Doom 3 Xbox Review

May 31, 2010 by Chris Wigham  
Filed under Retro Content, Retro Reviews, Xbox

It may not have been the first of its kind, but Doom unarguably took the FPS genre by the horns and dragged it to the next level. Whilst primitive by today’s glossy standards, the game is still good for a blast and deserves a ton of respect for paving the way for other similar shooters. The third game in the series may not be the influential title that the original game was back in its day, but it sure is chilling stuff.

While there’s a good game here, it has to be said that Doom 3 is all about those jaw-dropping visuals. We are not shallow reviewers that are picky with games because of under whelming visuals either, it’s just that the visual quality on show here is mightily effective and sets the hellish mood like any good horror title should.

The game is dark, so dark that a flashlight is a requirement in most of the games claustrophobic areas. The clever thing is the way that the torch has been implemented into the game, in a way that requires you to switch from gun to flashlight with the tap of a button. This is a feature that polarised opinion when the game was released on the PC, true it may not be entirely realistic, but we’re siding with the brigade that share the opinion of the feature as another successful addition to the tremendous atmosphere. Being alone in the dark makes things all the more chilling, and we found ourselves frantically checking every inch of the room with the torchlight for anything that moves, including the most harmless of shadows.

The Mars base is a rather unpredictable place, which sees lights flicker and areas even plummet from light into darkness in a blink of an eyelid. The demons also like giving you cheap shocks by jumping out from their blanket of shadow, but don’t even have the politeness to say “boo” before going in for the attack. It’s horror done really well and even gives the mighty Silent Hill a serious run for its money.

The game itself is classic Doom in every sense of the word, which may frustrate those looking for a genuinely new experience and finding only a frightening one instead. Things such as plot are secondary to all the satisfying demon blasting and if the game didn’t look so beautifully modern, it would have seemed all the more archaic.

Thankfully this ancient formula has endured the test of time fairly well, even without needing to throw in enemies that boast impressive IQ numbers. Therefore just don’t go into Doom 3 expecting Halo like enemy intellect, as it just doesn’t deliver, and enemy attack patterns quickly become largely obvious rather than unpredictable.

The relentless action is broken up by the use of your PDA, which allows you to listen to audio logs and read emails. Finding important information around the creepy base, such as locker numbers, can gain you access to helpful items or weapons. It’s also the way that the game tells the bulk of the story, which works surprisingly well through the use of the earlier mentioned emails and audio logs.

The game also has a number of System Link and Xbox Live options. Included are obligatory Deathmatches, Mini Tournaments and even a Cooperative mode. Online the game runs smooth enough, but the fact that you can only have four players at any one time is a rather big sore point. No split screen options are present either, and a Cooperative mode in this aspect would have certainly been nice.

Doom 3 definitely deserves full points for atmosphere and graphical polish, as a faraway hellish planet is the only place we found ourselves in during the course of the title. The game only suffers during the campaign, which may be a little too long-running for its own good, or perhaps we just got a tad sick of all those dark corridors. Either way it’s still a great, and absorbing game with a creepy atmosphere.

8/10

Comments

If you have any thoughts on this article - good, bad or something in-between - drop us a comment in the box below. That's the very reason it exists - so don't be shy!
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!