The Ancient Gods Part 2 is more than just a 3-4-hour draw-and-quarter session, though, because you get one useful new tool to help turn the tide back in your favor. The Sentinel Hammer is a powerup that will stun any heavy enemies nearby, and flat-out annihilate smaller ones. It plays a key role in Part 2’s climactic fights, and it’s a natural fit amongst the Doom Eternal arsenal. Speaking of which, it surprised me a little that this expansion’s final boss battle isn’t its hardest fight. Sure, the duel is tough, but if you’ve fought Marauders before (and by this point, of course, you have), then you’ll already know what to do.
The Ancient Gods Part 2’s other smart new layer is its two-tiered Escalation Encounters. Completing the first wave of these combat crunches is mandatory, and you’ll be given a permanent reward for it – such as earning an upgrade to your Sentinel Hammer. From there you can move on with the campaign, if you like, but if you go back in for the second, more difficult round, you’ll net an even bigger bounty. It’s a more organically implemented version of Eternal’s Slayer Gate challenges.Finally, I liked how the UI has been intelligently tweaked to put small icons on your reticule to tell you how many of each powerup you have available. They’re small enough to be unobtrusive but right there in the heat of combat when you need them.