Doom 3 full review

In February, Aspyr Media plans to release the Mac version of Doom 3, a gory, terrifying, and visually spectacular first-person shooter that may keep you awake long after you’ve finished playing.

Although Doom 3 is, at its most basic, a retelling of previous Doom games, there’s nothing stale about the new version. Whereas previous installments were simple run-and-shoot affairs, Doom 3 offers improved storytelling, stunning graphics, and a host of new tricks.

In Doom 3, you’re a marine sent to a human colony on Mars where strange things are happening. You’ll learn about what’s going on by downloading data to your trusty PDA, watching news reports, and listening
to conversations – you’ll pick up some good tips.

As soon as you land, all hell breaks loose – literally. A chain of events opens a gateway to a dark dimension populated by hideous creatures beyond your worst nightmares – all with a taste for warm human flesh. You’re alone in the dark, and it’s up to you and your trusty arsenal of weapons to quell this demonic invasion.

Id Software sets new standards for graphics, lighting, and shadowing effects in this game. The depth of Doom 3’s realistic effects is incredible. Facial and skeletal animation is more realistic than in any Mac game I’ve seen. And the lighting and shading effects are nothing short of spectacular.

Although you may be able to dial down the game’s graphics and video settings so it runs on a G4 Mac, Aspyr recommends playing on a G5 – the first time a Mac game has had such high system requirements. A beefy video card is also recommended, especially if you plan to turn up the effects. Because you’ll spend a lot of time in the dark, audio cues become terribly important in Doom 3.

Id Software hasn’t skimped at all on the sound effects, from the radio chatter of other marines, to the muffled screams of innocent victims being eaten alive, to the sickening wet slithering of a zombie trailing its own innards. Doom 3 will suck you in and, more often than not, make your skin crawl.

Doom 3 also sports robust multiplayer gaming, although I haven’t yet been able to test these features. Aspyr promises that Mac and PC gamers will be able to play together online. I’ll have more on this when I review the final version of the game.

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