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Doom 3 - Student Review

Score: 90%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Activision
Developer: id Software
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: First Person Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

The graphics and sound in Doom 3 are second to none. I was absolutely and utterly floored by the lighting effects, blood splatters, gun reloads, and haunting ephemeral noises that crawled through every corner and crevice. Quite simply, this is the videogame equivalent of the Mona Lisa... on steroids.

The standout to me, as I said earlier, are the lighting effects. Shadows are perfectly rendered, and the game uses darkness extensively, forcing you to use your flashlight that casts realistic shadow and light on every object it touches. The physics engine is insane, with realism at every turn. The monsters are frightening and grotesque, original and life-like. Well, as life-like as a headless, obese demon can be, granted. The sound is also incredibly well produced. The screams and whispers of demons are either shouted in your face, or so faintly heard it makes you wish your mother were in the room to tell you they weren't there. This game is terrifying. Hands down. The score swells and drops appropriately, and adds to the intensity of a giant demon closing in on you. Well done, Id, well done.


Remembering the old Dooms of my youth, I was pleasantly surprised at the number of similarities and nods to the old franchise. The weapons systems are similar, down to the sound of the shotgun, and the old habit of finding keys and armor is a pleasant addition. The finding of the keys (which was huge in the old Doom) is cleverly redone, with the addition of "PDAs," your own personal key/inventory locker/helper. You must find other downed crew-members' PDAs to get security clearances to continue to the other levels, a good solution to the tried and true red key, blue key, yada yada.

One thing that must be mentioned is the terror the gameplay evokes. Levels will, without warning, lose light pitching you into total blackness. "Conveniently" you cannot use your gun while your flashlight is in use, so when you DO happen to spot a demon in the darkness, you must switch off your flashlight to switch to your gun, and pray to God you can shoot them in the blackness of night. Oftentimes the only time you can see your target is by listening for breathing, or the glint of their eyes. Frightening indeed. The storyline is engaging and somewhat 2D. I would have liked more on that end. But it is true to Doom fashion, and entertaining nonetheless.


I played it on the regular difficulty level, and it wasn't terribly hard. The learning curve is about half an hour, and then you should get the hang of it. Save points are confusing, however, and you must figure out the best way to save, as auto-save isn't always the most efficient. Ammo is in relatively good supply, as well as armor and health depots, and I imagine they are more numerous in easier difficulty modes. The A.I. of the enemies in this game is a force to be reckoned with. They duck, dodge, dive and uh... dodge. They help each other out and they ambush you. So be prepared for frenetic fights when they happen, and keep your wits about you.

Game Mechanics:

This is the area that really has any flaws. The saving system, as I mentioned earlier, could be taught more clearly - in my case, it resulted in me not talking to my roommate for 2 weeks after he accidentally erased my game. The way in which you switch guns and access your inventory is also awkwardly created and tiresome, and waiting for your PDA to load every time you need to look at it is insanely annoying.

After all is said and done, Doom 3 is one of the only games I have EVER played that actually made me jump while playing it. My recommendations? Play this game in a well-lit area, with your older brother or sister around, a knife by your side in case those pesky demons decide to come out of the TV, and about 6-7 changes of underwear, depending on your bladder control. A triumph of a game. Well done sirs, well done.

-Jed Payne

Minimum System Requirements:


Test System:


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