I must say, I only played Doom Eternal for about 20 minutes. I really hated the fact that I kept bumping in to invisible walls. I'm the guy that wants to find all the secrets, and in doing so, I explore every piece of level. On one occasion I fell through a ridge or was unable to advance because the leveldesigners didn't want you to advance. That's all ok, if it's hidden enough, but that wasn't the case in Eternal (eg unable to jump on to a ridiculous small rock, because it was 'the end' of the level). Freedom or basic exploration is the, IMO, most important piece of a great FPS-shooter. You can have mazes, big open worlds, hard to find secrets, a decent levelstructure or in general: multiple ways to advance to the next stage. But that's something that I usually lack in modern FPS-games. RDR2 is a totally different game. Yeah, the story might be lineair, but the game doesn't restrict you to explore. Doom Eternal does. Even good old Doom 1,2 or Heretic, Duke Nukem 3D, Unreal, Quake...had a more interesting way of guiding you through the scenery. Yeah, sometimes it was very corridor-like, but the level-edges were 'hidden'. It didn't frustrate me. They were 'part' of the design. In DOOM 2016, they did a better job of hiding it. It wasn't the best Doom, but it was good. The over-use of arenabattles (enter random room, door shuts behind you, arena gets teleported with monsters) was kinda a let down. Maybe it should've played Eternal for more than 20 minutes, maybe it became better later on...I will pick it up someday in a sale.
Well I figured you must have played less than 2 hours, as that's Steam's refund policy, but 20 min (or even 2 hrs) is nowhere NEAR enough time spent to get to know the game, or by extension, make informed public statements about it based on experience. I've been on the official forum for the game since it launched, and these kind of knee jerk reactions are common. Even a lot of us that started out with misconceptions that the game is too hard grew to love it once we discovered how it's best played. Games like Doom Eternal, The Evil Within, Spec Ops The Line, and Ghost Recon Wildlands, all started out making me think they were too hard, they take time to master. These are now some of my favorite games though, because once you get to know them well enough to stay on top of the enemies (and platforming regarding Eternal), they are the most rewarding types of games to play.
As far as secret areas and collectibles go, I've played a ton of shooters, from the ones like Painkiller that really hid them well and made it hard as hell to get to a lot of them even once you DID find them, to ones where they're right out in the open and easy to find/obtain, and for the type of game Doom is, they do it plenty well in Eternal, above average easily. If you spent time getting stuck exploring it's likely because you either didn't know how to or didn't bother using the map. And the map won't make it obvious how to get to a lot of them, you still have to explore the areas it shows items in. There is plenty exploring in Eternal, and plenty ways to improve your navigational and combat movement skills via use of various terrain items to shortcut, and also the excellent meathook, and the many things you can do with it. One of the most obvious ways Eternal pays more attention to exploring than 2016 is the fact that you can when near level end, fast travel back to certain areas within the level to find things you missed. There are places in 2016 where you not only can't do that, you can actually miss key weapon pickups because of it, like the Rocket Launcher, a very useful one to have.
I liked 2016, especially the way you could do challenges, upgrade weapons, and find things via exploring, but Eternal does all of that better. Many collectibles in 2016 send you through corridors and vents, it gets old. In Eternal, a lot of them take some platforming skill to get to, and a lot of them are not easy to see or find. Some are very hard to get without taking damage. Eternal is also much smoother and more fluid when it comes to movement and combat. There is infinitely more ways to navigate and battle as well. The frustrations many have with not being able to get through difficult platforming sections in Eternal are always a simple matter of properly timing jumps and dashes.
That said, this is a shooter first, not an adventure game. The primary focus is the shooting, not exploring, but again, it DOES offer more than an adequate amount of it for the type of game it is. In a game as action filled as this, I think it's more appropriate they prioritized the advance platforming in between battle areas over exploration. It also offers a different type of exploration, via figuring out ways to shortcut past or more effectively battle the enemies. So essentially the platforming abilities and features they included lend better to the shooter genre than advanced exploring, but I DO think what exploration it has is easily better than that in 2016, just due to the areas you explore being MUCH larger and many items being harder to get to. Of all the Dooms I've played, this one keeps you thinking more than any of them.
I happen to be 62, and definitely don't have the reflexes or dexterity, or even think on your feet speed of most younger players, yet the game offers enough tools in combat gear, terrain features, and environmental apparatuses to let a player of any age or skill level master the game. After seeing many say they feared they would not be able to beat it on Nightmare on the official forum, I realized by the start of my 3rd play through, this time on Nightmare, it was a LOT more doable than they thought. It inspired me to make a video guide to prove it can be done without elite skills where many get intimidated seeing such players switch through multiple weapons very fast, perform insta headshot snipes, and pull off difficult and fast aerial combat. A lot of it is just knowing how to play the game, and games like that take time to learn and reward you with tons of replay value and satisfaction.
How to Beat Doom Eternal on Nightmare, Without Really Trying
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