DOOM 3 Review
|Thursday, April 14, 2005
When Doom 3 came out for the PC, it was one of the best games of the time. It was viewed by most, the best PC game available, until the famous and long awaited Half-Life 2 came out. Although HL2 seemed to have swiftly taken Doom 3's thrown, it is not forgotten. Many PC gamers still enjoy playing and talking about the game. However, not everyone in the world has the money to purchase, or build, a top of the line computer, for the best results when playing Doom 3. This is where the Xbox Doom 3 game comes in. If gamers missed out on the PC action, they will now be able to jump into this incredible game on the Xbox console.
In Doom 3 you are a marine and you are reporting to a base on the planet of Mars. You arrive at the Union Aerospace Corporation, which is a research facility located on Mars. The base seems pretty creepy, especially the underground facilities. However, nobody on Mars was able predict what was about to happen. Deep under the surface of Mars, you find a lost worker that is frantically trying to relay a message to the surface. He is scared out of his mined, and soon after a gate to Hell opens in the very room. Tons of demons spill out of the portal and begin taking over the base. The demons are spreading quickly, and you soon learn that you are one of only a few survivors. Now it is up to you to find out how this happened and prevent the spread of the demons.
Like any other first person shooter game, shortly after you arrive on Mars, and before things really go haywire, you are equipped with a standard pistol and armor. As you get a little further into the game you will find a shotgun, which will blow almost anything into pieces, and a machine gun, that has a pretty fast rate of fire. For a good part of the game, these few weapons will be your primary weapons. However, later in the game, you will pick up a few more such as the chain gun, rocket launcher, and even a chainsaw. You can also whack enemies with a your flashlight, trust me, when facing a Imp, or a pink demon, you might as well be poking them with your fingers. Although it might be a little fun to whack a demon over the head with a flashlight, it is much more useful for searching dark areas. You also have the option to punch which you should really only be used if you have no ammunition for any gun, or you are just playing around punching some co-workers or a wall.
Although right now the flashlight may seem pretty useless, it is really extremely helpful through out the entire game. The entire Doom 3 game is filled with darkness. In about every one of the rooms you won't be able to see a good part of it. You can either find out what is in the corner the hard way, by just walking through, or past them, or you can take your flashlight out and search everything before moving forward. For most of the time, the demon will come out, before you will find it. So in most rooms you won't have to use the flashlight. However, when you are using your flashlight you have to be extremely careful because you have to switch back to your firearm quickly if something lunges at you. The overall darkness of the game is one of the many things that makes Doom 3 such an intense and scary game.
Speaking of scary, the demons and other enemies in the game are more than scary. Not only is it the way they look, but the way they move, pop out at you, and attack you will have most people almost falling out of their seats. Near the beginning of the game, you deal with zombies for a little while, which seem pretty scary at first, then Imps, a red demon that hurls fire balls, begins to appear, and as you progress through the game more and more different types of demons begin to appear.
One of your new toys in Doom 3 is your PDA. Your PDA can store email messages, audio messages, and video messages. Also, if someone happens to leave there PDA unattended, either unintentionally, or just because they were eaten by a demon, you can pick their PDA up and gain the information that they had in their PDA. Small things like this in Doom 3 were extremely well done because often you have to search through someone's PDA for the password to a crate, or to learn how to use certain new weapons, or even just to find out some unimportant recent events in the Mars base. For example, on one guy's PDA there is a voice recording and the guy is complaining that his co-workers are idiots. He is wondering how they got hired and then says that they are so dumb that he changed all the pass codes on the storage crates to 123 and the workers still came asking what the codes were a few days later! It would have been much easier for the developers to have the pass code in a simple text email, but the audio message makes the game feel more realistic, gives you more information about the story, and makes you search for the pass code.
The biggest let down of Doom 3's gameplay is that it is really no different from any other first person shooter, in terms of what you do in the game. You do have certain objectives, but most of the time the objectives are to just pass through levels and protect yourself against the demons. In the first few Doom games you could simply run past all the demons, open the door to the exit room, and press the button. Doom 3 is a little more complicated then this, but still not anything different, or that requires different tactics throughout the game.
As you may have already guessed, this game is full of blood, guts, dead people, demons, and bizarre sights. If you are the type that thinks is disgusting when you see someone dead in a video game, blood all over the place, or just all together hate first person shooters because you are killing people, then this game is definitely not for you. I would not even recommend looking through some of the screen shots. However, when you really look at the overall game, Doom 3 is really nothing more than a creepy shooter game.
The graphics of the game are by far the best aspect of Doom 3. Everything from the lighting, to the detail, to the way each room is arranged, is extremely well done. The lighting is by far one of the best among all Xbox games. Although it may seem there is a huge lack of lights in this game, the few that there are, light up the rooms just the way the need to be. There are also a number of lights coming from things such as computer screens, doors, and even the eyes of your enemies. Lighting change is also common throughout the game. If a few demons are about to appear, the music will intensify, and the lights will dim, possibly to the point where you can only see their eyes if they are looking at you.
The detail of textures are excellent, and it looks like a lot of time was put into it. Unlike in most games where there will be a huge surface, and one texture will repeat over and over again, in Doom 3 I have yet to see this occur. However, things such as doors, crates, and other common objects look the same almost every time. Doors are used a lot in Doom 3 to section off levels. There are a few different looking doors, but the texture changes with the size of the door. The small door being the one you see the most you will see that texture hundreds of times throughout the game and it doesn't change. Not that it is ugly, but get gets reparative.
Each room in Doom 3 has its own unique layout. This is one of the best parts of Doom 3 because you will never know what the room looks like, so you won't be able to predict anything and know all the spots to search. The number of rooms per stage is also astonishing. If you are playing on an easy difficulty, a room won't usually take more than a minute average to clear. The rooms are usually filled with objects that you would see in a normal underground facility such as pipes, metal crates, computers, and metal basically everywhere.
Just like the graphics, the audio in Doom 3 helps tremendously to create the scary mood for the game. If you have ever watched scary movies, you know that the sound alone lets you know something is coming, and you are already scared. This is what happens all the time in Doom 3, and the background music is relevant to what is happening in the game. Sound effects also play a huge role in the audio. Often times you will hear something walking or moving around, but you can't see a thing which most of the time is extremely frightening. Sounds such as doors opening, foot steps, and most weapon sounds are very realistic as well. The sound of the game is right up there with its excellent graphics and will have you on the edge of your seat for most of the game.
Although Doom 3 was already starting to die out on the PC after Half-Life 2 came out, that is no reason not to give Doom 3. Doom 3's graphics and audio are superb and is right up there with the top games on the Xbox console. The gameplay is really nothing new, but still fun to play completely through. Without the scary noises, extreme darkness, and evil looking demons, Doom 3 would not be nearly the same. Anyone that enjoys first person shooters will tell you that Doom 3 is one of the best out there. Now that Doom 3 is available on the Xbox, there isn't a reason why you shouldn't give it a spin.
Discuss It in the Forums!