Oh my god!
I am so in love with this game. As far as first impressions, I am utterly amazed at the level of realism in Doom3. That’s not to say however, I didn’t have any problems at first. At the beginning, I could not get the game to work correctly after the first install with some odd error about creating a file (gamex86.dll) in the game directory. My first guess was that it did not like my install path of “D:/Program Files/Doom3” which is the dedicated drive I use for games. So, I changed the path to “D:/Doom3” and it worked absolutely fine after that. My guess is that the space in the path might have thrown things off a bit, which a few other people on the Doom3 forum confirmed.
As far as the performance of my machine with this game, as expected it’s not the greatest. My machine could pretty much only handle “Medium” graphics mode at a decent frame rate. I also threw down the resolution to 800×600 to speed things up a bit and changed the “seta image_cacheMegs” setting to 256mb of RAM. However, being on medium mode did not mean the game looked like crapola. On the contrary, the graphics are rather breathtaking even at this reduced detail level… There is so much visual realism in the monsters and players that it makes you want to explore every nook and cranny in the game just to take in the graphics. I posted up a few screen shots here of one of the corridors I had to walk through. Here’s one of a demon about ready to chuck a fireball at me. The detail in the blood and core is quite eery in some places as shown here. Finally, here’s a shot of yours truly in the bathroom (don’t ask).
I read somewhere that a sci-fi writer was brought in for the story line and man did that help out with the game’s plot. It’s a very dark and dismal setting (as you can see from the screen shots) which almost reminds me of a a horror movie. From watching the game trailers, I knew I had to play this game in complete darkness and man does that help with the “scary” ambience. If I still had my 5.1 speaker system, it would have completely made the game much more realistic since it does allow for 5.1 surround sound in the audio settings. Unfortunately, that’s gracing my brother’s machine now, so I played the game via my headset and it wasn’t really that bad. I also have to add that the background music for this game definitely adds to the “suspense” factor. Much like the better horror movies, the musical cues do not necessarily mean something bad is going to happen. There were many times when the music was almost soothing then all of a sudden a demon jumped out in front of you and then it picked up as the fight ensued. Conversely, there were also many times when the music got quite hectic leading you to believe that all shit was about to break loose, but nothing happened at all. Again, a very good sign that careful thought was placed into making this a suspenseful shooter as opposed to the typical games out lately that just concentrate on killing everything in sight.
All in all, I have to say that I am extremely impressed with id’s latest offering. If you do happen to get your hands on it, take my advice. Play it in the dark and if possible, turn up the volume high… It’s one of the best gaming experiences I have had thus far and I’m only at the beginning. Can’t wait to see how this ends.