I’m playing Doom3 at the moment. Its the most claustrophobic, frightening, heart-rate-increasing game I’ve ever played. I’m far from finished (barely even started), so I’m not yet ready to write a review or form a final opinion. Consider this an “early review”.
As everyone will tell you, the graphics are stunning. But since it varies from “dark” to “totally fricking pitch black” throughout the game, you don’t really get much of an opportunity to admire the graphics.
Similarly, I think the physics are pretty good as well. But you can’t pick anything up and toss it around, and the vast majority of bodies “disintegrate” when you kill them, not even leaving any gibs to kick around, so whatever physics there are in the game are pretty hard to see.
The key defining factor with Doom 3 is the sense of fear. The designers have truly mastered this, and the sense of foreboding is masterfully managed at every step. I respect the fact that the dim light in the game is part of this atmosphere.
But one thing really bugged me right from the outset. This game is set over a century in the future on a colony on Mars. Yet apparently no one has remembered how to attach a flashlight to a gun. I have to put down my weapon to use a flashlight…which means that when I have to fight something, I’m literally in the dark. The monsters move around a lot, and trying to shoot what you can’t see goes beyond atmosphere and into frustration.
I jokingly mentioned this to a co-worker of mine, and commented that, in the future, mankind must have become more stupid and apparently forgotten innovations like duct tape, which could easily be used to fasten a flashlight to a weapon. This, of course, assumes that the military spec flashlight-equipped weapons that exist today somehow were outlawed or something. Well, it seems that someone else had the same thought I did, and so is born the Doom 3 duct tape mod.
I haven’t installed it yet, but I’m sorely tempted.