The reason the game is likely to win the Dr Who award for behind the sofa gaming is in the way it chooses to use its awesome new graphical power. The games storyline is a loose remake of the first Doom game (from way back in 1993) but the style of gameplay is actually radically different. This is more like a first person Resident Evil than anything else, with corpses lunging out at when you least expect it and monsters scattering their innards all over the place whenever you introduce them to the business end of your shotgun.
In actual fact though its not the graphics that are the most disturbing aspect of the game but the sound, with every unknown noise ratcheting the tension up so much that by the time a monster actually does appear its almost a relief to tangle with them. Doom 3 is not for the faint hearted and thats not a warning to be taken lightly--anyone keen on wearing oversized womens shirts will have a coronary within minutes. But for everyone else this is exactly what the doctor ordered. --David Jenkins
So, upon loading the game, I guess my expectations were lowered somewhat. Following a long load-up, fairly standard fare a la Half-Life ensued in the early stages of the game, where you are allowed to wander and explore the base you have just been assigned to. The predictable start inevitably leads you to the crunch point where everything for the people of the base goes right down the toilet, following the opening of the gateway to hell (tch, not again).
However, from the moment the first scientist claims that 'the Devil is real' (and promptly attempts to nibble your ear), you are trust into what I can only describe as a completely interactive horror experience. The graphics are immense, with excellent set pieces and neat touches like shadows being thrown across the screen from the (recently deceased) hanging bodies. The creatures that lunge from every shadow also feel terrifying, even if you secretly know that you'll probably take them out easier than your weekly rubbish on collection day.
But it's the sound that had me wanting to turn the evil thing off, simply to calm down. The clangs, scrapes, villianious laughter, screams and echoes are expertly placed and executed. Coupled with the graphical genius, the atmosphere alone makes the thing so damn playable.
And then you get the chaingun. I could go on describing just how much fun it is cutting things in two (ditto the chainsaw); but I'll leave it. Instead, I'll just urge you to go and try it out yourself.
Like a nightmarish cross between Theif, Half-Life, Aliens and Event Horizon, Doom 3 gave me faith in the first-person shooter again.
Avoid at your peril.
The game itself is terrifying. I actually enjoy horror movies of the alien or event horizon mould but I find it difficult to play this game for more than about an hour because I just start shaking uncontrollably from pure terror. The atmosphere of the game is amazing and the especially good graphics and sound produce an experience that drags you in to the point that you actually almost believe you are there.
I did find it slightly infuriating that you can't use the flashlight at the same time as a gun, but it all adds to the terror. There is a mod on the net that removes the problem by allowing you to have both on simultaneously but I haven't tried it.
The other problem with the game is that it gets mind numbingly repetetive very quickly. This is the only problem that I can see with the game, the variety prevalent in say HL2 or far cry is missing, which leads me to give the game a slightly less than perfect 4 stars. Still a very worthwhile purchase though, if just to see what your PC is capable of!
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