Doom 3 started development in 2001 and was released in August of 2004 on the PC, and a year later on the Xbox. The idea was to remake the original game with new elements, high end sounds, better graphics and a compelling story. Professional science fiction writer Matthew Costello was hired to write the plot.
Doom 3 was known for its groundbreaking technology at the time. Using the award winning " id Tech 4" graphics engine, the game showcased realistic-looking graphics and it was one of the first games to support true surround sound.
The story of Doom 3 is basically a remake or re-imagining of the original Doom. It is told from a first person perspective and takes place on Mars in the year 2145. A military-industrial corporation has set up a scientific research facility to develop fields such as teleportation, biological research and advanced weapons design. The Marine Corps also stations troops on Mars for security and the fact that the UAC ( Union Aerospace Corp) does a lot of unique military testing, including weapons (i.e. the BFG9000). However, the primary work at the facility is experimenting with teleportation. Unfortunately, these experiments end up opening a gateway to Hell, resulting in a catastrophic invasion by demons. The player, a lone space marine, must fight through the base and find a way to stop the demons from attacking Earth. The player eventually fights his way into Hell itself, and once there obtains an artifact called the Soul Cube. This device is taken from a guardian. The player then teleports back to Mars to learn more of the origins of this hellish invasion. The Soul Cube is then used to kill Hell's mightiest warrior, the Cyberdemon, and seal off the Hellgate the demons were planning to use to invade our reality. Humanity is saved, and the player character is rescued by Space Marine reinforcements, but the mastermind behind the invasion, Dr. Malcolm Betruger, escapes into Hell, where he transforms into a particularly unpleasant demon known as the Maledict.
Doom 3, like its predecessors, is a first-person shooter featuring a variety of enemies and weapons. The sole objective of each level is simply to survive while also collecting key codes or to trigger events that open locked doors in the player's path. The player is given a collection of 10 weapons over the course of the game, ranging from conventional shotguns and pistols to experimental and high-power ordinance. Many enemies from the previous Doom games return for Doom 3 with new designs while still providing a mix of both ranged and melee attacks to be dealt with by the player.
The level design in Doom 3 is primarily centered around building an atmosphere of fear. Rooms and corridors are rarely well lit and are often strewn with blood stains and corpses. One of the design decisions that most heightened the tension of gameplay was the player's inability to use the game's flashlight in tandem with any other item or weapon. This forced the player to choose between sight and self-defense, which added to the horror elements in the level design. (At QuakeCon 2012, John Carmack admitted that this choice was based on performance concerns rather than aesthetic ones.)
The player primarily interacts with non-player characters through radio transmissions as well as videos and messages downloaded into the player's PDA. Security codes used to unlock doors and containers are also stored on the PDA.
|The Fists are a melee weapon that do minimum damage, but because the flashlight can also be used as a melee weapon and does twice the amount of damage, the fists are absolutely worthless except in the BFG Edition. The only time where the fists are a worthwhile weapon is when the player has a Berserker powerup which allows the player to kill all of the non-boss enemies with a single punch, though as the Berserker powerup restricts the player to only using the fists, this isn't a revolutionary idea.|
|The Flashlight's primary use is to provide light in the game's dark and moody levels. However, it can also be used as a melee weapon in desperate situations, except in the BFG Edition, where the flashlight is armour-mounted.|
|The Pistol is the first non-melee weapon the player receives. It is a very weak weapon and is most useful early in the game when it is the only non-melee weapon the player has, though it's also good for use against zombies so as to save ammo for other weapons. The Pistol can hold 12 bullets in a clip.|
|The shotgun is a powerful close range weapon with a slow rate of fire. It holds 8 shells in a clip and due to its power and many ammo pickups it is extremely useful throughout the first half of the game, before becoming massively overshadowed by more powerful guns, though the shotgun is less useful by then anyway as you begin to meet enemies you don't want to come even remotely close to. After this point it is mostly only good for use against melee-only enemies like Maggots and Wraiths.|
|The Machine Gun is the first fully automatic weapon the player receives. It has a very high rate of fire, very low damage and a large, 60 round clip. Due to its high rate of fire and low damage the Machine Gun burns through ammo very quickly, but remains handy for most of the game.|
|The Chain Gun is a powerful weapon which has a rate of fire equal to that of the Machine Gun, but does more than twice as much damage. It also carries a 60 round clip, like the machine gun. It doesn't become useful for quite a while after it is found, until the player begins finding very large, slow-moving enemies with a lot of health.|
|The Plasma Gun is an automatic energy weapon which fires bursts of blue plasma. It holds 50 cells in a clip. Likely the best all-around weapon in the game, as it is effective against all but the most powerful of enemies and ammo for it is extremely plentiful.|
|The Rocket Launcher is an explosive weapon which fires rockets (duh). It can carry 5 rockets in a clip, and is devastating against lesser enemies, and highly effective against more powerful foes like Arch-Viles and Mancubi.|
|The BFG 9000 is the most powerful weapon in Doom 3. It can carry 4 BFG cells in a clip, and its projectiles cause constant damage over time to everything except the player for the entire time they spend floating through the air, before exploding in a vibrant green burst that causes absolutely astonishing amounts of damage to anything caught in the (huge) blast radius. Completely devastating against basically everything, only the most powerful demons can withstand even one blast from the Big Fantastic Gun.|
|The Chainsaw is a staple weapon of the Doom series, and it is a very powerful melee weapon, surprisingly dangerous at close range against anything from Zombies to Pinky Demons to even Revenants and Cacodemons, though getting close to the latter enemies long enough to saw them isn't really recommended.|
|Grenades are a throwable explosive, and the player can carry 50 of them at once. The Grenades can be cooked to have a shorter detonation time, but because of their tendency to bounce after being thrown, and the extremely wonky physics which send said bouncing bombs flying in random directions, the grenades are useless.|
|An artifact created by the Martian race to stop a previous demonic incursion, the Soul Cube is a special weapon in Doom 3. After the player has killed five enemies (in any manner) the Cube will be charged and can be used. When used, the Soul Cube will track down and instantly kill the enemy with the largest amount of hit points within its radius and transfer its remaining life points to heal the player. Only boss enemies can survive a hit from the soul cube, but the player will still get health even if the enemy survives the attack. When playing on Nightmare difficulty the player begins the game with the Soul Cube, to counter the unreasonable difficulty level's penalty of having the player's health constantly draining.|
- Mars City Underground
- Mars City
- UAC Administration
- Alpha Labs Sector 1
- Alpha Labs Sector 2
- Alpha Labs Sector 3
- Alpha Labs Sector 4
- EnPro Plant
- Communications Transfer
- Recycling Sector 1
- Recycling Sector 2
- Delta Labs Sector 1
- Delta Labs Sector 2A
- Delta Labs Sector 2B
- Delta Labs Sector 3
- Delta Labs Sector 4
- Delta Labs Sector 5
- Central Processing
- Central Server Banks
- Site 3
- Caverns Area 1
- Caverns Area 2
- Primary Excavation Site
While it was initially well received, the legacy of Doom 3 is ultimately somewhat mixed. It was both a critical and commercial success for id Software, selling over 3.5 million copies by 2007. The game was praised by many reviewers upon release, especially in regards to its graphics and atmospheric presentation, which were considered its main strengths. In regards to its gameplay, however, it was subject to a wide amount of criticism even among those who ultimately gave the game high marks. Some of the perceived points of contention included monsters which displayed simplistic behaviour, an unimaginative arsenal consisting mainly of point-and-click weaponry, and a conspicuous reliance on monster closets to catch the player off guard.
And while it was generally well regarded, the game's presentation was also criticized for being overly dark (something John Carmack himself later expressed regret for); this issue was exacerbated by the game's flashlight, which could not be used in conjunction with weapons. And while its atmosphere was hailed, the execution of Doom 3's story was commonly seen as lacklustre. Finally, the multiplayer element was almost universally panned for its low player cap and lack of game modes, and regarded as tacked-on, an obligation rather than a mode the devs put much heart into. Despite these things, overall review scores were high, with most positive reviewers theorizing that the various gameplay quirks were deliberate design decisions meant to increase the player's immersion.
However, in 2012, in an interview with the Penny Arcade Report, developer Tim Willits admitted that the reason the player hadn't been able to use the flashlight and their weapons at the same time was a technological limitation of the original software and hardware at the time. id had apparently always originally intended for the player to be able to use their flashlight and their guns simultaneously, and so this change was implemented in the BFG Edition released in 2012 (see below).
The game engine for Doom 3 was successful enough to be licensed out for the use of other developers and it was used in games such as Prey and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.
On October 16, 2012, id Software released a remastered edition of Doom 3 for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC called Doom 3: BFG Edition. This version includes the following:
- The original Doom 3 game
- Resurrection of Evil expansion pack
- Seven new exclusive levels dubbed "The Lost Mission"
- The original Doom and Doom II games
- Enhanced graphics for Doom 3 and the expansion packs
- Achievements/ trophies for all games
- 3D support
- The inclusion of an armor-mounted flashlight
- Improved sound effects for the guns
- A checkpoint saving system was introduced although the option to toggle this as ON or OFF was patched into the PC version of the game.
- The Easy difficulty was made easier by adding more ammo, armour and health drops to the game.
- The maximum capacity on several weapons was tweaked.
- More ammo pickups were added to reduce the need to savage and hunt for ammunition.
- Cutscenes were made unskippable.
- Several of the set pieces were altered such as the imp behind the windows in Administration simply attacking the player rather than walking away as in the original release.
Minimum PC Requirements
- P4 1.5Ghz CPU (or equivalent).
- 384MB of RAM.
- 64MB graphics card (see below for chip details).
- 2GB of free hard drive space.
- GF 4 MX; GF 3; GF 4; GF FX (and higher); Radeon 8500s, 9000s and higher.
Recommended PC System Requirements
- CPU Processor: PowerPC G5
- CPU Speed: 2.0GHz or faster
- Video RAM: 128MB
- Operating System: Mac OS X 10.3.8 or later
- CPU Processor: PowerPC G4/G5 or later
- CPU Speed: 1.5GHz or faster
- Memory: 512 MB or higher
- Hard Disk Space: 2.0GB free disk space
- Video Card (ATI): Radeon 9600 or better; Video Card (NVIDIA): GeForce FX5200 or better
- Video Memory (VRam): 64 MB
- Media Required: DVD Drive