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  Doom 3

Back of the Box
Science has unlocked the gates to the unknown, and now only one man stands between Hell and Earth. A sci-fi horror masterpiece, DOOM 3 is like nothing you have experienced. Dramatic storyline, pulse-pounding action, incredible graphics, and revolutionary technology combine to draw you into the most frightening and gripping first person gaming experience ever created. Fight for your life in single player, online multiplayer, or the Xbox LIVE exclusive co-op mode.

From the Company
A massive demonic invasion has overwhelmed the Union Aeorspace Corporation's (UAC) Mars Research Facility leaving only chaos and horror in it's wake. As one of only a few survivors, you struggle with shock and fear as you fight your way to hell and back, in a epic clash against pure evil. Built onl ID's revolutionary new 3D graphics engine Doom 3 draws you into the most frightening and gripping 3D gaming experience ever created.

The Bottom Line
Id software sure has come a long way since its original release of DOOM via shareware in 1993, and Doom 3 for Xbox is the latest installment. WOW… those 3 letters pretty much describe the whole experience. Actually, holy $%#@ would probably be a better way to describe it, and if you've played the game, you know what I mean.

You are a battle-hardened marine who has been recently sent to the Union Aerospace Corporation"s Mars research facility. Shortly after you get there, a massive demonic invasion overwhelms the base leaving very few survivors. Of course, it’s up to you to use as much firepower as possible to battle through wave upon wave of demon hordes, find out what went wrong, and prevent the evil from spreading. While this plot is nothing new to video games, or movies for that matter, Doom 3’s gaming experience is anything but typical.

The first thing that you will notice is that the game is pretty dark… but then, you don’t expect evil demonic creatures to be walking around in the light of the blazing sun now do you? The lighting effects are there to help create the mood of demonic invasion, and this they do quite well. The next thing you will notice is that you have a flashlight to help you see in the dark. Great right… well not so much… since you can’t hold you flashlight and weapon at the same time. While the shadows and other effects created by your flashlight are quite impressive, you have to decide… do I want to be able to see, or be able to kill the creatures that are attacking me. I mean come on… even today in "real-life”, weapons come equipped with flashlights attached to them. Doom 3 takes place in the future for Christ sake. I know, I know, it was done this way to establish mood and to help to draw you into the gaming experience, but it would have been nice to have a light-enabled weapon, even if it was just you pistol.

The sound effects are tight, and pretty creepy to say the least. Playing this game by yourself in the dark is not recommended for any of you sissies out there. You know who I’m talkin’ about... the guys that can’t play a video game without the “strategy guide” and cheat codes. One thing that I did think was kinda weird though was the sound effects the occurred when you picked up health or armor. More often than not, I found myself whipping around expecting to see some bad guy behind me, when the weird noise I heard was just me picking up an armor shard or health pack. Throughout the game, you’ll hear all sorts of whispers, moans, and demonic laughs, and all of these only help to further create the idea of a demonic invasion. Very well done.

One of the pieces of equipment you get issued upon arriving on mars is your PDA. This is a crucial piece of hardware that stores all sorts of information, including everything from mission objectives to available weapons and inventory items. As you proceed throughout the game, you will also find other UAC personnel PDA’s that you can pick up and download information from. This will allow you to read their e-mails, play audio and video logs and get their security clearances. This information can give you helpful hints about your surroundings and your mission.  

Not only can you play the “campaign” single-player version of Doom 3, but there is also a multiplayer component. Unfortunately, this can only be done via Xbox Live, or through a System Link. This was a let-down for me. I hate having to connect 2 Xbox consoles together to be able to play with/against another person. There is a co-operative play mode as well as the typical multiplayer modes… Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Last Man Standing, and Tournament. If you are an Xbox Live subscriber, the re-playability aspect of Doom 3 is even greater since you will be able to download new content & levels and game against other Live subscribers.  

Thankfully, Doom 3 does not use checkpoint-based saving. There is nothing more frustrating than dying just before you get to the next checkpoint and having to replay that same mission over and over again until you finally make it. So take advantage of the foresight of the id developers and save often. You’ll thank me for it later.

The decision whether to spend the extra moola to get the Limited Collector’s Edition of Doom 3 instead of the regular version will probably come down to your level of devotion to the Doom franchise. The Collector’s Edition also comes with Ultimate Doom and Doom 2 (both of which hold up quite well in gameplay, despite them looking old). As far as I’m concerned, Doom 3 is a keeper. Yes, this game will not float everyone’s boat, but the superb visuals and lighting effects, audio and atmosphere will keep this game on my shelf. Rent it first if you’ve never heard of Doom… and then crawl back under the rock you came from. If you’ve played the original Doom, or any of the other Doom games, and liked them, you’re probably gonna love Doom 3.      


Review ID Number: 606
  Product Details
Activision
Review Date: 2005-09-27
Reviewer: Shawn Sardy
Rating: 9 out of 10
 
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