I’ve been both a game developer and a game player for a long time now, and like the rest of the world, I’ve been looking forward to the release of Doom 3. It went on sale today in the United States, and I picked up my copy at Best Buy.
I’ve needed a new computer for about six months now, and I had decided to make my purchase contingent on one of two triggers: either the release of Doom 3 or Half-Life 2…whichever came first. Well, although I’ve looked and looked, I can’t find that sweet machine that marries all of the technologies I’m ready to invest in. Specifically, I think it’s worth waiting another couple of weeks for PCI Express, but none of the manufacturers have the PCI Express video cards in stock, so I’m forced to wait. In the meantime, I decided to install Doom 3 on my current computer, an older P4 1.8GHz Dell Dimension 8100 with 512MB of memory and a NVIDIA GeForce 3 AGP 4x graphics card. I didn’t expect much, but I’ve found the game to be surprisingly playable. I’m only running at 800 x 600 at the lower quality settings, but it still looks and plays extremely well. There’s hope for those of you who don’t have cutting-edge machines.
Regarding the game, it is very dark. The flashlight that you carry will become your friend (although switching it back and forth with your weapon can get old). If you’re used to fighting an army of monsters, Doom 3 will be a change of pace. It’s very rare that you ever have more than a couple monsters attacking at the same time. Creatures like to jump out of the shadows or drop from the ceiling. It’s a very moody environment, and the production quality of the graphics, textures, voice acting, and machinery do a great job of bringing you into the story. Expect to be surprised more than a few times (even though you’re expecting it). I’ve really enjoyed watching the little promotional videos that show on the monitors throughout the base on Mars. It just goes to show you the attention to detail that id Software has put into this game.
I’ve only played for about four or five hours, but so far, I’d say that it was definitely worth the purchase, and I’m happy to be able to play it on my existing hardware. If you’re a fan of first-person shooters, this is a title you should check out.