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Doom | 3 | review | game | Lollipop
(Activision for the X-box)
by Eric Johnson
The definitively old-school shooting action of Doom 3 pissed a lot of people off when it was released for the PC last summer. Beyond bleeding-edge graphics, Doom 3 delivered on a prophecy a decade in the making, finally delivering lighting and shadows as dynamic as those found in real life. For some, taking those ultra-modern graphics and essentially re-creating a ten-year-old shooter was an unforgivable sin. Foolish enough to judge a game on its own merit rather than getting my panties in a twist over the fact that a 23rd century marine can't hold his gun and a flashlight at the same time, I actually enjoyed Doom 3 and looked forward to the much-delayed X-box translation. X-box owners - and those too reasonable to upgrade their PCs for a single game - will be relieved to know that the console version of Id's archetypal shooter is at least as good, and may be the superior version of the game.
Repelling a demonic invasion on a Martian outpost with little more than a pump-action shotgun is a real hoot. The graphics are the star of the show: This is one of the only games I've ever played to actually produce exciting screen shots. It doesn't look like a video game, although the zombies are livelier than the humans, and it looks like the graphics engine isn't yet ready to render girls.
So, are the white-knuckle firefights with mishappen blasphemies in cramped hallways good enough to stand on their own without the graphics? Or are we all being distracted by the beautiful shadows cast on an obese zombie's cheek as emergency lights filter through steam and fire? While the latter is somewhat true, the unapologetically old school gameplay works because of the hyper-realistic graphics. Convincing darkness and environments lull you into suspended disbelief, weaving a spell that makes you more patient and exploration-minded than Halo 2, which this will inevitably be compared to.