Doom 3: Limited Collector's Edition
When Mars go awry the humans will die and the demons will come out to play.
From the moment I started the game I had an uneasy feeling. Things seemed fine at the Mars base but I knew something horrific was going to happen, and it would be soon. Then, just like I was expecting, everything went to Hell. For nearly the rest of the game the lights were out and it was dark everywhere. The only way to see everything was to turn on my flashlight. Then I had a thought: Since this is taking place in the future and I'm a future Marine type of guy, why would I need to put away my gun to hold my flashlight? Shouldn’t I have a light on the guns so that my fellow soldiers and I could see in the dark? You would think it’d be a common accessory for those soldiers that have to traverse into caverns, or any area where the lights go out. What about night vision? Wouldn’t that also be something common in the future? Although it would make sense to have, a readily available light on the gun would take away from that uneasy and constant feeling of fear that Doom 3 imbues.
There are good reasons to be afraid. Monsters pop out of random places and lights suddenly go out. Without much warning rooms will become bathed in a blood red glow, usually accompanied by an evil, menacing cackle. When it’s over the room is may be back to normal or it has a new hellish appearance. Sometimes the room breaks apart leaving you to find an alternate route, or will force you to traverse the new dangerous one. The room metamorphosis also usually includes the abrupt appearances of fresh demons. Most of the demons from the previous games have been given new looks, but there are a few brand new creatures. The creepiest by far is the cherub: an evil demon kid with wings. A couple monsters, like the new cacodemon and the tubby hell knight, are almost cute... in a grotesque and evil sort of way.
Whatever demon species you're facing, they will all put up a hell of a fight. However, the enemy A.I. is simplistic and every demonic creature, big or small, does the exact same thing: They all run at you and attack. While it takes slightly different methods to dispose of the bosses, even they attack you in the same manner. After combating Halo 2’s intelligent adversaries, it’s a little disappointing that the enemies all act the same. They don’t run for cover, although you wouldn’t expect a demon to run away and hide. They are ruthless and unforgiving in their attack. You spend a lot of time running backwards and shooting to dispose of the demons… and because you’re scared out of your mind.
Later on in the game you are presented with a seemingly real vision of Hell. You’ve probably seen the redness and fire filled pits in other demon stories, movies, and games, but the first person perspective makes you feel that you are actually in Hell. You are living through this nightmare, fighting these creatures that want nothing more than to rip your soul to shreds.
All of the familiar Doom weapons are here, but have a futuristic twist. The machine gun has a cool top loading clip and the BFG is a pretty kick-ass piece of weaponry. Of course, it wouldn’t be Doom if it didn’t have the chainsaw, and it's available in many places throughout the base. A new addition is the deadly soul cube, which takes out an enemy in one strike.
The game itself is very linear and there doesn't seem to be many secret corridors or rooms. The original games thrived on secret rooms, but many of the “out of the way” places you almost seem meant to find. Since everything looked the same in the original Doom, I got lost in many of the later stages, but I never got lost here. The fetch the key card parts of the other games has been replaced with fetch the PDA. The PDAs are more than just a key, however. They offer terrific insight into the Doom 3 storyline and universe. Each dead man’s PDA has emails to and from other people in the facility. Even junk mail is present with plenty of male enhancement spam. Many PDAs also contain audio logs that flesh out more of the events that led up to the chaos. The voice acting in these logs is excellent and you can get a good sense of these individuals’ personalities.
The lighting, or should I say lack of lighting, is fantastic. The visuals are great, but I actually expected them to be a little better. Maybe I was spoiled by screen shots of the PC version that were running on super high end systems.
I would not recommend this game to anyone who is claustrophobic. There are plenty of narrow corridors and small confined places you need to go through to make it through the game. When everything is combined, the dark atmosphere, fierce creatures, and demonic voices, Doom 3 gives a fantastic mix of freak-you-out shooting action.
If you bought the Doom 3 Limited Collector’s Edition there are a few extras that await you. The first is the sweet metal case that was started by Halo 2.
Concept art: This is a slide show of some of the concept art for the game. It shows some of the art and progression of some of the demons, unused creatures, and parts of the world. Unfortunately, it does not include the art for the boss demons. I wanted to see those the most.
G4 Videos: This is the G4 Icons special “The History of Doom,” broken into four parts. It gives some look at the making of the game and a brief history of Doom and Id software. It’s a decent watch, but why only have this and not some exclusive making-of content? I could catch this on a G4 repeat if I wanted.
Interviews: This is very misleading. This is nothing more than six clips, running one to two minutes each, of and id person saying something about the game. These give barely any insight into the development of the game and are better skipped.
Classic Doom: By far the best of the extras. From here you can play Ultimate Doom and Doom II. There are the classic single player and death match modes, but you can also play each game in co-op. That’s right play Doom and Doom II with two to four players. That is an awesome bonus.
With the exception of Ultimate Doom and Doom II, the extras were a bit disappointing. I was hoping for more in depth making-of stuff and more art. The two classic Doom games more than make up for it, though.
If you bought the game at Best Buy, you received a small book describing the weapons of Doom 3. The small book is actually an excerpt from the regular book “Making Doom.” The weird thing is that the book came in a DVD case. So now I have a book, in a DVD case, sitting on a shelf with my Xbox games.
Score for book: 6.0