Review by President Skroob

Reviewed: 09/16/04

The annoyance level outweighs the fun factor, unfortunately.

I just finished Doom 3 and when I did I felt a wave of relief rush over me. The game was over. I didn't have to play the game for any longer. That's normally a bad sign for a game. There should be a sense of accomplishment upon a player's victory, not a sense of relief that the game is finished.

Basically, the biggest problems I had with the game are not new, but I didn't really appreciate how big the problems were until I experienced them myself. Do note that I won't be going into this game's good points, I.E. how pretty it is, in this review, because I'm sure you can find some other reviews here that will sing the graphical praises in four part harmony.

The game is dark. It's not even dark so that it makes a "scary mood" or anything of the sort. The game is not scary, it's simply annoying. The only scare this game can get is the kind of scare that capitalizes on the fact that even if someone throws a teddy bear into your face suddenly you're going to flinch. Yes, it's just a teddy bear, but the movement will make you react. Doom 3 capitalizes on that principle. No game like this is going to ever get truly scary, it's simply a game. No amount of excessive darkness or writing "KILL" or "DIE" on the walls in blood is going to make up for the fact that it's still just a game. The darkness only serves to make it completely annoying to walk around in the game because you have to use the world's weakest flashlight with the world's smallest beam. I mean, at least ID could've used one of those nice flashlights which allows you to twist the head in order to broaden the beam of light.

Beyond the darkness, the game is entirely too predictable. There are only so many times you can open a door and have an Imp or Maggot standing there before you just start expecting every door to have an Imp or Maggot there and have your shotgun at the ready. By the end of the game every trick for getting enemies all around you has been played out so many times that if you were surprised at all past the first half hour you might have Alzheimer's.

I, personally, find the enemy design very uninspired. I didn't even realize when I first met a Wraith that it wasn't an Imp. I still didn't really catch it unless I sat around and watched it teleport. The same goes for seeing an Arch-Vile for the first time. Most of the main enemies in the game all look pretty much the same color and have about the same build and appearance. Maggots stand out because they have two heads, but that's about it. I really wish they had spent some more time drawing up some truly original and unique monsters rather than using what seems like it must be multiple monsters built off the same original. Maybe that's just me, I haven't really seen this complaint elsewhere on the boards. Oh, and stark contrast to this complaint is the Mancubus, which I was extremely glad to see they kept nearly intact. Bleached out his brownness, perhaps, but otherwise he's very similar. Finding the first Mancubus in that very "Dead Simple"-like level gave me just about the greatest enjoyment that I received from this game. It all went pretty much downhill from there...

Hmmm... those are the big ones... Beyond that is small stuff. Too many Imps, but perhaps I'm just killing a lot of enemies before I give them much chance to show me they're not Imps. The weapons are all standard Doom fair, except for the Soul Cube, which was a wonderful addition. I would've really appreciated a more wild weapon lineup with some really exotic stuff along the line of the Soul Cube, but they chose to stick with the traditional, which I can respect.

Just sort of a funny side-note, it seemed at first that they were trying to make the base be a believable place, having a logical layout and all. However, instead of hiding enemies in places like closets or whatever, they just put them in rooms that served no purpose that opened when you walked by. Ha. Genius! Those would be everywhere on a base built by humans! Anyway, I felt they could've worked those in in much better ways than they did.

I guess that what it comes down to is that the game simply got tedious for me very soon in. Hell was rather pretty, but it still felt much the same as crawling around in the corridors of the Mars base. Nothing much changes throughout the game, not even the tactics you use to defeat your enemies, since you're always facing them in narrow or slightly wider corridors. Because of the reasons above it wasn't just long, it was truly boring because of the high annoyance factor. By the end of the game, and I know people are going to lambaste me for this, but I just was thinking about how much fun I was having playing Half-Life compared to this. Doom 3 is okay, but I won't be playing through it again.

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

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