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Game Review: Doom 3
This review may contain spoilers.
(This review's a little late, because I decided
to finish the game before I began writing about it. So chances
are, you've already read all of the good reviews.)
Doom 3, folks. It's finally here. After years of anticipation, I have the game's box in my
hands. My precious.
Of course, the most impressive thing about Doom 3 is its
graphics. Every creature is bump-mapped and chock full of details.
Every creature and object casts a shadow. Almost everything is
covered with blood (which is fairly realistic).
The Hell Knight actually has saliva dripping from its jaw, as seen
on the game's box cover. I'm quite impressed by graphical drool, and I'm only at the medium to low detail setting. I may
indeed joyously hoot like a monkey if I were to see the high or
detail graphics in action.
I could spend all day discussing
graphics, but let's just say that this is one of the best-looking
games you or I have ever seen (as of August 2004). We'll save a lot of time that
A lot of attention has been paid to the way sounds work in the
game. Ghostly voices will whisper in your ear "Come this
way" and you'll be able to follow them using the magic of
stereo and/or Surround Sound. If you hear a spawning noise and
monstrous hissing coming from your left speaker, chances are that
a demon is spawning to your left. But sometimes, that clicking
noise is just the clanking of machinery. And the ghostly howls in
the background are
not always an immediate threat (although they definitely add to the
The Doom 3 Theme song rocks, by the way. You may
want to listen to it at least once.
A lot of the levels
intentionally hint at color and design schemes from the original
Doom. For example, the doors and
stairs in some areas are
definitely reminiscent of
the first Doom game.
The majority of the action takes place indoors, in the dark. Most of
the hallways are cramped, without much room to dodge. This can be
frustrating. I mean, I can dodge a fireball just as well as any
other red-blooded American, but it's kinda hard to do when you're
tripping over all the crates and barrels that are left lying
around (That last screenshot is actually a bad example of a
cramped hallway. Just trust me when I say that the halls are often
There are a
few small outdoor areas, but you are rushed through them. Once you
step outside the airlock, you begin to run out of oxygen (It's
Mars, by the way), so you
have to hurry to the next airlock. I would personally like to
spend more time outside, taking in the beautiful Martian scenery,
but no. I have to crawl around in a dark, cramped maintenance
shaft filled with zombies and demons and giant dragonflies with
Doom 3 is scary, and it delights in being scary.
The game's maps have a tendency to re-route you to the darkest,
spookiest areas (Half-Life pulled this shit as well). Let's say you have to get from point A to point
B. Normally, you'd just cross a bridge. But oh no, the bridge is
out. Now you'll have to crawl through this maintenance shaft filled
with spiders, except they're not spiders, they're upside-down
skulls with spider legs holy shit. There is a huge spider/skulls theme in
this game, by the way. Anyway, sometimes I look at the darkness
ahead, shaking my head, honestly thinking to myself "I really don't want to go in
there. There are monsters in there". But durrrrr, I walk
Maybe I'm not wanted here.
You have all of the traditional Doom weapons: the fists,
chainsaw, pistol, shotgun, chaingun, plasma gun, rocket launcher
and the wondrous BFG-9000. There's also the Doom 3 addition of a
regular machine gun and hand grenades. Finally, there's an item
called a Soul Cube which can kill even the most powerful monsters.
And the Doom 3 marine is badass enough to carry all of these
weapons at once.
With no sunshine and hardly any overhead lighting, one of the main
necessities in Doom 3 is a flashlight.
A lot of people have complained about this. You see, you can't use the
flashlight and a weapon at the same time (and the flashlight is
pretty useless as a melee weapon). Some have suggested duct-taping
a flashlight to a weapon. As a matter of fact, some of the first
mods for Doom 3 have been "duct-tape mods" where a
flashlight is taped to a pistol or machine gun. It would get
pretty tiring for the Doom marine to tape flashlights to every
weapon in his vast inventory, so here's my solution: A miner's
helmet. You know, a helmet, with a light in it? Mod-designers - get to work.
In id Software's defense, the
flashlight/weapon-swapping does add a lot of tension, and it does
make you feel like you're fumbling around in the dark for your
weapon at the last minute. It really keeps you on your toes, but
it definitely would not be realistic or practical in the real world. Most
normal humans would
do the miner's hat thing, use some duct-tape, or at least tuck the
flashlight under his arm. Even carrying a flashlight in your teeth
might work, but it might look kinda gay, and possibly chip your
teeth. As far as game controls go, I've patched Flashlight
Toggle to my middle mouse button (instead of Zoom) so I have
quick access to my most recent weapon. This would work if I
weren't clumsy. I often accidentally scroll to fists or pistol by
accident, instead of pressing squarely down on the button.
The game starts you out slowly by
throwing a couple of good-old-fashioned zombies at you here and there. No big deal.
They can be taken down with a couple of headshots from your
Once they introduce you to new-and-improved Imp, however,
you are hosed. Imps can leap off walls at you, and they can dive
at you quickly - almost as fast as a bullet. They like to wait for
you behind closed doors. Once you open the door, they will pounce
Demons are back, and they're maybe 3 times larger
than before. They like to run straight at you and make you run
backwards - Just like in the first Doom game.
I don't believe we'll see any Cacodemons in this
game, but (what appears to be) Doom II's Pain
Elemental is here,
and is a royal pain in the ass (Now that I think about, I
guess he is actually supposed to be a Cacodemon. He just has more eyes
and is a different color than the original).
Doom II's Revenant is
also here. He's a skeleton.
With rocket launchers on his shoulders. That mewls at you like a
pitch-shifted kitty-cat. "MAROOOOOOOOWWWWL!" came the horrid
the evil Revenant. "MEEEOOOOOWWWW".
I don't want to spoil everything for you, so
I'll just say that there are many more enemies in the game, and
they all want you dead.
When you are hit by an enemy, the screen blurs,
and your aim is thrown off. This is a good way to make you feel
It's set up in such a way where the game is very
addictive. I've spent a lot of time, playing in the dark, thinking
to myself "Just one more monster. Then I'll go to
sleep." I haven't had this much fun playing a game late at
night since Dungeon Keeper.
You will NEVER see a monster before it sees you in
this game, and it can get frustrating. You can shine your
flashlight ahead of you, looking for monsters that may be hiding
in shadows, but you'll never find them because they're hiding in
the fucking WALLS! And those spider/skull things hide in small
gaps in the wall. Monsters have a habit of setting traps for you,
much like the first Doom game. You pick up a little ammo, or a
piece of armor, and every demon and his mentally-handicapped brother is on your ass.
Sometimes, it's just not worth it to pick up that health.
The monsters pretty much tend to jump out (just to scare you) then run at
you quickly, throwing fireballs or whatever. That's not very
bright, especially since I'm carrying maybe 2000 lbs of weapons
and ammo. A few of the armed zombies are actually intelligent enough to
duck behind a crate or wall when you shoot at them, but that's
about as smart as they get.
It gets a little repetitive to have every enemy
pop out and surprise you, but it can be a thrill at times.
Occasionally, I'd actually jump in my chair, and I'd point at the screen, "Oh, you got me that
time, Mr. Evil Demon #2046! I didn't see that one coming!"
It's like saying "gg" after a game of Halo, except the
monster doesn't call you a "n00b bitch lol". You have to
commend your opponents, even if they're artificial.
I have a P4 1.7 GHZ machine with 512 MB of RAM
and a GeForce FX 5200 video card, and this is the bare minimum for
this game. I unfortunately play the game at low video quality
minus a few special effects, and my framerate is still pretty
skippy, and nearly unplayable once a bunch of monsters are on the
screen throwing fireballs (I downloaded new nVidia drivers, which
improves the framerate somewhat, but it's still pretty slow on my
machine). This isn't id's fault. It's mine. I
should've gotten a new computer. They hit me because I deserve it.
No. I fell. Every time Id comes out with a new game, I've had to
upgrade my computer, but it's always been worth it.
The first Pink Demon breaks a 2nd floor
railing to get at you. That's dedication. It's also the kind of
thing that makes you say "Uh oh".
I was laughing my ass off when I finally got
the chainsaw and began hacking up zombies. I was overwhelmed
with joy. It was a nostalgic, glorious moment, where 1994 and
The main villain's voice SCREAMS laughter at
you as he destroys objects in your path. This frightened me
Later in the game, I was taunted by the voice
of the main villain. He told me "Death will not be the
end for you. Your soul will forever burn in Hell." That
may not be an exact quote, but I remember thinking
"That's just not very nice."
I saw the Cyberdemon. Wow.
- I find it really cool and creepy when the Imps crawl around on
the ceiling and walls. On occasion, they even crawl around on windows.
That's just disgusting. I mean, what is
I really enjoyed this game. If you want to learn more, freaking buy it already! Doom 3, despite its
very few flaws,
My rating: Five pentagrams out of 5.