Doom 3 review

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Doom 3 - if it were a Prime Minister, it would definitely be John Major. Well, John Major if he looked like George Clooney, and worshipped Satan. Are we confusing you? Sorry - we'll start again.

Doom 3 is as 'Back to Basics' a first-person shooter as it's possible to imagine. It's a claustrophobically linear corridor shooter packed to the rafters with more Satanism, gore and demonic imagery than a Hammer Horror double bill.

Sinister mega-corporation UAC is beavering away on some radical new teleportation technology. Headed up by the obligatory psychopath - slapheaded Dr Betruger - the experiment goes to Hell (quite literally) and a wormhole to Hades pops up on their creepy Mars outpost.

As crazed, bloodthirsty demons swarm into the universe, one heroic marine is mankind's only hope.

If you want to know what happens next, just think of something along the lines of Aliens, Evil Dead, Event Horizon and Resident Evil and you're halfway there.

Doom 3's level of polish is unparalleled, making it the videogaming equivalent of Titanic (although thankfully minus Leonardo DiCaprio).

No other Xbox game comes close to touching it from a graphical point of view. Forget Halo 2, Oddworld Stranger's Wrath - even Chronicles of Riddick - Doom 3 craps on them all from a very great height. Models, particle effects, lighting - you name it, this here game does it best.

Critics have bemoaned the fact that, cutting edge visuals aside, Doom 3's by-the-numbers gameplay is painfully dated. And they'd be right. Well, kind of.

It's true that you can't peek round corners, while the physics system is basic at best and enemies tend to be even thicker than Celebrity Big Brother's Bez.

So, it's nothing more than a corridor crawler, but what a corridor crawler! The whole Doom 3 experience feels far more comfortable on console than it ever was on PC.

Its linearity can surely be excused when the weapons, levels and enemies are all this mind-blowingly fantastic. Bung in some titanic boss battles and a Hollywood-esque production level and you have yourselves an instant classic.

It's also worth noting that Doom 3 on Xbox is a technical miracle (or perhaps the work of the devil?). 95% of the PC version has been crammed in, while loading times and slowdown are virtually undetectable. Id surely deserve hell-knighthoods for their sterling work.

But Doom 3 isn't perfect. The section in the Alpha Labs/Enpro facility drags on for ages, while the potentially terrifying vent sections are woefully undeveloped.

The inability to wield your flashlight and a weapon at the same time is puzzling, but then isn't this a game that's all about suspending your disbelief?

Doom 3 may not have toppled Halo 2 from its perch just yet. But if you have any sense you'll add them both to your collection.

A word of advice, though - Marine difficulty is too easy, so ramp it up to Veteran and experience Doom 3 the way it's meant to be played. Crapping yourself.

Doom 3 is out for PC now and is released for Xbox on 8 April

More info

DescriptionIf it takes more than dark corridors and monsters jumping out of corners to make you sweat, this expansion pack will quickly become a tedious trek.
US censor rating"Mature","Mature"
UK censor rating"",""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)