This one was a long time coming!
I remember when this game first came out on the original Xbox – back when Circuit City was still a thing. I was excited to pick it up, and quickly fell out of love for the dark environments.
The version I’m reviewing is a port, played on Xbox One: as are a lot of my reviews of Xbox games these days, as they’re the most easily accessible (and documented) on the updated system.
Doom 3 also received an update since that fateful day I picked up a copy. The dark environments forced you to use a flashlight or a weapon – while the update allowed for the flashlight to remain on while wielding a gun, etc.
While the flashlight still drains, this change made the game more accessible for dolts like myself… though I wasn’t quite on board with Doom 3’s approach at first either. The first two Doom games were simple run-and-gun to the exit first person shooters. Doom 3 takes a more narrative approach, adding a PDA (ahem, tablet computer for you youngsters) to check emails, audio/video clips, and your inventory.
The PDA is essential for knowing some objectives or getting codes to storage lockers, which are typically stocked with a gun you may not have acquired yet, armor, and ammo. You will also use quite a bit of computer terminals and monitors throughout the game to unlock areas or solve minigames.
The extra computer/tablet content also widens the depth of the game, as you play the titular role of a space marine who is stuck on a Mars research facility that just so happened to also open a portal to Hell.
The dark environments are often covered in blood and guts, and you’ll fight zombified humans and demons in tight corridors that ratchet the game back to its roots.
You also encounter some NPCs, some friendly, and some, well, no spoilers here…
Having played every Doom game created, I was upset with myself for taking so long to give this one its rightful time. Looking back at a 2005 release, this game was pretty groundbreaking even if the pace wasn’t “arcade” enough for me way back when. The visuals hold up well, as Microsoft always had their eye on creating HD content even back when the first entered the video game console market.
The audio is full enriching, with gun shots, explosions, and the occasional creepy whisper of something not of this world. I won’t say that this is survival horror at its finest, but the game pushes enough buttons to creep you out at times.
Speaking of buttons, the controls are tight as well, and there aren’t many sections that require stupid jumps or tightrope walks leading to cheap deaths. You can also save at any time which is a lifesaver for some of us who need to take our gaming sessions in small chunks.
The best part of Doom 3 by far is the weapons.
Everything you could want is here in this edition, from the classic shotgun and chainsaw to the BFG. As the game progresses you get a sense of your own progression – and some over-the-top classic bosses top the cake.
Like practically every other Doom game ever made, Doom 3 holds its own as a unique entry which serves as a bridge from the old FPS run/gun style to a more in-depth experience worth checking out if you’re a fan of the series or any first person shooters.