Hell breaks loose in latest ‘Doom’

Jeremy Porter

“Rawwrrrr!! I am scary and have more rows of teeth than Friday the 13th has sequels!” Monsters attack in Doom 3, the new Doom game.

Credit: Jeremy Porter

The Doom series has come a long way from the upbringing of First-Person Shooters (or FPS) to the controversy it has taken. After a six-year hiatus since the release of Doom 64 for Nintendo 64, Doom is back with its third edition.

If I were to compare the campaign mode of Doom 3 to Halo 2’s, I’d say Doom 3 exalts over Halo 2 in every way. Its co-op mode is also better, but it cannot touch Halo 2’s party matches. Doom 3 only has a death-match mode with up to four players.

Doom 3’s setting is a giant base on Mars in the 22nd century. There is an interruption in the research going on there, causing all hell to break loose (literally.)

Demons from the farthest reaches of hell appear all over this base and terrorize all the humans in their path. It is up to a rookie space Marine — that’s you — whose mission is to fight all these demons to protect Earth from an invasion.

Doom 3’s graphics are the best I’ve seen on X-Box so far. There are high-tech machines that move with great animation, eye-gripping lighting and demons that appear in a sinisterly magical way.

One of the demons, the imp, is the most common. The imp looks like a human that’s been burnt to a crisp, with spooky eyes and a serial killer walk. This imp also throws fireballs from his hand that light up the room.

The lighting is part of the game play as the player is equipped with a flashlight to see in the dark. The problem with the flashlight is that it can’t be held at the same time with the gun. So when you see a foe while using the flashlight, you’ll have to look for him in the dark once you’ve pulled the gun out. This flashlight adds intensity to the scare factor, but if you’re an FPS veteran, this won’t faze you.

The sound brings out the ambiance of Doom 3. An evil voice that harasses will say things like, “I will take your soul,” or “You’re going to hell!”

Demons will growl while waiting for you around corners or in the dark. An example is when I shot at a thin rail on a bridge; I heard a “ping!” as the bullet bounced off.

The downside of the sound is that there isn’t music to add to the experience of the game. Music has been a big part of FPS games when the player comes to a certain point, but this game just throws you into the situation like it’s the real thing and not entertainment. This could be a plus or minus for those who care or don’t care for music in a game. To me, I had too much fun to even care about any music at all.

Doom 3 plays fast-paced with high adrenaline and keeps you alert if you want to survive. Demons will surprise you and sneak up on you from behind. I found myself constantly watching over my shoulder or listening for a growl.

It is a blast to shoot with Doom 3’s artillery to gun down demons and possessed soldiers. Some of my favorite weapons are the chain gun, rocket launcher, chainsaw, shotgun and BFG 9000. The objective with the weapons is that you’ll run out of bullets with one gun at one point or another. The weapons are balanced and you won’t be using the same one very often.

I’ve read a lot of reviews saying this game will scare the pants off you. To me, it was fun and exciting to see hell and its demons, but I didn’t find anything that’s shocking or spooky about these images. It is the player that’s playing who has the power to defeat these demons in great numbers, so why be afraid? If you’re light-hearted to these kind of images, then I suggest you play it with a friend on co-op mode offline or online.

Overall, this game was a hell of a good time. It has demons, hell’s domains, great graphics, great guns and great sound. I suggest it to anyone who enjoys first-person-shooters or anyone into a game that might scare them.

Contact Pop Arts reporter Jeremy Porter at [email protected].