Doom 3 has been billed as one of the biggest games of 2004. With a massive fan-base and a huge 4 year development time, John Carmack and the wizards at id software hope to have created something that will rock the gaming world. Indeed, even if Doom3 itself is not the success it hopes to be, the parts which make up the game should live long in the PC gaming world.
Doom3 is a retelling of the original 1993 Doom story. In the original story, you play the part of a Space Marine in the year 2145 who has decided to pay a visit to Phobos, a moon on Mars. However, something's gone very awry on the moon and you're the only one who can save the day by holding back and destroying the Hordes of Hell. The only known change to the story so far is that in Doom 3 you are instead located on Mars itself. However, id are not yet willing to reveal the inner secrets of the game, citing "surprise" as a major factor in how Doom3 will grip its audience.
It is in gripping the audience that Doom 3 will live or die. The idea of a "hell on earth" scenario, created by scientists who were "playing God" is not a new one (it IS a retelling, after all). So id software are going to have to make something pretty damned special in order to get the rave reviews it's hoping for over the coming couple of months. The ace they do have up their sleeves, is head programmer John Carmack. Carmack, who is currently also involved in the race for the X Prize, is the figure head for the company and is the man behind the 3d-engines that make up id's (and others') games.
Doom 3's graphics engine is without doubt the most impressive part of id's plans. Dynamic lighting and complex physics engines have already been done (see FarCry). Bump-mapping, per-pixel hit detection, specular effects...it's all very boring. What you want to know is: will it look good? It will. Undoubtedly it will look sublime.
As sparse as this section is going to look, here are the screenshots which prove why I don't need to write anymore about the graphics.