Sunday July 3, 2005 7:20 pm
Doom 3 Xbox Review
The computer game Doom is one of the most important events in 3d computer graphics and it was instrumental in creating a demand for 3d games that eventually lead to the development of the Playstation, 3d accelerator cards and Direct X. So the development of Doom 3 is not and easy task to take on. This is made of course by iD Software the game company that is directly responsible for the creation and popularization of the first person shooter concept.
The story is sort of a prequel to the first Doom game. It is set on a scientific research facility on Mars where you play an anonymous space marine after the mad scientists create a horrible experiment that results in a demons from Hell to take over the station. You have to navigate through the industrial maze while shooting zombies and demons. One of the problems is that the original Doom and Doom II were so imitated that when a sequel comes out it is easy to dismiss as derivative of the games that came after Doom II. This game’s graphic engine was designed to push the beefiest computers to the breaking point. The design of the bad guys are not that inspiring but the graphics are wondrous and creepy.
Lighting plays a major part of the game since there is very bad lighting in the future Martian demonic apocalypse and our hero does not have the mental ability to duck tape the flash light to his gun. For a lot of the time in the game you are exploring a dark environment but you can’t have a flash light up at the same time as your weapon. You have to switch from your flash light to your shot gun in a moments notice and quite literally take a shot in the dark. This may be too moody but it really adds to the whole feeling of being in a sci-fi horror movie. While the demon spawn have no problem what so ever seeing in the dark figuring out what exactly to shoot in the darkness can be quite an undertaking.
Rather than dealing with keys you search for the PDAs of the fallen to dig out information and key clearances to navigate to the next level.
Doom was sort of a horror survival game before Resident Evil but the massive graphical upgrade in this game helps to create an in-depth feel an can really cause you to jump if you play the game alone in the dark. There is not a lot of ammo and you have to make sure that your shots really count.
There is on-line network gameplay via Xbox Live but it is more based on cooperative gameplay than standard death matches. That is pretty cool and I am glad that they tried something different than yet another on line death match. This is more a single person storyline than an on line game and the cooperative gameplay builds on that.
The Xbox port is quite remarkable in that they we able to port it to the existing Xbox hardware. Just think about the fact that you can play this game on a $150 Xbox and have the same graphical experience as a $3000 tricked out PC. This is not the most though provoking games out there but it delivers lots of lower brain adrenaline spikes and it feels like good old Doom for the 21st century.
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