Yeah I know, it’s been out for awhile now, but it’s never too late to review Doom III– only one of the most anticipated games of all time (next to Halo 2 and GTA San Andreas). Inside you can find a review for the game that was delayed more times than a NIN album- which is ironic because NIN quit doing the score for the game because it was taking too long (ah the irony).
Doom III Review
Buy it here.
The long awaited DOOM 3 has had fans drooling in anticipation. It’s finally here but does it live up to the hype? Read on to find out.
In the original DOOM games you play as a marine stranded on Mars, battling the forces of hell. DOOM 3 tells the same story from the beginning (which technically makes this a remake and not a sequel). You, a nameless marine of few words, arrive on the UAC’s Mars research facility and quickly receive your orders to head down into the mines to recover a scientist. People stop you on your way down into the gloom who seem a little freaked out and uneasy, half-telling you about strange things going on. You reach your objective – the scientist, but he’s babbling something about the devil existing, just as all hell breaks loose. Literally.
Graphics & Sound
Far and away DOOM 3’s greatest achievement is the visuals. All the characters, monsters, weapons and environment – everything you see is beautifully textured and detailed and then atmospherically drowned in shadows. You’ll constantly have enemies reaching out at you or shooting balls of plasma from the inky blackness. In fact it is so completely dark that more often than not the only way you know there’s someone in the room with you is the groan of the walking dead or the glow of something in the distance getting ready to blow your head off. The darkness is your worst enemy as you are equipped only with a low powered torch which for some inexplicable reason you can’t hold at the same time as your weapon. To make things worse, each time you enter an area which appears to be relatively well lit, power fluxuations soon cause the lights to flicker on and off and usually die completely. This makes for tense gameplay as you have to scour the darkness with your torch, searching corners where a noise has come from, discovering anything from an ambling zombie with half a head to a gigantic doglike creature charging down on you at full speed.
The interactive objects in the game look especially good also, things such as lifts, lockers and computers. You’re not taken onto a separate screen to operate them so you are vulnerable to attack while say trying to enter a code to get into a locker. But even though these interactive objects are in game they don’t suffer graphically. If you are stood watching a video communication on a computer screen it looks like streaming video not a badly superimposed graphic.
The voice acting is excellent and pretty much every character you come across has its own unique voice and something to say, whether it be to you or someone else close by. You will also pick up log discs along your way which are downloaded to your PDA. They will have lengthy audio or video logs on to help progress the story or give you valuable information like access codes for lockers.
DOOM 3 manages to build a lot of tension with its mix of gloomy visuals and atmospheric sounds but after a little while you adjust to quickly swapping between torch and weapon and it becomes clear that DOOM 3 is a fairly straight run-and-gun first person shooter. The action is fast and unrelenting with creatures jumping out from every dark corner, from the ceiling and even up out of the floor, but there’s nothing gameplay-wise to set it out from other similar games. In fact a lot of first person shooters are incorporating the use of vehicles which is missing from DOOM 3 (apart from one monorail ride, if that counts).
As you progress through the game you’ll get bigger and better weapons and they’re generally fun to fire – although they’re all pretty standard: pistol, shotgun, chaingun, rocket launcher and so on. Some new and more interesting weapons wouldn’t have gone astray. One to look out for is the BFG (otherwise known as the Big F*cking Gun). I believe it can only be found in two locations in the entire game. Trust me; you’ll need it towards the end!
The major complaint I have is the PDA which I mentioned earlier. You will have to keep referring to it to read through emails, listen to audio logs or watch video discs. This takes you right out of the game and away from the action, sometimes for long periods of time, which only serves to destroy the atmosphere or let the adrenaline subside. I personally think they should have done away with the PDA and the same information could have been obtained from computer screens you come across throughout the game – therefore not taking you out of the action.
DOOM 3 is the best looking game I have ever played. It’s a very cinematic experience and seems to be a FPS and a movie rolled into one. Unfortunately the FPS side does nothing to distinguish itself from other recent releases which are frankly more fun. Still a very impressive achievement and great fun to play, but doesn’t quite live up to the hype.
7.5 skulls out of 10