Doom 3: A Masterpiece in Horror FPS

11 Aug

This has been a long time coming, because after Doom Eternal, and how it broke two perfectly new controllers, I had very little reason to return to the Doom franchise. Doom Eternal is probably easier to play on a mouse and keyboard, but it’s my disappointment in not being able to play the game repeatedly is what made me give up on playing Doom Eternal. After playing through the Bioshock trilogy, and finding the subtlety and perfection in the stories, I decided to give Doom 3 a try. There are so many things that people got wrong about Doom 3. It’s not just that it’s a reboot, but you can put the timeline of the Doom Marine in Doom 3, as another Blazkowitz living his best life. People will say “it’s too slow” and others argued, “Why can’t I hold the gun and the flashlight?” In the Nintendo Switch version (9.99 on the Nintendo E Shop, at the time, some sales might apply at certain times of the year) I played, this is added, as it was on Doom 3: BFG edition. I decided to give it a go, and see what I thought. 

            Doom 3 is genuinely creepy game that follows a melodic beat, and if you are into atmospheric shooters, this is probably the only game in the series that is trying to take itself seriously with survival horror roots, with very entertaining gun play. The Doom Marine is searching for Dr. Bretruger on the planet Mars as his lab is being shut down on the UAC base for nefarious practices. The lab assistants are on edge and they request for transfers. It’s the genuine creepiness that makes Doom 3 “the Resident Evil of first person shooters” and it makes sense. The dread and possible death around every corner, as it’s incredibly dark, as most of the time you have to choose, in the original release, to use a flashlight or a weapon, which would be an inconvenience on both the player and making the world more believable as a survival horror franchise. 

            The player and the Doom Marine are not afforded a choice to leave the mission, and you are there to stop the forces of hell from awakening and invading the world. The graphic may seem dated, but it adds to the sensation of choosing to fight or plight, which is not Doom’s forte as a game playing experience. 

            It’s a nice game to play after burning so many hours into Doom Eternal that it feels plotted but less grandiose and over the top than Doom Eternal (2020), and while it has divided many, it provides a soft brilliance of dark textures to each dimly lit room where the gameplay is as immersive and foundational to where plotted video games in 2004, used to be. Not surprising that it divided fans, I was genuinely creeped out by the game, and now, rather embracing abyss, chose to give the game another chance. 

            The beauty of taking a chance on DOOM 3 is that the movie seems to follow in its footsteps, and the direction it gives seems more inventive now than it was. The only drawback of DOOM 3 is the jumping mechanism, which is odd and often frustrating. 

            Not since Doom Eternal had Id decided to add cutscenes, but now since Doom Eternal has embraced the cutscene aspect of story telling in Doom 3, and it’s worthy to be apart of the Doom franchise. What makes Doom 3 intense and frightening is the conviction of the atmosphere that stands the test of time, and while it may seem outdated, the charm and the real scares are fun to play.

            The negatives are simple. The jumping is atrocious. This was before more advanced climbing mechanisms were put into games, but it’s a sore spot in the game. The automatic save checkpoints are ill timed and they ruin the pacing of the gameplay, which is to make the player keep going, but the disappointment is learning after you die, to nearly go back and cover half of the map again. This is maybe deliberate, but maybe Id was trying to find its footing in the pacing of the story’s progression.

            Opinion: The Doom movies are better than you might realize after you play Doom 3, and it follows a logic that they couldn’t replace. If a movie version can be done, it would have to be like Hardcore Henry. It would be maddening, but we are a long way from getting a great Doom movie. 

            Pros: graphics still hold up, atmosphere, charm, satisfying gun play, and creepy story.

            Cons: The jumping mechanic is awful. The loading screen at some points are downright insulting to the player, but it’s probably done for a reason.

            Final Opinion: 10/10

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