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Doom Eternal vs Animal Crossing: New Horizons – which should you buy?

(Image credit: Future)

The world is a scary place these days, and video games (and any other form of escapism) are incredibly important. That makes it strangely serendipitous that two of the year’s biggest game releases are landing on the same day – Friday, March 20.

Bethesda and id’s Doom Eternal is looking to stomp all over the excellent 2016 reboot of the franchise, while Animal Crossing: New Horizons marks that series’ triumphant return, and the first instalment on the Nintendo Switch.

They couldn't be more different – or, in very different way, more better suited to battling the difficult mood of the times we live in. So, just for fun, we’ve pitted the two against each other in a multi-platform bloodbath. FIGHT!

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Console availability

This is actually pretty simple – while Doom Eternal is coming to the Nintendo Switch, it won’t be launching on the hybrid system until later this year. Ergo, if you’re looking for a Switch game to play, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the game for you.

PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC owners, there’ll be no island paradise for you. You’re ‘stuck’ with the demons of hell, just having to unload all that ammo into their faces. Poor you.

(Image credit: id Software)

Price

As with most Nintendo first-party titles, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a full-priced game that’ll set you back anywhere between $55 and $60 (£45 and £50). On the plus side, many stores are offering nifty pre-order bonuses, like tote bags, keychains, and microfibre cloths.

On the other hand, Doom Eternal can be found for as low as $45/ £35 (particularly on PC), and while there are pre-order bonuses including pin badges and in-game items, the real treasure is a wearable Doomslayer helmet. It’s sold out everywhere we’ve seen, but we’d imagine it’ll pop up on the likes of eBay in the coming days (just please, for the love of Doomguy, don’t put the helmet on if the box has been opened).

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Gameplay

In truth, Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons are diametrically opposed; one has you ripping and tearing through the spawn of hell to save humanity, while the other has you… chopping trees to turn the wood into deckchairs?

Animal Crossing: New Horizons sees your custom character begin a new life in a tropical island paradise, with the possibility of reshaping the landscape as you see fit and settling in to build your very own town, watching it grow season by season.

Doom Eternal is much less wholesome, but offers a blood-spattered battle against all kinds of monsters as the stoic, frankly terrifying, Doomslayer attempts to save not only Earth but the universe from evil.

(Image credit: id Software)

Value for money

In terms of longevity, Doom Eternal puts up a good fight but its Tom Nook that reigns supreme (now there’s a Super Smash Brothers battle we’d like to see).

While Doom Eternal’s almost 20-hour campaign is around double the length of the 2016 reboot (with asymmetrical multiplayer coming at launch that will see players joining the ranks of hell), Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a charming, everlasting gobstopper of a game that will have islanders checking in long into next season, and the season after that, and the season after that.

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Which should you choose?

Whichever game you choose you’ll be getting a stone-cold banger. In our full Animal Crossing: New Horizons review, we awarded the game 4.5 stars and noted that it’s the most gorgeous Animal Crossing title yet, with more to see, do and craft than ever before.

Don’t believe us? The game currently sits at a huge 87% on Metacritic, proving the lure of a tropical island is too good to resist.

If you think that’s a high score, Doom glory-killed its way to a full 5 star score in our Doom Eternal review, charming us with its fast-paced combat, impressive upgrades system, and new tweaks like the burst dash, shotgun meathook, and flamethrower.

With a Metacritic score between 88% and 90% depending on your platform of choice, the game looks to have eclipsed its already excellent predecessor.

So, you can't lose really. Maybe a real crossover is needed – Doom Eternal: Tom Nook Edition, anyone?