To say Doom 3
was a divisive game would be a bit of an understatement. On one side, you had people who liked the great graphics, the flashlight vs. gun game play construct, and the level design. On the other side, you had the people who wondered why there wasn’t duct tape to tape the flashlight to your gun, who wowed by the graphics but were quickly bored with the repetitive game play and constant monster closets. I fell somewhere in between. I was entranced by the graphics and environments. I understood the game play mechanism between having the safety of the gun and the visibility of the light but after shooting the 70th imp that spawned behind me the game became more an exercise in tedium than something I was looking forward to playing. So, when the expansion pack showed up in stores, I was a little uncertain of what to expect.
For the expansion pack, id followed their usual pattern of bringing in an outside company to build it. For this go ‘round, they brought in Nerve Software to handle the chore of expanding one of the bigger games of 2004. There’s a famous line about “with great power comes great responsibility” and this is certainly the case as Nerve was handed one of the best engines on the market right now with which to create something special.
The game starts about a year after the original game ended with a marine expeditionary force exploring the ruins of the base from the original game. Quicker than you can say “cacodemon” things go to hell in a hand bag and the gates of hell are unlocked, freeing the crazy scientist from the first game. It’s up to you to seal the gates and save the universe from being overrun by the forces of hell.
The goal of any expansion pack is to extend the original game by adding a host of new levels, some new weapons, and a few extra treats. Resurrection of Evil
fills this bill to the letter. The game adds three new weapons to the arsenal from the first game. The first is the “Artifact” which looks like a human heart and grants you special powers for limited amounts of time during the game. The artifact is charged by pulling out the souls from corpses conveniently located around the game. There’s a good supply of them which is a nice touch since it helps you get through the game.
The second is the double barrel shotgun that should evoke warm fuzzies for anyone who played Doom II
. The double barreled shot gun turns out to be the real star of the game and once you pick it up you won’t want to use any of the other weapons in the game.
The final weapon is the “grabber” which allows you to manipulate things in the environment. You can “grab” barrels, boxes, and even fire and plasma balls thrown at you by the demons. Once you’ve grabbed an item, all you have to do is let go of the trigger and the item is thrown wherever you were looking. Sound a little familiar? The weapon does operate a lot like the gravity gun from Half-Life 2
but with one major exception. You can only hold items for a set period of time before what you are holding is thrown (helpful since the explosive barrels catch fire the minute you pick them up). The result is that while it’s still a lot of fun to move stuff around with the gun, it’s not nearly as much fun as the version in the Valve classic. The weapon takes a bit of getting used to as the weapon to grab and fire back demon energy balls is a bit tricky but satisfying (which is helpful in saving ammo)
The game play hasn’t changed much from the first game. You’re still roaming around the Mars base looking for new ways to open doors and unlock new areas. The PDA system from the first game (you pick up the data files along the way) still does a good job of conveying the plot behind the game. Nerve added a new element where you have to transfer power cells from one area to the next but there really are not a lot of new things to do in the game. Monster closets still abound in the game, almost to the point of being predictable. While the constant monster closets do get a bit old, the game retains the same level of tension from the first game. I will admit that I jumped more than a few times when something teleported in unexpectedly. This is still a game that you’ll want to play late at night with the lights turned off and the sound cranked up.
Graphically the game delivers the amazing visual experience you’d expect from the engine. Nerve did add a few little touches like the ripping air effect when you pick items up with the grabber. There are a few other little touches here but the game still looks as good as ever. While Nerve did a great job designing the levels, I wish there were a few more outside levels so we can see what else the engine can do.
There’s not a lot new in the audio department as all the sounds from the first game were brought over intact (including the tinny machine gun sound). The new sounds are solid though and they did a great job with the sounds for the double barreled shotgun. The grabber and artifact sounds are solid but nothing outstanding.
If you liked Doom 3
, then you’ll love the expansion pack. However, if you felt the game got a bit old and hated the flashlight/gun game play mechanism, there’s nothing new here to win you over. Nerve created a solid expansion pack but I still felt that something was missing. I wish they had pushed the engine a little more and added a more new content to the game.
If you really liked Doom 3, then this is a no-brainer pickup but if you werenâ€™t a huge fan of the original game thereâ€™s a lot here thatâ€™s going to change your mind, especially for how much they are charging for an expansion pack.