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Thread: Doom 3 - 16 Years Later

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia

    Doom 3 - 16 Years Later



    LGR tonight put out a 16 years later retrospective look at Doom 3. Very interesting stuff.

    I've only played through the game and it's expansion once, many years ago and I certainly found it to be an excellent game. It's just wasn't "Doom". More System Shock 2 in some respects (the audio logs, interface etc), and generally more survival horror compared to Doom's 1 & 2 which were complete fast paced action style affairs. Viewed completely on it's own, with the name taken away, it's a fine game imo. Just wasn't Doom.

    Say what you will of Doom 2016 and Eternal, but Doom 3 was it's own beast. Definitely worth playing.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: melon labneh
    Ready to get my gamer card revoked: Doom 3 is my favourite in the series. I was first gaming on Amiga and we only got a PC at the end of '95 so by the time I could sit by myself and play the original, other more memorable FPSes like Dark Forces were available and Quake was around the corner. Doom is a good game but I think I missed the train and coming back to it never yielded much fun (still better than Doom 2 and the reboots); on the other hand I played Doom 3 on release and while it has many flaws, it pleased both the tech nerd and horror fan in me. I enjoy replaying it and RoE once in a while.

  3. #3
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    The game was pretty cool for what it was, more cramped, dark, moody, intense.
    I'm not such an old-school partisan of Doom, so the fact it was different didn't really diminish it for me; although it's still not my kind of game. I'm still the immersive sim type in the end. My favorite recent shooter is Prey. But it was a nicely paced game and I had fun with it. It is a kind of immersive lite shooter, so it's still in that neighborhood.

    I still work with its engine every week because Darkmod is built on it, plus a few extensions to get it a little more up to date. Its engine is really in a sweet spot where it's right at the capacity of a single person to make really great levels. A few years later, and the demands for a single person were starting to get too great. But what still strikes me is that great looking levels can still be made in that engine. And it has some nice features. The scripting system is pretty simple and powerful. It has a unified lighting system which is good for cramped, dark, and moody settings. Of course it's great that it was even open sourced. It doesn't get as much respect as I think it deserves.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    I'm also a fan of Doom 3.
    I was a bit iffy on it at first, but now I think it's great.

    Doom is a strange series, there's no clear "best" game - all of them are good for different reasons.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I was a kid when it came out, and so I loved it at the time. I recently revisited it by playing 'The Lost Mission', and I can't say my memory of it corresponded with reality. It was a bit more drab and linear than I recalled. Perhaps that impression had more to do with the fact that those levels were originally cut for a reason and the BFG editions lighting changes robbed it of a lot of the mood. This video certainly insinuates that. The original games have aged a bit better in my book, but that's not saying much given that they're among the most timeless games ever.
    Last edited by froghawk; 6th Nov 2020 at 22:52.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    I love love love the way Doom 3 seamlessly transitions from crosshair to mouse pointer. Why didn't more games do that? Sure, it means the screens have to be large. The way the PDA animated was cool, too. It was the most diegetic UI (thank you Starker) game before Far Cry 2.

    ...The game was meh, though. Linear as hell (lol), predictable monster closets, and I got to the point where I'd see a demon ahead and immediately turn around and shoot the demons spawning in behind me because they did that like almost every time.

    I actually liked the parts where you have to use the flashlight. Livened things up a bit. People complained bitterly but if you put a flashlight on the gun, the dark sections just aren't challenging anymore.
    Last edited by Pyrian; 7th Nov 2020 at 00:39.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Diegetic UI is the word. And I always thought it was a response to Half-Life specifically, complete with the linearity and all. Especially with the opening bit where you arrive at work.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Thanks. Huh. Yeah, Doom 3 is very Half-Life 1-esque, now that you mention it, especially in its level design and the way enemies pop in. But released around Half-Life 2, which it doesn't resemble as strongly, IMO.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Absolutely re: the Half Life opening.

    I think people forget that Doom 2 was also monster closet city. It just didn't seem anywhere near as annoying in the bigger, more open levels.

  10. #10
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I liked the atmosphere. I liked the gameplay. I decidedly didn't like the linearity. It was a corridor shooter in the worst sense.

    Half Life 1 & 2 are interesting comparisons. I loved HL1, clunky movement aside, because of the storytelling, so the linearity was forgiveable because it was telling a story and each scene was a set piece, maybe with some gameplay puzzle at its center. HL2 I had really mixed feelings about because it wasn't just storytelling set pieces, but now they were gameplay set pieces, and the story telling wasn't even all that good (although the worldbuilding was still great). I mean it was fun, but it was almost too slick, too manufactured in the fun. And I think I realized right off that this was a paradigm shift, and now every shooter is going to have this set piece approach, and Doom3 was one of the first big examples. And I was not happy with that part.

    Well, Doom3 was more like atmospheric and gameplay rush set pieces instead of gimmick or gameplay-style set pieces of HL2, cf. "game plots are like porn plots, you need just enough to get to the action", but it was at least better than what HL2 was doing.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Re: most diegetic UI, I think Trespasser is the one that's the ur-example of that. But I guess, given its success, people strove to not learn from it.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Wikipedia for Trespasser: "Both the developers of Surgeon Simulator 2013 and the original Octodad have cited the game as a source of inspiration."

    Doom 2 really felt like an expansion pack to Doom 1. "New levels! New guns! New enemies! ...Same game!"

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    Wikipedia for Trespasser: "Both the developers of Surgeon Simulator 2013 and the original Octodad have cited the game as a source of inspiration."
    ROFL!

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    I was disappointed with Doom 3. I liked the intro, and I liked how it looked, but didn't like playing it for all the reasons already mentioned. The early tension came from design gimmicks: monster closets and ambushes, darkness, forcing you to switch between the flashlight and pistol, and changing the soundtrack when you entered or left a room. But they repeated the same gimmicks over and over, so it didn't take very long before tension turned into tedium.

  15. #15
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    I must confess that Doom 3 was the first Doom game that I actually played. In fact, I still haven't played D2 at all or more than 20 minutes or so of the first one. I was still a console kid at the time that it was released -- the Sega Megadrive in fact -- and when I eventually did get a PC a short while later, I managed to get the shareware version of Doom, but soon lost interest after getting Hexen, Ultima 7 and UW.

    On the other hand, I thought Doom 3 was awesome. There were so many technological innovations, such as screen interfaces that were able to be used ingame without needing to switch to a different screen, per-pixel lighting and an animation system that was much better than most games at that time. It also did a convincing job creating an atmosphere that made you feel like you were actually on a station on Mars.
    All that said, I only really enjoyed it up until the first half of the game or so; it became a real drag after that, with endless jumpscares (as previously mentioned) and repetitive enemies (a formula repeated on new Doom as well).

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    predictable monster closets, and I got to the point where I'd see a demon ahead and immediately turn around and shoot the demons spawning in behind me because they did that like almost every time.

    I remember when I first played it, I once walked into a room, spun around, said "BORING!", and blasted the imp I knew would teleport in behind me. It really did get predictable after a while. I still like the game though.

  17. #17
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Here's my hot take:-
    BFG Edition was better, vanilla is only still relevant because of mods. BFG Edition severely dialled back the highly artificial Survival Horror gameplay restrictions and refocused the game towards being an action-based romp that a Doom game should be.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    It always seemed odd to me that Doom 3 was, well, Doom. Without the expectations tied to that franchise I think it'd have been received better. I mean, it still had very obviously linear design and repetitive monster closet gameplay, but it was a better moody shooter than it was a Doom game.

    I felt that BFG Edition did a better job of focusing the game on what it was good at, but there are parts of the game that were obviously designed around an inability to simultaneously illuminate and shoot, and those suffered from the changes. That said, the stark dynamic lighting, where anything not directly illuminated is pitch black, has not aged well; giving the player an always-on flashlight is about the best they could do to smooth that over short of reworking the lighting engine. The specular highlighting that makes everything look like it's made of plastic also firmly dates it to the early-00s, but that at least doesn't impact gameplay.

    And yeah the interface system was excellent. I remember it being the first interaction system in a game that felt really seamless, without hard cuts between gameplay and 2D UI. Again, great idea, but odd to see in a Doom game of all things.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Did any other games ever follow suit?

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quake IV did, but that's basically a Doom 3 reskin anyways (same engine). Star Citizen does it too for some things; mostly just for random elevator controls and the like last I checked. I seem to remember Hard Reset having that sort of UI, but can't recall for certain.

    Unity actually provides native support for that style of interaction now, so the capability is there for anyone who wants to use it. Maybe it just doesn't play nice with console controls.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    Quote Originally Posted by catbarf View Post
    Maybe it just doesn't play nice with console controls.
    Perhaps so. Punching buttons on a keypad via right stick is clumsy compared to a mouse. To me anyway. But I've never been that handy with thumb sticks.

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