Doom 3 is competent, but simply not up to par
What can I say about Doom
? Its easily one of the best shooters ever and revolutionized the industry. Every PC gamer worth his or her salt has played Doom, so I don't think I need say anymore.
When Doom 3 first came out, our eyes popped out of our sockets. Then again, that is what ID has always been good it. Each new engine they pop out looks incredible and has some new graphical feature never featured in a game before. In Doom 3's case, its new technical marvel was "Unified lighting," essentially a trick that means every square inch will have a realistic shadow with constant real time alteration and realistic flow. The game looked great, and even now despite the age the lighting is incredible.
Gameplay, for better of for worse, isn't changed much from the old Doom games. Its pretty straight forward stuff: You have a gun. Satan just haphazardly dumped a bunch of demons from his evil bucket o' monsters and with your trusty gun you are going to put those demons back in the bucket, but when they go home they'll be twisted flesh and full of holes. The game does use a more directed level design to make the UAC complex seem like a real place and it does work out, while there are majour problems (more on that later) with this world there are various things strewn about them that will catch your attention assuming you are into science and as a nerdy science geek I was pleased to stop occasionally and stare at some cool scientific doohickey and listen to some surprisingly logical and believable machines.
While I can't say much about the monsters as they are mostly run of the mill, I can say this: The new PinkyDemon design kicks ass. Y'know, those pink dudes with the giant head that liked to bite your ass off? Well, they're a bit different in Doom 3 and their design is creative and cool. I really enjoyed it, because their design really fits the whole "Demonic flesh mingling with future tech" theme that has always permeated the Doom universe. Plus, their mechanical legs justify why they were so friggen' fast despite their physically strange bodies in the old games. The Pinky's in Doom 3 have become one of my all time favourite game monsters.
Betruger is damn creepy and is a good villain, even though it would've been nice to see his motif for opening the gates of hell and how he got so many demonic powers.
Although it doesn't last long, the games trip to hell is memorable and a majour mind f**k, and really breaks up the monotony for a little bit because of how trippy, sinister, and scary it is.
The plasma rifle is still awesome, same with the BFG ^^
The problem with Doom 3, is that while it is a competent shooter and it does have the simplistic style of its elder games, the game tries too hard to be scary. If a game is truly scary, a slow pace and building atmosphere will be forgiven because you will be so deep in the game your heart will palpitate and you will dread the time that a monster finally comes. While there are a few good creep out moments in Doom 3 and when the atmosphere does thicken, it is done well, but all in all the game simply isn't scary which means that the slow pace isn't justified and ends up making the game sometimes dreadfully boring.
The game tries to mix two types of horror: Haunted house horror and System Shock
horror. Both fail. The haunted house effect works once or twice with something jumping out of the shadows, but then you'll find it happening every second and you'll often stare at a wall with your finger on the trigger and the second the monster jumps you'll have already fed it a healthy dose of shell pellets because you knew where it was going to jump from.
The System Shock horror doesn't work because the audio logs/emails are often stupid and cliche thanks to bad writing and bad voice acting. It bogs the game down, and unless you like taking naps when playing video games, you'll grow tired of it and the worst part is that sometimes you can't progress unless you listen or read all of the logs.
The sound design is awful. Imps make sounds ripped directly from "Aliens," and various monsters make silly or strange sounds that aren't scary. The worst of them all though are the guns. The pistol sounds like a wet fart. The shotgun makes this wimpy little "Poof" noise which is quickly drowned out by a tinny "Thunk" sound effect as the shells hit the wall. They all sound weak, and save for the chainsaw, bfg, and plasma rifle all the weapons are extremely passe and not very interesting nor fun to use. There's no music, and save for a few creepy ghost sound effects the game sounds lame.
The graphics may be great technically, but the artistic department is lacking. Doom 3 suffers from a severe case of Browninitis. Maybe its because its related to Quake
, and Quake has always had the illness, but this is one of the worst cases of Browninitis ever seen and after this games release Browninitis became much more common and is practically a plague.
The multiplayer is dull. Out of the box only four players can play. Are you bloody serious? 4 players? ID, if you did that just to try and be nostalgic and make an exact remake of the original Doom's multiplayer.. congratulations! You are extremely thick. I mean, OUCH. Doom only supported 4 players because it was the first shooter to support multiplayer, so of course it was limited, but almost every game after it has supported more than 4! Quake alone had 16 players which was revolutionary, and 4 is pathetic! Maps are small and cramped, and save for Edge 2, none are really worth playing.
There's only one Hell level, and its short :( Also, congrats on making the cyberdemon, one of the most feared and twisted monster badasses to appear in a video game a complete and total wimp. Hes big, he looks scary, but throw a cube at him 4 times and he explodes. If you tried to throw a stupid cube at the original cyberdemon, he'd shove that rocket launcher so far up your ass you'd split in half!
No Co-op. Co-op would've really livened the game up. Co-op in Doom was always chaotic, stupid fun. Hopping around shooting bullets and trying to out do each other in demon slaughtering was always good, mindless fun that really brought more reason to replay Doom's single player. Co-op could've helped Doom 3; big time.
The Bottom Line
So yeah, Doom 3. A disappointing reboot of the franchise. That's not to say its awful, it is competent and at times fun, but it has no replay value and if you've played through it once you've seen everything it has to offer. It focuses on horror, something its not particularly good at, instead of action and this makes it often dull, boring, and repetitive. It has its moments and is fun in short bursts, but simply cannot live up to the legendary Doom name.