developer: id Software
publisher: Activision Blizzard
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: local network / Internet
Doom 3 for PC and XBX is a science fiction first-person shooter and the third major installment of the legendary series that set new standards for its genre in the mid-90s. It was developed by id Software, headed by John and Adrian Carmack. The development team lacked one creator of the original, though, namely, John Romero who left his colleagues due to disagreements shortly after Quake’s release and established his own, equally meritorious studio, Ion Storm. The third Doom was released for PC/Mac as well as Xbox.
Plot-wise, Doom 3 tells a similar story to the 1993’s original, although it was quite significantly expanded. It was co-written by Matthew Costello, the man behind The 7th Guest and 11th Hour’s plot. The action takes place in 2145 on Mars, in a large research facility of the UAC (Union Aerospace Corporation). The company initially dealt solely with exploration of the space and biotechnology development, but once it discovered remains of an advanced alien civilization, it broadened its activities with archeology.
In the game, we assume the role of a former marine who has just started to work for the UAC as a security guard. Soon after his arrival, the protagonist is given a task of finding a scientist who has gone missing without a trace on his way to one of the laboratories. Soon after he’s found, strange things start to happen in the facility and communications with the headquarters are completely severed. It turns out that during a teleportation research, the scientists accidentally opened a portal to another dimension, through which they let in a horde of otherworldly demons. Being completely on his own, the protagonist sets out to combat the monster invasion and tries to close the accidentally opened portal to hell as well as to survive until the reinforcements arrive.
The gameplay mechanics of Doom 3 are quite different from its predecessors which focused solely on fast-paced action. Although it is quite a classical first-person shooter, it is enriched with an incredibly dark atmosphere, numerous elements of horror as well as an extensive story that consists of more than just a series of cutscenes between missions. In this way, the developers tried to combine the best features of the previous installments of the series with elements of such productions ad System Shock 2 or Clive Barker’s Undying. Moreover, for the first time in the history of the franchise, we can talk to encountered characters and thus gathering important information and useful equipment.
Fighting numerous groups of enemies, which are divided into demons and the human-zombies they possessed, is still the essence of the entire fun. All opponents have different combat style and the protagonist can use an arsenal of ten deadly weapons against them. These include the conventional ones, such as shotguns, machine guns, and grenades, as well as the rather futuristic ones like an experimental plasma gun or a circular saw and the powerful BFG 9000 (both of which appeared in previous Dooms). The player also has a handheld PDA that lets us read mails, play video footages, and gain access to the closed parts of the complex. In some levels, we are also forced to use a flashlight which precludes us from firing a weapon and thus putting us at a significant risk of being attacked.
Despite Doom 3 being a production focused on the single player mode, the developers didn’t forget about one of the key elements of the series which is multiplayer. There are four classical gameplay variants at the players’ disposal, namely a regular and a team Deathmatch, the Last Man Standing mode, and a Tournament. Up to four people can take part in the competition via the Internet or a LAN. Moreover, the Xbox version features a cooperation mode that allows us to complete the story campaign alongside another player.
Doom 3 for PC and XBX is the first game to be powered by the id Tech 4 engine created by John Carmack himself. One of the distinguishing features of this technology is the possibility of generating shadows and lighting effects in real time, and Doom 3 is the first video game in history to use such a solution. Therefore, the third Doom utilized the capabilities of the period’s hardware to the maximum, offering very detailed graphics that were rather unseen way back when. The game’s audio, compliant with the Dolby Digital 5.1. standard, is of no less import for it empowers the atmosphere of horror.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Pentium 4 2.4GHz, 512 MB RAM, graphic card 64MB RAM (GeForce 4 i lepsze), 2.2 GB HDD, Windows 2000/XP
Uses: link-cable, Xbox Live + additionally (XBOX): link-cable