Doom Eternal versus Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Bethesda/Nintendo)

What a week. At least today saw the release of two massive games, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal so whether you need ultraviolence or a virtual vacation, you have something new to play. We asked our team which of the two they'd be hunkering down with, and you can see the answers below. Let us know if you agree.

This is the latest in a series of big questions we'll be interrogating our writers with, so share your answers and suggestions for topics with us on Twitter.  

Animal Crossing. Yes, still 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

I've been reviewing Animal Crossing: New Horizons for a month now and I'm already feeling #blessed. Playing New Horizons is just part of my day now, I play it with breakfast, while the kettle is boiling, to distract me from the bleakness of current news. It's an instant getaway, and is just the best thing for drowning out the rest of the world for a minute or six hours. There's always something to faff about with, and blends nicely with the fact I can just watch my partner play Doom while I plant more flowers. Bliss. Sam Loveridge

Doom, because the island leaves me cold 

(Image credit: Bethesda)

You can discount my answer from the get-go if you disagree with this statement: I don't get Animal Crossing. I don't begrudge the legions of fans who are packing their bags for cute capitalist adventures with Tom Crook Nook, nor the pleasure it gives them. It's just I've tried to play it in the past and I got nothing out of it. No charming stories of bonding with villagers. No immaculately furnished house. Just the sense that I was trapped in a time sink for the few hours I could muster.

More importantly, I'm ready for Doom. I need the sort of unapologetically loud, brash, and fast demon bashing in my life right now. Give me that heart-rate raising, giblet-spraying, heavy metal combat right now. The fires of Hell need to be extinguished, and I'll take that over a racoon (Tanuki? Whatever he is, he's a shill) who makes most landlords look positively charitable by comparison. Ben Tyrer  

Animal Crossing, solely because my damn partner won't play it 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

We're stuck inside a very small apartment right now, and all my partner wants to do is play Doom Eternal. It's all he talks about, it's all he thinks about, and we're already having trouble balancing the Xbox play equally between us - and that's before I'll let him step into Doomguy's crop top. So sure, I'm very excited about Doom Eternal and have been enjoying my time with it thus far, but as soon as I get my Animal Crossing: New Horizons delivery (which is still scheduled for tomorrow, please Daddy Bezos give me this one thing and I'll stop subtweeting you for one whole day), I can sit in the corner of my room, roughly two feet away from my love, and ignore him completely. I've actually never played an Animal Crossing game, but I've been indoctrinated by my fellow GR+ staff, so I think you can safely consider me a village zealot. My partner has absolutely no desire to play the game, so he can jog right the hell on. With love, Alyssa Mercante 

Bedgrudgingly, both 

(Image credit: Bethesda/Nintendo)

Doom’s unique brand of pulsating, kinetic killing would, on any other day, be my choice in the Doom Crossing Wars. It looks like it has everything I want from a sequel: bigger, better, and buckets more blood. Still, Animal Crossing’s community focus is undeniably tempting, and probably will pull me in at some point over the weekend. So, I’m calling a truce. 

Even though I’m a Doom guy through and through, I can’t deny that the sheer enthusiasm from Animal Crossing fans has been genuinely fantastic to see and I'm excited for both. 

Sure, I’d rather be disemboweling demons and force-feeding them their organs instead of owing a wheelbarrow’s worth of bells to #TomNookTheCrook but, in these trying times, you need to find enjoyment where you can get it. Even if that enjoyment is a tad too twee for my tastes. Besides, an island getaway sounds pretty good right now. Bradley Russell 

Doom, one hundred percent - just not quite yet 

(Image credit: Bethesda)

This is an easy one and has to be Doom for me. But, also, who am I kidding? I'm not picking up a game on its release day or week! I'm too busy catching up on games from years ago to be contemporary and relevant in this conversation. Nonetheless, a fast-paced, mostly-ridiculous first-person shooter taking place in a fiery hellscape; smashing up Demon's faces and tearing them apart; and matching all that aggression to a Mick Gordon metal soundtrack would be an ideal distraction from the real world right now. To compound and confirm my choice, like Ben T, I just do not get The Baffling Animal Game. Look, I just...don't really...I mean...all that the...just, what?! I really don't get it. (Nor do I have a Switch or really care for Nintendo's games, on the whole, soooo *grimacing emoji*) So you guys can stick to that, I'll take Doom Eternal - just in a while when I can pick it up, add it to the backlog and continue that whole cycle. It might be my game of 2022; in the same way 2016 Doom is only finding itself on my to-play-imminently-list now. Rob Dwiar 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons all day everyday 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

I feel the need to preface this by saying I do actually like Doom. I'll no doubt dive into some demon slaying action in Hell at some point, but when push comes to shove, Animal Crossing: New Horizons easily wins this particular fight for me. I've been waiting for a new Animal Crossing game for YEARS. From those blissfully simple days of catching fish on my GameCube - and even desperately trying pull every trick in the book to stay off school just so I could play it more (sorry, Mum) - to dipping back into its mellow world on my 3DS, Animal Crossing has been a constant presence in my life. Playing it is like being wrapped up in a safe cosy blanket, and it's something I need now more than ever. I can hardly wait to be reunited with all of my adorable friends. Sorry, Doomguy - I'm firmly on team Isabelle. Heather Wald 

Doom, and it's not even close  

(Image credit: Bethesda)

I've been hungry for Doom Eternal ever since I first played at a pre-E3 event in 2019, and no amount of adorable island hijinks will stop me from ripping and tearing through it as soon as possible. I thoroughly enjoyed Doom (2016) but it always felt lacking in a few key areas, and Doom Eternal has fixed basically every issue I had while cranking the already stellar action bits to 11. Combat is more dynamic thanks to a revamped resource system, demons are smarter and more varied, and levels are much more creative thanks to new verticality and expanded movement systems. Besides, I'm just coming off some big JRPGs, and I'm about to head into another with Persona 5 Royal, so I could really go for a straightforward shooter right now. I may play Animal Crossing: New Horizons at some point - and that's a pretty big may, because I tend to get bored with sandbox-style games - but only after a few thousand glory kills. Austin Wood 

Animal Crossing, because it's a lifestyle change 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The first time I played Animal Crossing on GameCube, it was a rental from Blockbuster video. How do you play a game with a real-world schedule on the timetable of a week-long rental? By giving Blockbuster a lot of money until you finally convince your parents to just buy a copy, it turns out. I put dozens of hours into the first Animal Crossing, and after skipping Wild World and City Folk, I nearly did the same for New Leaf. Then I got tired of farming bugs on the island to make bells and dropped it like a bad habit. I've grown as a person since then, and it sounds like Animal Crossing has done some self-reflection too (honestly, I'm most excited about the changes to inventories and wardrobes). I want to play Doom Eternal, but I know I'll roll through the campaign in a week or so then move on. I'm ready to commit to Animal Crossing again. Connor Sheridan

Doom. Because I have couches and a house in real life  

(Image credit: Bethesda)

I don’t know what it is about Animal Crossing that’s just a big... [shrugs] from me. I play loads of games like Stardew Valley, Don’t Starve, No Man’s Sky, etc - big grindy, slightly aimless games where progressing and ‘getting things’ is pretty much all there is to it. But something about Animal Crossing’s mundane furniture ambitions seems bizarre. Buying a pretend table just doesn't do it for me. Froggy Chair as a meme, I can get behind. Something that takes a day of fishing to earn, less so. I bought an actual real-life washing machine in 2015 and I still resent it. I play games to escape money worries and crushing consumerist angst and what I’m really trying to say here is Doom. Give me a chainsaw and shotgun and a planet full of demons and I can stop thinking about all the other things I could have spent that washing machine money on. Leon Hurley

Both? Neither? I have no dog in this fight 

(Image credit: Disney)

As someone with no history or particularly love for either franchise, my loyalties in the Doom/Animal Crossing debate are as superfluous and vulnerable to last-minute volatility as Tom Nook's interest rates. Perhaps this is a good thing. Unclouded by fandom or nostalgia,  I can see the relative appeals and imperfections of both, and can thus make a more informed decision. Who am I kidding? I probably won't buy either one of them, not least because the state of economy has escalated my miser status to DEFCON 5. I wish the best for both games and their respective communities, but I'll have to abstain from this particular vote, on the grounds of personal neutrality. Now, if you don't mind me, I'm going to go and grumble in a corner about the fact that The Last of Us 2, Watch Dogs Legion, and Dying Light 2 aren't preoccupying my time right now instead. Alex Avard 

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Rachel Weber
Managing Editor, US

Rachel Weber is the US Managing Editor of GamesRadar+ and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She joined GamesRadar+ in 2017, revitalizing the news coverage and building new processes and strategies for the US team.