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FortKnox's Journal: Doom 3 Impression 28

Journal by FortKnox
Ok, I admit... I played Doom3 most of last night instead of finishing my requirements. I'll finish it tonight and post it late :-P

I'm gonna break down this review into 3 parts: The graphics, the beginning, and after 30 minutes.

The Graphics: It should be noted that I run a pretty powerful machine. 2.8GHz P4 (800MHz FSB) with 1GB RAM (800MHz FSB), and my vid card is an ATi 9600XT. That puts my machine well into the requirements, and my vid card performs about the middle of the pack (performs better than the 9800, worse than the 9800 Pro). I played the game the way the game recommended: 640X480 Medium Quality.
The graphics are gorgeous! The game is a touch choppy, but definately playable. There are points where the game would pause to start up a scripted sequence. Now, I have good raw power on my machine, so I was expecting choppiness maybe in the video card, but not the actual machine (coulda been from loading up the data on disc... couldn't hear the CD ROM). Graphics are definately beautiful in this game as expected.

The Beginning: The game is just like HL. You start off normal, then 'things go bad.' The funny thing, though, is the 'scariness' of the game is in the 'normal' setting. You have to go through underground Mars where crazy stuff happens (like lights going out in certain rooms, etc). It really makes for a spooky atmosphere. It started to remind me of the first time I played System Shock 2 (the only game that scares the crap outta me, constantly). Speaking of SS2, they nabbed the idea of the PDA from SS2. You can hear audio logs from other people through it, making for an even better environment. Then bad things happen. Some cool effects like zombies flinching the part you actually hit. In fact, there is one part where a body is hung upsidedown from the ceiling that I gleefully punched just to see him swing.

30 minutes into the game: Well, 30 mins into the game is well after 'bad things happen', but this is when I realized something different. I wasn't scared anymore. The game was... well... it was just doom. Zombies and demons pop out, you kill them. Nothing scary about that, in fact, I felt a little bad compairing Doom3 to SS2 in my mind. Honestly, it is Doom with a plot (well, a plot slightly better than the original doom), but it gets monotonous quickly, because the gameplay is just like Doom. You get access to a new room... go into that room, kill a buncha things, you get more of the plot and access to a new room, go into that room, kill a buncha things....
The game, unfortunately, gets old after an hour of gameplay. Sure, its gorgeous as hell, and they worked really hard to make a good plot, but the gameplay is still the same old same old. Worth the $55? Maybe once a few mods pop up (a la Halflife).

Maybe I'm a bit spoiled from playing Warren Spector's FPS/RPG genre-breaking games, but Doom3 just didn't feel like anything new except for the graphics. Sorry John Carmack. You are a brilliant coder and can do wonders with graphics, but your games are all the same gameplay.

To sum up, I didn't 'hate' the game, just got bored with it after a while. I still may continue playing it, but just to flesh out the plot and see the new monsters' graphics.
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Doom 3 Impression

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  • by gmhowell (26755)
    Good. You are bored with the game. Now quit fucking around and get back to work on the new site.

    I've never played any of the Doom games. Call me spoiled, but at about the time Doom came out, Marathon was out on the Mac. Maybe it weren't as purty, but it had a story.
  • 640x480? What's up with that? I can run FarCry at 1024x768 with medium quality on my 9800Pro (with only 512mb of RAM though). Have you tried bumping that up at all?

    I realize that there is a lot of special effects in there, but 640x480 seems so... 1997.

    • likly it can go up fine. I can play 1024x768xhigh on my 5800 fine...
      • This is what all my friends have experienced. It reccomended 640x480 for them, and they can play at 1024x768 just fine.
        • It's probably CPU limited instead of video limited, though.

          Run a timedemo sort of thing. Increase the res, run it again. If you get close to the same value, up it again... Keep going until you lose FPS. That's the 'sweat spot' for the CPU/graphics options you have.

          Anyone spare a video card? Sigh... My GeForce 2 won't cut it. No pixel shaders, and there's no fall-back position in the game.


        • Yeah, FarCry did the same. It recommended medium quality on everything but I bumped it up to Very High on some and High on others. There is some slowdown, but I'm getting over 30fps, and that's really what matters.

  • I'm playing on an Athlon64 3200+ with a Radeon 9600XT - and things run fine at 800x600 and medium settings. I could probably try to bump that up a little, but I like things smooth. It's been said enough, but it really is quite the thing to look at - especially in motion. I love watching the slimy surfaces gleam as you go up and down with your flashlight. Amazing lighting - I especially like the floating orb-head things.

    The game is, well, OK. Combat consists of crawling forward to wake monsters, stoppi
  • by ryanr (30917) *
    Yes, several of us at work thought we had decent machines. Doom 3 tells us we've been sadly misinformed. I've got an Athlon 3200+, 512MB RAM, and an ATI AIW 9700Pro. It recommended 640 x 480, and I've changed it to 800 x 600. It can get quite choppy at times.

    Load times are long.

    We've decided it's an interesting game, but not "doom" much. Doom didn't have cutscenes, for example (unless you count the "map" screens that inform you you're about to enter "up to your nexk in rectum", or something.)

    On the
    • System Specs:
      Athlon 2500XP
      1GB 2100 DDR RAM
      ATI AIW 9800 Pro w/128MB RAM
      Nvidia Nforce2 based motherboard

      I'm running 1024x768, High Detail, with 2x antialiasing. I notice the occasional stutter but it runs really nice so far for me.

      Is your AGP running at full 8x? Are your drivers the latest and greatest? You should be kicking my systems ass. Perhaps it is the extra RAM? Are you running 2 sticks in DDR mode or just one 512MB stick? That makes a load of a difference as well.
      • >Is your AGP running at full 8x?

        I haven't checked.

        >Are your drivers the latest and greatest?

        I upgraded them 10 minutes before instaling Doom 3. I expect there will be better ones for that specific purpose, at some point.

        >You should be kicking my systems ass. Perhaps it is the extra RAM?

        Could be, I'm probably going to add another 512 and see.

        >Are you running 2 sticks in DDR mode or just one 512MB stick? That makes a load of a difference as well.

        One stick. I thought I should still be gett
        • One stick. One word. BuyMoreRAMRightNow.

          This article [servebeer.com] should help out a bit. Happy shopping. And remember that they must be IDENTICAL to get Dual Channel.

          Also, have you optimized the OpenGL (Doom 3 is OpenGL) or Direct3D settings for your driver? I just run at the default for both. Cranking up the settings to make everything look pretty makes it all slower. I've missed this one before and wondered why my system was running so darn slow. Readjusting fixed everything on that game.
  • The game recommended the same 640x480 Medium on my system, but I've been running it at 1024x768 High without any real trouble. Maybe I haven't hit the heavy areas, though.

    I find it very creepy all the time, but it's not as stressful as the first night I fired it up. Are you running the sound through a nice system? The sound is more than half the atmosphere. I run mine through my old home theater sound system with a rather large subwoofer. There are times when it's difficult to tell if I'm hearing gam

    • Got really nice headphones... the sound is directly attached to my brain (or so it feels).

      I'll try cranking and see what happens.
      • The reviews I saw said headphones don't do it since you don't get surround. The sound is supposed to help creep you out. I dunno, sounds to me like from your review I can save myself money both on the game and on system upgrades and as you say, wait for the next really cool mod of the game.

        Which if you think about it, isn't all the surprising. id has always been cutting edge tech, but storyline has always kinda lacked. I'm waiting for HL2 anyway, right?

  • From playing around with things, I kind of got the impression that the Auto-settings system didn't actually recommend resolutions. From what I could tell, it only chose a detail level. Try changing your resolution and then run the auto-settings again. I don't think it will change the resolution for you.

    FK and I seem to have mirrored systems as far as Video and CPU. I have a P4 1.8 with a 256 MB 9800 Pro. I was blaming the same choppiness you described on my CPU.
  • The game, unfortunately, gets old after an hour of gameplay. Sure, its gorgeous as hell, and they worked really hard to make a good plot, but the gameplay is still the same old same old. Worth the $55? Maybe once a few mods pop up (a la Halflife).

    Mods are a big reason I'm not really interested in getting Doom3 just yet. Well that and I get a nasty rash anytime I spend $50 on a game, too damn much money imho. When good stable mods start coming out I'll be much more interested. I'd love to play Doom3 co-op o

  • My system is a Athlon 2500+, 512MB RAM, 9700Pro, and I'm running easily at 1280x1024 Medium.

    As for the plot, yeah, it really is "Alfred Hitchcock presents Half-Life".

    As for the spooky, well, you gotta work at it. I found that regardless of level, if I played it during hte day on speakers, it was "just doom", and if I played it after dark with lights out and headphones, it was damn creepy after a while.

    It's the shadows. If you're not getting full realtime shadows (medium quality, IIRC), you're not going
    • I jacked it up to 1024X768 without any noticable slowdowns. I play in my basement, after 8 o'clock, no lights and headphones on. Its still doom. If I walk into an empty room with a chaingun in it, I know once I touch that chaingun, 4 walls will open up with creatures, once they are destroyed, 2-4 creatures will 'warp' into the room.

      Its far too predictable. If you want scary, load up a game of system shock 2 and play as the naval officer without much weapon skills (so you can't run into a room fighting
      • Eh, maybe I was psyching myself out. It was Doom, so I was expecting the silly traps, but there are moments--my favorite example in the early game is that section of Alpha labs where a security-bot is leading you down a pitch black corridor with his flashlight, and you end up in a firefight with four imps--with the shadows everywhere, and the utter disorientation...

        Maybe I've got different "scare" reflexes than you do. =P

        Admittedly, too, the game gets much less creepy for a while, and just is standard Do

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