Doom 3 – Demons In The Darkness

We all have games that for one reason or another end up being put in the backlog, usually with the intention that we’ll get back to it after we finish up whatever we’re currently focusing on. For me, I seem to come across games that I begin playing and seem to enjoy enough before…kinda…stopping. What then typically happens is enough time passes that I then decide I’ll just start fresh from the beginning, some games this process gets repeated several times…so I was extra happy to see through to the end a game I have spent years playing off and on – Doom 3; a game I’ve played off and on since its release in 2004. So, after 15 years I figured it was about damn time to see this one through.

After the successes of the first two Doom games, the result of which spawned ports and iterations of the original Doom on just about every operating system and console available (including the notorious Sega 32X and Game Boy Advance ports), iD Software in the early 2000’s their next entry in the Doom franchise would be a remake/reboot of the original first released in 1994. The game spent the next several years in development from announcement to release date. Doom 3 was released on August 3 2004 to critical acclaim and still remains an interesting, if not unusual entry to the franchise.

I can ACTUALLY see you this time!

Doom 3 is a bit of a departure for the series in that the fast paced run-and-gun element of the first two games have been slowed down and takes a back seat to atmosphere and storytelling similar to the BioShock or F.E.A.R, which Doom 3 undoubtedly influenced. You still engage in intense gunfights with demons from the depths of Hell, however the gameplay is more survival horror and narrative than simply shoot everything in sight…though you STILL do plenty of that. The tone of the game is dark and brooding with reanimated zombie soldiers and an entire army of demons seemingly lurking around every corner. The lighting effects and shadows in the game are very impressive and I found myself stopping frequently to take in the terrifying ambience in Doom 3. The story is the same as the original Doom and takes place on the UAC Mars Base Research Facility where scientists have discovered several stone tablets at a nearby excavation site and in the process open a portal to Hell unleashing everyone to unimaginable horrors.

Throughout the game you encounter random survivors, soldier and scientist alike to further flesh out the story of the game. You play as a Space Marines recruit en route to the Mars Facility just as…<don’t say it!>…all Hell breaks loose (no more lame puns 🙂 ). Upon checking into the UAC base, you are given a PDA( REMEMBER those? lol) to keep track of email, as well as audio and video logs; this serves as a way to keep track of your current objective as well as provide further backstory in the events leading up to your arrival as you collect the PDAs dropped by others to listen to their audio logs and email which provide details relevant to your objectives such as locker codes or computer terminal locations.

Back to Hell with you, Mancubus!

The majority of the game takes place inside the UAC Facility with its multitude of corridors, labs, and computer terminals; this further adds to the feeling of claustrophobia keeping you on your toes as this game is DARK, not only in tone but in that you are unable to ACTUALLY see what you are supposed to be fighting. This is probably my biggest gripe about the game – even with the brightness settings turned up, it is very very hard to see. Another element that adds to this is the conscious decision by iD to make you unable to hold your flashlight AND gun at the same time, this being the most common gripe I heard as soon as someone would mention Doom 3. You continue making your way through Mars Base until you are sent directly to Hell via teleporter, this was my favorite and far too brief level in which fight the Guardian and retrieve the Soul Cube – an ancient weapon capable of destroying the army of Hell-spawn. You are then teleported back to Mars and venture back through the remainder of the research facility and proceed to find the excavation site where the Stone Tablets and Soul Cube were discovered. You continue to blast your way through hordes of demons before battling the Cyberdemon and saving the day. The Cyberdemon fight I admit was brief and felt rather anti-climactic due to the power of the Soul Cube annihilating anything in its path(and refilling your health at the same time). Side Note: In later “BFG Versions” of the game the famous “duct tape mod” was added, giving you the ability to see AND shoot.

Though Doom 3 is a reboot of the franchise, the game still contains many of the same monsters and demons from the previous games like the Cyberdemon, Hell Knight, and Pinky, though the design of the monsters were changed around a bit( Pinky’s metal cyborg legs!). It also would not be a Doom game with a complete arsenal of weapons at your disposal, with everything from trusty shotguns to chainsaws and plasma rifles to perhaps the best known weapon in any FPS game – the BFG 9000, which is powerful enough to blow a Hell Knight to bits with a single charged shot….hell yeah!! 😀

This place seems nice…

There’s a lot about Doom 3 that I really enjoyed: the atmosphere is frightfully beautiful, and the graphics have held up remarkably well for a fifteen year old game. The weapons and demons are also well designed and fitting of the venerable Doom series. The levels work well to give the player intense close-quarters combat within the dark corridors of the Mars Base. My only real dislikes about the game were the screen shake when you are hit by an enemy attack to the point where it gets a bit disorienting, along with just how dark the game is, even with the brightness setting cranked all the way up. I know that was a conscious decision to provoke apprehension about just what might be hiding in the darkness as you make your way around, so I don’t feel it’s hugely detrimental to the game. The fact you have to choose to be able to see or defend yourself by not being able to use the flashlight and weapon at the same time is still an annoyance. Nevertheless, the positive things I can say about this game far outweigh a few minor critiques. If there is any other Doom fans out there that haven’t given this a play through yet, I very highly recommend it.

Playing through Doom 3 along with seeing more from the upcoming Doom: Eternal game has made me want to go through and play more Doom games. I mentioned last weekend that I had found a good copy of Doom 64 that I intend to make my way through shortly…as soon as I can find a Controller Pak…the modern conveniences like built-in hard drives that we take for granted these days, right?

Four hits from the Soul Cube and down goes the Cyberdemon

In the process of throwing this week’s post together, I came across a list of the FPS games that were released in 2004 like Doom 3…my god what a list of shooters released for console as well as PC: Doom 3, Painkiller, Far Cry, Killzone, Star Wars: Battlefront…and then there was also Half-Life 2 and Halo 2! Following up on this and writing a gaming year in review sounds kinda fun so I may do that in the near future. Has anyone besides me NOT played Doom 3? Does anyone else feel like if they don’t play a game for long enough without completing it that they need to start all over from the beginning?

Keep on playing…

Weekend Gaming Review – June 2019

I’m still feeling the excitement from all of the game announcements from E3 which ended this previous Thursday, and got a chance to watch some actual gameplay from upcoming games, mostly from the Nintendo E3 Treehouse stream I watched on Tuesday. I stated in last week’s post how excited I am for the Link’s Awakening remake and watching gameplay from it only increased that feeling, I also got to see more from Super Mario Maker 2 and Animal Crossing which I already have on the “Buy List” in my head. Two other games I am really interested to try out later this summer/fall for the Switch are Daemon X Machina and Astral Chain which make my Switch Shopping List even more lengthy this year. Along with spending multiple hours between gaming news sites and spectating the elation of Banjo-Kazooie fans after being announced as a new Smash Bros. DLC characters( I thought I LOVED the game…) I still found time to actually play some games, including a few games I started for the first time.

  • Mass Effect: Andromeda – I wanted to play through this game to see if it’s really as bad as I remember hearing about when the game was released. I know that BioWare has made a number of updates to the game particularly with the character animations during cutscenes which was I guess something a significant portion of gamers couldn’t get past, along with the story not being as ambitious as the original Mass Effect trilogy. I have enjoyed what I’ve played of the game so far and plan to write up my thoughts on the game after completing.
  • Pokémon : Let’s Go, Pikachu! – I actually hadn’t started on this game since it’s release last year and I am somewhat disappointed in myself. I watched my younger brother play through Pokémon Yellow( and I had Pokémon Red) on Game Boy Color as a kid, so I was familiar with the game and just plain hadn’t gotten around to it; most of my time last November and December was spent playing Black Ops 4, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Smash Bros. Ultimate. I love kicking back and playing pretty much ANY Pokémon game as one of my “comfort food” games that I come back to if I ever get into a “rut” and find myself asking “Am I really enjoying this or am I just playing this game to clear it from my backlog?” I couldn’t help but notice that I happened to pick this up after watching a bunch of gameplay showing Pokémon Sword/Shield which comes out in November…probably a coincidence?
  • Doom 3 – I have been playing through this off and on for a few weeks as I was determined to actually finish the damn game as it was one of many games that I began so long ago that when I finally come back to it I decide to start ALL OVER again and play through from the beginning. You know when you start watching a tv show and just kinda fall off about halfway through it that when you yourself wanting to see it through to the end you feel like you need to being fresh from the beginning so it seems more cohesive….I’m not the ONLY weirdo out there like that, right? Anyways…I’ve been playing through Doom 3 with an extra determination to finish it; there’s only a few months before Doom Eternal comes out and I want to get another run through of Doom 2016 before that. I also picked up a copy of Doom 64 that I found at my local retro game store recently, so, I’m look forward to finally playing that as I never played it back in 1997.
  • Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon – Another game that has been in my ever-growing backlog waiting for me to finish. I bought Dark Moon when it first came out on the 3DS as I was really excited for another Luigi’s Mansion game with the original being the first game that I played and loved for the Gamecube in 2001. Another game that I simply have not played to completion, I mostly attribute this to that I spend a disproportionate amount of console games to handheld games. I have nothing against the 3DS, I just never played it as much as a console I can play on my tv. The handheld games I have always spent the most time playing are the mainline Pokémon games, otherwise most games for my Game Boy Color/DS/3DS have been relegated to games that I would play should I ever actually travel somewhere(almost never…). By this point it seems that whether I realized it or not, the games I have been playing all have a sequel or simply another game in the series coming out the near future with exception of Mass Effect: Andromeda.
  • MLB The Show 19 – Yup, still grinding away for more cards on my Diamond Dynasty team…

I will most likely write up my thoughts about Mass Effect, Doom, and Let’s Go, Pikachu! in the future after making my way through them. I started this blog simply as an exercise in talking about video games – something incredibly meaningful to me and has always been a part of my life. I have a lot of different ideas for future blog posts to add a little bit of variety so I’m not just typing “I played this game today…” every weekend. I will still continue to write out my thoughts about games that I’m playing or would like to play, along with different topics involving video games in some capacity. Current gaming news or specific memories or attachments to particular games is another avenue that I would be interested in; there’s even plenty of video game movies that I think would be fun to talk about. That about does it for this week…I still have a little bit of time to catch a few more Pokémon 🙂

Keep on playing…