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Gryph

[8/17/04] Doom III

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Game: Doom III

Genre: First Person Shooter / Survival Horror

System: PC: Windows (XP/2000 only), Linux and Mac (being worked on); XBOX (not yet released)

Released: August 2004

 

The latest game by legendary game studio id Software has finally been released to millions of eager fans after 4 years of development. Was the 4 year wait worth it? Keep reading to find out.

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The game starts out with you, a marine, exiting a ship that just landed at the Union Aerospace Corporation Mars base. After receiving your PDA when you register with the front desk, you are told to report to your superior officer for a mission. As you walk around you’ll notice how everything looks authentic and you feel like you are actually on a Mars base. Your first mission is to find this missing scientist. On the way you are issued your first firearm, a pistol, and one of the most important items in the game, a flashlight. This first mission acts as a tutorial for the player to get accustomed to the environment. When you find the missing scientist, all Hell breaks loose, that’s when the game really starts and you have to fight for your survival and send those demons back to Hell.

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I’ll start by commenting on the most obvious aspect of this game, the graphics. Hot damn they are great, definitely the best I have ever seen in a video game. I played the game on both Low and High settings and they both looked very good. Of course that’s assuming you can actually see the graphics because this game is dark, very very dark. So dark that I had to invoke the console and bump the gamma up to 1.4. It made everything much better without ruining any of the atmosphere. Even after doing that the game is dark, but it looks more realistic and pleasing to the eye. The character models are marvelous though the humans have a pasty plastic look to them. However, the enemies look fantastic and are definitely very scary. What’s surprising is that these models don’t have that high of a polygonal count but they have very detailed textures which gives them that look of awesomeness. I was extremely pleased with all of the enemies and think id did a wonderful job at updating the classics and making them fit in this updated Doom universe. The gaming world is no less stunning. Every texture emits atmosphere because nothing looks out of place. The bump mapping on the environment is great and makes the world much more believable and enriching. But where this game really shines is in the dynamic lighting. The shadows in this game really tie everything together and give this game that extra boost of atmosphere. This game would not feel so claustrophobic or terrifying if it weren’t for the clever use of the lighting and shadows. One thing I noticed in this game that I don’t ever remember coming across any clipping. I’m sure there is some but I didn’t come across any which is a great thing.

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The physics in this game is well done. The way the enemies responded to gun fire and explosions was very cool, especially seeing them disintegrate during a midair tumble after being hit by my grenade. Oh yeah, the enemies disintegrate like vampires in Blade to get rid of useless polygons. One problem I noticed with the physics is that everything didn’t have physics. Some boxes didn’t react to gun fire or anything. I found it rather odd but nothing major to cause me to dislike this game.

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The sound in Doom III is also very impressive. Doom III comes with state of the art 5.1 sound processing that really helps in creating a more immersive environment. I don’t have a 5.1 surround system so I used the next best thing, headphones. Being able to pinpoint which direction the zombies are coming at you is a great help. But the actual sounds itself are very creepy. The groaning and moaning of the zombies, the shrieking of the imps, the screams of the Lost Souls, and the loud thuds of the Hell Knights walking all contribute to a sense of fear which is the main goal of this game. One thing that I didn’t like about the sound was the lack of a creepy score which if done properly would have also helped the game create a scary atmosphere. However the ambient noises of machines, screams, and demons do enough to keep you on edge.

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The game play department is where this game is not up to par with the rest. Id wanted to make a scary environment which they succeeded at with flying colors. But I think they failed to create an interactive environment. Besides a few computer screens, there isn’t much for the player to do in the game world other than shooting zombies and demons. One thing I really wished for was the ability to lean left and right. The possessed marines could do it, why couldn’t I? It would have really helped in those tight spots where I didn’t want to make my entire self vulnerable to enemy fire. And leaning is a just expected in FPS games these days…but it’s not that big of a problem. The use of the flashlight and lack of lights on the weapons is a mixed blessing. The good thing about it is that it keeps the player on their toes (or fingertips, rather) and makes things more tense. The bad thing about it is that it can get really annoying sometimes. The muzzle flash doesn’t provide enough light to see than a few feet in front of you but luckily most of the enemies’ eyes glow so you can spot them in the darkness.

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The speed of this game is deliberately slower than the earlier Doom games since it has an entirely different focus. But it is a very good pace for this game and the use of a sprint button is extremely useful to dodge those quick enemies (everything that isn’t a zombie and not a Hell Knight.) Some people complain about the AI…I don’t know why since it’s not bad. None of the enemies were running into walls or each other or doing generally stupid things. I mean they’re zombies and demons! I don’t think they have team mechanics or team plans; they just attack whatever is human. The enemy variety is pretty good but there are just too many damn Imps in the game. I don’t think 2 minutes went by without having to deal with an Imp. It was nice to see a mix of zombies, some with weapons and some without. The other demons like the Maggot, Wraith, and Cherub were cool to fight since they were quick but relatively weak. The other demons like the Pinky demon, Revenant, Archvile, Mancubus, and Hell Knight were tough. One thing I noticed was that there aren’t that many Pinky demons; I remember fighting more Hell Knights than Pinky demons. The things that I really hated were the two spider demons, the Trite and Tick, because they always came in a bunch and you really ate up ammo getting rid of them. As said before, overall I was quite impressed with my adversaries.

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And now I must tie up all the loose ends and make some last minute comments. This game is gory, very gory; it’s not meant for the faint of heart or easily offended. If you don’t like demons, Hell, or any of the symbolism that accompanies it, this game isn’t for you since it’s full of it. The length of this game is a bit long (about 20 hours) but the problem is that it sort of sagged in the later parts of the game where I just wanted to get through it and get it over with. But all in all, this game is great. It does what it was meant to do, which was to scare you, great. The Hell part of this game is great…hard but great. The inclusion of old school style bosses is also definitely a plus; they were big, cheap, and hard (the Cyber Demon owns.) :D

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Oh yeah, I’m not even going to talk about multiplayer since it’s not very fleshed out and is not the focus of this game, this game is about the single player experience. They definitely left it up to the modders to make the multiplayer good.

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Conclusion: Doom III is a magnificent looking and sounding game with somewhat rudimentary mechanics which is meant to scare and entertain you... and it does both marvelously. The lack of lights can somewhat get annoying but after a while you’ll get used to it. Doom III delivers a one of a kind gaming experience which is something that is lacking in the current gaming scene.

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Speed – 9/10

Game play – 8/10

Graphics – 10/10

Sound – 9/10

 

Overall Score – 9/10

Grade – A

 

Overall, I give this game a hearty :D

 

NOTE: Light was added to all the pictures through Photoshop otherwise the pictures would have been incredibly dark.

Edited by GryphonKlaw

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Looks good, as expected. Maybe I'll play it at a friend's house. I'm sure someone can run it.

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Hey, are any of you able to click the small pictures and see the entire thing? Whenever I do it it bring me back to the Imageshack main page.

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Thanks Diso. :D

 

Damn Imageshack! I hope it's just a problem with their servers and it gets fixed. It's taking forever to upload all these pics on to Lycos.

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Very good review Mr K. Much more fair then some other reviews on the Internet.

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Now this is what I expect, very inner details, justify main portions of the game, nice work Gryph, I approved :D

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Thanks Chaotica and Magnis for your kind words, I'll be sure to review more games now. I like to be fair and do things indepth.

 

Next game I plan to do is Half-Life 2.

 

And if I don't feel lazy, I'll try to fix the picture links. But for now just go to Gamespot or IGN and check out their Doom III pics if you're interested. I'm sure most of you have already seen plenty of screenies.

Edited by GryphonKlaw

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Next game I plan to do is Half-Life 2.

Do a STALKER review instead. :rolleyes:

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Next game I plan to do is Half-Life 2.

Do a STALKER review instead. :rolleyes:

Oh I will, but that's going to be later this year hopefully. Half-Life 2 should be coming out next month.

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Next game I plan to do is Half-Life 2.

NOT IF I DO IT FIRST :rolleyes:

 

Naw, i'll prolly end up doing stalker =o

 

Right now, my current goal is finishing Knights of the Old Republic so I can review it.

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