It has been almost five years since the Slayer Saga first kicked off with Doom (2016), bringing us a new story with Doomguy firmly in the driver's seat, armed to the teeth and tasked with ripping and tearing his way through the armies of Hell. Well, a few days ago that storyline came to an end, as Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods - Part Two launched in quite a surprising manner, giving us the opportunity to grab our Super Shotgun and take the fight right to the Dark Lord's doorstep.
The storyline for The Ancient Gods - Part Two picks up right after the events of The Ancient Gods - Part One, and sees the Slayer travelling throughout three levels, picking up the necessary items to be able to travel to the strangely spectacular city of Immora - where the Dark Lord has retreated to following meeting the Slayer at the end of the first DLC. Passing through The Steppes you'll have to grab a special crystal to be able to open up the Gate of Divum in the Reclaimed Earth, which will then allow you to mount a full scale assault on Immora, to gain an audience with the Dark Lord again.
In general, the storyline is typical Doom, meaning there's a whole bunch of hellish lore to wade through if that's your jam, but if not there are once again plenty of disgusting demons to gun down, chainsaw into tiny pieces, or even smash into meaty pulp with your new Sentinel Hammer Crucible weapon.
This tool is one of the few new additions in this DLC, and it allows you to stun enemies or smash them to pieces when it's charged up. Doing so is simple: get two Glory Kills or pick up one of the Sentinel Hammer consumables around, and then proceed to start slamming like a jacked-up, hatred-fuelled Thor. The Sentinel Hammer is one of the most satisfying tools to wield in Doom Eternal, which I find incredibly difficult to say considering the other company it faces.
While I would say the Hammer might be a little too strong in a lot of cases, you will be thankful that it has been added, especially considering The Ancient Gods - Part Two really doesn't look to waste any time in pitting you against the roughest and toughest demons Hell can muster. From the brand-new Armoured Barons and the Stone Imps, to every other returning foe, including the Blood Maykrs and Spirits from The Ancient Gods - Part One, this expansion is challenging from minute one, but in the refreshing and engaging sense that Doom is known for.
The new enemies are quite interesting and require a new approach to taking them down. Armoured Barons need to have their armour stripped by energy weapons before they can be damaged, and Stone Imps can only be defeated by smashing them with the Hammer or by spraying them down with the full auto Combat Shotgun modification. There are also Cursed Imps to deal with that can only be killed with a Blood Punch, but these are quite uncommon thankfully - as they will afflict you with a damage-over-time status effect until they die if they hit you - and there are Screechers that power up nearby demons significantly and are actually kind of tough to face.
In terms of other new features, there is a new challenge for you to face in the Escalation Encounters. These actually provide upgrades to the Sentinel Hammer when you complete the mandatory first level, with the second level being optional and rewarding a cosmetic for your account. In regard to other new features, you'll also be expected to use the Super Shotgun's Meat Hook as a form of platforming now, as grappling on dedicated points becomes vital to traversing the environment.
Without delving into spoiler territory too much, as you would expect from the conclusion of the Slayer Saga, the DLC does finish with a boss battle against the Dark Lord. This battle has unique mechanics that involves you countering the Dark Lord as he attacks before stunning him with the Hammer to unload lead into his forehead. Granted, being a god and all that, he doesn't exactly die easily and does have several phases to work through, but it isn't exactly all that exciting to do, as the mechanics never develop, the only difference is that more things just pop up around him for you to evade before you look to initiate a damage sequence. It is still, by no means an easy fight to win.
The Ancient Gods - Part Two leaves the future of Doom in a very open state. Yes, this journey is well and truly over, the Slayer is taking a nice long nap as a reward for his efforts, but the chances of a return does seem likely. While it isn't exactly easy to see where the future will take Doomguy, considering how incredible these last two DLCs and the past two base games have been, we hope we get to see more about this vicious character in the coming years.