As I mentioned earlier, I picked up a used copy of the Doom 3 Collector's Edition for the OGXBox for about 20 bucks this weekend. I was always a fan of the original Doom and Doom 2, sacrificing a good amount of my time to both games. And once I discovered the cheat codes, oh yeah, I PWNED them both!! heh. Yes, I know that Doom 3's been out for a couple of years now, but I'm on Gaming Savings Time for a lot of things. I didn't have a powerful enough machine when it came out, and I never really felt the need to upgrade just for a couple of games. Anyway.
Doom 3 is pretty cool. The story is pretty simple, and follows the same kind of plot that you had in the first 2. At an outpost on Mars, an accident with some scientific reasearch leads to portals to Hell being opened, and pretty much everything going pear-shaped. As the nameless, voiceless main character, it's your job to fight off the ramapging hordes of Hell-Beasties and call for reenforcements. Seems simple enough, but as a result of the disaster, things around the base have gone a bit funny. Certain areas are severly damaged, making normal routes impassable, and also, there's the additional wrinkle of having zombies, demons, and other less readily identifiable creatures trying to kill you at just about every turn. There's a good supply of weapons to use to take out the beasties, some of which are very cool, and you stay in contact with your commander through radio as you fight your way through the various areas of Mars city, looking for ways to get the job done.
Doom 3 looks and sounds great. The atmosphere gives a nice claustrophobic, creepy feel, and from time to time, a monster coming out of nowhere does provide a good, "AHH!" moment. The controls are fairly intuitve, and actually work quite well on the XBox console. Of course, nothing is quite as easy or flexible as the good ol' Keyboard and Mouse combo for FPSes on the PC, but Doom 3 controls quite well using a gamepad.
However, Doom 3 isn't quite the mind-blowing experience that it was hyped as. Yes, it looks great, but really, it's a very standard run and gun FPS. THe puzzle solving elements that you have to go through to move forward aren't that challenging, mainly consisting of pressing buttons to unlock and open doors, and most of the time, you'll be searcing for peoples' PDAs, which download their contents to yours to upgrade your security clearance to move into new areas.
Yes, most of the keys in the game are in the form of PDAs. They also serve as ways for you to find the codes to storage lockers containg armor, ammo, and weapons. However, to get to those codes, you frequently have to wade through a good amount of junk emails and listen to a fair few useless audio logs, many of which seem to serve no other purpose than to really drive home the point that "Hey, you know a lot of creepy shennanigans are going on here on Mars, and we're all a little freaked out by that. We need new jobs." It can be cool from time to time, but it also can be a bit jarring having to go to your own PDA so often.
Another thing that's annoying is the fact that in order to see where you are a lot of the time, you need to switch from the weapon you're carrying to your rather low-powered flashlight, and most of the time as your looking around with the flashlight, and enemy will pop out at you, requiring you to switch back to your gun to take the baddy out. I know that it was done as a way to heighten the tension, but it's really more irritating than it is effective. You cant tell me that in 2145, a huge corporation that started out with weapons reasearch and defense contracts hasn't figured out a way to attatch lights to guns. I found it to be a fairly minor annoyance, but still, it messed with the immersion for me from time to time, usually when I got mauled by some demon because he caught me with my pants, er, gun down.
The characters you encounter in the game are pretty stock for a sci-fi FPS. Twitchy scientists, the straightforward millitary commander, the shadowy corporate guy, and the arrogant head scientist that obviously doesnt't watch enough horror movies to know that his research is going to cause all manor of hell to break loose, literally. Sorry, had to be done. Heh.
However, in spite of its few annoyances, and the fact that it's a pretty standard run and gun FPS, just prettier, I am enjoying the experience of Doom 3. I wouldn't have paid 50 for it, but so far, for about 20, I feel like I'm getting my money's worth. Also, the additions of the 2 original Doom games is a nice nostalgic touch. If you like a good running blastfest, and you don't already own it for the PC, it may be worth your time to check out Doom 3 on the XBox. You can most likely find it in the used section of your local gaming emporium.
I was going to do another section on stuff I'd like to see in gaming, but since this has already gotten a bit on the lenghty side, I'll save that for the next post.