3 Mini Review by Vaughn
shooters like Half Life, Deus Ex and most recently
The Chronicles of Riddick (Xbox) have shown
us that there can be more to the shooter genre
than mindless violence and gore. Id software,
who is responsible for the FPS genre has been
working on the third game in the series for
quite some time and the result is one part impressive,
two parts yawn festival. Visually the game is
bound to stop your heart - if it were 5 years
ago - but come on! There really isn't anything
in Doom 3 that you haven't seen before. Sure
it looks great, but so did Far Cry. Aside from
the graphics (and you better have a monster
PC if you want to see them) Doom 3 fails to
excite in almost every other aspect. The story
is a "re-telling" of the original
Doom which, while fleshed out, doesn't do much
else than give you an excuse to shoot everything
that moves. The scripted events are too overused
and it won't take long before you are expecting
the unexpected and therefore have already anticipated
the next big "BOO!". Doom 3 succeeds
as a mindless shooter that achieves limited
depth through it's useless busy work PDA mechanic,
but after a couple of hours I was just going
through the motions.
3 is finally here and what a wait it's been. I recall
viewing (unplayable) excerpts from this game at E3
more than two years ago. The finished version looks
better than I remember it. In fact it looks better
than most games available now. Only the gameplay may
disappoint fans since it doesn't break any new ground.
Doom 3 is basically a "Best of Doom" with
incredible, state-of-the-art graphics.
may as well address the graphics right off the bat
since they are by far the most prominent feature in
this game. The animation, the physics and the character
models are nothing short of spectacular. I can see
why the developers would want to show the world just
how great the original concept of Doom would be with
more realistic graphics. It's like remaking a classic
song with current sounds and technology.
monsters have incredible presence. Even before they
make an appearance you can almost feel them lurking
around the next corner. Much of the game is dark and
takes place in a maze of corridors. Often you'll either
hear the groans, growls and grunts of the creatures
before you see them. You'll also see their eyes glowing
in the dark. No matter how much you play the game
you'll always feel butterflies in your stomach just
before you encounter a demon.
sizes and shapes are three-dimensional. All of the
creatures are fully realized creations that look straight
out of someone's nightmares. You recognize new takes
on old favorites and meet new gruesome freaks.
are as realistically rendered as possible but they
aren't very interactive and are immune to destruction.
The levels are linear and you'll be guided to areas
where you must interact with specific equipment such
as computers and voice mail to receive information
on pass codes. There are many locked doors you will
need to access as well as locked storage boxes where
you will find various weapons.
the excellent graphics and overall well-balanced control
system, I experienced some seriously disturbing lag
during the online Deathmatch modes. There is no co-op
play offered for Doom. I found the four-player Deathmatch
games to be nothing more than average. Don't buy this
game for the online modes, buy it for the single-player
3 stars you in the role of a space marine investigating
some mysterious happenings in the Mars research station.
Your character comes with no name or history, you
simply inject yourself into the role. All hell breaks
loose in the research center, literally, as the legions
of Hell invade the corridors of the station. Armed
with grenades, shotguns, machine guns and rocket launchers,
you set out to kill every hellspawn that stands in
your way. As every good Doom aficionado knows this
means navigating a maze of corridors where creatures
may attack from anywhere at anytime.
unpredictable as this may sound it actually become
quite predictable. After a stroll down a corridor
an AI will give warning and you will shoot at it.
Seldom will you encounter more than a few creatures
at a time. They follow predictable patters that you
can use to your advantage. Many of the battles take
place at close range making ranged ammunition such
as rocket launchers and grenades a bad choice to use
since it could destroy you as well. Thankfully the
guns are accurate and adequate.
corridors are dark and you don't have much in the
way of illumination. This is the future and they still
haven't invented a battery-less flashlight. Hell,
at least they could have made the batteries last longer.
We make batteries now that would last longer than
it takes to complete this game.
is in short supply so you have to aim more methodically,
which means being less reactionary. This can be a
bit nerve wracking when you're under attack knowing
full well that the less health you have the more the
hits seem to affect you and your recovery time. You
have no special abilities. You can run, duck, jump
and hide but other than the protection offered you
by your armor and weapons you are strictly human and
no match for the beasts you will encounter.
story unfolds slowly but surely as you progress. It
may seem at time like it's going nowhere but things
do get more interesting in the later level of the
game when you start shooting on the monster's home
an effort to make the game more realistic there is
no in-game music, just some sparse ambient sound effects.
Unfortunately the sounds of the weapons are understated.
They don't have the slamming impact that you would
expect would be capable of taking down such sizeable
creatures. There is little in the way of voiceovers,
and even though you will occasionally meet up with
teammates, you will ultimately be forced to go it
alone which adds to the atmosphere of alienation.
you're looking for a good shooter, Doom 3 will not
disappoint. It was the game that wrote the book on
shooters many years ago. It's not particularly innovative
by today's standards, nor is it as scary as games
like Silent Hill and Resident Evil but at least you'll
know what you're getting. Regardless of whether you
like this game or are disappointed that it's too much
like the original, I think we can all agree that this
is the best, and most definitive version of Doom.