By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on August 16, 2019
And here we are once again, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls; at our trusty Big Red HQ. Although I must say that it's kinda boring around here at the moment. There's absolutely nobody around to boss around or just simply annoy every now and again. After I returned from my mission to get our cyclo-temperature-defining device's main control switch back from our friend Bob Ross, who had been using it as a paint brush and, in doing so, turned our nice cozy HQ into a scene from Ice age, everything was fine and dandy. However, when I woke up the very next day, all our staff is missing, as is my friend and colleague, Dennis "CallMeBackdraft" Aspers. So, why not just take the timemachine out for a spin and a spot of sun-filled vacation? Well, that might actually be a bit of a problem...
You see, Dennis decided to take the Big Red Timemachine out for his summer vacation trip, leaving me to fend for myself. Now, normally, I would just have taken the Tiny Red Timepod and be done with it, but seeing as how Dennis left me a note saying that "He made significant upgrades to both the structure and inner workings" of said Timepod, I really don't want to take it for a spin without having him test it out for himself (and probably get stuck in a very nasty period in the past while doing so). So I'm stuck here, just staring at the wall and generally getting more fed up by the second.
Plus, I've got an adventure to go on with you, our dear readers, in our quest to find some of the gems in the history of gaming. But how can I do that without my Timemachine, I ask you? Sure, I could just try and hook up one of the old systems I've got lying around the place, but here's the problem with that idea; One, I haven't got the faintest clue as to where I left said systems and frankly, the place is far too big to search for them. But wait! Come to think about it; Bethesda Softworks and ID Software have, not so long ago, solved this problem for me! How? Well, by releasing the original Doom, Doom II and Doom 3 for PS4, Switch and Xbox One. So, let's fire up one of these current gen bad boys and fight our way through numerous hellish enemies, as we grab our gun and play Doom 3!
Originally released for PC back in 2004 and for Mac and Xbox one year later, Doom 3 was the first attempt at rebooting the already successful Doom franchise. The project was spearheaded by John Carmack, one of the founders of ID Software and original creators of the Doom franchise. Now, simply copying the game and making it look better just wouldn't do, so ID Software set out to give gamers something more. This resulted in Doom 3 being much more story driven than its predecessors with a much more slowly paced speed when it came to playing the game.
In Doom 3, we once again take the role of an unnamed space marine as we land at the advanced research facility of the UAC (Union Aerospace Corporation), which is the largest corporation in the entire world. In the facility we just landed at, the UAC is running weapons tests and is conducting research into about everything you can come up with. Naturally, where there's research being done, disaster is usually only one step behind. In the case of Doom 3, evil is only half a step behind, ad the UAC base is soon overrun by the forces of Hell. Now it's up to us, to overcome this evil and save what there's left to be saved on Mars!
The game was made with the idea to make the people who played the game feel anxiety or even a bit of fear, which resulted in a somewhat different level design, featuring much narrower hallways than we were used to, as well as a darker approach to the game's overall lighting. This lead to the gamers not being able to spot an enemy coming at them from miles away. To shed some light on the prevailing darkness, you were given a flashlight that could be used to see where you were going. The downside to this flashlight, however, was that it couldn't be used simultaneously with a weapon, so you could either shed more light on the situation or have you gun ready in case a zombie or demon pops its decaying head around the corner and decides to have you for lunch.
Sound also played a much bigger part in this modern take on the classic Doom games. Where there was some ambient sound in Doom and Doom II, Doom 3 took this gimmick to a whole new level. Steam hissing, echoing footsteps, random machinery spluttering to life and, of course, hoarse breathing and demonic voices accompanied your almost every step as you make your way through the dark. Especially the earlier levels of Doom 3 manage to convey that claustrophobic feeling of being trapped in a place you don't want to be, surrounded by things you wish weren't there! All in all, I personally think that clever sound design went a long way in making Doom 3 stand out from the rest of the series at the time.
Naturally, seeing as how ten years had passed since Doom II was released, Doom 3 also looked a whole hell of a lot better than its predecessors ever did. I really liked all the tiny details on the enemy characters, as well as the environment itself, which essentially also managed to serve as a character all by itself. Also the lighting on Doom 3 was phenomenal! Never have zombies and demons managed to look as menacing as they did with the sparse lighting in the narrow tunnels of the UAC complex that was the initial backdrop of the game.
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Doom 3, alive (or undead?) and kicking on our current gen consoles! Now, was Doom 3 better than, equal to or simply not as good than its predecessors? Well, the answer to that question varies, depending on who you ask, I suppose. Some will say the game deviated somewhat, for good or bad, from what we came to expect from a Doom game, with its more story driven approach and tendency to lean more towards the horror element. Others, on the other hand, will point out that the main gameplay had sadly not changed very much compared to the first two Doom games and your main objective is still mowing down hordes of hellish creatures.
Personally, I can only say that playing Doom 3 was a true delight. I really liked the claustrophobic feeling the game seemed to radiate from every one of its digital pores, as well as the familiar run and gun section that harked back to the golden age of first person shooters. Doom 3 is a very solid and highly enjoyable game for everyone who loves a good first person shooter, and there's no two ways about it!
Sadly, this is all the time we have today, dear readers. I've got a lot of checking to do on our Tiny Red Timepod if I want to discover what our friend Dennis actually got his hands on when he made his "upgrades". Hmm, let's see; the safety switch is in the 'on' position, so it should be safe to at least power up the Pod. Wait, why are the time conduits blinking? I'm sure the safety switch is flipped to 'on'... or, at leats it would be if Dennis hadn't stuck the label on upside down... oh crap! DENNNIIIIIIIIISSSSSSS...
*** The Timepod disappears with a "gloop" sound and a very underwhelming puff of pink and sweet smelling smoke ***
ID Software & Activision