finally been released, giving players their much-needed daily dose of demon destroying destruction. While it is essentially just more Doom, The Ancient Gods Part 1 provides extra levels, challenges, and lore that should be able to satisfy any Doom fan.
The Ancient Gods Part 1 comes with 3 new levels for Doom Eternal. The Slayer travels to a UAC base in the middle of the ocean, an overgrown swamp area of hell, and a demon controlled Urdak. Each area will feel familiar to anyone who has played the main game but still provides a unique setting for your brutal demon-killing.
While 3 levels don’t seem like a lot, they’re actually pretty meaty levels. Playing on Ultra-Violence, each level took me about 2 hours to complete. Assuming that part 2 will be a similar length, The Ancient Gods will end up being about a 12-hour campaign. So considering that this DLC will be half as long as the main game, it makes sense that the “Year One Pass” (which comes with both Part 1 and 2), costs about half the price of the main game.
As crazy as this sounds, I unironically love Doom lore. There’s something about the weird perversion of religious imagery that’s so fascinating to me. So just the idea of getting more of this story was already enough to sell me. And when it comes to lore, The Ancient Gods delivers.
Expanding upon the threads left open at the end of Doom Eternal, the player is provided with so many questions answered and new ones presented. However, the “Part 1” in the title of the DLC should give away that the game ends on a cliffhanger and not everything is tied up nicely at the end. They have to save something for part 2 after all.
But like the other Doom games, the story takes a backseat to the gameplay. So if you’re not interested in the lore behind the violence, The Ancient Gods won’t change your mind on that.
There are of course new codex entries to collect and read that expand on the lore. But if you’re not interested you can easily ignore them and get back to the slaying
The DLC plays the same way as the main game. Lots of arenas filled with demons to slay, with platforming sections to break up each round of murder.
One thing that I loved was how the game starts you out with the Doom Slayer’s entire arsenal. So you can rip and tear your way through demons with maximum efficiency. But just because you have all the tools you need, doesn’t mean that it’ll be a walk in the park. Super heavy end-game demons are thrown at you from the start, with Tyrants, Archviles, and Barons of Hell appearing right from the get-go and much more frequently. So even if you’ve beaten the Base game on Ultra-Nightmare, you’ll still find a good challenge here.
However, the game assumes you know everything about each weapon and demon from the main game, so it will not help anyone who isn’t familiar with the series. And the bump in the difficulty means that it’s really only playable for anyone who’s beaten the main game. So even though the DLC is standalone, you should definitely play Doom Eternal before this one.
Probably the most controversial element from Doom Eternal is also included in the DLC. Lots of people hate the Marauder, and I was one of them at first. It really requires a lot of concentration to beat him, which is hard to do when there are other demons all around you as well. The Marauder is a real test of skill, and once you know how to beat him he becomes much easier.
But since so many people hated him, it would have made sense if ID software decided to remove him in the DLC. I’m so glad this did not happen. Not only are ID sticking to their guns by including the Marauder, but they doubled down on him (literally).
So if you enjoyed the base game, The Ancient Gods is just more of what you loved.
Id has also been able to tweak the gameplay in interesting ways to keep each combat experience unique. Including a section where you have to stay inside a protective bubble or else you take damage. It’s an interesting way to reduce the player’s movement and provides a real challenge.
But of course, a new Doom game needs to come with new Demons.
The new Maykr enemy is a bit annoying to fight but is actually pretty easy to kill. The Blood Maykr is completely invincible when its shield is up and can do some serious damage. Its attacks also slow you down which makes you vulnerable to other demons.
However, it also drops its shield when it attacks. When that happens, it goes down the same way as the Maykr Drones. One shot to its head with a sticky bomb or a precision shot will destroy it and rain down ammo.
The Blood Maykr requires careful timing and precision, which makes it a nice addition to the lineup.
The next demon introduced is really in my opinion a bit broken. The Spirit is an ambient demon that possesses other demons and makes them faster and stronger and looks a lot like the summoner from Doom (2016). The problem with the Spirit is that it also makes the demon it possesses too strong, giving it the ability to destroy your health and shields in a few hits. It also makes the demons like the Hell Knight faster than the Slayer, so the only way to escape them is to dash a lot. And you’re in for a real treat if it possesses a demon like the Mancubus, cause you won’t be able to destroy its weak-points.
But on top of all of that, even if you kill the buffed demon, the Spirit can possess another one. You can only destroy the Spirit with a full blast from the Plasma Rifle’s microwave beam which means you have to have enough ammo for the Plasma Rifle to actually be able to get a full blast. So it ends up that you avoid using the Plasma Rifle and the Balista when fighting the possessed demon so you can save ammo to destroy the Spirit.
The Ancient Gods Part 1 is more of that Doom goodness that I love. If you enjoyed Doom Eternal and want more, you can’t go wrong here.
Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods Part 1 is available on Xbox One, Xbox series X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC.
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