Back in 2016, a new generation of DOOM was born. The incredibly fast-paced, first-person shooter not only provided all the faithful familiarities of the classic series, it did so in a way that certainly managed to freshen up the single-player formula for the genre. The sequel, DOOM Eternal, pushed those very boundaries even further by enforcing a clever triangle resource management mechanic that demanded the player to slay demons in tempo to a rhythm-action game with a disobedient beat.
The Ancient Gods – Part One DLC for DOOM Eternal had me convinced I made a deal with the devil. It roped me into actually believing I possessed the physical embodiment of Zeus chauffeured by the four horses of the apocalypse. It provided me with every Praetor suit upgrade, Rune and gun attachment to where my naive false sense of security had me feeling comforted by the gunpowder of the gods.
However, DOOM can be a deviant beast, and in exchange, fed me every godforsaken demon in the deck to put me in my place. I survived. I beat it. But I won’t deny that the very thought of The Ancient Gods – Part Two dropping in front of me so soon caused me a sense of dread and anxiety.
Despite how my memory serves me on how difficult the first slice of The Ancient Gods felt, I was now a seasoned DOOM Slayer, Hell-bent and determined to put the final nail in the coffin of this concluding chapter. The second slice felt somewhat easier, if shorter too, but rarely did it ever feel any less fun.
We start out under the blue skies and grassy landscapes of Argent D’Nur where searching for the World Spear acts as the opening MacGuffin to set us out on our journey. Unlike The Ancient Gods – Part One, Part Two tends to ease the player into madness. Yet, it doesn’t take long until we are introduced to our first new type of enemy, the Screecher Zombie. A weak, pathetic purple tormented soul that’s easy to slay. However, killing it will release a blood-curdling scream that will empower all the demons that surround it.
After getting as far as finishing The Ancient Gods – Part One, I cannot deny that I was getting a bit tired of yet another buff demon thrown into the mix in this concluding chapter. I felt a little underwhelmed with the handful of new enemies introduced such as a Stone Imp immune to most weapons and can Sonic spin-dash, and zombie soldiers promoted from clutching blue shields to an impenetrable yellow one. The final boss fight I found equally disappointing with a rather repetitive wash, rinse and repeat fight pattern that lasts a gruelling five rounds with an underwhelming payoff. Yet, despite such minor gripes, the chemistry of DOOM still reacts the right elements together as always to cause a satisfyingly loud bang.
While Part One took away the one-bop Crucible Sword in exchange for all the upgraded tools, Part Two does supply the DOOM Slayer with a new toy to play with in the form of an oversized toffee hammer that doesn’t half pack a punch. Fueled by the tears of glory kills, this glowing mallet litters the ground with the confetti of resources when combined with secondary weapons. It’s a nice little prop to play with as we finally head towards the end of the modern DOOM story.
In contempt of finding the curtains close to the credits somewhat abrupt in comparison to DOOM 2016’s awesome eye-candy showcase reel, The Ancient Gods – Part Two does have some of the most impressive set pieces of its history. Reclaimed Earth gives a solid impression of the aftermath of the main campaign that speaks for itself within its architecture, and the battle of Immora sets up the scene of badass vs evil of epic proportions perfectly. It’s so impressive in fact, that Panic Button deserves a bloody Nobel Prize for how they managed to get this particular level running so incredibly well on the Nintendo Switch system.
Well, it’s been an emotional ride from start to finish, and while DOOM Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part One felt like a testing hill sprint to the top, The Ancient Gods – Part Two felt more like a fun whack-a-mole cooldown decline that the players deserve. Those who want to be tested until the very end may want to turn the difficulty up a notch for this one. Unless, of course, you’re already a relentless ultra nightmare DOOM-slaying beast.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by Bethesda Softworks