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The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Doom Eternal is a violent and gory first-person shooter for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, PCs, and Stadia. This is the latest game in the long-running and popular Doom franchise, which has covered games, toys, and movies, and it's a direct follow-up to 2016's Doom. Using an arsenal that includes guns, explosives, a flamethrower, a chainsaw, and your extremities, you have to kill an army of demons, some of whom look human. Gameplay has a lot of blood and gore, including graphic depictions of decapitations and dismemberment. The game's also full of disturbing visuals and sounds, including occult iconography. There might also be some cursing, but only when you play this online, since online communication isn't monitored.
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What's it about?
Picking up where 2016's Doom ended, DOOM ETERNAL has the demons invading Earth, and it's up to you to save humanity. To do this, you have to take out the Hell Priests that have summoned that undead realm to Earth. This would be easy if the priests weren't spread out and surrounded by an army of demons. It's a good thing you're armed with guns, grenades, a flamethrower, a chainsaw, and some heavy-duty gloves and boots. You've also got the kind of murderous rage that's always a plus when you need to go on a killing spree. As you go through missions, you'll be able to enhance and upgrade your weapons and skills based on how you like to play. It's up to you to show these demons why there will be Hell to pay for invading Earth.
Is it any good?
While this has the relentless and fast-paced action the series is known for, this sci-fi first-person shooter sequel has added some depth to its combat. In Doom Eternal, the events of the previous game have led to a demonic occupation of Earth. It's a good thing you're the Doomslayer. Not only do you have an assortment of guns and other weapons, you can now customize them, your armor, and yourself in interesting ways, and thus take on your enemies based on your choices and play style. What's new in this bloody adventure is that, because there's not a lot of resources lying around, you now have to perform violent finishing moves on your enemies to get them to drop whatever supplies they might have in their pockets. Also, if you play the new online mode, Battlemode, you can be not only the Doomslayer, but also one of two demons trying to destroy him.
Although all the new layers to the gameplay make the action interesting, and it still has the same kind of fast and furious shooting this series has always excelled at, it does have some minor issues. Its story is somewhat shallow, and it would've been more effective if the gun battles were set in the ruins of famous world cities instead of generic-looking locations. Similarly, the jumping and climbing parts -- which now include the ability to cling to and jump off of certain cliff faces -- work fine, but these traversal sections are the game's weakest moments. Still, these aren't so much issues as they are bummers, and only slightly take away from the unrelenting and unforgiving fun that is Doom Eternal.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence. Is the impact of the violence in Doom Eternal affected by the fact that you're killing demons instead of humans? Do you feel differently when you kill one that looks human? Why do you think that is?
Should solving problems with violence be a solution that's left as a last resort? Is it OK to kill monsters to save your own life? Does the fighting in Doom Eternal seem fair, considering that you're fighting against supernatural enemies that don't care about talking, but only want destruction?
- Platforms: Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bethesda Softworks
- Release date: March 20, 2020
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence
- Last updated: May 4, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.