Doom Eternal's first expansion feels like more than DLC (so far)

Doom Eternal’s first expansion feels like more than DLC (so far)

Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods, Part One is out today, both as an integrated expansion and as a standalone game. I had pretty high expectations going in, seeing that I loved Doom Eternal when it came out approximately 100 years ago in March, but I’m loving the first hours of The Ancient Gods just as much as Eternal. It plays like an old-timey boxed PC expansion: a direct continuation of the challenge, scale, and story that feels like a full studio effort.

I’ve only played the first of three levels, which took me an hour and a half to get through alone. I died a few times, sure, but I didn’t explore too much either. Like Eternal’s straightforward level design—complex arenas connected by corridors and light platforming segments—The Ancient Gods opener isn’t difficult to navigate, but keeps going and going, and in a neat, literally subversive way. 

The gorgeous establishing shot at the start shows off the massive UAC Atlantica facility, the deep ocean rig that looks big enough to contain the whole level, but there’s plenty more beneath the surface. 

(Image credit: id Software)

Things break, as things tend to do around Doomguy, and you get dumped into the water for a bit. These swimming sequences are mostly for show, short traversal sequences limited by a tiny oxygen supply. You can do a little exploring and drown if you’re not careful, but a candy trail of armor and pickups ensure you’ll never get lost. In the very first underwater sequence there’s a shark swimming around in the distance. 

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