DOOM 3 is Just Awful
I would like to start this review by stating that I have not finished DOOM 3 (I know I got 2/3 the way through after comparing my experience with a level list of the game). I found it to be a boring and frustrating game with very little to keep me wanting to play it so I stopped wasting my time with it. If you feel you cannot trust a review written by someone who has yet to finish a game then please disregard this review. That is completely understandable, no hard feelings.
Gameplay: This is probably the least offensive aspect of the game. The shooting feels fine and the game introduces new weapons to you at a healthy pace, but that’s about all the good I can say about the gameplay. Enemies spawn directly behind you (too much of the time) using hell portals and there’s zombies to shoot, and there’s different types of enemies by a lot of them behave the same, lunging at you and throwing slow projectiles. The game forces you to look around the dark environments for keypads and PDAs to open doors that are locked which is one of the most frustrating things about the game. It’s frustrating because the flashlight and the dark environments don’t work well together considering you cannot use the flashlight with a weapons equipped, you have to select the flashlight by itself. I have no idea what they were thinking when they made this decision but it does not flow with the original ideas of the first DOOMs (fast paced shooting), and turns DOOM 3 into a weird RPG where you are forced to do things that hard way.
Graphics: This is hard to rip on because the game did come out in 2004, graphics have improved and standards are higher than they were. I will say the lack of different environments did make this game both boring and downright confusing at times. Add to this the fact that it is one of the darkest games ever released and that you have to select your flashlight separately from any weapon and you end up with a shit combination; this kills this game for me. Many games from that era have graphics which still hold up due to their artistic design, but DOOM 3 only has dark hallways and pipes over and over again. That being said, the graphics within the game are not technically bad, but they’re not interesting to look at.
Story: There is a story, it just doesn’t engage the player enough or seem interesting enough to matter. Let me sum it up for you: There’s an evil looking scientist, and evil looking inspector type guy, and a badass marine that you are introduced to at the beginning of the game. You are on mars and soon after you arrive you are asked to go investigate some disturbances in a lower part of the space facility. You soon learn that the people found “an artifact” and that everyone has turned into monsters, except you, the scientist, the inspector, that marine, and a few other people, who ALWAYS die moments after you meet them.
Not that I wanted the game to turn into an escort mission were you must protect people but it becomes predictable that the person who you just met isn’t going to be around for long. The story continues as you try to survive and chase the seemingly evil pair (inspector and marine) across the station. And that’s it, I imagine had I kept playing I would find out if the people I was chasing were responsible for the outbreak or if they were just trying to fix it or escape the station, it doesn’t really matter. The way it is presented to you makes the story feel really dry and ultimately it hurts the game because of it.
Sound: Not good. All of the weapons sound weak and the background sounds of steam and metal doesn’t age well. I found myself muting the game and listening to the Bombcast while playing it, which is usually something I only do for MMOs; repetitive games which I get bored of listening to, which unfortunately describes DOOM 3 exactly.
Overall: In 2012, I have to say DOOM 3 is not a good game, and if asked “should I play it?” I would say “No”. There may be an argument to be made that my expectations for this type of game have increased since the game’s release with games such as Dead Space raising the bar for all space monster shooters everywhere. But I cannot help but feel that the frustration and lack of caring for the story and setting are things that I would have experienced back in 2004. The graphics are not artistic or interesting to look at it, so it hasn’t aged well. The guns sound weak and the gameplay just has you turning around every 5 seconds to kill a spawned-in enemy while furiously looking for the panel to unlock the door so you can move on, with a flashlight which cannot be used with any of your weapons. Some people will read this as a butt-hurt-player who couldn’t or didn’t want to finish a mediocre game but no matter what you think of me and my review, please do not waste your time with this game, it is just not worth it in this day and age, play Dead Space instead to fulfill your space station horror action needs.