register search gameSlave

Doom 3 Review

Doom 3 Box art
Developers:id software
Genre:First person shooter
Multiplayer:Yes, 4 Player Deathmatch
ESRB Rating:Mature (17+)
Reviewer:Craig Dudley (Mani)

Buy Doom3 now at Amazon

Doom3, the most anticipated game for many a year and most definitely the most hyped game in history, does it rock or does it suck? A bit of both in my opinion, you wouldn't expect a gameSlave review to be all positive would you?

For starters lets talk graphics, Doom3 is without doubt gorgeous, it simply looks incredible. However, while being very impressed, I did of course find a few things the moan about.

For one, specular highlighting seems over used, most surfaces are way too shiny creating a strange, almost shrink wrapped look. It really is odd, turning specular highlights off however does make the game look flat, it's a toss up as to which looks better though, about half way between the two would be perfect in my opinion. Still, let's not dwell on it, it doesn't look bad, just a little overdone.

Too Shiny?

I hate spiders.

I can see up your nose!

Ashes to ashes..

Secondly, lighting doesn't look very realistic, as with most iD games, lighting just seems too colourful, not a massive complaint, but it is one of the reason I loved Half-life so much, very natural looking lighting.

We don't score games around here, but despite those two minor personal gripes, doom3 would still get an almost perfect score, it really does raise the bar.

Most new games do tout the use of new physics engines, and Doom3 is no different, the games physics however, don't really live up to my expectations. In most cases things which you would assume should move are fixed, you can't even destroy what look like cardboard boxes with rockets or grenades, a bit disappointing for 'the' next generation engine really. Even the obligatory rag-doll effects aren't that good, zombies fall in some very strange and improbable ways at times, but at least their heads and feet don't stick through walls as with previous generation titles, so it is at least a step forward.

Sound however, is excellent, it's clear, crisp and very convincing, it definitely adds to the experience. As with the games' graphics, sound would again score extremely highly.

The obligatory evil scientist

If you had a mouth,
I'd make you eat my plasma!

Why not more outdoor bits?

The PDA.

Every time I write about a game, I bang on about gameplay, without doubt it's the most important thing, this is where I believe Doom3 really disappoints, it's frankly dull, extremely so at times. Don't get me wrong, the story isn't bad, there just too much of a gap between being told each piece of it. The early levels do have you finding a lot of PDA data pads from your dead colleagues, reading them does give you a fair bit of background and gets you interested to a point, but the frequency of these, and the amount of data each one contains seems to drop off further into the game.

Most of the actual game involves moving in and out of corridors and various small rooms while shooting innumerable imps and zombies, they usually appear from behind a hidden wall after you've passed, which is in my opinion, old hat. Just why does iD insist on using the hidden wall trick so often? What the hell would zombies be doing hiding behind hidden walls anyway. I'm sorry, I just can't relate to it, I thought it was old and boring when used to excess in Quake2, in this day and age you really need to be more imaginative. Or perhaps I'm just jaded, but I do get the 'been there, done that' feeling all the way through the game.

Now and again however, you will come across a small map which is a little different, a few jaunts outside on to the Martian surface, into reactor cores or other places with more open areas, but it simply doesn't happen enough for me. The one exception to this is the Hell level, some stunning level design, fantastic artwork and some really quite fun sections, it's a pity this is only a small section of the game.

Purty lights.

Easy there big fella.


The gates of Hell!

Perhaps the most damming evidence is quite how long it's taking me to play the game through, I simply can't be bothered to load it up, I never thought I'd say that about a Doom game.

Multiplayer also seem like it was very much an afterthought, and as iD stated as much on more than one occasion, I shouldn't really pick too many faults with it, but I will anyway. I had some hope that it would be as smooth and fun as the original Doom games, it's not, it's mostly slow and ponderous with guns which do nowhere near enough damage. It's much more like Quake2 than it is Doom.

I'm sure mod makers will create some fantastic things with the engine however, so it's definitely worth buying Doom III, just don't be expecting a ground breaking gameplay experience, you won't get it.

So, it's conclusion time, In our preview, we surmised that Doom3 would look fantastic but be an average game, I'm very, very sorry to report that I believe we were correct.

Good stuff

  • Graphically amazing
  • Stunning Sound
  • Will undoubtedly spawn lots of cool mods

Not so good stuff

  • Mostly Boring
  • Dull multiplayer

Have your say!