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Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil

Score: 95%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Nerve
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: First Person Shooter


Graphics & Sound:

Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil, the first expansion for id Software's Doom 3, does what any good expansion should do; it gives players the same action they loved in the first while adding a few new elements to bring a new sense of "freshness" to the experience.

As an expansion, Resurrection of Evil really doesn't screw around with Doom 3's graphical presentation -- and it really doesn't have to considering that Doom 3 still ranks among the best-looking PC games available. So, instead of new graphics, you're given new areas to explore as well as a few areas that are closely related to areas from Doom 3. And, those who fear seeing the same long, dark corridors of the original can rest easy knowing that the designs keep the same style as the past game, but still look different enough that you'll get a new experience. There's always something new to see and you rarely get the feeling that youíve been here before as you move between areas.

The only changes to sound are the inclusion of new voice actors. Everything else, from music to sound effects, remain unchanged. Ambient sounds are what really made Doom 3 a creepy experience, and Resurrection of Evil follows suit.


Gameplay:

Resurrection of Evil takes place two years after the events in Doom 3. You once again step into the armor of a marine (though this is a different one than in Doom 3) assigned to the newly opened UAC base on Mars. Apparently, the events of two years ago haven't phased management and, like any good money-grubbing corporation, they've decided to give things another go. Your adventure begins when you discover an ancient artifact that awakens a new portal to hell, which unleashes a whole new group of demons. You eventually hook up with Dr. Elizabeth McNeil, and with her help, you set out to close the portal and stop the invasion.

Story is less important in Resurrection of Evil than it was in Doom 3. There's still an overall narrative that moves you through the game, but at the same time, it's much less invasive, allowing you to spend more time shooting things than shuffling through emails and messages. Because of the game's emphasis on action over story, Resurrection of Evil feels more like the original Doom than Doom 3. Basically, you spend most of the game running through dank corridors, shooting everything in sight and looking for keys to open up the next set of corridors. The action may not appeal to gamers who want more of a story-driven game like Half-Life 2's experience, but those who just want to shoot a lot of things will feel right at home.

The single-player mode isn't very long, and will take about 6-8 hours depending on how good you are. However, it'll be an action-packed few hours that, like Doom, youíll want to play through a few times.

In addition to enhancing the single-player experience, Resurrection of Evil also adds in some new multiplayer modes. The biggest addition is Capture the Flag, which gives you straightforward CTF matches without adding the fancy enhancements of other versions of the same play mode. New multiplayer maps have also been included, all of which are based on locales found in the single-player mode.


Difficulty:

As far as difficulty, Resurrection of Evil is harder than Doom 3. For the most part, the action is generally the same with few alterations. What makes the game more difficult is that you'll have to get used to a whole new set of demons, including a set of three hunters who can't be defeated just by pumping them full of shotgun shells. Instead, you'll have to figure out which of your hell powers to use against them, and devise your tactics based on that. You'll also have to deal with a few new grunts like the plasma-flinging vulgar and a larger guy sporting twin rocket launchers for arms.

The inclusion of new enemies really forces you to use your entire arsenal to its maximum efficiency. You really canít rely on one weapon the entire time and hope to survive; instead youíll need to figure out which weapon, or in some cases weapons, work best in situations. This is especially true when going against the hunters, whose battles will work your mental reflexes in addition to your quick clicking.


Game Mechanics:

To balance out the improvements made to hell's forces, the developers have been kind enough to expand your arsenal as well. The double-barreled shotgun, which was made popular in the early Doom games, makes its return in the expansion. Its still a slow, lumbering weapon -- but the obvious power it packs makes up for the lack of speed -- especially when enemies are right on top of you.

Another addition is the grabber, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the gravity gun in Half-Life 2. Like the gravity gun, the grabber lets you pick up objects in the level and launch them towards other enemies. Playing around with the grabber is just as much fun as Half-Life 2's version, especially when you come across those exploding barrels. Not only is the grabber a great offensive weapon, but it can also be used for defense as well by grabbing oncoming shots, like missiles or those annoying flaming skulls, and throwing them back.

The expansion also introduces a new element to the Doom series: special powers. By using the artifact that started the whole mess, you can use different hell powers that enhance your abilities and give you a slight edge over the hordes of demons coming after you. Your first hell power is the ever-popular ability to slow time, which is soon followed by the ability to kill anything in one punch and finally invincibility. Though the abilities may sound like they'd throw the game out of whack, they're actually more of a balance against the throng of enemies Resurrection of Evil likes to throw at you. Believe me, the experience is much more intense than the original, even for vets.

If you liked Doom 3, youíll like the expansion. If youíre looking for a deeper experience, check out Half-Life 2 or wait for the expansion. Resurrection of Evil is about as good as an expansion can get and delivers a great-looking, and fun, shooter.


-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows 2000/XP; Pentium 4 1.5 GHz; 64 MB VRAM ; 2.2GB HDD space; 384 MB RAM; Full version of Doom 3
 

Test System:



Windows XP; Pentium 4 1.7 GHz; Radeon 9100 128 MB; 40 Gig HD; 640 MB RAM

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated