Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods Part Two is the final DLC hurrah for id Software’s landmark first-person shooter. As a follow-up to the excellent first DLC, The Ancient Gods Part One, it offers yet another exorbitantly fast shooting experience with battles on an epic scale. Following the god-like Doom Slayer on a trip to Hell’s capital city, Ancient Gods Part Two tests your mastery of Doom Eternal‘s mechanics with brand new enemies, gorgeous and challenging levels, and some truly insane firefights. While it might not reach the immensely punishing levels of difficulty seen in the previous DLC, Ancient Gods Part Two will still push your demon-killing skills to the limit. Once again, id Software has created a nonstop thrill ride of blood and bullets, with heart-pounding action bursting at the seams.
Fast Track to Immora
The Ancient Gods Part Two picks up directly after the events of Part One, with the Doom Slayer rejecting his directive and choosing to summon the Dark Lord instead. Facing down an evil version of himself, the Doom Slayer fails to kill the Dark Lord, prompting a final battle in the Immora, the capital city of Hell. In order to reach Immora and defeat the Dark Lord for good, the Doom Slayer must retrieve a powerful artifact and activate the last remaining portal into the fiery abyss of Hell. Much like The Ancient Gods Part One, this results in another bloody and violent adventure full of demon-slaying goodness.
The plot in The Ancient Gods Part Two is easy enough to follow, even for players who didn’t invest much time into lore when playing the base game. Apart from a few cutscenes, brief snippets of dialogue, and some collectible lorebooks, The Ancient Gods Part Two trims most of the storytelling in favor of getting players into the action faster. Because of that, the Dark Lord suffers as a villain, not living up to his full narrative potential. I appreciate the risks that The Ancient Gods Part Two takes in terms of its ending and world-building, but I would’ve liked it more if the final boss was better developed. That said, the events of The Ancient Gods Part Two have me eager to see what future Doom games will hold, so the narrative is effective nonetheless.
The Ancient Gods Part Two offers more ultra-quick FPS action and continues to evolve the Doom Eternal gameplay loop with a handful of new features and enemy types. As always, you’ll blast through mostly linear but spectacularly evocative levels with a robust arsenal of powerful weapons, including all the goodies you gained in The Ancient Gods Part One. Part Two also introduces the Sentinel Hammer, a handy weapon-ability that stuns enemies with a massive downward strike. Using the Sentinel Hammer in combination with other core abilities, namely the freeze grenade and flamethrower, is an excellent way to boost your health and armor while staying on the offense.
There’s also a fresh pool of demonic scum to wipe from existence, including the purple, fiery Screecher Zombie, who buffs nearby enemies if slain. There’s also the Stone Imp, a resilient variation of the classic enemy who can only be damaged with a few select guns. Enemies who were already tough to deal with have been made even more powerful too, best exemplified by the Armored Baron, a massive beast with regenerating armor.
These new enemies always keep you on your toes, forcing you to adapt your shooting strategies on the fly. New platforming elements have also been introduced, such as a grappling hook-type attachment for the shotgun that can be used to swing from point to point. This mechanic is fun when used in short bursts of platforming, but it doesn’t show up too often in combat.
That Escalated Quickly
The Sentinel Hammer can also be upgraded by completing new Escalation Encounters, which are wave-based challenge battles that also reward players with cosmetic goodies. Escalation Encounters can be played twice, with the first completion granting you a boon for the Sentinel Hammer. If you choose to go back for round two, expect a remarkably tougher challenge.
While playing on “Hurt Me Plenty” difficulty, the second round of my first Escalation Encounter took me roughly 25 minutes of non-stop shooting to complete. Between multiple Archviles, Doom Hunters, Tyrants, and a seemingly endless barrage of other demon baddies, these Escalation Encounters are no joke. For some players, the challenge will be too daunting for a simple cosmetic skin, but hardcore Doom fans will find immense pleasure in the eye-burning chaos that unfolds during the tougher rounds.
The Bottom Line on Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part Two
If you enjoyed the base Doom Eternal game or the previous DLC, The Ancient Gods Part Two is a hellish descent worth taking. It continues to deliver new gameplay mechanics and enemy variations, which keeps things from becoming repetitive. A brutal dose of difficulty is offered in the new Escalation Encounters, which will prove to be a challenge for even seasoned Doom Eternal veterans. That said, The Ancient Gods Part Two occasionally prioritizes difficulty over design, resulting in some areas that feel padded out with excess demons.
Overall, Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods Part Two is an appropriately climactic and gory conclusion in the two-part DLC series. While Part Two is a bit shorter and slightly less inventive than Part One, it’s still a ridiculously gory and enjoyable FPS addendum. It should only take you a handful of hours to finish the four new levels, making this a quick and chaotic journey to the center of Hell. While it might not be as triumphant as the base Doom Eternal or as truly challenging as Part One, The Ancient Gods Part Two is still a hearty dose of turbo-quick FPS entertainment with some surprising twists to boot.
Note: This game was reviewed on the Xbox Series X using a code provided by the publisher.
- Satisfying conclusion to the Doom Eternal story
- Impressive scale and set-piece moments
- New enemy types keep things fresh
- Escalation Encounters can feel drawn out
- Shorter than previous DLC
- Level layouts are linear and simple