I've played "Doom 3" several times--although I have yet to beat it--since it came out in 2003. My opinions on it have changed and matured a good deal. I figured I'd share some of my thoughts as I attempt to play through it on veteran (I'm probably about halfway through the game). This is not a bitch-fest, nor an ego stroke. Just some observations, both good and bad.
• The action doesn't begin immediately, and an as impatient gamer I was surprised at how effective this was. "Doom 3" has one of the most immersive opening levels I've ever played in a game.
• The ineffectiveness of the shotgun is inexcusable considering that the weapon is one of the defining elements of the series. You can down an imp with one point blank shot; at a short distance, it can take up to six direct shots.
• In general, the weapons are very slow, either in reloading, rate of fire or rate of speed of projectile. This adds a very superficial challenge.
• Sound design, as in film, is half of the experience of a game. For id to completely ignore reverberation of primary sound effects--a feature even the PSX version of "Doom" had--is embarrassing, not to mention that the majority of the sounds are extremely weak.
• On the other hand, the ambient music and background noises, as well as most of the voie acting, is excellent. Don't know why the menu/theme music sounds like angst-ridden nu metal.
• Enemy designs are odd. They're lovingly crafted and moderately detailed, yet are dull in color schemes and general appearance. Some enemies are difficult to tell apart, something that was never a problem in the old games, even given the use of palette swapping.
• Even a decade later, the light and shadow effects are amazing. They look as good as some modern games and have allowed "Doom 3" to age gracefully.
• Not sure if the bulky, often very contemporary looking technology is a nod to "Alien" and the original game's archaic appearance, or a lack of imagination on the part of the artists. At least it looks pretty.
• The black stencil shadows really get in the way sometimes. I've frequently died from falling to my death or being killed by completely invisible enemies due to heaps of black surrounding everything. I frequently get lost because I instantly lose my bearings in the dark. Like the underpowered weapons, this feels like a superficial challenge.
• I don't mind switching between the flashlight and a weapon, even though the notion of doing that in the future is beyond idiotic. It makes for some fun scares.
• The player's maximum speed is slightly faster than a senior citizen power walking. id didn't have to make it as fast the original, but this is embarrassing.
• I like the minigames, such as disposing of the waste, using the power lift, sifting through emails, etc. It wasn't executed perfectly, but I look forward to more of that sort of detraction from the action in "Doom 4."
• Falling to your death from approximately one story is a bit silly.
• Way too much imp spamming. Not sure why this is so excessive.
• Cutscenes aren't very impressive but they are also non-intrusive and short, and help to prepare the player for new enemies. I like this.
• Armor is unbalanced. It rarely dips below 90. I typically die with nearly all my armor and rarely need to have it replaced. It doesn't absorb more than a fraction of enemy fire.
• Getting shot point blank by a marine with a shotgun has delivered less damage than a slow moving zombie bitch slapping me. This is ridiculous.
• Enemy deaths are a joke. The burn/dissolve effect looks cool and I understand its implementation, but why does it have to be instantaneous? Giving you a good look at the corpse for a few seconds wouldn't hurt resources on older machines. Human corpses will randomly disappear at times. The absurd gibbing effect is a letdown.
That's it for now. Share your thoughts on my observations or feel free to add some of your own.
Yeah, the shotgun and indeed every weapon except the chaingun is a steaming pile of SHIT not only that but the ammo placement is terribly unbalanced and was made worse in the BFG edition. For Doom 4 I don't have any worries after RAGE from a weapon standpoint.
Some sounds are great, others are meh. I love the imp sounds and the dying scream. Blends so perfect with the melt effect.
I'm not sure about the enemies, some are very cool indeed but almost all are gray or don't look demonic at all.
Yeah, the shadows look amazing, consoles are struggling to maintain 60 fps...after 8 years.
Heh, looks like I'm not the only one who compares the art style with Alien. People still use CDs in 2145? Just like in Event Horizon.
My biggest gripe is lack of variety. Although they DID try to change themes in mid and later levels, for some reason I never really feel the change. Perhaps because every color is a variation of gray. Doom is supposed to be vibrant and colorful, almost cartoony.