Doom 3 (Xbox) review
"After a lengthy seven year wait, the sixth game in the long running Doom series has arrived. Id Software, Vicarious Visions, and Activision took a long time with Doom 3, but thankfully the quality of the gameplay, scary atmosphere, and gorgeous graphics are worth the wait. Despite some boring multiplayer and lack of originality, Doom 3 still delivers a stellar and horror-filled experience. And like in all the other Doom games, youíll have to fight off thousands of Hell beings. Despite the fact y..."
After a lengthy seven year wait, the sixth game in the long running Doom series has arrived. Id Software, Vicarious Visions, and Activision took a long time with Doom 3, but thankfully the quality of the gameplay, scary atmosphere, and gorgeous graphics are worth the wait. Despite some boring multiplayer and lack of originality, Doom 3 still delivers a stellar and horror-filled experience. And like in all the other Doom games, youíll have to fight off thousands of Hell beings. Despite the fact you can handle endless hordes of them, no one else can kill anything. But how do these demons get in? Of course, itís a mad scientist. And thatís about as complex as the plot gets. Thankfully, it isnít drawn out by lengthy cut-scenes and throws you right back into the action.
Naturally, the gun fights are the most thrilling and satisfying parts of Doom 3. It has a wide selection of weapons such as the pistol, chainsaw, BFG 9K, and Soul Cube. By far the most interesting weapon is the Soul Cube that recharges using dead bodies. After charging, it targets enemies with the most health and kills them instantly, with the exception of bosses who have extremely large quantities of health. All of the weapons fire realistically, and look visually appealing as their bullets tear foes to shreds. The weapons look fantastic and have a distinct pop to them as you unload a clip. But no matter which tool of destruction you use, itís thrilling to listen to an enemy howl in pain.
Although there a large amount of guns, the level variation isnít there. Ninety-nine percent of Doom 3 is composed of linear corridors where you move through them, blowing up any demons in your path. However, thereís the occasional large room that glows with red light. Upon entering a voice from hell taunts you, before tons of enemies, spawn at once. These situations stick out in your head, as youíll be unleashing clip after clip into these foes, and panting afterwards. Yet, these situations are few and far between, causing most of the game to blur together. It doesnít help that the entire game is extremely dark covering the excellent graphical details, and considering the fifteen to twenty hour length, additional level variation wouldíve been nice.
As you roam the corridors, separating each level from the next is a bland loading screen and tons of enemies from Imps to Pinky Beasts. They all feature tantalizing detail like red eyes, multi-colored skin, and sharp teeth. But they arenít very smart and simply charge you. They fail to work as a group, dodge fire, duck for cover, or surround you. They seem incredibly stupid in nature, and are weak. A few bullets or a lick of chainsaw is enough to kill the bulk of the enemies.
But this doesnít prevent Doom 3 from scaring the crap out of you. Every room is filled with demons jumping from nowhere, and excellent use of shadows. After very inch you walk, you get chills down your spine. Youíll hear the vicious growl of enemy, before it walks from the darkness. All this comes on top of light malfunctions and quiet click of your shoes on the hard metal floor. You never know what lies beyond that next door, whether it will be empty or a Hell knight will soon be ripping you apart.
Xbox owners had to wait seven months longer, because Vicarious Visions added a satisfying co-operative mode. The co-op is extremely enjoyable and itís only a partner and yourself blasting through the single-player. It adds more foes and tweaks the dialogue for two marines. Taking down a voracious Hell monster together is a bonding experience. Co-op and the specifications of your PC are the largest differences between the two versions.
Unfortunately, the enjoyable single-player is countered by a flat multiplayer. Even though the series is renowned for great multiplayer, all Doom 3 has is basic deathmatch and capture the flag, with no other variants to keep you intrigued. The limited variants, custom options, and character models further water-down the experience. It does feature identical content from the PC version, but it was also a disappointment. Nevertheless, with shooters like Halo 2 and Battlefront II out, donít expect to find many people playing Doom 3.
If youíre one of the many who believe graphics are crucial to a gameís success, then Doom 3 is your best friend. Every inch is detailed by shadow effects, flickering lights, and astounding enemy models. However if you like amazing gameplay and multiplayer youíll have to look elsewhere. Even the scary atmosphere and satisfying gun fights can make up for the bland A.I. and lack of any level design. Still if you like being terrified and putting Hell in its place, pick up Doom 3.
Community review by ghostyghost (August 27, 2006)
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