Here comes another PavlovianModel146 Review of a game that came out quite some time ago:
(No Storyline Spoilers, Some Gameplay Spoilers)
Game: Doom 3
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Doom 3 is a first-person shooter for the XBox where you are a Marine Corporal (No specific name given) who is called to Mars in order to attempt to contain an outbreak of demons at a scientific research corporation called the Union Aerospace Division.
One of the better aspects about this game is that there is no pretension. The game is a first-person shooter that knows it is a first-person shooter, as a result, there is very little focus on the actual stroyline and very few cutscenes throughout the game. As mentioned, your character is not even given a name, and when you look at your PDA it simply says, "Personal."
The only thing that you will be required to do as you go through this game is go around and collect PDA's of other people which will give you access to the rooms you need to continue throughout the game. The majority of the PDA's are easy to find and as long as you go through rooms thoroughly you will accidentally stumble on most of them. There are also E-Mails and Audio files on the PDA's that you will pick up throughout the game, many of which provide minor amusement by highlighting different stereotypical personality types (lazy, bureaucratic, perverted, carefree...etc.)
It is actually in these E-Mails and audio files where the player will find codes for storage lockers usually located within 50 steps (though occasionally farther away) where additional weapons, ammo and armor can be found. When these codes are in the E-mail file it is just fine, but when they are in the audio file it can be a serious pain in the ass.
For one thing, it requires you to have the volume up on the TV so that you can hear the code to the storage locker, whereas many people would prefer to play while listening to music. In addition to that, it can often create boredom. The majority of these audio files are unnecessarily long and there are multiple files on many PDA's, so you will often listen to these audio files all the way through and not even have a storage locker code revealed to you.
Once again, this could be alleviated by simply putting any codes in the E-mails and having the audio files be amusing, but truly optional to listen to.
Your character can equip no more than one weapon throughout the course of this game and you will acquire more weapons and more varied weapons as you venture through this game. Ultimately, there will be a pistol, shotgun, machinegun, chaingun, chainsaw, grenades, rocket launcher, and plasma gun. There will be two special weapons that do not come until the end of the game and you can also use your fists or flashlight as melee weapons.
There are two major negatives as it relates to the weapon system; the first of which is that there is no way to dual-wield your weapons. Doom 3 is probably one of the only first-person action shooters in recent memory that had absolutely no weapons that could be dual-wielded and this seriously detracts from the game (not to mention the punch your character packs). The second problem with the weapon system is the fact that the majority of the game is dark (for the effect) and that you cannot dual-wield a flashlight and a weapon. I can understand not being able to use a a flashlight as well as a rocket launcher at the same time, but there is no reason not to be able to use a flashlight and lob a couple of grenades, or at least use your pistol.
Other than the issues with having to take the few seconds to replace the flashlight with a weapon (even though it only takes one button to do this it takes a few seconds) which generally causes you to absorb one (sometimes two) enemy strikes before you can even defend yourself, the overall enemy engagement is pretty good. For one thing, enemies can open doors and this can greatly improve a player's ability to confront enemies. For example, if one is running away from a huge and extremely powerful enemy, then one can go through a door and wait for the enemy to open it and lob a couple of grenades at the enemy, then run through the next door and do the same thing again.
The most annoying aspect of enemy engagement is that they come from absolutely nowhere. Many of the demonic enemies will materialize in front of you after you see red lightning hit the ground. One good tip is that you can shoot at the lightning and the shots will begin to damage the enemy before the enemy appears. The problem is enemies will occasionally materialize behind you (sometimes in a room that you had already left) and will be able to start attacking you and get two or three attacks in before you even know where the attack is coming from.
Aside from that, enemy engagement is as it always is on a first-person shooter, fairly routine.
The gun controls are interesting insofar as there is not an automatic re-load. This is definitely a good feature of the game as it more closely resembles real life (though in real life, you would not know even how many bullets were left in your machine gun at any time) as a result, the player must press the fire button again to reload, or press the re-load button. The best way around this occasional difficulty is simply to keep your weapons all fully loaded at any point where you are not being attacked, just cycle through and re-load every weapon so they are always ready to be switched without a great interruption in fire. Another thing to keep in mind is that your previous weapon will not automatically reload just because you have switched weapons.
One aspect of the gun controls that is disappointing is that no one gun sights in better than any other, and additionally, the guns are not capable of sighting in very much. Therefore, if you are a person that likes to play the sniper on first-person shooters, you will probably become annoyed by not being able to hit anything from far away.
The final problem with the weapons is that while one weapon will deal more damage than another, same-weapon damage is basically relative only to proximity. While head shots will generally kill an enemy faster than shots to the leg, it seems that the game recognizes no difference between a shot in the leg and one in the chest.
Re-loading as opposed to switching weapons becomes even more interesting during ambush because neither of which can be done at inhuman speed (as opposed to most other first-person shooters) though it is a little bit faster to cycle to your next weapon, or choose a weapon with the D-Pad than it is to reload your current weapon.
The health system on this game is pretty straight-forward, you've got health and you've got armor. You can have up to 100 Health and up to 125 armor. If you have no armor, your Health points are drastically affected by virtually all attacks, if you have armor (more than 10 points) then each individual attack will only take 1-2 health points. If you fall down and go boom, or walk through fire that will affect your health (greatly) but not your armor. If you lose all your health, you die, which should only be a minor inconvenience.
This game has no save points, you can save whenever you want throughout the game. This is a positive from the perspective of the player, but seriously detracts from the actual challenge of the game. I elected to save anytime that my health was 100 and my armor was 100 (or more) and I would recommend the same to anyone else. Sometimes, armor and med kits are so absurdly close to each other you have no idea why they were put there and other times you'd happily pay cash money for a med kit. There is also a quick save button that can be used, but all the Quick Save really accomplishes is it saves you from having to navigate the pause menu and saves you about five seconds. One thing a player should keep in mind if they are going to use the quick save is that a new quick save automatically over-writes the old one.
The graphics and controls are all fine, the semi-permanent darkness is a pretty good touch as is the lack of background music which gives you the ability to hear disembodied sounds, screams and attacking enemies.
The biggest detractor from the quality of this game is the sheer length, quite frankly, there are role-playing games that can be completed in less time than it takes to beat this game. The length of the game (in and of itself) causes boredom, but also detracts from the overall experience in other ways.
A.) With around ten total weapons, the gametime/weapon ratio is poor, whereas, the number of weapons (compared to other first-person shooters) would only be slightly below average.
B.) With around fifteen-twenty unique enemies (discluding bosses) the gametime/enemies ratio is poor where it would usually be slightly above-average.
C.) There are many levels in this game that all but repeat themselves in terms of lay-out and graphics, by shortening the game this would not happen.
Ultimately, this game would be more entertaining if it were cut in half. On a side note, I nearly quit the game before finishing out of sheer boredom before I looked at an on-line walk-through (for only this purpose) and determined that I was about 80% of the way through it. This means that I was starting to get bored probably right around the 40-50% mark.
Despite all of the various downfalls of this game, the entertainment value (for the first half of the game) makes up for it to some extent. The graphics are outstanding, the combat more realistic than average and the controls are easy to use and almost unerring.
Then the boredom and repetition set in.
Due to its length vs. the fact that it is a standard first-person shooter, this game has no replay value whatsoever.
"Love is the gravity of the Soul" - Abstract -/-/1988 - 3/11/2013 R.I.P