Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Doom III - mini review

since there have been so many negative reviews of Doom III (by id software), I haven't been all that eager to try it out. I finally broke down and picked up a copy of the Xbox version.

I've heard this game slagged for a number of reasons, but after an hour of playing, I have to say that I think that most of these arguments are pretty hollow - I'll get to the issues in a bit.

it didn't take long to realize that the monsters (at least as far as I have ventured) are the same creatures that appear in Doom I - although obviously much improved. this made me think of the original game and I started to examine how faithful id has been to the originally vision. I think that they have done a stellar job of creating a modern version of Doom. I get the impression that this is the Doom game that would have been released if the technology existed in 1993.

here are some of the common criticisms:

1. the game is a thriller masquerading as a First Person Shooter (FPS)

the fact is that Doom largely defined FPS. to say that Doom III is not an FPS is a bit of a contradiction. however, I can understand that many people playing Doom III didn't play Doom I in the early 90's. the FPS genre has evolved but critics have to remember that this is where it began - id stayed true to their vision.

having said this, I prefer the fluid play of the Halo engine. just the melee attack and access to grenades is enough to tip the scales in favour of Halo. so as far as multiplayer is concerned, I don't think that Doom currently competes with Halo. however the Doom single player campaign is enjoyable.

2. the flashlight is annoying

I heard this over and over before I played the game. having to drop your weapon to use the flashlight is clunky but it's certainly not as bad as the negative hype. remember that this game is supposed to make you jump. having to quickly switch to your weapon is a great way to increase your anxiety.

3. the tight corridors make the weapon selection boring

I haven't made it that far into the Doom III campaign (read: I should be working rather than playing Doom III or writing in my blog :), but I can see that this might be true.

4. saving the game breaks the flow of action

the Doom method of saving has pros and cons. on the positive side, you don't ever have to do the same thing twice - this can relieve a great deal of frustration. however, the automatic checkpoint system (ala Halo) offers a more fluid game experience. I'd like to see both available.

my conclusion is that if you're a fan of the original game, then I highly recommend this version of Doom. if you're looking for a modern FPS, then this may not be right for you.

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