SummaryNice graphics and atmosphere but in long term rather boring.
The GoodDoom is a legend and this fact is well known to everybody. The long awaited third part should be a legend too. And well in some cases it is. Doom 1 and 2 can be today considered as an ordinary shoot'em up game with little or no story at all. To some extend Doom 3 is also similar. Of course game without ANY story would openly express that the story itself is useless (what we all know after playing single player in Quake and many other games) and it's just a waste of money and time to develop it, so indeed from time to time player sees a monitor or hears a radio transmission saying what to do and what's the current situation. But I guess if someone wants great, complicated story, he should rather get Deus Ex, instead of Doom. I enjoyed the simplicity of this game having in mind those great times of Doom 1 and 2.
Some people complain on brightness in this game (or actually on lack of it). Indeed saying that the game is dark surely wouldn't be enough. Situations which in other games would be only temporal (like malfunction of lights or lack of electricity) here are permanent. Sometimes irritating but most of the time it is the darkness which makes Doom so nice. iD Software dispatched monsters in good places, added (or actually removed) lights to make it look really scary. And scary it is! Turn off your lights, sleep during the day and play during the night to get full view on it. Get nice surround speakers and just feel this game. A flashlight on machine gun (Quake 4 style) would be a good way to reduce the lack of light though.
Few months after the release of Doom 3 it's biggest competitor arrived - Half-life 2. However with its stunning graphics it simply couldn't match Doom 3. Not only models are more detailed and lights are better but in my humble opinion the movement of characters is simply better and more realistic. The drawback is that to enjoy this marvelous views one has to have a marvelous computer.
But coming back to the atmosphere, the game offers some really interesting levels. Fear is what level designers wanted to achieve in user. Screams, bloody signs on walls, some neat cut scenes (such as the one in bathroom in the early moments of the game when player looks at the mirror and hears strange voices etc) all make is rather scary. Actually to me, the game can be divided into three parts. The first one (about 1/2 of the game) is monsters-lurking-behind-every-dark-corner style. Next one (1/4 or less) is the battle in hell. Brings back memories from Painkiller. This part of game scares players with its hellish pits of lava, skulls and signs of evil everywhere (well actually this part isn't that scary). The third one, perhaps the most interesting (1/4 as well) is the end. With rooms covered in blood, decapitated bodies, corridors suddenly changing from lab style to hell style level really is creepy. Exactly the way Doom should look like.
The BadThe game has more or less the same number of pros and cons. For beautiful graphics we have to pay with performance. Comparing to Half-life 2, the speed looks pathetic. In 640x480 with low details Doom 3 is not nice at all and still when encountering even two or three monsters, frame rate drops significantly. Comparing Doom 3 to Painkiller is even more pointless. I am able to play the latter in 1024x768 in high details with about 40-50 fps and Doom 3 in 640x480 in low details with about 30 fps which falls to 10-20 during fight. Of course in this situation Painkiller looks far better than Doom 3. So the cost of nice lights, bump mapping and other fancy things is very high.
Simple story can also be a disadvantage, rarely player can be surprised with something, yet the plot of counselor being seen first evil and then as good seems nice.
Another large problem is that Doom 3 offers no real fun after some time. With almost no multiplayer mode, people can only play single player and that will at some moment simply get boring.
The Bottom LineDoom 3 is good. Continues the saga in proper way. But it is definitely not a perfect way. Nice atmosphere, great graphics and good models is what makes this game great. But remember - no entry with <2MHz processor.