Originally posted August 25, 2004.
The game starts off great. You land in an army base and are allowed to walk around and talk to everyone. It really does feel like the real thing as there are various people all doing their own shit. You walk past groups of people in mid conversation and come across different guys walking around doing nothing; it‘s just like real life! The actual gameplay kicks off in a badass fury that makes you think this game is going to be awesome…
Unfortunately the game is just not very fun; there is no real variety. You enter a poorly lit room, then you shoot some guys and a few weird alien things, search for treasure, and move on to do it again. Sure you can read some emails and listen to a few audio logs (“Jim Speezman, Chief of Head Logical Checking Nova Waves. I had a sandwich today, it was nice. Also there is a big scratch on the super important wave making blue thing, they should really fix that. I tell ya, this place is really going to HELL. LOL!”) but the bulk of the game is spent shooting people. While that does sound like every shooting game ever, Doom 3 just feels hollow. You just aim and hit the mouse button. See a guy, shoot him a few times, he falls. See another guy, shoot him, he dies. You can also try and move around the area but most of the time you have to fight in such a small room that it really makes no difference. No strategy is needed, just bust in and blow everyone away. There is nothing here that makes you want to keep going, there is nothing really here that hasn’t been done before (and better). After playing the game for about an hour you have done everything you are going to do.
Much like the gameplay, the story starts off decent then just falls apart. They built a solid foundation but never improved on it. There are two guys who are running around doing things while the oh so crazy crazy scientist is off cooking up some no doubt zany scheme while you try and find survivors by never speaking. The story is filled with a bunch of stupid people you don’t give a shit about. I don’t give a fuck about meeting up with the alphabits squad, I’m doing just fine as is. Oh no, some guys are doing something! Nothing worth your time. Where ID really fucked up is the audio logs. Like I said up there, you come across audio logs left by crew members; they are mostly boring reports of the various problems the base was having before it went to shit. These are all lame as fuck and only slow the game down when you are forced to listen to one of them in order to obtain a code for a locker. In System Shock 2, you came across a variety of different audio logs; some were simple reports while others were crazy recordings of a madman or brutal slaying. And they were scary as fuck. The logs here could be played during your Monday meeting and the boss wouldn’t even catch on. Yeah I know most people don’t really buy these games for their storylines, but when you have bland gameplay there has to be a reason for me to walk into the 343rd dark room in a row.
The game does look good though. I have a P4 2.8 with 512 megs of RAM and an ATI Radeon 9200 video card and I was able to get some good looking graphics out of the game. On medium quality with a resolution of 1152×864 the game looked good but did stutter a bit when there was more than 2 people on screen. The game moved a lot better on 800×600 however I played it on the lowest resolution (I forget what it is exactly) with high quality the game ran really well and looked good. It never even approached the quality of the screenshots you have seen but it did look good enough to me.
The weapons here are the same ones in every other game ever. You can’t really expect something different, there are only so many things one could make. Much like the earlier Doom games, once you get the next weapon up the previous one becomes obsolete. Also, you don’t have any alternate fire or even the ability to smash people with the butt-end of your weapon. All of this really makes the weapons in the game boring as fuck. All the little other things, like sound and presentation, are all done well.
Overall the game is decent. It’s not the end all be all of games but is an alright way to kill a few hours. If you like shooting a few things over and over and over again this game is for you. I would suggest you pay no more than $30 for the game.
Verdict: Way back when this game would be great, but right now it has a different fate. With Half Life and Halo on their way, Deus Ex and Farcry out today, was the game worth the wait? No way.