Review by Lord GCN
"The Gateway to Hell is Opened for the Xbox"
Doom 3 set new standards for gaming when it was released for the PC, and many gamers who didn't have a fast enough computer were overjoyed when they learned the title was coming to Xbox (myself being one of them). But does the port live up to the PC version? Although some corners were cut, some more than necessary, the Xbox version of Doom 3 remains a visual and audio masterpiece, and is a staple for any gamer's collection. In this review I will rate several different aspects of the game and give it a rating based on my impression of that part of the game. The ratings (in order from worst to best) are: Horrible, Bad, OK, Good, and Great.
Story (Good): The story is pretty much the same as any Doom game. Starting as if Doom and Doom II: Hell on Earth never happened, you are a new marine recruit to the UAC Mars Research Facility. Once you arrive you are given a Personal Data Assistant and orders to meet with your commanding officer. You are given a mission to find a missing Scientist in the Alpha Labs sector of the research facility. Once you do find him, however, all Hell breaks loose (literally). Although this is nothing new to Doom players, it presents the same concept in a new way, leading into a story of lies, corruption, demons, and lots of shooting.
Graphics (Great): The graphics in this game, although they were bumped down from the PC version, are still nothing short of amazing. You'll often find yourself slowing down and pulling out your flashlight to just look at the beautiful textures and detail. The character models aren't spectacular, and your character's animation in mirrors is a bit off timing, but they certainly aren't bad and definitely don't take away from the gameplay. The weapons you will use throughout the game are also very detailed, not to mention your fists, which look extremely life-life. The lighting is amazing and adds to the realism of graphics and the tenseness you'll experience when everything goes pitch black and forces you to pull out your flashlight to continue. Doom 3 may not have the best graphics on the Xbox, but they're still extremely good and lend to the overall feeling that this is, without a doubt, a Doom game.
Audio (Great): The graphics may have been amazing, but the audio in this game is downright stunning. Doom 3 fully utilizes the surround sound experience and not only increases that suspenseful and atmospheric feel, but actually puts you right in the middle of that dark corridor as you hear those footsteps approaching. Allowing the option to optimize the sound for the use of headphones, something virtually unseen on console games, gives players the ability to heighten that sense and increase their gameplay experience even more.
Gameplay (Good): This is nothing new: shoot the bad guy and don't die. It's been done time and time again, and Doom 3 does it again, and does it well. However, one aspect of the game was dumbed down for the console version that I found to be a necessity; pixel-by-pixel hit detection. This was removed from the Xbox version because ID felt that sort of accuracy was not obtainable on a console controller. Even though they may be right in some respects, it just doesn't seem right that shooting something in the head does the same amount of damage as shooting it in the leg or arm. Even so, Doom 3 brings to the table the same sort of gameplay that every Doom gamer loves. Rest assured, if you enjoyed the originals, you'll enjoy this one too.
Controls (Great): Once again, nothing new. Anyone who has ever played an FPS on Xbox will have no trouble picking this game up. The game plays very well on the console, and the controls are responsive and fluid, which is exactly what you'd expect of any recent game. No complaints here.
Multiplayer (Great): Although I don't have an Xbox Live connection (there's still those of us out there without access to a broadband connection), I've heard from many sources that it plays extremely well. It offers a brand-new two-player co-op mode playable over both Xbox Live and system link (split-screen is not supported for co-op). Also, a deathmatch option is available for Xbox Live for up to four players. Yes, it's not much, but Doom 3 was not designed for large 16 player frag-fests, which is what ID actually wanted to turn away from with this game. Also, for those who dish out the extra couple of bucks for the Limited Edition of Doom 3, there is the option to play Ultimate Doom and Doom II: Hell on Earth on co-op and deathmatch (up to four players). Although the game was created with a focus on the single-player campaign, it definitely doesn't flop in the multiplayer category.
All in all, Doom 3 is a great game. If you can get past the minor annoyances of that dreaded corner-cutting during the porting phase, you'll be lead into a dark world that we've all come to know and love as Doom, and you will not be disappointed.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/07/05
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