Review : Doom 3 from id Software

Well, finally, after months and months of waiting, Doom 3 has finally been released. I received my copy from two days after the release date. I’ve played all of the previous incarnations of Doom, from the first release of Doom through Ultimate Doom, Doom 2, etc. I think I’ve played all of them through to the last level but no longer remember what’s what.

This Doom is very, very much like the others, the first Doom, in particular. I believe the storyline is essentially the same. You are a marine sent to Mars and are there when all hell breaks loose, literally. When you first arrive on Mars, you are allowed to walk around for awhile and get acquainted with the base, the controls, the graphics, and other items, such as your PDA. Mostly I spent my time goofing off with the many interactive items in the game.

The big difference in this game from other versions is the dramatic improvement in the graphics engine. Everything in the game looks great. I run the game at 1280x1024 resolution with High settings and 2xAA. I get about 18 fps on my machine which has a 2.4 GHz Pentium IV CPU, 2 GB of RAM, and a Radeon 9700 Pro video card. Still, its very playable in the single player version at that speed. Multiplayer is unmanageable at that resolution and setting, even on a broadband connection with only 1 other player. Peters and I fall back to Far Cry when we want to play multiplayer.

The sound is really amazing. There are lots of strange ambient noises and directional sound effects. It really creates a creepy effect, especially after the “event” when everyone in the base is running around screaming. There are numerous video transitions when new enemy types are introduced or when there is a particularly interesting point in the story.

One complaint I have is the general dimness and lack of lighting throughout the game. The majority of the rooms are dark and require a flashlight to navigate and explore. This is simple enough but when the baddies come at you, the flashlight is switched for the weapon. While holding the weapon, you can’t see anything. Luckily some developer out there put together a mod where you can duct tape the flashlight to the end of the shotgun or other weapons. Essentially the light shines wherever you are pointing the gun. It’s nice that you can mod this but id should have thought of it before releasing the game.

Overall, a great game but buy it for the single player game, not for multiplayer. Also, there appear to be multiple ways through the levels so there could be some replay value there as well.