Doom 3

Review

posted 8/5/2004 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
So after 11 years and various other games, Doom is now back and back with a vengeance. iD Software has gone back to the basics and re-imagined Doom with an incredible engine providing a pulse pounding experience. Be prepared because Doom 3 is upon us and it is good. Damn good.

I’ll stay away from the story as I think you should be surprised as to how the game unfolds so I’ll concentrate on the graphics and game play. The game starts out like Half Life where you are on business and then things start going to Hell, literally. As with any first person shooter, you’re going from area to area and gunning down any demon spawns on your way. If you’ve seen a few horror movies, then you’ll know what’s going to come, but a lot of times you won’t know when.

Like System Shock 2, you’ll have a PDA to help guide you through the game. Various bits of information from audio bites to emails are stored on the device. Your PDA is your guide and helps provide more of the story at hand. When passing by some terminals, the download to your PDA will automatically initiate. What I do like about listening to recordings on the PDA is that you can put it down and walk around with the audio playing until it’s at the end. Thereby allowing you to continue exploring and listen to vital information without having to have the PDA up.

In the original Doom, you had a use button to interact with doors. Now there are more than doors to use and the interface to use them is a bit different. Various objects in the environment can be manipulated and you can tell which ones are by putting your aiming reticule over it. Once done, it will change to a mouse cursor then you can click to trigger any events the item is tied to. In the beginning, there’s a punching chicken game using the old Doom fist that you can play. Later on you’ll need to punch in codes to unlock doors and lockers. Interacting with various panels will also help fill your PDA with vital information or help you perform an action to get you past a certain obstacle.

As with Far Cry, Doom 3 incorporates a stamina bar so that you can’t run forever. Jumping doesn’t have any affect on the bar however so you can hop til you heart’s content. Other than that, the stamina bar drains as you are darting fireballs while running from imps and replenishes while you are walking or standing still. The game is slower paced than iD Software’s past efforts as you’ll be spending a lot of time taking areas slowly. So running out of stamina isn’t going to be a big factor in this game.

There’s in game cut scenes to help move the story along, nothing is pre-rendered. Sometimes in a swooping camera motion panning around the station like David Fincher’s camera work early on in Panic Room, the cut scenes provide either the story of other characters or key areas that you walk into that need some more explanation You’ll usually see the camera pan back to the back of your head when it’s all said and done and there are a few times where a monster jumps out in the scene and puts you right back into the action just as it makes its appearance causing you to quickly try and fire your weapon even before the cut scene is done.
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