"Bringing the classic first-person shooter to consoles "for the first time"."
Are they sure about that?
I distinctly remember playing Doom 3 on the (original) Xbox ...
iD Software's Doom 3 is to be rereleased as an "enhanced version" this autumn, bringing the classic first-person shooter to PS3 "for the first time", and once again to the Xbox 360 and PC. Dubbed the Doom 3 BFG Edition, the game comes bundled with two previously released expansion packs, Resurrection of Evil and The Lost …
Seems odd to have hype for what's essentially a platinum-esque release of a game I've played to death several years ago. However if it hooks in new, younger fans then great, but I fear that gamers today may expect more from a game and will find it a bit dated.
I'm hoping that when Doom 4 comes along they'll have "fixed" the Rage/iD Tech 5 engine to be fit for purpose (on the PS3 at least). It was a great technical exercise, but the fuzzy focus with gradual sharpening made me feel like I was playing on Google Earth on a slow net connection.
Was Doom 3 any good? A good part of my youth was spent playing the originals, but Doom3 just looks a bit generic.
(Cue blood-tinted spectacled memories, especially the sound of the shotgun reloading and the rib-splitting gut-spilling that ensued if you blew up an oil drum next to an enemy.... IDSPISPOPD, a brace of 486DXs with a null-modem cable, native support for the Gravis Ultrasound etc. )
"DX 2 was clock doubled", which made sense.
Then it all went Pete Tong with the DX4, which was clock, er, tripled........
As for which was better, there's no easy answer as it really depended on what was running. In an ideal world, where the prediction / prefetch side gets it right, the cacheing's on the money and the clock-multiplied pipelines can be kept fed, the 2s and 4s win. The downside is that a pipeline stall wastes a shitload of cycles.
I think it's probably correct to say that the multiplier approach proved more advantageous overall, given where we are now.
I really was a peasant, I only had a 40Mhz 386DX (the AMD version). 'High detail' was unpleasant, but low detail was playable. I had to wait until I left university and got a job for the 4MB ram upgrade to make it run though. Before then it had to be played on the university's shiney new cluster of 486s, I think they'd had them about two weeks when DOOM was launched - perfect timing, before that nothing on campus would have been good enough to run it.
Sorry--but I was a proud owner of the fastest 486 ever sold:
AMD 486DX4/120 (yes, that's a 40 MHz bus when the best Intel had on offer was 33 MHz).
Beat the crap out of anything Intel released, even their Pentium 75, which was released to staunch the bleeding this chip was causing them.
Ahh I have good memories of the AMD 486s. Around that time I was working in a computer shop (my first real job) and I was literally chomping at the bit to get one. IIRC eventually I plumped for the inferior Cyrix 5x86 chip which didn't last. Also remember various other DX4 chips from lots of different companies... IBM, UMC, Cyrix... I never was sure if they were just re-badged Cyrix chips.
I also remember from around that time (or possibly a few months earlier) that AMD released a great advert for their 486DX4/100, I think it was 100 reasons why an AMD 486DX4 100 was better than a Pentium 66, and one of the digs was that it could do floating point stuff properly without any errors.
I'd love to get a copy of that advert, I think it was in PC Magazine, alas I've not been able to find a copy :-)
Ahh great memories. I think I might install Doom on my PCs at home this weekend and teach my daughters the joys of having a Doom death match :-)
Lucky me, I had a NexGen Nx90 CPU. Ran Doom/DoomII/Final Doom/Ultimate Doom/Eternal Doom like blazes. Then Quake came out and required a math chip. Uh-oh, the NexGen had no such capability. :'( Finally managed to finagle a P133 board, chip, and ram and experienced Quake in all its gory glory.
I found Doom3 to be tiresome and gave up before I got half-way through it. Played Unreal Tournament and UT2004 for years though...
DX co-processor? Sheer Luxury!
I had to play on a 486 SX/33.
4MB RAM, 170MB HDD (which I later doublespaced to put win95 on after a RAM upgrade to 12mb!), no sound card.
I mind Doom was best framerate when the screen was resized in a peg or two.
Still very atmospheric.
I got Heretic, Duke3D and Descent to run on that machine.
Had to manually unzip the files from the Destruction Derby installer to get it to run.
"Was Doom 3 any good?"
Put it this way. It was the first one (and still one of the very few) that I found had to be played with the lights on first time through. It all got a shade too atmospheric in the dark, too many things deliberately put in to fuck with one's head and cause the screaming heebie-geebies. It was the first I played where trouser-soiling moments were caused due to hearing something horribly unpleasant behind me, courtesy of 5.1 sound. Other games had had surround sound, but none had exploited it to the extent that Doom 3 did in my experience.
Fairly typical Doom-y plot (you're on your own, it's nasty, shoot stuff before it kills you), loads to get through, lots of serious gory mess and liberally stuffed with ohshitohshitohshit back-to-the-wall-and-hope-the-ammo-doesn't-run-out moments. It scores over earlier Doom versions with the interactive kit all over the shop (I can play a video game in a video game - WTF?), decent NPCs, smarter bad guys and..........that atmosphere.
Probably the only thing that lets it down is that the ending is a shade too easy. I think that Id knew that and overcompensated in "Resurrection of Evil", by putting in a final sequence that's perishingly close to impossible to beat. Having said that I aced the ending of the original DOOM first time through without a scratch (and a repeatable technique too - quite the coup at the time it was), so maybe they were deliberately going for nostalgia in 3.....
All-in-all it still ranks as one of my all-time favourites, so going back to the original question, I have to say yes.
 E.g. <Tortured voice in left ear> "Saaaavvvvveeeee Meeeeeee" </Tortured voice in left ear> - and it means it too. Amusing after the fact, when the gag becomes apparent, but more "Wtf was that? Oooooooohhhhhhh Shiiiiiiittttttt" at the time.
Thank you for a considered and concise review that answers the questions I had. Atmosphere is what I got from the original... My PC was behind when Doom3 came out, but my engineer house mate used it for testing his, ahem, workstation.
The first time I encountered one of those pink gorilla things in Doom (level 5?), i only heard it grunting in a dark corridor (Thank you Gravis) and nearly shat myself, shooting it point-blank with the rocket launcher, killing myself. I also remember running the audio through a loud HiFi, and the sound of the shotgun causing my mate's kid brother to run out if the room in tears.
TeeCee...was your Doom3 different to mine?
I playing Doom I and II on my 486DX50 and later Pentium133, followed by the Duke in 3D, Hexen, Quake I & II and on to the ultimate Half Life (which used a modifies Quake engine) and HL2 (and more...).
I got Doom3 a year or so after release cheap (about £5 and that was too much), and after HL 2 it was boring.
Just walking around for ages (mostly in the dark) trying to spot the key cards on a desk/floor (with correct colour), shoot everything that moved and try to guess when the next creature would be spawned around the corner or behind you.
Story progression was nothing more than after a few hours trudging around looking for keys; kill a boss and get a new/bigger gun.
I have no idea how far I got through it as I never completed it, due to it being so utterly monotonous.
It had better graphics than the original Half Life and just about on par with HL2 that was released a year earlier than this, but zero style or substance.
I have replayed HL, Opposing Forces, and HL2 (plus MINERVA) multiple times as they are beautifully crafted games with evolving stories, that just like watching an old movie can still be enjoyed again.
Good memories there, my first build was a 486 DX4 - 100mhz. I was a mere pup of 13 way back then.
Back to the topic, I hated Doom 3, like wading through treacle until you got half stroggified. Ditto Unreal 2. I want a nice nippy character for dodging projectiles and generally getting on with the mission and keeping the action flowing FFS!
For those who don't fancy shelling £20 for a game shoehorned 3D nearly a decade after release check out the Moddb downloads, the HQ packs do the job for free.
Unless you count bandwidth costs, which I don't. Also far better lighting mods, and also a new mod Endarchy has just finished, well worth a go.
No love for ROTT?
This... ehem... guy I knew had his entire school computer lab installed with all three. We had IPX/SPX LAN parties every morning before school started. Those were the days :)
Personally, I was a little partial to multiplayer in Descent... but tend to recall all three getting played about equally.
Doom 3 looked great but the levels were almost linear and the process of advancing was exactly the same - creep forward, trigger hidden trap, lights out, flash light, gun, shoot, shoot, lights on, repeat. Literally that was it all the way through. There was no way to predict what would trigger an attack, just that there was probably an invisible pressure plate around the corner that would.
One of the most popular patches for the game was a gun with a flashlight on it since it seems a space marine fighting through an abandoned Mars colony never thought of using duct tape. Doom 3 might have been a good tech demo but it was a bad game.
Far Cry on the other hand which appeared around the same time was an awesome game. The cutscenes and plot were a bit generic but the open worlds demonstrated what a FPS *should* be. It's too bad so many games still think that linear levels with a few arenas are still acceptable game design.
"One of the most popular patches for the game was a gun with a flashlight on it..."
Yes and a bloody daft idea that was too. Some guns had lights, some didn't. The compromise that forced in dark areas (and the need to be a bit nifty at swapping weapons sometimes) was part of the game.
The duct tape patch was merely a cheat to make it easier for those too lame to play it properly and too far up their own arses to just admit they were crap and wind the in-game brightness up to "I can see all the time" levels.
No guns had lights unless you had the mod. Doom 3 was terribly formulaic, I seem to recall the lights went out almost every single time there was an encounter. Even when there was lighting it flickered on and off all the time so you just wound up with a headache. The whole fighting in the dark thing was so overused that it never had a chance to be scary, or anything other than irritating.
Doom 3, headphones on, darkened room and next-door's black cat sneaking into my room and brushing up against my legs. I screamed like a girl and almost had a heart attack! Played a few levels a few weeks back - still has the power to shock me, even though I know what is coming (no cats though!)
'Twas the Alien Quake mod that did for my underkex. Playing alone in my flat, late at night with the lights off and headphones on. Very, very scary.
One night I was playing when I suddenly heard something shouting behind me. Jumped up in terror and looked round to see the ceiling shaking.
Thankfully, it was only the couple upstairs having their usual post-pub domestic.
Indeed similar experience for me. Lights off, headphones on, girlfriend (now wife) sneaks in to room and brushes gently on the back of my neck at some appropriately spooky moment.
I used to schedule my PC upgrades on id games releases. Built new PC's for Doom 2, Quake2, Quake 3 and Doom 3. Didn't bother for Quake 4, which is the last id game I bought...
I think Quake was released under some flavour of open-source licence a few years back, so consider it 'donated', not 'abandoned'.
AFAIK, 'vapourware' is a term for promised products that don't materialise (see DukeNukem Forever, which has proven itself not to be vapourware), and 'abandonware' is the term used when developers don't bother enforcing copyright through lack financial incentive.