Friday, October 28, 2011

Horror Review: Doom 3

Doom 3 
System: PC / Xbox 

The year is 2145 - The setting: An outpost station on Mars ran by the Union Aerospace Conglomerate - The largest corporation in human history. Experiments are taking place here in biological, and weapons research, as well as a highly experimental experiment regarding teleportation. As with most corporations it's location on Mars means UAC can perform these experiments without the legal limitations of earth's government. Things are tense on the station, as people are showing signs of being paranoid, and doing incredibly strange things... and then it happens.. The power goes out, and all Hell breaks loose..literally!

Third verse, same as the first.... 

Doom 3 is for all intensive purposes a remake of the first Doom game, and yet with current technology and new advancements it's an awesome experience that sets it very much apart of the source material. If we were to have a reference point for the game's inspirations, we could use movies like say Event Horizon, or Clive Barker's Hellraiser films. The graphics are ultra realistic for their time, despite being somewhat dated due to the limitations of the Unreal 3 Engine. However, This is another instance of uncanny Valley being beneficial in establishing a particular mood and atmosphere. Doom 3 is a largely dark game as most of the station's power grid is down save for critical functions like oxygen, so you'll have to use a flashlight to progress. Unfortunately one of the game's flaws happens to be that you can't hold a flashlight and a weapon at the same time, which forces you to alternate between the two. This might be considered a flaw, but let's consider the implications of this; You're forced to use something that renders you temporarily helpless in order to better see your surroundings. Once you're confronted, you'll find yourself startled and trying to gain enough ground to quickly switch over to weapons, which is only a button press away. The Flashlight also runs out of energy due to frequent use, so you have to give it ample time to recharge inbetween uses.

Corridors, Closets and Paths, Oh my!

Like many FPS, The game is very linear and takes place almost always through some sort of corridor in order to continue on. Occasionally, there are open spaced areas to do combat in, and yet those tend to be the most challenging, as you're constantly being swarmed by the more difficult enemies, and boy do they get difficult, but the challenge is oh-so-rewarding once you progress further. Luckily you can save at any point in the game, which is incredibly beneficial if you want to just jump back into the game where you left off. The game's story is shown through recovered data from the PDAs of UAC employees, and through the survivors and characters you encounter. As stated before doing this gives you complete control over your character, and the cutscenes are actually not that intrusive or plentiful compared to later FPS games. The downside is that some of the events and storylines contradict others, creating some sort of strange paradoxical nature. There are also references to previous games in the series, which serve as nods to long time fans of the series. 

shocking surprises around ever corner...yes yes bad pun, I know.

Hell sounds kinda like NIN... 

It was rumored in the development process that Trent Reznor would be providing the music and sound effects for Doom 3, due to him being a fan of the series. However, due to budgetary constraints and other issues (Wikipedia calls it "time, money and bad management" ) This was not to be. The good news was that former NIN drummer, Chris Vrenna provided the music for the main theme. The audio is pure perfection, and almost vital for surround sound or headphones to get the best scares. You're constantly on edge the entire time due to the things you hear, and even go so far as to be taunted by the game's enemies towards the end of the game. Some of the most scariest moments is hearing the game's villain cackling or  talking smack about you while you fight off his minions. It can be a bit unnerving and still it makes the experiences just oh-so-right.

But I just want a hug!! 

We have such sights to show you......

Personally, if you're interested in looking for this game, I suggest you get the expansion version "Resurrection of Evil" which includes Doom 2 and Ultimate Doom as unlockables, as well as a few other extras (The flashlight can be taped to weapons in this version as well ), but if you find a copy of Doom 3, in any incarnation and haven't played the Xbox or the PC version, I advise you to do yourself a favor and check it out. It's one of those games that will have you looking over your shoulder both in game and in your living room.

Thanks for reading this week's horror review reprints. I hope you liked the small touches i've added to throw a bit more insight into the games you love. Once again, I would like to wish everyone a very happy and safe Halloween, and next year expect to see five all new reviews of horror games for your reading pleasure. 

Game On!

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