Doom Eternal is calling it a day with the final chunk of singleplayer DLC in The Ancient Gods, Part 2 tomorrow, March 18. Check out the launch trailer above.
The Ancient Gods, Part 2 follows up the excellent, but ridiculously challenging Part 1 with the final chapter of the Doom Slayer saga that began in Doom 2016. If you've yet to catch up, go do that, but here's the gist: The Doom Slayer is taking the fight to the Dark Lord, Hell's big boss, and you'll work through ancient Sentinel settlements, the celestial realm of the World Spear, and even make a return to Earth before hitting up Immora (I don't know either) to seal up the underworld for good.
In short, you'll be shooting and gutting hundreds of demons in levels that look like metal album and high fantasy book covers come to life. There's an emphasis on the high fantasy here, too. In the trailer, the Doom Slayer rallies an army and rides a damn dragon. The Dark Lord makes an appearance looking like a Chaos Marine from Warhammer 40K. Some guy raises his weapon and says, "Come brothers! Let Hell tremble before our might!" This is Doom at its dorkiest, for sure, but I'm into it.
New enemy variants are here to further complicate Eternal's complicated arena game. The Armored Baron, as you'd guess, has a fancy new outfit and a powerful charged fist attack. The Stone Imp has some thicker skin than its softer cousin and can, as seen in the trailer, do a pretty decent Sonic the Hedgehog impression, rolling up to zip around in a ball of fire. Neato.
The Cursed Prowler sounds like a tough cookie already. Being cursed means you get clouded vision and lose the ability to dash until you Blood Punch the jerk that cursed you in the first place. Luckily, they're outlined in the world and don't appear too often. The Screether will probably ruin some runs too. Killing one empowers all the enemies nearby, so try to save them for last.
A new weapon
But as Eternal's chessboard gets even more crowded, you get a vital new tool for slowing things down to make more thoughtful moves. The Sentinel Hammer stuns all major enemies and kills all fodder enemies within its wide shockwave, making it easy to pick out and prioritize damage against certain demons. Dazed enemies also drip ammo, making it an interesting addition to the Doom Slayer's resource allocation loop. Paired with an ice bomb or flame belch, game director Hugo Martin tells PC Gamer you can pretty much give yourself all of your health armor and ammo back in one big burst of demon gore.
In the right hands the hammer can also trivialize some of Doom Eternal's tougher enemies. Martin says the Marauder is cake with proper timing and follow up shots: "If you hit him on the green flash, slam him with the hammer, you could combo him, and you know, he falters long enough that you could kill him in one shot."
I'm sure that means we'll see an arena absolutely spilling over with Marauders, but Martin assures us it won't be the same kind of rapid escalation in difficulty we saw in Part 1. He says Part 2 is probably easier on the whole, if only because it was largely designed around playing with the hammer rather than Part 1's approach of pushing Eternal's basic skills, like resource management and weapon switching, to their limits.
We'll be sure to play The Ancient Gods, Part 2 and serve up our thoughts on the finale of the Doom Slayer Saga as soon as it releases on March 18. Until then, pick a side in the great Marauder debate. Martin says the contentious enemy is kinda the whole point of Doom Eternal.